How far do you commute each day for the
privilege of doing your part to push back the frontiers of technical ignorance
and to boldly go where no engineer - or technician - has gone before. Do you
know what the cost equates for you each year? This handy-dandy infographic lays
out some gruesome numbers.
Those with a weak stomach probably should pass on viewing this one. Here's a
hint at what you will see: See that big $795 in the thumbnail image? That's the
average cost per year for commuting -- per mile! Yessiree, if you live just 10
miles from work, you're losing nearly $8,000 per year, depending on you
automobile type, on gas, tires, maintenance, devaluation, and loss of your
personal time (which is valuable, after all). Back in the early 1990s I drove
about 45 miles each way to Comsat, which took about 65 minutes due to miserable
traffic, which is 130 minutes round-trip, or 2 hours and 10 minutes (about the
run time of an average movie) each day. Figuring two weeks vacation and 10
holidays, that leave 48 weeks x 5 days/week = 240 days per year of
commuting. 240 days x 130 minutes = 31,200 minutes = 520 hours per year. That's
a fourth of a man-year (2,080 hours) on the road. It was a great job, but
combined with working 60-70 hours per week...
ConductRF is continually innovating and
developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest
TESTeCON RF Test Cables
for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude
and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors.
Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component
library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard
just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit
ConductRF today to see
how they can help your project!
Everyone reading the is familiar with the
"bell curve," and most have been exposed to the mathematics of it. Standard deviations,
normal distribution, mean, median, variance, etc., are seen often in technical writings.
John Dunn has a good intro (or refresher) on the EDN website entitled, "The
Mathematics of Gaussian Probability Distribution." It begins: "All sorts of
physical processes in this analog world exhibit some degree of randomness. Think
of noise, for example. Many noisy processes are described by Gaussian probability
distributions. We should take a look at the mathematics of that. Consider the equation
of the 'bell curve' for a Gaussian probability distribution by starting with a very
The everythingRF website has a short
article on current
5G spectrum allocation around the world. Frequencies are added
and/or removed occasionally depending on who controls the government agencies and
which lobbyists have enough money to influence said officials. The chart was created
in 2018 and promises to be updated as needed. Hopefully, the author is watching
the industry and making adjustments as needed.
Thanks to the Wuhan Virus, QSO Today's
Ham Expo 2020 will be an online-only
event via your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. It will be held on the weekend of
August 8th and 9th. "Participate in this ground breaking, virtual international
amateur radio expo. Packed with world renowned speakers, exhibitors, and special
conference rooms built on a virtual reality platform." More than 70 internationally
renown are scheduled. Register by July 24th to receive early bird prize incentives.
Register by July 24th for free attendance!
A Decimal Point = I'm a Dot in Place
Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one
Dormitory = Dirty Room
Western Union = No Wire Unsent
The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
Silicon Graphics = A Long Chip Crisis / Can logic ship, sir? / Gosh, sir, I
Comics with an Electronics Theme February 1967 Popular Electronics
Electronics-Themed Comics June 1951 Radio-Electronics
RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000
website visits each weekday and about half that on weekends.
RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all
over the world. With more than 13,000 pages in the Google search index,
RF Cafe returns in favorable
positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content
is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough
to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found
in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. I also re-broadcast homepage
items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the
place to be. Advertising begins at $40/month.
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution
of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you
have never used a spreadsheet quite like this. It is a full-featured RF system cascade
parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45.
Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and
the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than
using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all
that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...
With more than 1000
custom-built symbols, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of
Visio Symbols available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings!
Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size
drawing page templates (or can use your own). Symbols are provided for equipment
racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics.
Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained
on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of
you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing. The file
format is XML so everything plays nicely with Visio 2013 and later...
This assortment of custom-designed themes
by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins,
Purses, Sweatshirts, and Baseball Caps. Choose from amazingly clever "We Are the World's Matchmakers"
Smith chart design or the "Engineer's Troubleshooting Flow Chart." My "Matchmaker's"
design has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please
be sure to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. My markup is only a paltry 50¢ per
item - Cafe Press gets the rest of your purchase price. These would make excellent
gifts for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company
events or as rewards for excellent service. It's a great way to help support RF
RF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has
been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering
managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable
job openings. HR department employees
and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting
at no charge. 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure
a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from
RF Cafe's high quality visitors...
"Since the discovery of graphene, two-dimensional
materials have been the focus of materials research. Among other things, they could
be used to build tiny, high-performance transistors. Researchers at ETH Zurich and
EPF Lausanne have now simulated and evaluated one hundred possible materials for
this purpose and discovered 13 promising candidates. With the increasing miniaturization
of electronic components, researchers are struggling with undesirable side effects:
In the case of
nanometer-scale transistors made of conventional materials such as silicon,
quantum effects occur that impair their functionality. One of these quantum effects,
for example, is additional leakage currents, i.e. currents that flow 'astray' and
not via the conductor provided between the source and drain contacts. It is therefore
believed that Moore's scaling law..."
"In our information society, the synthesis,
distribution, and processing of radio and microwave signals happen ubiquitously
in wireless networks, telecommunications, and radars. The current tendency is to
use carriers in higher frequency bands, especially with looming bandwidth bottlenecks
due to demands for 5G and the Internet of Things.
Microwave photonics, a combination of microwave engineering and optoelectronics,
might offer a solution. A key building block of microwave photonics is optical frequency
combs, which provide hundreds of equidistant and mutually coherent laser lines.
They are ultra short optical pulses emitted with a stable repetition rate that corresponds
precisely to the frequency spacing of comb lines. The photodetection of the pulses
produces a microwave carrier..."
"Researchers from ETH Zurich have achieved
what scientists have been attempting to do for some 20 years: in their laboratory
work as part of European Horizon 2020 research projects, they have manufactured
a chip on which fast electronic signals can be converted directly into
ultrafast light signals - with practically no loss of signal quality. This represents
a significant breakthrough in terms of the efficiency of optical communication infrastructures
that use light to transmit data, such as fiber optic networks. In cities like Zurich,
these fiber optic networks are already being used to deliver high-speed internet,
digital telephony, TV, and network-based video or audio services (streaming). Today's
optical networks achieve data transmission rates in the region of gigabits per second..."
"In the not-too-distant future, flexible
electronics will open the door to new products like foldable phones, tablets that
can be rolled, paper-thin [get it? paper - wood]
displays and wearable sensors that monitor health data. Developing these new flexible
/ bendy products means using materials like new plastics and thin films to replace
the rigid circuit boards and bulky electronic components that currently occupy the
interiors of cell phones and other gadgets. New research by a University of Wisconsin-Madison
engineer leverages a surprising and inexpensive substance -
wood - to make the flexible microwave circuits that can power modern communications.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications..."
"Chocolate is the latest material to be
colorized by nanotechnology instead of chemical dyes. While so many of us are
working at home during the [Wuhan Flu] pandemic, we do worry that serendipitous
hallway conversations aren't happening. Last year, before the pandemic, it was one
of those conversations that led researchers at ETH Zurich to develop a way of making
chocolates shimmer with color - without any coloring agents or other additives.
The project, announced in December, involves what the scientists call 'structural
color.' The team indicated that it creates colors in a way similar to what a chameleon
does - that is, using the structure of its skin to scatter a particular wavelength