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RF Cafe at IMS2011© (MTT-S 2011)
Kirt's Cogitations™ #261

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RF Cafe - IMS2011(c)

RF Cafe - IMS2011 Exhibit Floor MapIt is hard to believe, but the 2011 Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S), aka International Microwave Society (IMS) show has come and gone. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center from June 5-10, the show seemed to have attracted a large number of both participants and exhibitors. An official report will be published by MWJ in a couple weeks to provide the exact figures. According to the exhibit floor map, there were about 550 displays. It seems like more than at the IMS2009 show in Boston.

RF Cafe - Lance Lascari of RF DudeMelanie and I arrived Tuesday morning when the exhibit floor opened. We spent the entire day in a whirlwind roaming of the area, getting hundreds of photos of the event. This year I managed to capture pictures of every display case in the Historical Electronics Museum display - an awe-inspiring presence. There are also lots of photos of the crowd, so if you were there on Tuesday, you might just spot yourself in one of the pictures. Although it took many trips back to some of the RF Cafe vendor booths (didn't want to interrupt the staffers talking to potential customers), I believe I got photos of all their display booths. I even got a pic of one RF Cafe advertiser's roving booth - über microwave design consultant Lance Lascari, of RF Dude.

Visit Z-CommunicationsThanks to Brent Campbell, at Z-Communications, for providing exhibit floor tickets to Melanie and me. Others offered, but he offered first, so Z-Comm gets the honorable mention!

Foot traffic was dense most of the day. Asked how the show was shaping up compared to the last couple years, most of the vendors remarked that while there were a lot of spectators, not as many seemed to be stopping to inquire about products - although they were sure to pick up the free handouts. I remember at the IMS2009 show the vendors said that a good portion of the inquiries were by salesmen and distributors looking to pick up product lines to represent, so maybe there was a lot of that going on here, too. Since we were not there beyond Tuesday, the scenario could have changed later in the week. Wednesday had free access to the exhibit floor, so maybe the crowd size grew the next day.

As with the IMS2009 show, I saw a handful of engineers I worked with at one company now working for a new company. I won't mention who changed from Company A to Company B. In about half the cases the companies were competitors... and now for the obvious follow-on statement... but the other half were not. A couple of the guys were actually manning the display booths for their newly adopted companies. There were a lot of faces I did not recognize, so evidently personnel shifts were going in both directions.

RF Cafe - Diana Baxter and Melanie at the RFMD Booth at IMS2011RF Cafe - RFMD's VP of Sales Greg ThompsonMy favorite and most recent former employer of nearly seven years, RF Micro Devices, had their traditional very large display set up. Diana Baxter, manager of my department for the last few years there, was entertaining customers' questions. She reluctantly agreed to be photographed, so here she is with Melanie. Because my cubicle at RFMD was in the Mahogany Row area of the corporate building, I had the good fortune of being around the top dogs - even the founders - on a daily basis. It was impressive and inspiring to have a front-seat view of how business was conducted. VP of sales, Greg Thompson (one of the company's first employees - see pic on right), was one of the guys I had the pleasure of interacting with on occasion.

Vendor display booth quality was exceptional. I have never participated in setting up and staffing a booth at one of these trade shows, but I imagine it is a lot of hard work. Packing up all the gear, travelling to the show and dealing with getting your stuff from the shipping company, setting up the display, wearing a smile and entertaining potential customers for 8 hours a day for four days, and then breaking everything down and shipping it home has got to be utterly exhausting. It might be easier for the veterans of the communications and sales departments, but it still takes its toll. Display space carries a premium price for a show like this; it is the companies who foot the bill for the entire show. Thanks to all the exhibitors for their contributions!

OK, enough blabbing; you're here for the pictures. I think I have them in alphabetical order. If you spot yourself and want me to include you, please send me a copy of the photo and point yourself out. Enjoy! RF Cafe - Supermodel Melanie Blattenberger, National Electronics Museum Display at IMS2011

RF Cafe - Melanie in the registration area, IMS2011 RF Cafe - Sponsor logos #1, IMS2011

RF Cafe - Sponsor logos #2, IMS2011 RF Cafe - Sponsor logos #3, IMS2011

This is the registration area of the IMS2011 show in the Baltimore Convention Center

Click here to see all the photos of the National Electronics Museum display



RF Cafe - Exhibit floor, aisles 600/500, IMS2011  RF Cafe - Exhibit floor, aisles 400/300, IMS2011 

RF Cafe - Exhibit floor, aisles 800/700, IMS2011  RF Cafe - Exhibit floor, aisles 1000/900, IMS2011

Here are some shots of the exhibit floor

RF Cafe - 3Gmetalworx, IMS2011


Ashley Gilroy

RF Cafe - Advanced Test Equipment Rentals, IMS2011

Advanced Test Equipment Rentals

Brendon Berg (L)

RF Cafe - AJ Tuck Company, IMS2011

AJ Tuck Company

(lots of nice, shiny waveguide)

RF Cafe - American Microwave Corp., IMS2011

American Microwave Corp.

Emily King

RF Cafe - American Standard Circuits, IMS2011

American Standard Circuits

RF Cafe - Amplifier Solutions Corp., IMS2011

Amplifier Solutions Corp.

Brett and Mrs. Trump

RF Cafe - Analog Devices #1, IMS2011

Analog Devices

Jonathan Harris (L)

RF Cafe - Analog Devices#2, IMS2011

Analog Devices

RF Cafe - Anatech Electronics, IMS2011

Anatech Electronics

Sam Benzacar, always working

(2nd from left)

Dean Handrinos (far right)

RF Cafe - Artech House, IMS2011

Artech House

Kevin Danahy

(he provides books for the monthly giveaway)

RF Cafe - AWR Corporation, IMS2011

AWR Corporation

Sherry Hess & Randy McAdam

RF Cafe - Manz Communications, IMS2011

Manz Communications

Melanie and Barry

He's a super nice guy, and editor of Military Microwave Digest

RF Cafe - Bliley Technologies, IMS2011

Bliley Technologies

(fellow Erieites)

RF Cafe - Boonton / NoiseCom, IMS2011

Boonton / NoiseCom

Maria Droge (C)

RF Cafe - Cambridge University Press, IMS2011

Cambridge University Press

Dr. Julie Lancashire (L)

(she provides books for the monthly giveaway)

RF Cafe - Cobham Antenna Systems, IMS2011

Cobham Antenna Systems

(formerly European Antennas)

RF Cafe - Corry Micronics, IMS2011

Corry Micronics

(Corry is close to Erie)

RF Cafe - Dow-Key Microwave, IMS2011

Dow-Key Microwave

Joseph Seminoro (L)

Larry Neeley (R)

RF Cafe - Dyne-Tech, IMS2011


Jay Jung

RF Cafe - Empower RF, IMS2011

Empower RF

Jon Jacocks

RF Cafe - Fotofab, IMS2011


Jamie Howton

RF Cafe - GigaLane, IMS2011


Richard Song (L), Tommy Choi (R)

(very friendly folks)

RF Cafe - Hittite Microwave, IMS2011

Hittite Microwave

Beth Desjardins

RF Cafe - IEEE Xplorer, IMS2011

IEEE Xplorer

Join the IEEE today!

RF Cafe - Instrument for Industry, IMS2011

Instruments for Industry

Kyle & Mike Yantz

RF Cafe - ISOTEC, IMS2011


Edward Lee (C)

(a super-nice guy)

RF Cafe - JFW Industries, IMS2011

JFW Industries

Steve Leonard (L), Bryan Walker (R)

RF Cafe - JQL Electronics, IMS2011

JQL Electronics

RF Cafe - JyeBao, IMS2011


Pol Heyns (R)

RF Cafe - MECA Electronics, IMS2011

MECA Electronics

Roger Runnalls, good guy (L)

Jimmy Riter (R)

RF Cafe - Microphase, IMS2011


Steve Capasso (L)

Michael Giarratano, my "inside man" (R)

RF Cafe - Miteq, IMS2011


RF Cafe - Microwave Product Digest, IMS2011

Microwave Product Digest

Doug Markhouse, president (C)

Eileen Rocco, publishing coord. (R)

RF Cafe - Narda Microwave East, IMS2011

Narda Microwave East

RF Cafe - Networks International Corp., IMS2011

Networks International Corp.

Sanil Prabhakar

RF Cafe - Noisecom, IMS2011


Ed and Mrs. Garcia

(a good team)

RF Cafe - NuWaves, IMS2011


Dean Oliver (L)

RF Cafe - Phase Matrix, IMS2011

Phase Matrix

Suresh Ojha (L), Pete Pragastis (R)

RF Cafe - Planar Monolithics, IMS2011

Planar Monolithics

Kevin Mason

RF Cafe - Reactel, IMS2011


Jim and Mrs. Assurian

(another great team)

RF Cafe - Res-Net Microwave, IMS2011

Res-Net Microwave

Gabriel (L), Darryl Mayo (R)

RF Cafe - RF Dude, IMS2011

RF Dude

Lance Lascari

(aka "RF Dude")

RF Cafe - RF Micro Devices, IMS2011

RF Micro Devices

Diana Baxter and Melanie Blattenberger

RF Cafe - Skyworks Solutions, IMS2011

Skyworks Solutions

Alan Ake (R)

RF Cafe - Spectrum Microwave, IMS2011

Spectrum Microwave

Walter Witt (L) -

(über salesman & all-around nice guy)

Michael Wiener (R)

RF Cafe - Z-Communications, IMS2011


Cindy Downey

(Z-Comm donated our tickets)

RF Cafe - vida RF, IMS2011

vida RF

Robert Montgomery -

(fellow vintage Camaro aficionado) 

Melanie and I plan to attend the IMS2012 show in Montreal, Canada. It is about a 500-mile drive form Erie (it was 400 to Baltimore and 600 to Boston). We hope to see you there!

RF Cafe - , IMS2011This story needs to be told as well. The Comfort Inn hotel where we stayed had a wicked toilet flushing mechanism that scared the bejeepers out of me the first time I hit the handle. The force was so strong and loud that I imagined that is what it would be like flushing a toilet in an airplane at 30,000 feet if it had a direct vent to the outside. I had to pull the tank top off to see what was responsible for the experience. To the right is a photo of the awesome device - a Sloan FlushMate. It evidently is to toilets what CFL bulbs are to lamps - complex, expensive solutions to a government-imposed regulation. In this case, it is to fulfill the low water usage mandate. Remember all the jokes about the defense industry and the million dollar hammers? It's still you paying the bill for government regulation run amok.

6/15/2011 -- Here is an interesting e-mail from Paul A., of NY:

I just read your review of the MTT show. The last photo (the one showing the Sloan Flushmate toilet), struck a nerve. I had a similar toilet in my house a few years ago. It was made by Kohler. One morning, as my wife and I were preparing to leave on a 2 week vacation, the pressure tank in the toilet failed. It began to leak water at a moderate rate, about 1 pint per minute. The first sign that something had gone wrong was a very large puddle of water on the bathroom floor, spilling out into the hallway. The traditional ceramic outer tank (which was identical in appearance to a standard toilet tank) filled up with water and overflowed. There was no overflow drain. Water gushing out of the ruptured pressure tank had no place to go except over the side and on to the floor. I called Kohler and complained. They told me that they have had numerous failures with that particular model toilet. Apparently, the subcontractor who made the pressure tank had some QA issues and had since gone out of business. Kohler had no explanation about why they designed the toilet tank with no overflow drain. I was offered a free replacement toilet, even though the warranty had long since expired. They gave me a choice of several models which were available at Home Depot. I picked a nice one and installed it myself. By the way, all of the replacements were gravity fed, not pressure assisted.      So much for "green" toilets!  73,  Paul A.



Posted  6/13/2011

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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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