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Homepage Archive #11


RF Cafe Looking for Geocache

Travel Bug Planters

Travel Bug for RF Cafe Geocaching - RF CafeI have purchased a few geocaching Travel Bugs and would like to get some of them planted outside the U.S. Each one consists of a Travel Bug strung together with a dog tag having RF Cafe stamped on it. If you are a Geocacher and would volunteer to plant one of my tags, I will be glad to mail one to you. One Travel Bug would like to go to each of the following regions, so please contact me if you are interested... 

NuWaves Expands Sales Rep Network Southeastern U.S.

NuWaves Engineering, an international Radio Frequency (RF) and Embedded Systems solutions provider, announced today that the company has added E.G. Holmes & Associates, Inc. as an authorized representative of its commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products and design services for the Southeast region of the United States. With the signing, E.G. Holmes brings NuWaves over 50 years of proven results to NuWaves' expanding sales representative network. 

Cobham EM Sim Tools Speed Design of TWT Amplifiers

Cobham Electromagnetic Simulation Tools Accelerate Design of Microwave Amplifiers - RF CafeAn automated simulation-based design cycle has become a fundamental part of the success of one of today's leading designers of travelling wave tube (TWT) microwave amplifiers. TMD Technologies produces a large range of TWTs, a core component of many radar and missile seeker systems, electronic counter measure (ECM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems. By using scripting tools built into Cobham Technical Services' Opera electromagnetic design software, the company has created a custom tool that automatically builds a three-dimensional (3D) model of a new TWT, simulates it and analyzes the results, all within the space of around five minutes.

Pasternack Expands Line of RF Noise Sources

Pasternack Enterprises Expands Line of RF Noise Sources - RF CafePasternack Enterprises expands their line of high and medium output RF noise sources. This new line of noise sources is perfect for applications requiring reliable frequency levels up to 18 GHz. Pasternack Enterprises' coaxial RF noise sources are diode-based microwave components that produce white noise for system performance evaluation such as noise figure. This expanded line of RF noise sources have operating frequencies ranging from 1-18 GHz and have a maximum noise output between 15-35 dB ENR.

Rejuvenating Old Meters

Rejuvenating Old Meters, February 1943 QST - RF CafeAn article with instructions relating to subjects like overthrow, balance, friction, and cleaning could very well be about a country's revolutionary struggles. In this case, it is an article about how to rejuvenate a persnickety or inaccurate mechanical (aka analog) meter movement. W.R. Triplett, relative (I assume) of meter manufacturer Ray L. Triplett, is the author (Triplett is now owned by Jewel Instruments). There are a lot of analog meters around in labs, workshops, and garages. Unless they have been burnt out, most probably still work like new. Occasionally, however, the movements get sticky because of accumulations of dirt and dust, bug filth, or even from corrosion. This article offers some great tips for making them serviceable again. I have a Micronta (Radio Shack) model 22-208 FET-VOM that I bought back in the late 1970s. I put a new 9V battery in it every 5 years or so and it keeps going like the Energizer bunny (in fact it now uses an Energizer battery). Analog meters are more useful than digital meters, IMHO, when...

Many Thanks to Noisecom

for Continued Support!

Noisecom has been a leading provider of RF & Microwave noise generating equipment used in commercial & military applications since 1985. We provide noise diodes, calibrated noise sources, jitter sources, cryogenic noise standards, and computer controlled instruments for either Precision C/N, or broad band white Gaussian noise. Noise Com provides off the shelf as well as custom designed noise testing solutions.

"What Is It?"

Electronics Poetry

What Is It?, February 1943 QST - RF CafeIf subjects pertaining to electronics - particularly vacuum tubes - are like music to your ears, then this poem titled "What Is It?," from the February 1943 edition of QST, should suit you just fine. The rhyming words are supplied by author Frank Judd; you just need to supply the harmony. Poems like this one were actually quite common back in the day. In fact if you look through the list of articles that I have posted from vintage QSTs, you will find half a dozen or more.

Please Visit Boonton in

Appreciation of Support

Boonton Electronics is a provider of RF & microwave test equipment including Peak and Average power meters, Modulation & Audio Analyzers, RF millivolt & Capacitance meters, and PIM Test Sets. Peak Power meters have up to 70 MHz of video BW, and 40 GHz of carrier BW. Modulation & Audio Analyzers provide analog measurements required for radio sets. RF Millivoltmeters use an RF probe system that automatically loads calibration coefficients for measurements to 1.2 GHz.

RF Calculators Now Available

on everything RF

RF Calculators Now Available on everything RF - RF Cafeeverything RF – everythingrf.com has now added RF calculators to the website including RF Attenuation Calculator, VSWR Calculator, Microstrip Calculator, Coax Calculator, Wavelength Calculator, Cascaded Noise Figure and Gain Calculator, Skin Depth Calculator, Inductive Reactance and Admittance Calculator.

DCH Systems Intros 1.7-2.5 GHz 5 W COFDM RF PA

DCH Systems Intros 1.7 to 2.5 GHz 5 W COFDM RF Power Amplifier - RF CafeThe TXM119 is a 1.7 – 2.5 GHz, 5 W (P1dB) PA module designed for COFDM Video link applications and general purpose use. The unit has 11 dB gain with 0.3 dB flatness across the band. Current draw is 750 mA at 1 W COFDM output. High speed switching and over / under / reverse voltage protection are standard, and the units dimensions are 3.75 x 1.9 x 0.49 in.

Smith Chart on £2 Coin "Wireless Bridges the Atlantic"

British 2-Pound Marconi Commemorative Coin - RF CafeA decision was made by the United Kingdom in 1994 to produce 2-pound (£2) coins for general circulation. Public input was sought regarding a theme for the design of the reverse face (back) of the coins; the obverse (front) would feature the standard bust of the Queen. Four year later, the British Royal Mint issued its first coin. The bi-color coins all have a nickel-brass (dark) inner component and a cupro-nickel (light) outer component. Designs would tell the story, through symbolic devices, of technological development from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution and from the Computer Age to the Internet. An edge inscription was included to identify the object or event being commemorated. Designed by Robert Evans, the third coin in the yearly series pays tribute to the contributions of Guglielmo Marconi. Per the British Royal Mint's website: "100th Anniversary of Marconi's 1st Wireless Transmission across the Atlantic. Radio waves decorating centre and outer border while a spark of electricity linking the zeros of the date represents the generation of the signal designed by Robert Evans." The chosen design contains a rendition of Guglielmo...

A Few More Job Hunting Tips

IEEE Jobs Website - RF CafeIEEE sends out occasional e-mails with job hunting tips for technical types. Here are a few from the most recent. I post only the useful ones to save you time.

What Not to Say During an Interview

Wearing Two Hats: The New Path to Promotion

U.S. House Votes to Expand Visas for High-Tech Workers

RFMD Intros WiFi Front End


RFMD Intros WiFi Front End Modules - RF CafeRFMD's new RFFM8xxx series provide complete integrated solutions in single front end modules (FEMs) for WiFi systems. The ultra-small form factor and integrated matching minimizes the layout area in the customer's application and greatly reduces the number of external components. This simplifies the total front end solution by reducing the bill of materials, system footprint, and manufacturability cost.

Anatech Power Dividers for

Wireless and Defense

Anatech Power Dividers for Wireless and Defense - RF CafeWhether you're designing broadband defense systems, HF, VHF, and UHF radios, or wireless systems that demand the lowest possible IMD, Anatech has hundreds of standard power divider models to choose from. The two models below are terrific examples of our design expertise at work and many more are available at www.amcrf.com. We can also design custom models up to 32 GHz with high power handling ability and up to 32 ports.

Please Visit Kete Microwave

in Appreciation of Support

Kete Microwave Electronics specializes in designing and manufacturing state of the art RF/Microwave passive components solutions including isolators and circulators, RF resistors, terminations, attenuators, multilayer chip ceramic capacitors, feed-through capacitors, directional couplers, power dividers and combiners, 3dB Hybrid coupler etc. Connectorized, surface mount, drop-in, and waveguide versions available.

Qualcomm Takes 3rd Place

in 2012 Global IC Market

It is no secret that 2012 has been a rather crappy year for the IC markets. Nevertheless, according to research by the IHS iSuppli folks, communications IC maker Qualcomm ranks #3 this year, up from #6 last year after a 27% increase in revenue.

# Company $B
1 Intel 47.5
2 Samsung Electronics 30.5
3 Qualcomm 13.0
4 Texas Instruments 12.0
5 Toshiba 11.0
6 Renesas Electronics 9.4
7 SK Hynix 8.5
8 STMicroelectronics 8.5
9 Broadcom 7.8
10 Micron Technology 7.0

Notable Quote

"You could put in this room, de Forest, all the radiotelephone apparatus that the country will ever need" - RF Cafe"You could put in this room, de Forest, all the radiotelephone apparatus that the country will ever need." -- W.W. Dean, president of Dean Phone Company, when de Forest pitched his audion tube.

"I Didn't Know Ham Radio

People Were Still Around"

"I Didn't Know Ham Radio People Were Still Around" - RF CafeEvery week while sitting in the studio where Melanie takes her cello and piano lessons, I usually read technical and hobby magazines, but lately I have been studying the ARRL General Class License Manual in preparation for taking the written exam in a couple months. Last week a lady saw the book title and remarked, "I didn't know ham radio people were still around." Wow. It would be tempting to blame her for being ignorant, or to blame the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) for not adequately getting the word out, but the reality is that the mass media does not consider Ham radio's contribution to be significant enough to cover in news stories. Amateur radio operators perform a mighty service in times of trouble, but they do it so efficiently and effectively- without actively seeking credit - that their efforts are lost in the noise. Ham radio operators have been on the front lines of national and civil defense since World War II and even a bit before...

RivieraWaves Achieves

802.11n Certification

RivieraWaves Achieves 802.11n Certification - RF CafeRivieraWaves announced IEEE Wi-Fi 11n certification of its new scalable Wi-Fi 802.11ac silicon IP. The IP is available in a broad range of configurations, supports 802.11n and 802.11ac specifications, single or multiple MIMO (Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) streams, and up to four transmit and receive antennas. In its simplest 1x1 configuration, the IP is optimized for wireless sensors and many Internet of Things (IoT) applications requiring low power consumption. For more complex MIMO configurations, the IP can achieve optimized throughput close to the maximum theoretical values, and is ideal for applications such as smart phones, tablets, computers, digital TVs and set-top boxes.

Reid C. is the November 2012

Book Drawing Winner!

Robotic Navigation and Mapping with Radar - RF CafeReid C., of Lawrence, Kansas, is the November 2012 book drawing winner!. Reid chose Robotic

Navigation and Mapping with Radar.

Graciously provided by Artech House

Webinar: VCO Fundamentals

Webinar: VCO Fundamentals - RF CafeVCO Fundamentals, by Mini-Circuits, Wednesday December 5, 11 AM ET. Outline: VCO Overview Functional block concept, I/O relationships, basic performance metrics, center frequency tuning, 'constant' types of VCOs, resonant (LC, SAW based, crystal) multivibrator, ring oscillator, Methods of tuning varactor drive strength (e.g. charging current in multivibrator), phase adjust, second order performance metrics, v-f linearity, supply/load sensitivity, phase noise, comparison of VCOs.

Hittite Intros 3.3 V Wideband PLL w/Integrated VCO

Hittite Develops New 3.3V Wideband PLL with Integrated VCO - RF CafeHittite Microwave Corporation, a world class supplier of complete MMIC based solutions for communication & military markets, has developed the HMC832LP6GE, a 3.3V Wideband Fractional-N PLL with Integrated VCO that generates continuous fractional frequencies between 25 MHz and 3 GHz. The HMC832LP6GE offers low power consumption of 560 mW while featuring industry leading phase noise and spurious performance. It also includes innovative programmable performance technology that allows designers to further reduce current consumption if demands on the noise floor can be relaxed.

PMI Intros 7 to 10 GHz

Low Noise Amplifier

PMI Intros 7 to 10 GHz Low Noise Amplifier - RF CafePMI Model No. PE2-25-7G10G-5R0-20-SFF is a low-noise amplifier that operates over the frequency range of 7.0 to 10.0 GHz. This model provides gain of 22 dB minimum with a maximum noise figure of 5.0 dB. The output power at 1dB gain compression is +20 dBm minimum and the output OIP3 is +27 dBm minimum. This amplifier is supplied in our standard PE2 housing that can be used with SMA connectors or as surface mount.

RMS Meter Saves Investor

Big Bucks

Made by Monkeys: RMS Meter Saves Investor Big Bucks - RF CafeAll the online magazines seem to now have columns where readers can tell of their personal experiences relating to science and engineering. Design News has "Designed by Monkeys" for that purpose. Sometimes a bit of humor is injected, other times you revel in the brilliance of someone's troubleshooting skills, or roll you eyes at the gullibility of mankind. "RMS Meter Saves Investor Big Bucks" is an example of the latter.

Please Visit Vector Telecom

in Appreciation of Support

Vector Telecom has fully instrumented microwave, millimeterwave, & antenna laboratories and production facilities. Our professional engineers have backgrounds from telecommunications, electronics, space and aviation industries. Frequencies up to 50 GHz, at globally competitive prices. Custom designs available.

Webinar: RF PCB Design

Webinar: PCB Design - RF CafeRF PCB Design, AWR, Tuesday, December 4, 11 AM ET. Abstract: One of the most in-demand categories of consumer products on the market are wireless telecommunication products. While many factors contribute to the success of a great product, a well designed RF PCB can provide a significant boost, as the RF PCB can improve a product's performance, stability and reliability. There is a strong demand for RF professionals who possess the knowledge and experience to design top-performing RF PCBs quickly and efficiently. This webinar offers insightful knowledge on practical RF PCB design to improve one's competence level and meet this demand.

Science & Engineering Theme

Crossword for 12/2/2012

For the sake of avid cruciverbalists, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical endeavor (e.g., Hedy Lamar).

Eagleware Superstar 6.5B

Needed - Please Contact

Eagleware Superstar circuit simulation software (from Microwave Journal website) - RF CafeRF Cafe visitor Barry Carlin is looking for someone willing to sell a licensed copy of Eagleware's Superstar 6.5B. Says Barry, "I have a reasonably large archive of linear circuit simulations created via Eagleware's Superstar Version 6.5B. Unfortunately I no longer have access to the software. Do you know how I might locate someone who might be looking to sell a copy of this software along with the hardware key? My PC operates via Windows XP in 32 bit mode, so I should not have any difficulty running Superstar." If you can help, please contact Barry at bcarlin@cinci.rr.com .

Does This Map Show the Death

of Western Civilization?

Brookings Institution Global MetroMonitor Map of World Economies - RF CafeIf you live in western Europe or the U.S., there is a good reason you probably feel like the future has moved on to other places. This new interactive Global MetroMonitor Map of World Economies by the Brookings Institution indicates the economic health of 300 cites based on how they are affected by the recession and their growth rate over specified periods. Bluish indicates strong health and reddish is in the loo. You don't need a larger version of the map (but go ahead and click on it anyway) to see which parts of the world are doing things right. Hint: It isn't the U.S and Europe. Asia and Central America - the places that make nearly everything we buy - are winning. While the winners concentrate on strong national policies for their citizens, we funnel the resources of society's producers to whiny and militant special interest groups. Demonizing everything that Western society built and worshiping everything else is the cause du jour. It's taught in our schools and promoted by wealthy government bureaucrats who are deeply invested in foreign concerns. If you like it this way, do nothing.

Cross RF Adds New Line

of Precision Adapters

Cross RF Coaxial Connector Adapters - RF CafeCross RF is a leading manufacture and supplier of RF/Microwave Interconnect Solutions. Headquartered in Orange County California, our components have been successfully proven in a diverse range of applications including Telecommunications, Automotive, Defense, and Test and Measurement industries. These adapters include the In-Series K-K or 2.4mm-2.4mm and the Between-Series, 2.4mm-2.92mm-3.5mm adapters. Low VSWR, durable stainless steel composition, and frequencies up to 50 GHz (2.4mm) or 40 GHz (2.92 mm/K and 3.5 mm).

Storm Copper Components

Added to Connectors Page

Storm Copper Components

800-394-4804 | Decatur, TN

Fabricates custom copper connectors for the wireless, telecommunications, power and alternative energy industries. Serving engineers and OEM's worldwide for 20 years, Storm has consistently provided its customers with the speed and efficiency of advanced computer-controlled fabrication combined with expert craftsmanship and design execution.

Pinpoint Laser Systems Added

to Laser Vendors Page

Pinpoint Laser Systems

800-757-5383 | Peabody, MA Manufacturer of precision laser measuring and alignment products for industry. Broad line of easy-to-use products that incorporate lasers, optics, electronics, and solidly built mechanical features. Manufacturing customers in many industries as diverse as semiconductor equipment to pet food, use these products which deliver measuring resolution of 0.0001 inch and work over distances of 200 feet, for both routine and complex measuring and alignment tasks.

Microwave and Millimeter

Wave Circuits and Systems

Microwave and Millimeter Wave Circuits and Systems: Emerging Design, Technologies and Applications  - RF Cafe Featured BookMicrowave and Millimeter Wave Circuits and Systems: Emerging Design, Technologies and Applications, A. Georgiadis, H. Rogier , L. Roselli, P. Arcion. The book provides a wide spectrum of current trends in the design of microwave and millimeter circuits and systems, and identifies the state-of-the art challenges in microwave and millimeter wave circuits systems design such as behavioral modeling of circuit components, software radio and digitally enhanced front-ends, new and promising technologies such as substrate-integrated-waveguide (SIW) and wearable electronic systems, and emerging applications such as tracking of moving targets using ultra-wideband radar, and new generation satellite navigation systems. Each chapter treats a selected problem and challenge within the field of Microwave and Millimeter wave circuits, and contains case studies and examples where appropriate.

Please Thank Innovative Power

Products for Supporting Us

Innovative Power Products designs and manufacturers high power 90° Couplers, Broadband Directional Couplers, Combiners, Resistors and Terminations for the RF and microwave industries. Connectorized, surface mount formats are available. Call for custom requirements or volume production information.

Need (or want) to Control Your

Lights with Your Phone?

Spark: Upgrade Your Lights with Wi-Fi and Apps - RF Cafe"Spark: Upgrade Your Lights with Wi-Fi and Apps" That is the tag line for a Kickstarter™ crowdfunded project that seeks to commercialize a device that screws into a standard light bulb socket and wirelessly controls a bulb (up to 100 W) which is screwed into it. Evidently the product is already designed and tested, so all the development and marketing team needs now is enough cash to do FCC certification (due to the switching power supply, controller, and WiFi signal) and a production launch. As of this writing there are 1,162 Backers, and $92,189 has already been pledged toward the $250,000 goal. They have 13 days left to reach the goal, or the entire effort has to begin all over. Spark needs a WiFi router within about 200 feet, and will only work with dimmable bulbs, which includes Edison's evil Earth-killing incandescents, LEDs, and dimmable (but not standard) CFLs. I did not see a target retail price. The team has a very well-done presentation for their effort.

Anatech 800 MHz GSM Notch

Filter Offers High Rejection

Anatech Electronics 800 MHz GSM Notch Filter Offers Very High Rejection - RF CafeAnatech Electronics today introduced the Model AS816N335 extremely high Q notch filter designed for 800 MHz GSM applications that has extremely sharp transition characteristics from the stopband to the passbands, and extremely high rejection of -70 dB making. It is an excellent choice for use in base station applications, either indoors or outdoors. The Model AS816N335 has a notch center frequency of 816.5 MHz, notch of 816 to 817 MHz, low-side passband beginning at 809 MHz and high side passband beginning at 821 MHz. Passband return loss is at least 18 dB.

University Students Succeed

w/AWR's MWO Software

AWR announces the release of two new university success stories that reveal how students use AWR software to design novel and award-winning microwave/RF products. Norbert Leder of the Vienna University of Technology led a team in the design of a complex X-band transmission analyzer using Microwave Office. Cem Korkmaz, a student at Istanbul Technical University, used Microwave Office for his graduation design project. His award winning final Wi-Fi low noise amplifier (LNA) design performed better than other commercially available designs with lower noise figure and power consumption, to name a few key metrics.

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