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Homepage Archive #8


The Bedol Water Clock

This water-powered clock appeared on the EDN website. Rather than get the story second-hand, I went to the Bedol website. According to the manufacturer: The handsome Bedol Water Clock works 100% on natural power. No batteries, no chemicals, no electricity – no pollution. You don't even need to wind it up! Just fill the tank with natural tap water and you're set for 12 to 14 weeks of accurate timekeeping before refreshing. (You won't even lose time while changing water, thanks to the built-in memory chip!) With its bold modern styling, space-age accuracy, and surprisingly low price, the Bedol Eco-Friendly Water Powered Clock is ideal for home or office – or as a unique gift item. Not bad for $25, and no batteries required. There is a video that explains the process.

Webinar: Synthesis and Tuning

of Modern Microwave Filters

Webinar: Synthesis and Tuning of Modern Microwave Filters - RF CafeSynthesis and Tuning of Modern Microwave Filters, by CST, Thursday, November 8, 11 am ET. The first part of this webinar focuses on filter synthesis. Starting with the classic coupling matrix approach in which the matrix coefficients determine the filter topology, we will focus on the conversion of this matrix into a 3D model in CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® (CST MWS). We will demonstrate the new link between CST MWS and the filter synthesis tool Nuhertz as well as a specialized built-in macro for automatic band-pass filter synthesis and construction.

Windfreak Technologies Intros

SigGen / Power Detector

The Windfreak SynthNV is a 137 MHz to 4.4 GHz software tunable RF signal generator controlled and powered by a Windows PC via its USB port.  It includes an on board 70 dB RF power detector which can be used with the sweep function as a scalar RF Network Analyzer. RF power is settable in ½ dB steps up to +17 dBm with over 60 dB of amplitude adjust-ability. There is no need to stay tethered to the computer. The SynthNV has nonvolatile on board memory so it can be programmed to fire up by itself on any frequency, power or modulation setting. This makes for a highly mobile, low power and light weight solution for your RF signal generation needs. The SynthNV has unique amplitude, sweep and pulse modulation capability that has made it very popular with military and police EW applications. But it is equally at home used as a high quality local oscillator driving a mixer in a microwave communication system or test signal generation in your ATE setup.

Please Visit everything RF in

Appreciation for Their Support

everything RFeverything RF is a search engine for RF & Microwave Components.  everything RF lists complete catalogs from various RF & Microwave component manufacturers and enables engineers to search through them by specification.  There are over 60,000 Components listed from more than 150 Manufacturers. Download datasheets, Request Quotes or Contact the Suppliers for more information via everything RF.

Many Thanks for Long-Time

Support from NP Technologies

NP Technologies designs and manufactures solid state broadband linear RF power amplifiers for commercial, military, medical and industrial applications. RF amplifiers range 10 kHz to 3 GHz in frequency and power levels exceeding 1 kW. Standard products can be quickly modified to your specific requirements.

Hittite's New 1-20 GHz SDLVA

Features 250V ESD Rating

Hittite's New 1 to 20 GHz SDLVA Module Features 250V ESD Rating - RF CafeHittite Microwave has introduced a new Successive Detection Log Video Amplifier (SDLVA) that operates over the full 1 to 20 GHz frequency range and carries a class 1A ESD rating (250V HBM). Specified as an improved ESD performance replacement for the HMC-C052 SDLVA, the HMC-C088 features miniature connectorized module packaging, which makes it ideal for designers with space and power-constrained applications including EW and ELINT receivers, DF radar, ECM, and IFM systems.

An Avocation Becomes

a Vocation

An Avocation Becomes a Vocation, February 1943 QST - RF CafeDid you know that the Hallicrafters line of radios is named after founder Bill Halligan (W9WZE)? Hallicrafters, founded in 1932, was a major manufacturer of amateur radio gear. During the years of WWII they ruggedized some of their products to survive the harsh environments of battle. Hallicrafters was sold to Northrop Corporation in 1966, at which time the product line essentially ceased. Their gear is still very collectible by aficionados of vintage Ham equipment. This story from the February 1943 QST provided an inside look at the production floor at Hallicrafters. Having cut my figurative electronics teeth on radar and radio equipment built with tubes and point-to-point wiring while in the USAF, and then later as an assembly/test technician at Westinghouse Electric building sonar equipment for the Navy which included wiring chassis and building large complex cable harnesses, I can personally relate to the photos accompanying the article...

Aruba Networks Needs

a Senior RF Engineer

Aruba Networks Logo Aruba Networks is seeking a Senior RF Engineer who wants to be a part of a fast-paced and challenging environment. The focus of this position will be designing Aruba next generation Access Points by a combination of Sunnyvale based R&D and technical leadership and oversight of our Asia based JDM partners.

PMI Intros Narrowband

1542.5 MHz Bandpass Filter

PMI Intros Narrowband 1542.5 MHz Bandpass Filter - RF CafePMI Model 8C1542D5-35-CD-SFF is a band pass filter centered at 1542.5 MHz with a nominal bandwidth is 35 MHz. This model offers a low insertion loss of 1.0 dB maximum and maintains a passband VSWR of 1.5:1 maximum. This filter offers a 8 pole response and is packaged in an aluminum housing measuring 6.6" x 1.2" x 1.3".

Thanks to Anatech Electronics

for Continued Support

Anatech ElectronicsAnatech Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of RF and microwave filters at frequencies up to 40 GHz, as well as power dividers, directional couplers, and many other product types. They specialize in standard and custom designs for commercial wireless, public safety, satcom, and defense applications, and we can meet stringent military environmental specifications.

RF Engineer Needed for

Optimization & Design

PierCon Solutions is a leading provider of wireless communications engineering services currently looking for Contract RF Engineers for our Northern New Jersey site. Must have OSS and 3-5 years UMTS optimization experience. Ericsson equipment experience a plus. Must be a self-starter, ambitious, able to work alone and committed to getting the job done. BSEE required.

Hittite's Mixer Spurious

Product Calculator App

Hittite Microwave's Mixer Spurious Calculator AppHittite's online Javascript app for finding mixer spurious products has been around for many years, but in case you have forgotten about it or have never seen it, now is a good time to bookmark the page. It uses a format pioneered by Collins Radio back in the middle of the last century that plots the RF/LO and IF/LO harmonics as straight lines, and then draws a rectangle within them that represents the limits of the output frequency band. Any spurious product lines that pass through the rectangle are inband at the output, and hence cannot be filtered out after the fact. I dubbed the chart a "Spur Web" in my DOS-based RF Workbench program back around 1990. It was, I believe, the first time that chart format had ever been implemented in software with a graphical user interface.

Toy Story 3

Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story (this is the cheapest you'll find him for sale) - RF CafeI have been a big space adventure and cartoon fan my whole life, so naturally Buzz Lightyear is my favorite character in the Toy Story series by Pixar. "Infinity and beyond," is his trademark line. The name "Buzz" is in honor of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Tim Allen does the voice of Buzz. Anyway, Melanie and I watched Toy Story 3 the other night and really enjoyed it. My favorite crack-up laughing line in the movie was from Buzz, where he says, "That wasn't me, was it?" after regaining consciousness in the trash chute.

Hittite's New October 2012

Selection Guide Released

Hittite's October 2012 Selection Guide ReleasedNew for this publication is a Signal Conditioners Product Line featuring a 32 Gbps dual channel advanced linear equalizer.  The Selection Guide is organized by RF & Microwave, Analog & Mixed Signal, Clocks & Timing and LO Frequency Generation IC sections along with Modules and Instrumentation. The New & Expanded Product Line section includes new Amplifiers, Clocks & Timing, Mixers, Optical Modulator Drivers, Signal Conditioners and RFIC & Transceivers.

RFMD Appoints Alan Hallberg

as Chief Marketing Officer

 RF Micro Devices today announced the appointment of Alan Hallberg as the Company's corporate vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO). In the role of CMO, Mr. Hallberg will oversee RFMD's global marketing activities and will be based in RFMD's growing Silicon Valley, CA, location. He will report to RFMD's president and CEO Bob Bruggeworth.

Wireless Engineering Theme

Crossword for 11/4/2012

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).

Antenna Matching

Within an Enclosure

Antena Matching Within an Enclosure - RF CafeLS Research has a short tutorial on antenna matching within an enclosure. The author, RF design engineer John Lienau, is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, with a Masters degree in electrical engineering. His graduate research focused on electromagnetic theory and antenna design. Part I covers Theory & Principle, and Part II covers Techniques & Guidelines.

Congrats to the October

Book Drawing Winner !!!

Monopulse Principles and Techniques - RF Cafe Quiz 44Kevin A., of Roanoke, VA, is the October 2012 Book Drawing winner. Kevin selected

Monopulse Principles

and Techniques, by

Samuel M. Sherman and David K. Barton. Graciously provided by

Artech House

Featured Book: Handbook μW

Component Measurements

Handbook of Microwave Component Measurements: with Advanced VNA Techniques, by Joel P. Dunsmore. This book provides state-of-the-art coverage for making measurements on RF and microwave components, both active and passive. A perfect reference for R&D and Test Engineers, with topics ranging from the best practices for basic measurements, to an in-depth analysis of errors, correction methods, and uncertainty analysis, this book provides everything you need to understand microwave measurements. Primary focus is on active and passive measurements using a Vector Network Analyzer.

Tilting TIROS II

Tilting TIROS II, February 1961 Popular Electronics - RF CafeTelevision Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) was the first platform for space-based weather observation, both in visible and infrared wavelengths. All modern satellites have attitude and orbit correcting capabilities via gas jets, but there is only a limited supply of gas available so the lifetime of a satellite is limited as well. Scientists who monitored the performance of TIROS I noticed that the Earth's magnetic field affected the satellite's attitude as it orbited. They reasoned that attitude control coils could be installed and energized on TIROS II using electrical power from its solar panels rather than the onboard fuel supply. This article from a 1961 edition of Popular Electronics describes the effort.

Pasternack Appoints New

Distributor for Spain

Pasternack announces that it has appointed Altaix Electronica, S.A. (Altaix) as Pasternack's exclusive RF distributor for Spain and Portugal. Altaix joins a growing list of international RF distributors who are partnering with Pasternack to expand their product offering and customer service worldwide. Altaix's customers now have access to an inventory of more than 35,000 RF and microwave components and assemblies, all available for same-day shipment from the U.S.

Z-Comm Intros New 4000 MHz

Synthesizer for Satellite

Z-Communications Intros New 4000 MHz Synthesizer for Satellite Communications - RF CafeZ-Communications announces a new RoHS compliant Fixed Frequency Synthesizer model SFS4000C-LF for Satellite Communications and Test Equipment. The SFS4000C-LF is a single frequency synthesizer that is phase locked at 4000 MHz while using a 10 MHz reference. This coaxial resonator PLL features remarkable phase noise of -102 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and typical sideband spurs of -65 dBc.

Sherlock Ohms:

I Fixed My Corvette for $0.00

Sherlock Ohms: These Fuses Melt in Water - RF CafeSherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. This one is titled "I Fixed My Broken Corvette for $0.00." Yes, it is relevant to EEs because it involves electrical contacts.

Notable Quote

"[I] chose @ - 'probably saving it from going the same way of the 'cent' sign on computer keyboards'" - RF Cafe"[I] chose @ - 'probably saving it from going the same way of the 'cent' sign on computer keyboards'" -- Ray Tomlinson, BBN Technologies engineer who instituted the "@" sign used in e-mail addresses, September 2012 Smithsonian magazine

AWR Introduces Analyst™

AWR Introduces Analyst™ - RF CafeAWR Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA software, announces the commercial release and immediate availability of Analyst.  Analyst is a full featured, 3D electromagnetic (EM) industry standard finite element method (FEM) simulator that is completely integrated into AWR's Microwave Office circuit simulation environment, effectively making 3D FEM EM analysis as straightforward as a mouse click.

Pasternack Appoints New

Distributor for Brazil

Pasternack announces that it has appointed Vermont Representacoes e Comercio Ltda. (Vermont Rep) as Pasternack's exclusive distributor for Brazil. Vermont Rep joins a growing list of international distributors who are partnering with Pasternack to expand their product offering and customer service worldwide. Pasternack maintains inventory of more than 35,000 RF and microwave components and assemblies, all available for same-day shipment from the United States.

Automatic Antenna Switching

Automatic Antenna Switching, April 1945 QST - RF CafeIn this article the author describes the automatic antenna switching system which was developed for controlling the forty-odd receiving antennas at the FCC's Grand Island (Nebraska) Monitoring Station. With this system it required only a matter of seconds for the operator to select any desired antenna by simply pushing a couple of buttons on the control panel. A similar system could easily be designed for a lesser number of antennas either for a test range or an amateur radio operation.

IEEE-USA Promotional Video

IEEE-USA Promotional Video 2012 - RF CafeA new promotional video titled, "IEEE-USA: Putting the I in IEEE-USA," has just been released by the IEEE. It is a 4-minute-long pitch for the services and benefits provided by IEEE for its members. From political lobbying to salary surveys, book deals, and student activities, they do offer a lot for the nominal annual fee. Melanie and I buy our life insurance through them because even with the dues cost, it is still cheaper than anywhere else we've looked.


ARRL's Youth Column

Youth@HamRadio.Fun, October 2012 - RF CafeThe ARRL's outreach to youngsters is aided by a monthly column written by Youth Editor Sterling Coffey, N0SSC. This one is titled, "October is for the Kids -- School Club Roundup, JOTA, Contests and Giveaways." Sterling is a junior majoring in electrical engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

PMI Intros 1370 MHz

Bandpass Filters

PMI Intros 1370 MHz Bandpass Filters (LK) - RF CafePMI Model BPF1370-50-CD-TNCMF-LK is a bandpass filter with an Fc of 1370 MHz and 1 dB BW of 50 MHz. Ultimate stopband rejection of 60 dBc, input signal level of 6 watts, 10% duty factor. Loss of less than 2 dB in a package measuring 2.25" x 1.0" x 0.75".

PMI Intros 1370 MHz Bandpass Filters (BL) - RF CafePMI Model BPF1370-50-CD-TNCMF-BL is a bandpass filter with an Fc of 1370 MHz and 1 dB BW of 50 MHz. Ultimate stopband rejection of 60 dBc, input signal level of 6 watts, 10% duty factor. Loss of less than 2 dB in a package measuring 5.08" x 1.5" x 0.79".

Hurricane Sandy

Google Crisis Map

Google Crisis Map Interactive Hurricane Sandy - RF CafeAs I write this, Hurricane Sandy is just hours away from making landfall in New Jersey. In case you are not familiar with the Google Crisis Maps, they are interactive maps with clickable points for web cams, first-hand reports of conditions, emergency shelter locations, and many other resources. If you live in Hurricane Sandy's path or want to monitor the situation because someone you know lives there, this is probably the single best comprehensive resource for you.

Science Theme

Crossword for 10/28/2012

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).

PMI Intros 1370 MHz

Band Reject Filters

PMI Model BRF1370-50-CD-TNCFF-BL is a band reject filterPMI Model BRF1370-50-CD-TNCFF-BL and BRF1370-50-CD-TNCFF-LK are a band reject filters with center frequency of 1370 MHz and a notch bandwidth of 60 MHz with a notch depth is 50 dB. Two PMI Model BRF1370-50-CD-TNCFF-LK is a band reject filterform factors with TNC connectors available.

Leeds "The Home of Radio"

Ad from 1931

Leeds "The Home of RADIO" Advertisement, December 1931 QST - RF CafeLeeds, which dubbed itself "The Home of RADIO," has been in New York since at least 1923, but this advertisement appeared in the December 1931 edition of QST. Leeds is still in operation today in Brooklyn under the name of Leeds Radio. Looking at the ad is a step back ninety years into the past, but the nostalgic waxing does not have to end there. If you want a trip back to the beginning days of the World Wide Web, go to the current Leeds Radio website. It's format-less text presentation with basic hyperlinks is circa 1992 when bulletin boards ruled the day and the Mosaic browser was just giving web surfers their first taste of a GUI. The only images I found on the Leeds website were a few scans of old advertisements like the one shown below (which is not on their site).

De Forest Radio Company

Advertisement c.1931

De Forest Radio Company Advertisement, December 1931 QST - RF CafeLee de Forest, inventor of the Audion vacuum tube, created a business called De Forest Radio Company (although I hear he didn't build that). This advertisement for his company's electron tubes appeared in the December 1931 edition of the ARRL's QST magazine. If you research Lee de Forest, you will find his name spelled incorrectly in many different forms: de Forest, De Forest, de Forest, de Forest, to give a few. When in doubt, go straight to the source, which in this case is the signature that de Forest placed on his patent applications - he used "de Forest." Note that the official company name, according to the advertisement address at the bottom, is "De Forest Radio Company," (space used) yet the text of the copy uses the form "de Forest" (no space), and the marking on the base of the tube says, "de Forest." Sometimes marketing firms screw up, so I went searching for...

Cobham Antenna Systems

Intros Multi-Beam Base Station

Antenna for Ultra Fast MIMO

Cobham Antenna Systems Intros Multi-Beam Base Station Antenna for Ultra Fast MIMO - RF CafeA new Multi-beam Hub Base Station antenna, model number MBA6-3.5DS45/2045, has been developed by Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas (formerly European Antennas) to enable MIMO radio system operators to meet their goal of 1Gbps/km2 anywhere within a cell. Designed for high speed MIMO 4G (and beyond) urban access for backhaul, this was originally a European Union funded project that has become a finished and available Multi-beam antenna with additional Military and Security applications.

Featured Book: Transmission

Line Transformers

Transmission Line Transformers, by Jerry Sevick. Recommended by RF Cafe visitor Alexander T., this 4th edition of a classic text on transmission line transformers for high frequencies includes new chapters on transmission line transformer efficiency, power combiners and mixer transformers, and equal-delay transformers. Techniques of Guanella and Ruthroff as well as hundreds of real transformers constructed and measured to establish the practical levels of bandwidth and loss performance.

RFMD Wins DARPA Contract

for GaN RF Amp Enhancement

RF Micro Devices announced it has been awarded a $2.1 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to enhance the thermal efficiency of gallium nitride (GaN) circuits used in high power radar and other military systems. The award is in association with the Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) effort of DARPA's Thermal Management Technologies (TMT) program. The goal of the DARPA NJTT initiative is to achieve a 3x or greater improvement in power handling from GaN power amplifiers through improved thermal management of the near junction region.

First-Ever Captured Edison

Audio Recording Unveiled

1878 first-ever captured Edison audio recording unveiled - RF CafeWhat is believed to be the oldest playable recording of an American voice has been revealed at the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady, New York. Digital mastering of the extremely rare, extremely fragile tinfoil medium has produced an audible 23-second cornet solo of an unidentified song, followed by a man's voice reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Old Mother Hubbard." The man laughs at two spots during the recording, including at the end, when he recites the wrong words in the second nursery rhyme. "Look at me; I don't know the song," he says. The singer/speaker is identified as St. Louis newspaper writer Thomas Mason. Recordings like this, which was made during an Edison phonograph demonstration in 1878, are so rare because typically they would wear through after just a couple playbacks, whereupon the demonstrator would tear the foil into pieces and hand it out as souvenirs. Optical techniques were used to read the recorded indentations rather than risking making physical contact. The algorithm attempted to mimic the physics of the original stylus in the same manner as done for a 1860 paper recording by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, a French printer credited with inventing the earliest known sound recording device.

Thanks Again for Continued

Support by Wenteq Microwave

Wenteq Microwave provides a wide range of RF and microwave products with quick delivery at very competitive low prices. Products including coaxial connectors and adapters, circulators, isolators, low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, broadband amplifiers, terminations and more, covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 110 Hz. They also provide technical consulting services and engineering contracts which include antenna design, electromagnetic structural analysis, and low cost manufacturing of RF/microwave circuits and systems.

Tales from the Cube:

His Girlfriend's Father

Tales from the Cube: If only I had been holding a screwdriver! - RF Cafe EDN has a troubleshooting story-telling feature called Tales from the Cube similar to the Sherlock Ohms feature by Design News. This one, titled "If Only I Had Been Holding a Screwdriver," involves a college kid who attempts to impress his girlfriend's father by fixing a broken stereo speaker.

PMI Intros Suspended

Substrate 8-18 GHz BPF

PMI Model BP13G-10G-CD-SFF is a suspended substrate bandpass filter that offers a wide passband of 8 to 18 GHz. This filter offers a low insertion loss of 1.5 dB typically and a passband VSWR of 2.0:1 maximum. Stopband rejection of 70 dB typical is provide from DC-6 GHz and from 20-23 GHz. Offered with field removable SMA connectors so it can be used in connectorized form or as a drop-in module. The size is 1.94" x 0.76" x 0.5".

Webinar: 3GPP LTE

Standards Update

Webinar: 3GPP LTE Standards Update: Release 11, 12 and Beyond - RF Cafe3GPP LTE Standards Update: Release 11, 12 and Beyond, by Agilent, Thursday, October 25, 1:00 PM ET. The original 3GPP LTE standard in Release 8 has been stable now for some three years and is the baseline for the wide-scale deployment of LTE across the world. However, the standard continues to evolve through Releases 9 and 10 which are now frozen, and ongoing work with Releases 11 and 12. This webcast will review the status of LTE deployment, review the main features of each release and discuss some of the newest features coming up in Release 11 and Release 12.

10 Weirdest Cellphone

Insurance Claims

The Cellular News website, which I go to every day for headlines, has a funny story based on claims made for lost or damaged cellphones as reported by UK insurance company Mobile Insurance. Here are a couple examples to whet your appetite:

* A farmer in Devon claimed his phone had disappeared inside the back end of one of his cows when he'd been using the torch on his iPhone whilst assisting the cow during calving. The phone later made an appearance, but was damaged.

* A lady in her early 40s from Nottingham claimed that she'd baked her Nokia 6303i into a Victoria Sponge she'd been making for her daughter's birthday. It didn't endure the heat of gas mark 5.

* A man in his 30s claimed he'd been filming monkeys from the car window in Longleat Safari Park with his HTC One X when a monkey climbed on the roof and snatched it.

Boeing's CHAMP

Light Out for Electronics

Counter-Electronics High-Powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) - RF Cafe Video for Engineers"Today we made science fiction science fact." "We hit every target we wanted to. We prosecuted every one." So says a very happy Keith Coleman, Boeing's program manager for the CHAMP project. Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project is the culmination of decades of work to develop a non-lethal weapon that defeats targets without collateral damage, sort of like a neutron bomb for electronics. From the Boeing website, "On Oct. 16th at 10:32 a.m. MST a Boeing Phantom Works team along with members from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate team, and Raytheon Ktech, suppliers of the High Power Microwave source, huddled in a conference room at Hill Air Force Base and watched...

About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


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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All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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