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Homepage Archive March 2015- page 2


Here is page 1 of the March 2015 homepage archive.


Analysis of Radio Interference


Analysis of Radio Interference Phenomena, June 1946 Radio News - RF CafeImage response, harmonic of the IF, direct IF response, harmonics of the oscillator, combination of the IF, heterodyne oscillator radiation, cross modulation within the receiver, cross modulation external to the receiver, same channel beat, adjacent channel beat and monkey chatter are all sources of radio interference addressed in this article that appeared in a 1946 edition of Radio News. I don't know about you, but I've never heard of the term 'monkey chatter.' According to the troubleshooting table it is, "Unintelligible modulation superimposed upon desired station, having the character of 'inverted speech'." Recommendations on how ...

App Notes for Antenna Design

on PCB w/NI AWR Software

NI-AWR-Antenna-Design-PCB-3-31-2015.htm" > New Application Examples Highlight Antenna Design on PCB Technology Using NI AWR Design Environment Software - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) has released two new antenna design application examples using NI AWR Design Environment™ software titled ‘Design and Simulation of a 2.4 GHz/5.6 GHz WLAN Antenna on PCB Technology' and ‘Design and Simulation of an ISM Band Antenna on PCB Technology.' Both application notes were co-authored with Dr. Volker Muehlhaus of Muehlhaus Consulting & Software GmbH NI-AWR-Antenna-Design-PCB-3-31-2015.htm" ...

Pasternack Intros USB µWave

and mmWave Components

Pasternack-USB-Microwave-mm-Wave-Components-3-30-2015.htm" > Pasternack Introduces Brand New USB Controlled Microwave and Millimeter Wave Components - RF CafePasternack, a leading manufacturer and supplier of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, releases their brand new lines of USB controlled microwave and millimeter wave components which includes amplifiers, attenuators and PIN diode switches. The new components from Pasternack are controlled and powered by a convenient USB 2.0 port with driverless installation, meaning no external power supply is required. The attenuators and PIN diode switches require an easy-to-use downloadable software program which interfaces with any Windows computer. The company is releasing two models each of the amplifiers Pasternack-USB-Microwave-mm-Wave-Components-3-30-2015.htm" ...

Notable Tech Quote

Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh - RF Cafe"The history of science teaches only too plainly the lesson that no single method is absolutely to be relied upon, that sources of error lurk where they are least expected, and that they may escape the notice of the most experienced and conscientious worker." - Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh

Carl & Jerry:

The Electronic Beach Buggy

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Beach Buggy, September 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeYou can go into Walmart or Radio Shack (though not for much longer) and pick up a pretty decent handheld metal detector for under $100 these days, but in the 1950s even a rudimentary metal detector was a rather large and heavy contraption. So unwieldy were they that most had a belt clip and shoulder straps to help support and manipulate them. That was the situation facing teen electronics aficionados Carl and Jerry as they pondered how to leverage their combined technical prowess to facilitate a thorough combing of the nearby Lake Michigan beach area for treasures of coins, watches, jewelry, cigarette lighters, and other metallic objects given up as lost by weekend seekers ...

McWatts Comic Strip

McWatts Comic Strip, December 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeMcWatts was an electronics-themed comic that appeared in Popular Electronics back in the 1950s. Artist Carl Kohler's main character is a stereotypical Joe Sixpack (actually a Joe McWatts)electronics hobbyist who dreams up unique ways to deal with situations. This edition shows McWatts in a scenario where, presciently enough, he experiences having his radio controlled airplane treated to what modern day 'drone' pilots are experiencing on a more and more frequent basis - being shot down. In this case the hostile fire came from some kids with slingshots. Fast-forward to 2015 and we are now seeing reports of people using shotguns and rifles to down the privacy-invading craft being piloted by unqualified pranksters. Back in the McWatts era, getting 'shot down' was much more likely ...

'SuperSpeed' USB 10 Gbps

(USB 3.1) w/Agnostic Connector

SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) from the USB-IF - RF CafeHave you seen the new USB 3.1 'SuperSpeed' cables yet? Finally, both ends of the cable can be identical ('Type-C') so you don't need to have a special adapter to connect between dissimilar types. Another bonus is that there is no 'up' and 'down' orientation because the pinouts are symmetrical. In an apparent violation of the law of averages there seems to be a much greater than 50% probability of attempting to plug existing USB connectors in upside down on the first attempt - for either end. To make matters worse, I have mistakenly plugged the squarish end of the peripheral device end into the telephone jack hole ...

Engineering Career and Job

Hunting Advice for Q1 2015

The first third of the year is gone now. If one of your New Year's resolutions was to explore alternative career options and you have not even started yet, you had better get going. Sorting through all the friendly advice online, around the office, and at the bowling alley can be rough, so I have taken the liberty of finding a few for you. One article admonishes you not to be a Sisyphus. A sissy-what? If you're not up on Greek mythology, this will educate ...

- GE Icon Jack Welch Warns

   Which Common Pitfalls Will

   Keep You from Getting


- Want People to Accept Your

   LinkedIn Requests?

- I Switched to a Standing Desk,

   So Now You Should, Too,

  (satire and comic relief)  <more>

Simple Dual Proportional

R/C System

Simple Dual Proportional R/C System, September 1956 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and Rockets (and Telescopes, Cars, Helicopters, Boats)If you are relatively new to radio control (R/C) operation, whether for the latest 'drone' craze (technically multi-rotor aircraft), model cars, model boats, helicopters, or airplanes - or even robots, then you might be interested in discovering a little about the systems which pioneers in the sport had to work with. In the mid 1950s when this article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, multi-rotors and helicopters were not even in the list of model types. As with radios and television sets, before the convenience and performance increase brought about by the advent of solid state components, R/C modelers struggled with vacuum tube equipment, too. If you are old enough to remember needing to re-tune your radio or TV occasionally due to

After Class: Subatomic Footprints

After Class, Subatomic Footprints, September 1956 Popular Electronics - RFCafeBy now, most people involved in science and engineering have seen the iconic photos of cosmic rays and other subatomic particles leaving a signature of their presence as streaks in a cloud chamber. Invented by Scottish physicist Charles Wilson, the cloud chamber is a sealed volume containing super-saturated water vapor that can be ionized by energetic particles passing through it. The result is a tell-tale whitish line that can be straight arced, or even a spiral, depending on the nature of the particle. First developed in the early part of the 20th century, many particles predicted by researchers were detected and identified. Many unexpected particles were also encountered that gave physicists reasons to sharpen their pencils and develop new theories to explain. Similar research and discoveries ...

Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad

Bell Telephone Laboratories Advertisement, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeI don't know about you, but I really miss the hard-wired POTS (Plain Ordinary Telephone System) days of remote communications. Unless the conversation was with an overseas telco system, there was never a noticeable delay where both parties were constantly either 'stepping' on each other's words or having to consciously wait before speaking to make sure the other guy has finished. Whether it be cellphone-to-cellphone or cellphone-to-VoIP, nearly every conversation is annoying. Sometimes when one party is on the POTS line with either a cell or Internet connection it can go well, but if you want a hassle-free conversation (assuming the person you're talking to is not a PiTA), you ...

Newark Electric Company Ad


Newark Electric Company Ad, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeWho among us has not ordered electronic components or hardware from Newark Electronics? Now known officially as "Newark element 14" (silicon?), and before that Newark Electronics, the company began life as Newark Electric Company, as shown in this 1946 advertisement that appeared in Radio-News. In the days before Digi-Key and the Internet, Newark and Allied were the standards for me when ordering stuff in the lab. Weekly long distance phone calls (remember when they were called that?) to Newark were the routine. Unless a project was really hot, standard U.S. Post Office delivery was used since at the time UPS and FedEx were deemed by the bean counters ...

Narda Intros Remote Analyzer

with System Antennas

Narda-Intros-Remote-Analyzer-System-Antennas-3-26-2015.htm" > Narda Intros Remote Analyzer with System Antennas - RF CafeThe new generation of NRA RX 19” Remote Analyzers from Narda Safety Test Solutions automatically detect and take into account the calibration data of Narda's own brand of antennas and RF cables, so monitoring and safety measurements in electromagnetic fields can now also be made without the need for conversion calculations. Narda Safety Test Solutions has added the “Antenna Control” option to the RX version of the Narda-Intros-Remote-Analyzer-System-Antennas-3-26-2015.htm" >NRA Remote Analyzer. This allows direct use of all Narda antennas and cables. The antenna factors and calibration data are detected and automatically taken into account by the NRA RX devices, so that the measurement results are Narda-Intros-Remote-Analyzer-System-Antennas-3-26-2015.htm" ...

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Official RF Cafe Website Poll
See poll archives.

United Screw and Bolt Corp.

Clutch Head Screw Ad

United Screw and Bolt Corporation Advertisement, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeClutch head screws were one of the original 'security' or 'tamper-proof' type fasteners. United Screw and Bolt Corporation undoubtedly hoped their patented design would become the new standard in screw heads and drivers. Clutch head screws are still available today, but many do not include the round shape in the middle of the 'bowtie' shape. Fortunately for Mr. Henry Phillips, his eponymous screw head design, first introduced a decade earlier than when this advertisement appeared in Radio News, won out in the battle to replace the straight slot screw type. Any kind of screw head that captures the driver to prevent it from slipping off the head ...

Beyond the Kite & Key


Beyond the Kite and Key (Ohio U.) - RF CafeJordan O., of Ohio U.'s Russ College of Engineering and Technology, contacted me about their newest infographic titled Beyond the Kite & the Key - Amazing Electrical Experiments That Furthered Engineering Innovations. Says Jordan, "While we may not know what the next revolutionary engineering achievement is, the future of engineering truly depends on accomplishments laid out in it's past. Without Franklin and his kite or Bell and the wire, our modern knowledge of electrical engineering would cease to exist." "The graphic incorporates landmark experiments that sparked electrical engineering progress. It represents a timeline of ..."

XMA Corporation Announces

Cryogenic Product Development

XMA-Corporation-Announces-Cryogenic-Products-3-23-2015.htm" > XMA Corporation Announces Cryogenic Product Development - RF CafeXMA Corporation, an industry leader in microwave and RF component technology, announced further developments of their CRYOGENIC product family of XMA-Corporation-Announces-Cryogenic-Products-3-23-2015.htm" >attenuators, adapters, and terminations, expanding performance parameters into the 4 Kelvin (-273.15°C) temperature range. Technical advancements with thin film design and fabrication at XMA, allows performance levels to reach new milestones with Millimeter and Microwave RF products. XMA Corporation, powered by Omni Spectra®, now offers a complete line of CRYOGENIC RF, coaxial passive components that range from XMA-Corporation-Announces-Cryogenic-Products-3-23-2015.htm" ...

Inductors & Inductance

Formulas Page Updated

Inductors & Inductancee Calculations Formulas Equations - RF CafePart of my reason for suspending private advertising on RF Cafe was to free up time to update a lot of the website content. All of the existing data is still valid of course, but I have been wanting to add to it for a long time. Since I also am fiddling around with writing an app for cellphones, this effort will serve a dual purpose in providing fresh fodder for the app as well. Please take a look at the newly updated Inductor & Inductance Formulas page.

FM Radio in Canada

FM Radio in Canada, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeDepending on which news story you believe, both AM and FM (and TV for that matter) over-the-air broadcasting is dying out at an increasingly rapid rate. Between recordable podcasts, wired Internet connections, and the growing ubiquity of Wi-Fi connectivity, a large majority of people in the civilized world are getting their broadcasts via the Web. If you 'follow the money' in broadcast advertising, the lion's share of dollars have shifted to online venues, simultaneously draining revenue from local stations. When this story was written in 1946, OTA radio was king for real-time and free reception of information - particularly in a mobile environment. A dilemma arose in the form of RF spectrum allocation in border regions ...

NI AWR Design Environment

Showcased at EDI Con 2015

NI-AWR-Design-Environment-Software-EDI-Con-2015-3-23-2015.htm" > NI AWR Design Environment Software Showcased at EDI Con 2015 - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corp) will be showcasing NI AWR Design Environment™ software in its Booth #315 at the Electronic Design Innovation Conference 2015 being held April 14-16 in Beijing, China. Additionally, NI AWR Design Environment software will be showcased in four 20-minute talks as well as one 40-minute workshop during the week. These NI AWR software presentations and demonstrations include: NI AWR Design Environment V11 – What's New, Microwave Office for MMIC, RF PCB and Module Design NI-AWR-Design-Environment-Software-EDI-Con-2015-3-23-2015.htm" ...

Using Simulation Tools to

Debug an Oscillating Amplifier

Using Simulation Tools to Debug an Oscillating Amplifier (by Ed TRoy) - RF CafeEd Troy, owner of Aerospace Consulting, LLC, was kind enough to offer a few of his articles for posting on RF Cafe. This fourth paper discusses the benefits of modeling and simulating an amplifier circuit as part of an effort to troubleshoot an oscillating amplifier design. It comes to us in a timely manner after my recent Notable Tech Quote highlighting the often uttered "Amplifiers are oscillators that don't and oscillators are amplifiers that do" aphorism. The amazing accuracy of modern high-end simulators makes such exercises useful for many types of troubleshooting efforts ...

Featured Book

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 - RF CafeGuerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics, by Jay Conrad Levinson. That's a long title. "New chapters integrate using social media and social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and ZoomInfo in your job search, along with case studies from successful guerrilla job hunters that detail what works in today's hyper competitive job market with commentary from America's top recruiters." According to the current unofficial RF Cafe Poll (on the homepage), 1/3 of visitors are at least considering looking for a new job. This book gets the highest rating from readers for usefulness - even higher than the well-known What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015.

Enterprise-E Control Line Stunt

Model Maiden Flight

Enterprise-E Control Line Stunt<br>Model Maiden FlightIn case you care - my Enterprise-E finally had its maiden flight today, and all went very well. The electric power system seems very appropriately fitted and provides way more than enough thrust. There is a lot of control surface throw available so the first flight was a bit shaky for the first few times around the circle, but the craft settled down after I got accustomed to it. Three flights were put in and I brought her home unscathed - that's success in anyone's book! A short video is posted on the web page

Radio Service Data Sheets

Zenith Models 430 and 440 12-Tube Superheterodyne Radio Service Data Sheet, February 1933 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIn a continuing effort to provide archival material for researchers and for anyone seeking information on a particular radio restoration project, these Radio Service Data Sheets for the Crosley "Chief" Model 132-1 and Zenith Model 430/440 radios from a 1933 edition of Radio-Craft are being posted. An Internet search will show that there are many people engaging in such activities. Restoring my Crosley Model 03BC console radio would have been more difficult if not for others who have done similar work to assist the 'community.' I generally despise the phrase "giving back" because it is usually uttered by people that really owe nothing to anyone, but somehow feel ...

RF Power Output Measurements

R.F. Power Output Measurements, October 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeHere is a nice article on various types of power measurement instruments and their uses. The calorie wattmeter, calorimeter wattmeter, photometric wattmeter, thermo-ammeter, RF voltmeter, reflectometer, in-line meters, and slotted line are covered. Suggestions for selecting the proper instrument for measurement and operation is touched upon. Although the article was written in 1963, many of these instruments - or close descendants of them - are still in use today. 

Guerrilla RF Awarded Patent for

High Isolation Amp Architecture

Guerrilla-RF-Awarded-Patent-High-Isolation-Amp-Circuit-3-23-2015.htm" > Guerrilla RF Awarded Technology Patent for High Isolation Amplifier Circuit Architecture - RF CafeGuerrilla RF, a leading provider of high performance MMICs, today announces that the USPTO has issued Patent No. 8,970,296. The company's first issued patent, expiring in 2033, prevents amplifiers from turning on in the presence of large RF input signals – leading to exceptional isolation and minimal impact to their on-state performance. Guerrilla Armor™ also fits in the same form factor as the company's existing, best-in-class noise figure LNAs, requiring no additional components and resulting in substantial cost and size savings. “Guerrilla Armor™ solves a unique issue found in high speed wireless data Guerrilla-RF-Awarded-Patent-High-Isolation-Amp-Circuit-3-23-2015.htm" ...

Notable Tech Quote

Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former FCC Special Council for Enforcement - RF Cafe"Don't engage [these] people, and don't humor the idiots. Stupidity can't be regulated, no matter how good the rules are. Just turn the big knob. Every rig has one." - Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former FCC Special Council for Enforcement, speaking about changes in FCC violation enforcement policy changes. Printed in February 2015 QST magazine. Watch entire speech at FARC meeting on video.

Anatech Electronics Newsletter

for January 2015

anatech-march-2015-newsletter.htm" > Anatech Electronics Newsletter for March 2015 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its anatech-march-2015-newsletter.htm" >March 2015 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar discusses the increasingly important issue of passive intermodulation (PIM) distortion products that originate in metal-to-metal contacts where dissimilar compositions are involved. New modulation schemes place PIM requirements into the -165 dBc realm, which is a difficult goal. Connector interfaces to cables and components are major sources of PIM interference. Being a major manufacturer of connectorized filters anatech-march-2015-newsletter.htm" ...

Private Banner Advertising

on RF Cafe
(for those who dislike 3rd-party)

Banner Advertising on RF Cafe in 2015Since stopping all private advertising at the end of 2014, I have been contacted by many companies wanting to be represented on RF Cafe, but do not wish to use 3rd-party advertising. Many are not comfortable with the perceived complexity and/or potentially high cost of that venue. My primary motivation for stopping private advertising was a combination of the time taken to manage all the advertising clients (up to 80) and the hassle of chasing down payments. I much prefer spending my effort adding valuable content to the website. Doing so redounds positively both to RF Cafe and to its advertisers. In order to be accommodating, if you are interested in presenting your products and/or services to RF Cafe visitors in a very positive manner, please take a look ...

Radio-Craft's List of Trade

Names and Model Numbers

Many people have provided resources on the Internet that made my life easier, and I have been amazed at being able to find photos and descriptions of very esoteric subjects for which I figured there was no chance of finding anything. In appreciation, there are times I post stuff that probably almost nobody will ever need, but maybe there is one guy (or gal) out there who will breathe a sigh of relief when finally finding the needed data. This list of radio trade names and model numbers appeared in a 1933 edition of Radio-Craft magazine. Page scans are provided at the top, and since search engines do not yet OCR images to be able to index their textual content, I have also included my OCR results at the bottom ...

MiniRF Low Cost Splitters

Support Broadband CATV

RFMW-MiniRF-Splitters-Support-Broadband-CATV-3-19-2015.htm" > MiniRF Low Cost Splitters Support Broadband CATV - RF CafeRFMW announces design and sales support for MiniRF's low cost, 2-way splitter, model MRFSP0014. Covering the CATV bandwidth of 5 to 1002 MHz, the MRFSP0014 is designed for applications that require small, low cost and highly reliable surface mount components. Typical insertion loss is 0.5 dB with isolation of 30 dB. Amplitude balance measures 0.2 dB with phase balance of 1 degree. The MRFSP0014 can handle a maximum input power of 33dBm and comes in a 0.15 x 0.15 x 0.115", surface mount RFMW-MiniRF-Splitters-Support-Broadband-CATV-3-19-2015.htm" ...

Electronics in Medicine

Electronics in Medicine, March 1948 Radio Craft - RF CafeEvery time I see one of these article on 'modern' medial electronics it makes me think of the Star Trek IV movie titled, "The Voyage Home," wherein Dr. McCoy (aka 'Bones') intervenes as a 20th century brain surgeon is about to operate on Chekov - "My God man, drilling holes in his head is not the answer!" The 1948-vintage electrocardiograph featured in this piece looks like it was built from parts salvaged from World War II field gear. Having a doctor attach wires to you is scary enough, but back when the probes were powered by instruments using circuits with 200-300 volts of plate bias in them would add an extra level of anxiety. BTW, have you ever wondered how 'star dates' ...

Science & Engineering

Crossword Puzzle

Science & Engineering Crossword Puzzle for March 22, 2015 - RF CafeThis week's crossword puzzle, as is the case with all RF Cafe crossword puzzles, has only words and clues related to science and engineering. Time for generating the puzzle is short today, so, so is the puzzle. Enjoy.

Cartoon Advertising for

Radio Service Men

Cartoon Advertising for Radio Service Men, February 1933 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe Star Radio Company, in Washington, D.C., was lauded in its day for pioneering the use of humor in its print advertising. I searched for more info on the company, but all I could find was a Library of Congress photo of a display of automatic washers and ironers - considered as high tech in the day as any vacuum tube radio. My grandmother had one of those wringer washing machines back in the 1960s. The wringer mechanisms were real safety hazards, hence the old quip about there not having been so much excitement around the house since granny got her ...

Engineering Career Advice

for 1st Day of Spring 2015

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for March 20, 2015 - RF CafeThe vernal equinox is in the air, as they say, and hope springs eternal. Poets use Springtime metaphorically to elicit the idea of ushering in new life, new ideas, new commitments. To wit: "No [vernal equinox] nor summer [solstice] beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal [equinox] face" - John Donne, ... "O, wind, if winter [solstice] comes, can [vernal equinox] be far behind?" - Percy Bysshe Shelley,  ... The concept can easily be extended to finding a new career situation, either because you are tired of the same old rote routine, tired of being misused, feel underused, want to ...

- The Mr. Spock Test: Are

    You Making Illogical Career


- Should You Take a Transition


- Take the Sting out of Short-

    Term Jobs on Your Résumé

-  An Easy Way to Make Sure

    You Never Stagnate in Your

    Career   < more >

Co-Inventors Quiz

Co-Inventors Quiz, January 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeRobert P. Balin created many electronics-related quizzes for Popular Electronics. I have posted many of them here on RF Cafe, and will post more in the future. Most of the Popular Electronics quizzes were pretty easy for anyone who has been in the electronics realm for a few years. This quiz, by contrast, is a real head scratcher. I was only able to get two out of 10 answers correct. It would take someone who is a physics historian to even come close to acing it - or I'm really just lacking in knowledge ...

X-COM RF Record & Playback

System Sets BW Benchmark

X-COM-IQC500B-RF-Record-Playback-System-BW-Benchmark-3-19-2015.htm" > X-COM Systems IQC500B RF Record & Playback System Sets New Bandwidth Benchmark - RF CafeX-COM Systems, a subsidiary of Bird Technologies, today introduced the IQC5000B RF record and playback system designed for applications such as electronic warfare, interference analysis, surveillance, and spectrum monitoring and management. In the industry's smallest form factor, the IQC5000B has the widest instantaneous bandwidth, 4 Tbytes of removable, high-speed solid-state data storage, and other features tailored for the most demanding applications. The IQC5000B builds on the success of its “A” predecessor, with higher performance and X-COM-IQC500B-RF-Record-Playback-System-BW-Benchmark-3-19-2015.htm" ...

Defense Engineering Corporation

Looking for an RF Technician

Defense Engineering Corporation Looking for an RF Technician - RF CafeDefense Engineering Corporation in looking for a full time RF technician with at least 5 years experience, specifically in the area of testing in an anechoic chamber environment. Responsibilities will include maintaining, implementing and operating an indoor range anechoic chamber test facility measuring antennas, radomes, and multiple RF systems. Experience collecting and reducing data in a compact range anechoic chamber environment including antenna patterns and radar cross section measurements is preferred. The job location is in Dayton, Ohio at Wright Patterson Air Force Base ...

Ignition Noise Problems

Ignition Noise Problems, August 1964 Electronics World - RF CafeAutomotive ignition noise issues are rarely experienced these days since not many people even listen to broadcast radio anymore, and those that do tend to prefer FM stations. Portable music devices rule the world both in and out of the car, with Bluetooth or phono jack connections to the dashboard stereo making it easy to bring your own entertainment and use just the amplifier portion of the box. Back before such conveniences existed, magneto, point, and condenser ignition systems wreaked havoc with radio reception. AM was particularly vulnerable because the noise was introduced inband and could not be readily filtered out. FM helped matters, but even then it was not uncommon to detect a background crackle in the audio that changed in frequency with the engine rotation speed; noise on the ...

Capacitors & Capacitance

Formulas Page Updated

Capacitors & Capacitance Calculations Formulas Equations - RF CafePart of my reason for suspending private advertising on RF Cafe was to free up time to update a lot of the website content. All of the existing data is still valid of course, but I have been wanting to add to it for a long time. Since I also am fiddling around with writing an app for cellphones, this effort will serve a dual purpose in providing fresh fodder for the app as well. Please take a look at the newly updated Capacitor & Capacitance Formulas page.

The Radio Beginner

According to Radio-Craft magazine founder and editor Hugo Gernsback, during the Roaring Twenties era in the U.S. - and around much of the world for that matter - interest in the burgeoning field of radio communications led to as many as half a million new entrants into the field each year. As the novelty of the still-mystical wireless craft wore off and/or enthusiasts discovered the technical aspects were too challenging, the numbers ebbed to a quarter of the peak. The Stock Market crash in the Fall of 1929 didn't help matters, either. By 1933, Gernsback was writing, "The radio beginner these days is in a paradise ...

Spectral Domain Simulation

When Designing RF Systems

Why Using Spectral Domain Simulation is Vitally Important When Designing Complex RF, Microwave, and Wireless Systems (by Ed TRoy) - RF CafeEd Troy, owner of Aerospace Consulting, LLC, was kind enough to offer a few of his articles for posting on RF Cafe. Ed has more than 30 years in the electronics communications design field. This third paper demonstrates why using a highly capable software simulator for system design work is essential because of its ability to predict and facilitate mitigation of system-generated problems prior to building and testing the prototype. Case in point are spurious spectral components generated by the local oscillator and SSB to PM conversion created in a frequency doubler circuit

40 GHz Edge Connector

Enhances PCB Performance

RFMW-Rosenberger-40-GHz-Edge-Connector-3-17-2015.htm" > RFMW Offers 40 GHz Edge Connector for Enhanced PCB Performance - RF CafeRFMW announces design and sales support for the Rosenberger 02K243-40ME3, 2.92mm female, clamp-on, RFMW-Rosenberger-40-GHz-Edge-Connector-3-17-2015.htm" >PCB edge launch connector. Perfect for prototyping or production design where frequencies up to 40GHz are required, this Rosenberger connector is compatible with SMA and 3.5mm connectors. The 02K243-40ME3 body is brass with gold over nickel plating and the center contact is beryllium copper, gold over nickel plated. The 02K243-40ME3 dielectric is PEEK and PTFE. RFMW and Rosenberger will recommend an optimized PCB layout for customers RFMW-Rosenberger-40-GHz-Edge-Connector-3-17-2015.htm" ...

Microwave Radar and

Radiometric Remote Sensing

Microwave Radar and Radiometric Remote Sensing - RF CafeMicrowave Radar and Radiometric Remote Sensing, by Fawwaz Ulaby and David Long. Artech House publishing graciously supplied a copy of this amazing book to RF Cafe for review. Not only is it utterly packed with explanations, drawings, and graphs, but also an extensive collection of publically-available (i.e., you don't need to buy the book for access) online interactive calculators, graphs, and other RF-related resources. The authors and many contributing provide much more than just data specifically related to Microwave Radar and Radiometric Remote Sensing. This 2¼" thick tome has just north of 1,000 pages.

The Radiolight "Talking Beam"

The Radiolight "Talking Beam", April 1933 Radio-Craft - RF CafeSome of the earliest examples of communications via light waves include signaling systems used my mariners to send and receive simple coded messages in ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship modes. Doing so involved candles or bonfires, depending on how far the signals needed to be sent. Costal lighthouses have served an optical communications function for centuries. Even Paul Revere relied on optical communications from the Old North Church in Boston during his "Midnight Ride" to warn colonists of the impending British invasion - "One [lamp] if by land, and two [lamps] if by sea." In the 1930s, Elman B. Myers designed and exhibited the first widely publicized light wave communication system that modulated a powerful ...

RCA Model 155-C Oscilloscope


RCA 155-C Oscilloscope Advertisement, October 1945 Radio News - RF CafeDid you know RCA (Radio Corporation of America) used to manufacture and sell oscilloscopes? The Model 155-C oscilloscope was promoted quite aggressively in the mid 1940s as a breakthrough instrument. A quick Google search shows that not many survived, and they are not particularly sought-after by vintage test equipment collectors. It seems the quality of the metal chassis was not very good, although the electronics get high marks. You can pick one up on eBay occasionally for fairly cheap. Oscilloscope Museum has an example of an RCA 155-C oscilloscope (lots of links on the page to images, manual, etc. ...

Red Oak Canyon Announces

Launch of RF Pro Touch

Red-Oak-Canyon-RF-Pro-Touch-Low-Cost-RF-Signal-Generator-3-13-2015.htm" > Red Oak Canyon Announces the Launch of RF Pro Touch, a Low-Cost, Portable RF Signal Generator - RF CafeRed Oak Canyon is pleased to announce the launch of the RF Pro Touch, a portable touchscreen-driven, calibrated RF generator that makes testing circuits or prototype electronic products with RF content easier, faster and more convenient. This innovative new signal generator implements all the attenuator, Red-Oak-Canyon-RF-Pro-Touch-Low-Cost-RF-Signal-Generator-3-13-2015.htm" >RF sweep and modulation features of other calibrated generators, but is packaged in a small, 12-oz case making it easier to haul RF sources to out-of-reach locations. The RF Pro Touch can output frequencies between 35 MHz and 4.4 GHz, and power levels from 10 dBm to -55 dBm. It's internal rechargeable battery Red-Oak-Canyon-RF-Pro-Touch-Low-Cost-RF-Signal-Generator-3-13-2015.htm" ...

Notable Tech Quote:

Amplifiers Cum Oscillators

Notable Quote on Amplifiers & Oscillators - RF Cafe"Amplifiers are oscillators that don't and oscillators are amplifiers that do." - R.F. Anon. This adage is akin to another that says, "If you want an oscillator, design an amplifier. If you want an amplifier, design an oscillator." In case the concept is not familiar with the dilemma, both refer to frustration pre-computer simulation designers often had (and some still have) with unintentional constructive feedback causing an amplifier to oscillate and unintentional destructive feedback preventing an oscillator from oscillating.

Pasternack Intros New 75 Ω

Test Cables up to 3 GHz

Pasternack-Intros75-Ohm-Test-Cables-3-GHz-3-16-2015.htm" > Pasternack Introduces New 75 Ohm Test Cables up to 3 GHz - RF CafePasternack, a leading manufacturer and supplier of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, announces the release of their newest line of 75 Ohm test cables with operation up to 3 GHz. These rugged cable assemblies are specially designed to withstand the rigors of test lab use and applications in Pasternack-Intros75-Ohm-Test-Cables-3-GHz-3-16-2015.htm" >75 ohm communications systems. Technicians commonly rely on these high frequency test cables in technologies such as cable TV, MoCA 2.0 and MoCA 1.1 (Media over Coax Alliance) and DOCSIS. Pasternack's new series of high performance 75 Ohm test cables are available in two configurations including a type-N male to type-N male or a type-N male to type-F male Pasternack-Intros75-Ohm-Test-Cables-3-GHz-3-16-2015.htm" ...

RF & Microwave Engineering

Articles for March 16

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for March 16, 2015 - RF CafeIt's been quite a while already since I last posted links to engineering articles from our favorite microwave and RF magazines. There are lots of new author names in the list, as well as a few familiar favorites.

- BER Test Method Uses

   Real Data, J. Beaudet

- Small Cells Challenge

   Measurement Capabilities,

   P. Dillien

- How Cops Are Finding "Grow

   Ops" with AM Radios,

   K. Wyatt

- A Data-Acquisition System

   on a Chip, M. Rowe  <more>

Microwave Pulse Modulation

Microwave Pulse Modulation, April 1946 Radio News - RF CafeTry Googling 'cyclodos' and 'cyclophone' and see what you come up with. I found that Cyclodos is now a German company which makes apparel from recycled inner tubes and tents (among other things), and cyclophone is a weird bicycle-mounted contraption for blasting sound while peddling down the street. In 1946, the terms cyclodos and cyclophone referred to modulator and demodulator tubes, respectively, for pulse-time modulation applications. Fortunately, the science of pulse modulation quickly evolved past such devices. This article goes into quite a lot of detail on the beginnings of pulse modulation techniques developed for radar systems during World War II. It is very informative without going ...

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    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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