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Homepage Archive - December 2017 (page 1)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 of the December 2017 homepage archives.

Sunday 10

Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Headlines December 10, 2017

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines December 10, 2017At least 10 clues in this puzzle with an asterisk (*) are pulled from this past week's (12/4 - 12/8) "Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe homepage (see the Headline Archives page for help). For the sake of all the avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy ...

Friday 8

Electronics-Themed Comics, February 1969 Electronics World

Electronics-Themed Comics, February 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeYou'll appreciate the comic that appeared on page 59 of the February 1969 issue of Electronics World magazine. It is consistent with the prevailing theme of the era where wives and girlfriends were fairly oblivious to the meaning of technical endeavors of their husbands and boyfriends, respectively (or not necessarily). The other comic from that edition is reflective of the times as well, when a television was considered to be one of the essentials of modern life. I was a pretty rotten kid, but I don't remember ever running away ...

Zero-Power Radio Receiver

Zero-Power Radio Receiver - RF CafeWhen I saw this story, I was reminded of a tongue-in-cheek article titled, "The Zero Displacement Engine" in one of my model airplane magazines. The ZPRR is no joke, though. "Sandia has developed a miniature, zero-power radio receiver that can be easily integrated in a wide range of devices to provide continuous wireless connectivity. The underlying principle behind the Zero-Power Receiver is that the powered radio frequency electronics that are used in most wireless receivers can be replaced with electronics that require no power supply or battery. Using this technology, a short range radio receiver (<100 m) can be ..."

Ionospheric Propagation Predictions

Ionospheric Propagation Predictions, April 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeMuch has been learned and published about the various layers of the ionosphere since its first being measured with sounding rockets in the 1950s. Both professional and amateur communications operators are very interested in its properties. Long term (seasonal) and short term (daily) patterns have been discerned that help make some of the ionosphere's effect on the propagation of electromagnetic (radio) signals somewhat predictable, but there are still many unpredictable events that hamper - and often enhance - communications. Sun spots and coronal mass ejections, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and other natural events cause sporadic ...

See This 16-Bit Computer Built with 40,000 Discrete Transistors

     A 16-Bit Computer Built with 40,000 Discrete Transistors (James Newman) - RF Cafe Video for Engineers

I love this quote by UK engineer James Newman: "I just got suckered into it bit by bit." This story about Mr. Newman's effort to build a 16-bit computer using discrete components appeared in Popular Science magazine. Newman wanted to create a functional, programmable computer that would provide a visual indication of how data flow and computation occurs within a microprocessor; the result is his "Megaprocessor." To do that, he constructed this 10-meter-long by 2-meter-tall rack of circuits consisting of more than 40,000 discrete transistors. An Intel 8086 microprocessor has ~29,000 ...

Tunable, High Isolation RF / Microwave Circulator

Tunable, High Isolation RF / Microwave Circulator - RF Cafe"The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory - Sensors Directorate (AFRL RY) has developed a high isolation RF circulator which provides enhanced detection ranges (radar) and improved reception (communications) by reduction of signal leakage and undesirable internal reflections between ports, at a tuned frequency (or frequency range) of interest. Isolation values exceeding 70 dB have been demonstrated which far exceeds the 20 dB typical to conventional 3-port circulators. The AFRL circulator ..."

Thursday 7

AWR Design Forum / German User Group Agenda Set, Registration Opened

AWR Design Forum / German User Group Meeting Agenda Set and Registration Opened - RF CafeThe agenda has been finalized and registration opened for the combined 2017 AWR Design Forum (ADF) Germany and German User Group meeting, taking place in Munich on December 12. ADF brings the latest NI AWR software solutions to customers, partners and engineering professionals throughout the world, enabling them to learn, network and collaborate on today's microwave/RF design challenges. Select presentation highlights include: Complete X-Band 2x2 Phased-Array Antenna Design and Simulation, Including Low-Temperature ...

High-Temp Superconductivity

Cuprate Fluctuating Stripes May Be Linked to High-Temperature Superconductivity - RF Cafe"Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have shown that copper-based superconductors, or cuprates - the first class of materials found to carry electricity with no loss at relatively high temperatures - contain fluctuating stripes of electron charge and spin that meander like rivulets over rough ground. The stripes are zones where electrons either pile up, creating bands of negative charge, or align their spins to create bands of magnetism. They were previously known to exist in cuprate superconductors at temperatures ..."

"Merry Christmas" from the Staff at Radio-Electronics Magazine - 1958

Merry Christmas from the Staff at Radio-Electronics Magazine - RF CafeI have always been obsessed with Christmas - from being a little kid and loving the decorations (and, of course, presents) to being a father and providing the season's festive rites for my kids, to now as an old guy. Our house still has a fresh cut Christmas tree with shiny balls (including ones with family member names written with glue and glitter) and hand-crafted figures and of course metalized icicles, lights outside along the roof line (old-fashioned incandescent, of course), decorations hanging around inside, Christmas cards from years past when people actually mailed them (we still mail a few), and other holiday memorabilia. You will ...

Anatech Electronics Product December Update

Anatech Electronics Product Update December 5, 2017 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics, Inc. offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Anatech has introduced three new filters for your convenience: a 4432 MHz WiFi cavity filter with N connectors, a 899-944 MHz LC duplexer filter with N connectors (std), and WiFi cavity bandpass filter with SMA connectors (std) ...

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for December 2017

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for December 2017 - RF CafeEach month I try to make the rounds of job search / career advice columns to see if there is anything worth recommending. A lot of what's out there seems to be written by people whose only job has been telling other people how to get a job, so I try for filter them out. This first article is short but interesting and the conclusion is not surprising. It does not, however, addresses all the worthless <fill in the blank> Studies (insert any social warrior cause) degrees that are being paid for ...

- Americans w/o College Degree Way Worse off Today Than 40 Years Ago

- Should You Job Search During the Holidays?

- Young Professionals Say Career Development Top Priority, <more>

Experiment Shows Arrow of Time Is Relative Concept

Experiment Shows Arrow of Time Is Relative Concept - RF Cafe"An international team of researchers has conducted an experiment that shows that the arrow of time is a relative concept, not an absolute one. In a paper uploaded to the arXiv server, the team describe their experiment and its outcome, and also explain why their findings do not violate the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy, or disorder, tends to increase over time, which is why everything in the world around us appears to unfold forward in time. But it also explains why hot tea ..."

Wednesday 6

Electronics Crossword Puzzle - March 1973 Popular Electronics

Electronics Crossword Puzzle, March 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRegular RF Cafe visitors know I have a penchant for creating and solving crossword puzzles. Since around 2001, I have personally generated a new crossword almost every week - hundreds in total. Some studies have suggested lower rates of dementia in people who regularly exercise their brains, but that is not the primary reason I work crossword, word scramble, and Sudoku puzzles - I enjoy the challenge. A couple times each year, Popular Electronics magazine published an electronics-themed crossword puzzle; however, unlike the crosswords I make, not all of the words and clues have to do with ...

ESD Damage Control - It's Not Just for Semiconductors Anymore

ESD Damage Control - It's Not Just for Semiconductors Anymore - RF CafeIf, as the saying goes, "Misery loves company," then you will appreciate the following. Whilst perusing the December 2017 issue of NASA's Motion Design supplement to their Tech Briefs publication, I ran across the image to the right in an article titled, "Trends in Hydraulic Filtration" (areas of interest are quite diverse here at RF Cafe). After reading the caption stating that the holes were "fire holes," the first thing that came to mind was ESD damage. Sure enough, upon going back and reading more of the story (provided by Argo-Hytos), I found ...

JFW Offers "An Introduction to Programmable Attenuator Systems"

JFW Industries Presents "An Introduction to Programmable Attenuator Systems" - RF CafeJFW Industries and IEEE offer this application note titled An Introduction to Programmable Attenuator Systems. "An attenuator is an electrical component that reduces the amplitude of a signal passing through it without significantly degrading the integrity of that signal. In a programmable or step attenuator, the attenuation is controlled externally by an external analog or digital signal, either manually or via a computer. Depending on the model, the maximum attenuation ranges from 0 dB to 127 dB, in steps as small ...

YL News and Views, December 1953 QST

YL News and Views, December 1953 QST - RF CafeMaybe it's my imagination, but it does seem that this year, for the first time in many years, there has been a noticeable increase in Christmas decorations and even utterances of "Merry Christmas" from checkout line clerks in the local stores. Magazines of yore used to be chock full of Christmas stories, holiday themes on the front cover, and advertisements with both religious and secular messages as part of the sales pitch. Take a look at the December editions of any of the vintage magazines hyperlinked in the upper right part of the RF Cafe header area to see what I mean. The December issue of QST for many years has published ...

Axiom Test Equipment End-of-the-Year 2017 Specials

Axiom Test Equipment End-of-the-Year 2017 Specials - RF CafeAt Axiom Test Equipment we provide high-quality services and affordable solutions such as test equipment rental, test equipment sales, and test equipment repair. Find out how we help customers select the equipment they need and see our lab where all of our equipment gets checked & accessorized before securely shipping to you. The Keysight / Agilent N5245A PNA-X Network Analyzer 10 MHz to 50 GHz is our Featured Product for this End-of-Year special offers ...

Not Your Father's Analog Computer

Not Your Father's Analog Computer - RF Cafe"If analog and hybrid computers were so valuable half a century ago, why did they disappear, leaving almost no trace? The reasons had to do with the limitations of 1970s technology: Essentially, they were too hard to design, build, operate, and maintain. But analog computers and digital-analog hybrids built with today's technology wouldn't suffer the same shortcomings, which is why significant work is now going on in analog computing in the context of machine learning, machine intelligence, and biomimetic circuits ..."

Tuesday 5

Nokia Leading Effort to Push for Spectrum Above 95 GHz

Nokia Leading Effort to Push for Spectrum Above 95 GHz - RF Cafe"Nokia is joining together with other technology leaders, including Virginia Diodes and Keysight Technologies, in becoming founding members of the mmWave Coalition, which will advocate for the use of radio frequencies above 95 GHz at the FCC, other U.S. government agencies and the ITU. 'The mmWave Coalition member companies are united in the objective of removing regulatory barriers to technologies and using frequencies ranging from 95 GHz ..."

Thermoluminescence Theory & Applications

Thermoluminescence Theory & Applications, March 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeI have to admit that just about everything I read in this article on thermoluminescence, not to be confused with incandescence or luminescence, was new information to me - or at least I had no remembrance of having known it before. The "memory" characteristic of thermoluminescent materials is especially interesting. Donald Lancaster's treatise appeared in the March 1969 issue of Electronics World, so it is safe to assume that there is some relevance to electronics, right? At least as presented here, electronics plays a role in instrumentation for measuring thermoluminescence, not for using the phenomenon as part of electronics devices or instruments. You will still be glad you read through the article ...

Saelig Intros 4-Ch SDS1000X-E "Super Phosphor" O-scopes

Saelig Intros Economical 4-Channel 100/200MHz SDS1000X-E "Super Phosphor" Oscilloscopes - RF CafeSaelig Company has introduced the Siglent SDS1104X-E (100 MHz) and Siglent SDS1204X-E (200 MHz) four-channel oscilloscopes that are built on the same platform as the very popular SDS1202X-E but with many improvements, including two 1 GSa/s ADCs and two 14 Mpt memory modules. Waveform capture rates are up to 100,000 wfms/s in normal mode and 400,000 wfms/s in sequence mode. The SDS1000X-E scopes feature a large 7" 256-level color display with intensity grading and color temperature features to show signal event occurrence ...

Please Visit Empower RF's Website in Appreciation of Their Support

Empower RF SystemsEmpower RF Systems is a global leader in power amplifier solutions. Products include high power RF amplifier modules, amplifier systems, and custom designed amplifiers. Empower RF Systems NextGen power amplifiers - RF CafeInvestments in both hardware and software engineering are yielding next generation products with significant size, weight, and interface functionality advantages over legacy products in the market ...

Magnetoelectric Material Shows Promise as Memory for Electronics

Magnetoelectric Material Shows Promise as Memory for Electronics - RF Cafe"Smartphones and computers wouldn't be nearly as useful without room for lots of apps, music and videos. Devices tend to store that information in two ways: through electric fields (think of a flash drive) or through magnetic fields (like a computer's spinning hard disk). Each method has advantages and disadvantages. However, in the future, our electronics could benefit from the best of each. 'There's an interesting concept,' says Chang-Beom Eom, the Theodore H. Geballe Professor and Harvey D. Spangler ..."

Monday 4

Rohde & Schwarz Supports ESA JUICE Expedition

Rohde & Schwarz Supports ESA JUICE Expedition - RF CafeLed by Airbus, JUICE is a European Space Agency (ESA) deep space mission to study the icy moons of Jupiter. The objectives are to explore the atmosphere and magnetosphere of the moons and investigate whether there are liquid oceans suitable for habitation under the thick icy crusts of moon Ganymede. Rohde & Schwarz provided two R&S ESR EMI test receivers to measure the antenna's radiation pattern during these tests. Uwe Körber of the Test and Measurement Division's sales ...

Negative Piezoelectric Effect Not So Rare After All

Negative Piezoelectric Effect Not So Rare After All - RF Cafe"The piezoelectric effect, which causes a material to expand along the direction of an applied electric field, is common in many materials and used in a variety of technologies, from medical ultrasound to vibration-powered electronics. But the negative piezoelectric effect, in which a material contracts rather than expands in the direction of the applied electric field, has been considered a rare and counterintuitive anomaly, and has received little attention ..."

Solitron Devices Fetrode Advertisement

Solitron Devices Fetrode Advertisement, March 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBy the early 1970s, many types of vacuum tubes had already been replaced by solid state devices. A lot of the resistance by hardline lovers of glowing tubes was beginning to accept the reality of superior electrical characteristics of many types of germanium and silicon diodes and transistors over tube equivalents. During my enlistment in the USAF from 1978-1982, the vacuum tube diode used to trigger the pulse forming network for the airport surveillance radar (ASR) circuit was replaced with a plug-in solid state replacement. It seemed to work just as well. The "fetrode" introduced here by Solitron was designed to be a plug-in replacement for the 6AK5 vacuum ...

Many Thanks to Axiom Test Equipment for Continued Support!

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade Axiom Test Equipmenttest equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today! ...

ANSYS Free Student Product Downloads

ANSYS Free Student Product Downloads - RF Cafe"ANSYS provides free student products perfect for work done outside the classroom, such as homework, capstone projects, student competitions and more. Our renewable products can be downloaded by students across the globe. ANSYS Student products can be installed on any supported MS Windows 64-bit machine. Learn more about ANSYS AIM Student and ANSYS Student so you can download ..."

Origami Technique Turns Flat Optical Sensors into Hemispherical Eyes

Origami Technique Turns Flat Optical Sensors into Hemispherical Eyes - RF Cafe"Today's planar digital image sensors simply inherit their form factor from the substrates and semiconductor processes used in their volume manufacture. But more and more research groups are pursuing the benefits of curved hemispherical sensors, mimicking the optimized optics of biological eye systems. While vertebrates evolved with globe-shaped eyes, with a concave retina behind a spherical lens (and the iris as a pin-hole), insects mostly sport convex multi-faceted ..."

Sunday 3

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Headlines December 3, 2017

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines December 3, 2017For the sake of all the avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. At least 10 clues in this puzzle with an asterisk (*) are pulled from this past week's (11/27 - 12/1) "Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe homepage (see the Headline Archives page for help). Enjoy! ...

Friday 1

Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) November 2017 Product Announcement

Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) November 2017 Product Announcement - RF CafePlanar Monolithic Industries (PMI) recently introduced four new products in their extensive line of RF and microwave components. Included are a 1-18 GHz low noise amplifier; a 1 to 18 GHz, a 1 to 18 GHz high speed threshold detector; a 11.825 GHz bandpass filter with a 1,850 MHz pass band; and a single pole, seven throw absorptive switch with phase and amplitude matching of ±6° and ±0.5 dB. Contact PMI today for more information ...

Vintage Columbia Commuter III, 3-Speed Girl's Bicycle Restoration

Vintage Columbia Commuter III, 3-Speed Girl's Bicycle Restoration, 1980s vintage - Airplanes and RocketsFor others out there who like to recondition vintage gear... I was not particularly looking for a bicycle when scrolling through a list of "vintage" items on the Erie area craigslist.org website, but when I saw both a men's and a woman's early 1980s era 3-speed bicycles pop up, I had to call. The guy who had them listed said he bought them both at the local K-Mart sometime around 1980 for his wife and him. As with many new endeavors that begin enthusiastically and then die out quickly, neither of them thought the experience was enough to make ...

Marki Microwave Mixer Spurious Product Calculator App

Marki Microwave Mixer Spurious Product Calculator App - RF CafeHyperlinks all around the Internet pointing to Hittite's infamous Mixer Spurious Product Calculator broke suddenly when Analog Devices swallowed up Hittite in 2014. The good news is that if you still want to use it, you can find it as the ADI Mixer-Spur Graphical Representation tool on the ADI website. However, Marki Microwave now has a much nicer Spur Calculator that you will want to consider. It provides both a Spur Web format and a Spectrum Analyzer format for presenting mixer spurious products. The interface is very user friendly both for the input and the output specification. The Spur Web screen uses a format pioneered ...

BAE, DARPA Develop Space Warfare Command and Control

BAE, DARPA Develop Space Warfare Command and Control - RF Cafe"BAE has been awarded a $12.8 million DARPA contract to design a testbed for development of space warfare command and control systems. The goal is to develop a sandbox that will allow the U.S. military, in particular the Joint Space Operations Center and the Joint Inter-Agency Combined Space Operations Center, to experiment with new technologies that will enable real-time space command and control. 'The software testbed approach allows for tools to be developed and deployed to an ..."

Many Thanks for Alliance Test Equipment's Support!

Alliance Test EquipmentAlliance Test sells used / refurbished test equipment, we offer short- and long-term rentals. We also offer repair, maintenance and calibration. Prices discounted up to 80% off list price. Agilent/HP, Allied Test Equipment Products - RF CafeTektronix, Anritsu, Fluke, R&S and other major brands. A global organization with ability to source hard to find equipment through our network of suppliers. Please visit Allied Test Equipment today to see how they can help your project ...

Ulrich Rohde, N1UL, Receives Wireless Innovation Forum Leadership Award

Ulrich Rohde, N1UL, Receives Wireless Innovation Forum Leadership Award - RF Cafe"The oft-honored Ulrich Rohde, N1UL, is the recipient of the Wireless Innovation Forum Leadership Award. The award recognizes 'especially significant contributions in furthering the global mission of the Wireless Innovation Forum.' A prolific technical author, academic, and engineer, Rohde is a partner of Rohde & Schwarz in Munich, Germany, and chairman of Synergy Microwave Corp, in Paterson, New Jersey. While working under an RCA US Department of Defense contract in 1982, Rohde's department developed the first software defined radio (SDR) ..."


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