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Homepage Archive - May 2018 (page 1)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 of the May 2018 homepage archives.

Thursday 10

Using Silicon Diodes

Using Silicon Diodes, July 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeI like the opening line to this 1965 article on using silicon diodes, "You can stack' em up to get all the power supply voltage you need, but you have to know how to dress 'em up." The basic rules of solid state diode implementation have not changed much since they first began gaining widespread usage. Observing peak inverse voltage (PIV), forward and leakage current, and power dissipation rating limits were and still are the primary concerns for diodes. Moving to higher frequencies, particularly in communications applications, requires attention to junction capacitance, self-generated noise, and forward and reverse recovery times. Physical size and ruggedness, temperature and humidity, and even shielding from cosmic rays can also need careful consideration...

Space Tech Expo 2018 - May 22-24

Space Tech Expo 2018 - RF Cafe"The West Coast's premier space event returns to California for three days of knowledge sharing and networking alongside the largest supply chain exhibition of its kind, May 22 - 24, 2018. With capabilities ranging from cryogenics, laser systems, materials, nanotechnology, imaging, environmental test, motion simulation, magnetics, capacitors, spacewire, NDT and connectors through electroforming, engineering services, precision machining, 3D printers, ground systems, mission management and reconnaissance satellites, Space Tech Expo 2018 will bring a multitude of networking opportunities..."

Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp

Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp - RF CafeAn ad for a self-paced course titled, "Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp" appeared on the Interesting Engineering website. It is on sale for $35 (normally $249). Claims the presenters: "Manipulate data like a pro with 4 courses (69 hours of content!) for the business-minded." I would say it applies to the science- and engineering-minded as well. Although you won't need such skills to use sophisticated spreadsheets like RF Cafe's Wireless System Designer, it will help you to be capable of creating such sophistication...

New Discovery Could Extend Limits of Moore's Law

New Discovery Could Extend Limits of Moore's Law - RF Cafe"A group of scientists from the U.S., Singapore, and China have discovered a candidate material with potential to extend the limits of Moore's Law. The research team, which worked primarily in Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry in association with the Department of Energy, has found a new way to add more computing power to microchips. Moore's Law is a constant companion to those working in microchip manufacturing. Simply put, Moore's Law states that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits will double every year. This has..."

Wednesday 9

Webinar: Introduction to RF Receiver Design

Webinar: Introduction to RF Receiver Design - RF CafeTune in on May 22 at 1:00 pm EDT to Rohde & Schwarz's free Introduction to RF Receiver Design and learn everything you need to know to get started designing RF receivers. During this one-hour interactive session, you will learn RF Basics: Communications systems & where receivers fit in, free space path loss equations, What is modulation and why use it?, How to design an RF receiver, Time domain RF modulation, Input noise, Noise floor, Noise in a bandwidth, Noise figure, Mixer spurious signal, Cascaded analysis & more...

The Real Inventor of Wireless

The Real Inventor of Wireless, October 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeCredit for being the first to accomplish any notable feat, whether in sports, medicine, science, aviation, etc., is constantly being challenged. Some contestations are worthy of consideration based on documented facts, while others can be readily dismissed as crockery. Gustave Whitehead, per anti-Wright Brothers zealots, made the first powered airplane flight. The Vikings landed in America centuries prior to Columbus - supposedly. Many stories have been written claiming that Dr. Mahlon Loomis, a dentist, beat Guglielmo Marconi in the wireless communications race by using a system of kites that took on a charge from overhead clouds. A keying device opened and closed a conductive path to ground for effecting the Morse code...

Demystifying Radio Frequency Interference: Causes and Techniques for Reduction

Demystifying Radio Frequency Interference: Causes and Techniques for Reduction - RF CafeDemystifying Radio Frequency Interference: Causes and Techniques for Reduction, by Donald J. Arndt, explores common sources of interference, how to correctly identify the source, and how to reduce or eliminate such interference. A solid knowledge of the causes of RF interference and techniques for mitigation is vital for RF & wireless professionals. WiFi and WiMax interference limitation techniques are highlighted along with cutting-edge technical approaches to interference reduction. Discusses how to negotiate with other users to achieve mutual and reciprocal reductions in levels of interference...

SDI Fabsurplus.com Added to Used Equipment Listings

SDI Fabsurplus.com Added to Used Equipment Listings - RF CafeAntonio Negrini, of SDI Fabsurplus.com, wrote asking to have SDI added to my Used Equipment vendors page. SDI, located in Boerne, TX, was established in 1998, and has now built up an international buyer / seller network of sales agents and offices. Our technical focus is semiconductor FAB front-end, particularly wafer and reticle QC, photolithography, coating, developing and deposition equipment. Properly and efficiently purchase, use and re-use semiconductor manufacturing equipment, flat panel display manufacturing equipment and solar cell and module manufacturing equipment...

Air Force Focuses on Frequency Transfer Systems

Air Force Focuses on Frequency Transfer Systems - RF Cafe"Three companies have received positions on a six-year, $24M contract to study techniques and technologies for the Air Force to improve the branch's two-way time frequency transfer systems. Rockwell Collins, Microsemi Frequency and Time Corp., and Raytheon's BBN Technologies business will share in the Joint Multi-INT Precision Reference program. They were the lone bidders for the contract run by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Department said in its Tuesday contracts digest. JMPR participants will focus on accuracy..."

Tuesday 8

Facebook May Have Secret Plans to Build a Satellite-Based Internet

Facebook May Have Secret Plans to Build a Satellite-Based Internet - RF Cafe"Facebook may soon join SpaceX and OneWeb in the rush to deliver Internet from orbit. A filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week revealed details of a multi-million dollar experimental satellite from a stealthy company called PointView Tech LLC. The satellite, named Athena, will deliver data 10 times faster than SpaceX's Starlink Internet satellites, the first of which launched in February. However, PointView appears to exist only on paper. In fact, the tiny company seems to be a new subsidiary of Facebook, formed last year to keep secret the social media giant's..."

Anatech Electronics Product May 2018 Update May

Anatech Electronics Product Update May 8, 2018 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics 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 two new filter designs: a 1159.5 MHz cavity bandpass filter with N-type connectors, a 9100 MHz cavity bandpass filter with SMA connectors, and also a 7/16 DIN coaxial connector with male clamp, Teflon insulation, silver pin, nickel plated body...

Mac's Service Shop: Getting the Most from Your Service Dollars

Mac's Service Shop: Getting the Most from Your Service Dollars, February 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAlthough not entirely necessary to enjoy this story, it occurs to me that many people reading it might not know how to compare the size of a "man cookie" to a 45 rpm record - or for that matter even know what a record is (other than a unit of database storage). A 45 rpm record (single) is 7 inches in diameter, as opposed to a 33-1/3 rpm (LP 'long playing' album) which is 12 inches. Now you can get past the opening paragraph and glean the advice offered by electronic repair shop owner Mac McGregor regarding seeking out repair services. It applies to automobiles as well as electronics. The really interesting point I found, however, was his quoting of a 1970 statistic claiming that by 1980 the U.S. would employ more service employees than manufacturing...

Many Thanks to Centric RF for Their Continued Support!

Centric RF components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today...

Electronics Directly 3D-Printed onto Skin

Electronics Directly 3D-Printed onto Skin - RF Cafe"Researchers have successfully 3D-printed electronics directly onto human skin using a technique that paves the way for novel applications - not only in wearable electronic technology but also in medicine. A team from the University of Minnesota printed electronics on a person's hand for the first time using a portable, low-cost printer that they customized for this purpose, they said. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a technique to print electronics directly onto human skin. One of the key innovations of the technique is that the printer uses computer vision to track and...

Monday 7

Coilcraft Intros High-Q 0402-Sized Inductors

Coilcraft Intros High-Q 0402-Sized Inductors - RF CafeCoilcraft introduces a line of the industry's highest "Q" surface mount inductors in the 0402DC (1005) package size. Features include • Exceptionally high Q - up to 160 at 2.4 GHz! • 26 standard inductance values from 3.0 to 120 nH • 73 additional values available upon request, including 0.1 increments from 2.8 nH to 10 nH • Wirewound construction for extremely high self resonance - up to 16 GHz. Free samples available...

Antenna Placement Does Make a Difference!

Antenna Placement Does Make a Difference!, November 1966 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis article in a 1966 issue of Popular Electronics presents a surprising and almost counterintuitive result when measuring the radiation pattern of a CB-type antenna mounted at various points on a car. If you were asked to make a rough sketch of the radiation pattern when the antenna is mounted in the center of the roof, center of the trunk, and on each of the front and rear and left and right fenders, would yours look like those in the article (assuming an all-metal car)? Today, there are many electromagnetic radiation pattern simulators available to help predict antenna performance in just about...

KP Performance Antennas Appoints New Sales Leadership Team

KP Performance Antennas Appoints New Sales Leadership Team - RF CafeKP Performance Antennas, a manufacturer of wireless internet service provider (WISP) antennas, appoints two industry veterans, Michael Inverso and Mike Hoprich, to lead the company's sales initiatives throughout North America and abroad. Mr. Michael (Mike) Inverso joins KP as the new Director of Sales. Mike brings over 20 years of experience in the RF/Microwave communications industry and the global WISP market. His experience includes...

Cheaper and Easier Way to Make Plastic Semiconductors

Cheaper and Easier Way to Make Plastic Semiconductors"Cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors will soon be a reality thanks to a breakthrough by chemists at the University of Waterloo. Professor Derek Schipper and his team at Waterloo have developed a way to make conjugated polymers, plastics that conduct electricity like metals, using a simple dehydration reaction the only byproduct of which is water. 'Nature has been using this reaction for billions of years and industry more than a hundred,' said Schipper, a professor of Chemistry..."

Sunday 6

RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for May 6, 2018 

RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle May 6, 2018Each week, for the sake of all avid cruciverbalists amongst us, I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's theme, such as Hedy Lamar or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy!...

Friday 4

Testing 28 GHz 5G Devices with Your 6 GHz Lab Instrumentation

Testing 28 GHz 5G Devices with Your 6 GHz Lab Instrumentation - RF CafeMssr. Jose Garcia and Miroslav Karas, of Mini-Circuits, recently published an article in High Frequency Electronics magazine titled, "Affordable Solutions for Testing 28 GHz 5G Devices with Your 6 GHz Lab Instrumentation." Mini-Circuits doesn't make test equipment (yet), but they do make many of the ancillary components - couplers, attenuators, mixers, power splitters, etc. - used during testing. You need to test the components themselves prior to including them in a test setup for a DUT (Device Under Test) in order to ascertain that the test system is not introducing errors...

Electronics Diagram Quiz

Electronics Diagram Quiz, August 1966 Popular Electronics - RF CafeFridays are good days for Carl and Jerry stories, Mac's Electronics Service Shop sagas, Hobnobbing with Harbaugh, electronics-themed comics, electronics quizzes, and other forms of nerd entertainment. Here is another of Robert P. Balin's great challenges titled, "Diagram Quiz." Most RF Cafe visitors will easily identify eight or nine of the ten diagrams. Relatively few will be familiar with the Rieke diagram. The Biasing diagram is a bit misnamed IMHO, and could cause confusion. Bon chance...

Engineering Career Articles for May

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for May 2018 - RF CafeWow, I can't believe it's been January since I rounded up engineering career advice stories - for both job seekers and job providers. Anyone who reads the news knows that the entry of Millennials into the workforce is providing a whole new challenge due to unique expectations and habits. Adjectives like "awesome" and verbized words like "onboarding" are required to communicate effectively in Millennialeze[sic]. The second story is related, but the others apply to the rest of us ;-) 

8 Tips for Awesome Onboarding of Millennials

A Guide to Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

Skills Employers Look for in College Graduates 

Gowanda High Performance SM RF Inductors to Be Featured at IMS

Gowanda High Performance Surface Mount RF Inductors to Be Featured at IMS - RF CafeGowanda Electronics, a designer and manufacturer of precision electronic components for broadband RF and power applications, announces the introduction of several high performance RF surface mount inductor series. Recent advancements in design technology and manufacturing capability delivers significant improvement – nearly 2x or more – in SRF and current ratings for these new inductors as compared to traditional molded designs with equivalent inductance. The first six series will be featured at the 2018 IMS show being held...

Phased Array Feed Technology to Broaden Vision for Radio Astronomy

Phased Array Feed Technology to Broaden Vision for Radio Astronomy - RF Cafe"A team of astronomers and engineers have developed a new and improved version of an unconventional radio-astronomy imaging system known as a Phased Array Feed (PAF), to accelerate the pace of discovery and exploration of the cosmos. This remarkable instrument can survey vast swaths of the sky and generate multiple views of astronomical objects with unparalleled efficiency. Looking nothing like a camera or other traditional imaging technologies..."

Thursday 3

Physicists Find Signs of a Time Crystal

Physicists Find Signs of a Time Crystal - RF Cafe"Yale physicists have uncovered hints of a time crystal—a form of matter that "ticks" when exposed to an electromagnetic pulse—in the last place they expected: a crystal you might find in a child's toy. The discovery means there are now new puzzles to solve, in terms of how time crystals form in the first place. Ordinary crystals such as salt or quartz are examples of three-dimensional, ordered spatial crystals. Their atoms are arranged in a repeating system, something scientists have known for a..."

IEEE ComSoc Tutorial: 5G and Beyond Wireless Networks

IEEE ComSoc Tutorial: 5G and Beyond Wireless Networks - RF CafeIEEE ComSoc (Communications Society) has just made available a free on-demand tutorial titled, "5G and Beyond Wireless Networks: Emerging Concepts and Technologies." Since the development of 4G LTE standards around 2010, the research communities both in academia and industry have been brainstorming to predict the use cases and scenarios around 2020, to determine the corresponding technical requirements, and to develop the enabling technologies, protocols, and network architectures towards the next-generation...

Computer Core Memories Still Handmade

Computer Core Memories Still Handmade, February 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAccording to this 1972 article in Popular Electronics, there were as many as 50,000 computers in the world at the time using magnetic core memories. Among them was the Apollo Guidance Computer that was onboard the Apollo 11 Lunar Module that Neil Armstrong used in July 1969 to land on the moon*. Semiconductor memories were being manufactured in 1972, but believe it or not they were not as fast as the magnetic core memories. Machinery was not available with enough precision and repeatability to thread the read, write, sense, and inhibit wires...

NuWaves Engineering Selected for Navy SBIR Phase I Award for INTERCOM

NuWaves Engineering Selected for Navy SBIR Phase I Award for INTERCOM - RF CafeNuWaves Engineering, a veteran-owned small business providing advanced radio frequency (RF) and microwave solutions, announced today that the company has been selected for a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I award for the INnovative TowEd aRray Cable mOdeM (INTERCOM). The 6-month Phase I project will involve research and development activities needed to set the design requirements for a miniature high-bandwidth communications module that will be fully developed and delivered to the U.S. Navy during Phase II..."

Laser Frequency Combs Operating at THz Frequencies May be Future of Wi-Fi

Laser Frequency Combs Operating at Terahertz Frequencies May be Future of Wi-Fi - RF Cafe"Wi-Fi and cellular data traffic are increasing exponentially but, unless the capacity of wireless links can be increased, all that traffic is bound to lead to unacceptable bottlenecks. Upcoming 5G networks are a temporary fix but not a long-term solution. For a long-term solution, researchers are exploring terahertz frequencies, the submillimeter wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Data traveling at terahertz frequencies could move hundreds of times faster than what we have today..."

Wednesday 2

How Will Radar Sensor Technology Shape Cars of the Future?

How Will Radar Sensor Technology Shape Cars of the Future? - RF Cafe"As millimeter-wave radar expands into the mid-range automotive market, developers are now looking at high-resolution radar for short-range and autonomous-car applications. With more than 1 million annual road fatalities worldwide, safety has become a key focus for the whole automotive industry. In Europe, the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) is encouraging OEMs to adopt advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in all new cars by implementing stringent safety requirements. Many applications..."

Please Thank IPP for Their Long-Time Support!

Please click here to visit the Innovative Power Products websiteInnovative Power Products (IPP) has over 30 years of experience designing & manufacturing RF & IPP RF power dividers, couplers, terminations - RF Cafemicrowave passive components. Their high power, broadband couplers, combiners, resistors, baluns, terminations and attenuators are fabricated using the latest materials and design tools available, resulting in unrivaled product performance. Take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today...

Bathtub Caulk - A Miracle on the Electronics Bench

Bathtub Caulk - A Miracle on the Electronics Bench, January 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAs far back as 1966 electronics hobbyists knew that silicon bathtub caulk was an excellent flexible insulator for electronics. It originally went by the name "Silastic," which is a portmanteau of "silicone" and "plastic," and is a type of RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) compound. It has a typical voltage withstanding of over 400 V/mil, or 400 kV/inch, which is why it is used extensively on high voltage connections. Dow Corning, its inventor, still sells various compounds of Silastic both as an insulator and as a molding compound. I used it at Westinghouse Electric in the 1980's to seal metal molds for overmolding towed sonar transducer arrays...

Upgrade The Power on Your Bench!

Axiom Test Equipment: Upgrade The Power on Your Bench! - RF Cafe - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment is offering Great Deals on DC power supplies. Major brand names (Keysight, Keithley, Magna-Power, Tektronix) available for purchase and/or rent. See our specials for May. Contact account manager Josh Shilts at (760) 806-6600 for a quick rental or sales quote!

San Francisco Circuits Announces Fine-Pitch PCB Assembly Capabilities

San Francisco Circuits Announces Fine-Pitch PCB Assembly Capabilities - RF CafeSan Francisco Circuits announces new fine-pitch PCB assembly capabilities and services for high density applications. "Fine pitch" circuits can be defined as circuit boards with a significantly high number of components per square inch. That is, the components are extremely close together and the board's design rules are pushing the limits of PCB fabrication tolerances. These can also be referred to as "high-density PCB assembly." The launch of these capabilities was in response to increased demand for fine-pitch PCBA at high volume production and prototype levels...

Who's Firing? - Who's Hiring?

Who's Firing? (Qualcomm, GoPro, and IBM—Again) Who's Hiring? - RF Cafe"In what has practically turned into an annual sign of spring, IBM rained layoff notices down on its tech workforce in late March and again in April. According to waves of anecdotal reports posted online at TheLayoff.com and Watching IBM, workers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands were hit starting March 29 with 90 days' notice. This time, it wasn't just workers over 50 years old who were targeted (though the bulk of reports did seem to come from people in that age group); many in their 40s reported getting notices as well. And a few relatively new hires indicated..."

Tuesday 1

What Role Will Millimeter Waves Play in 5G Wireless Systems?

What Role Will Millimeter Waves Play in 5G Wireless Systems? - RF CafeAtmospheric attenuation in the mm-wave realm (up to 300 GHz) is significant, and transmitter power is expensive compared to current cellular spectrum in the hundreds of MHz and single-digit GHz realms. Ever-increasing bandwidth demands by an ever-increasing number of data consumers is forcing the move to high frequencies. Mr. Jack Brown, of Microwaves & RF magazine, addresses other issues in his article titled, "What Role Will Millimeter Waves Play in 5G Wireless Systems?"

Amazing Apparatus of the Gay Nineties

Amazing Apparatus of the Gay Nineties, January 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeCarleton Phillips was not minimizing his predecessors when he wrote this 1966 Popular Electronics article marveling at the accomplishments in "Gay Nineties" (1890's) in spite of their relatively crude resources. Seven decades had passed since then. A similar article could be written today, five decades hence, about today's knowledge and technology compared to that of the mid 1960's. For instance, DNA had not yet been sequenced, 3D printing did not exist, Al Gore had not invented the Internet, MRI machines were not available, there were no cellphones, PC's were only a dream, booster rockets could not land self-powered for re-use, TV's used CRT's...

Fraunhofer Launches Space Radar for Avoiding Orbital Debris

Fraunhofer Launches Space Radar for Avoiding Orbital Debris - RF Cafe"Announced at the Berlin Air Show, the GESTRA and TIRA surveillance radar systems respectively scan large areas of space to detect objects and debris in low earth orbit, and produce detailed images of individual objects and measure their trajectories. The two radar systems are part of a suite of technologies unveiled at the airshow. These are intended to counter the growing problem of "space junk": defunct satellites, fragments of discarded launch equipment such as fairings and launch stages, and fragments of micro-meteorites that orbit in a cloud around the earth at an altitude..."

Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) April 2018 Product Announcement

Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) April 2018 Product Announcement - RF CafePlanar Monolithic Industries (PMI) recently introduced four new products in their extensive line of RF and microwave components. Included are an 8-way power divider for 0.5 to 2 GHz, a SP4T solid state absorptive switch for 10 to 40 GHz, a SP2T solid state reflective switch for 3 to 3.5 GHz, and a SP2T solid state reflective switch for 0.5 to 8 GHz. Contact PMI today for...

The Deep Complexity in Electrical Engineering

The Deep Complexity in Electrical Engineering - RF Cafe"From time to time I have seen Internet videos of seemingly impossible gymnastic performances. Sometimes the links to these videos have been accompanied by a comment by the poster to the effect of 'I could do this if I wanted, but I choose not to.' This brings a little smile to my face, but I've been thinking lately that I've been telling myself something similar when I see some of today's technical literature. The scope of electrical engineering has been growing continuously through the years, but so too has the depth of complexity..."



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