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"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." – David Sarnoff

Today in Science History

Chinese Village Builds Giant Air-Viewable QR Code with Trees

Chinese Village Builds Giant Air-Viewable QR Code with Trees - RF Cafe"Officials in Xilinshui, in the city of Baoding, Hebei province, created the scannable [QR] code, which measures 227 m along each side, using about 130,000 Chinese juniper trees, Xinhua reported on Thursday. The evergreen trees, which are native to northeast Asia, are all between 80 cm and 2.5 m in height. While difficult to do, anyone who scans the greenery using a smartphone or tablet will be connected to the village's public WeChat account for tourism ..."

Skyscraper ICs That Beat Moore's Law

Skyscraper ICs That Beat Moore's Law - RF Cafe"Revolutionary, tower-style computer chips could boost microprocessor performance a thousand-fold. In the age of big data, cloud and the internet of things, our thirst for computing power has never been greater. Many of our readers will be familiar with Moore's law, the observation that predicts a doubling of computing capability every two years, as integrated circuits are packed ever denser with ..."

Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics

Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics - RF Cafe"As demand grows for more versatile, advanced robotics and other technologies, the need for components that can enable these applications also increases. Producing such components en masse has been a major challenge. But now, in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, researchers report that they have developed a way to help meet this need by printing electronics that can fold themselves into a desired shape. Creating small electronic pieces with specific architectural designs can now ..."

Notable Tech Quote: Kat McGowan

Notable Tech Quote: Kat McGowen - RF Cafe"There, his new specimens joined his collection and waited patiently as only rocks can until he could find time to analyze them." - Kat McGowan, "Where Did It Begin?" September / October 2017 Popular Science (p41).

AlGaN Transistors on Silicon-on-Insulator Substrate

Aluminium Gallium Nitride Transistors on Silicon-on-Insulator Substrate - RF Cafe"Chang Gung University and Episil-Precision in Taiwan claim the first demonstration of in-situ silicon nitride (SiNx) gate dielectric aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) barrier metal–insulator–semiconductor high-electron-mobility transistors (MISHEMTs) on 6-inch silicon on insulator (SOI) substrates. The devices showed improved DC, dynamic and radio frequency (RF) performance over the same structures grown on HR Si ..."

Bluetooth: "mesh is here"

Bluetooth "mesh is here" - RF CafeMaybe I'm just easily impressed by effective simplicity, but I really like the Bluetooth homepage animation demonstrating the ubiquitous connectivity theme of "mesh is here." Interconnecting lines in the mesh moving in relation to all the nodal points is a great way to illustrate the flexibility of the system. The one scenario the Bluetooth SIG doesn't show is how "mesh" enables tracking of your movement, which can easily be correlated with cellphone activity, credit card usage, etc. Surely the collective data would never be abused. If you're not doing anything wrong, then there's nothing to worry about -- right? ...

DARPA Funds New Electronics Revolution

DARPA Funds New Electronics Revolution - RF Cafe"Building on a half century of unprecedented chip scaling and technology innovation, DOD is going back to basics in an attempt to reseed a U.S. electronics sector that has contributed mightily to the nation's economic and national security. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency put more skin in the game with a batch of program announcements worth $75 million over the next year as part of its Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) launched in June ..."

Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Holds 2nd Annual Meeting

Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Holds 2nd Annual Meeting - RF Cafe"The Amateur Radio Club at Yale University (W1YU) was the host for the 2nd annual Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) forum at the ARRL New England Division Convention, September 8–10, in Boxboro, Massachusetts. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, who — in light of the increasing number of reactivated and newly formed radio clubs at colleges and universities — has been a prime mover behind the League initiative, opened the session. Four presentations by participating institutions followed. Sean Barnes, N3JQ, of Harrisburg ..."

Please Welcome Sainty-Tech Communications as New Supporter!

Sainty-Tech Communications - RF CafeSainty-Tech Communications (STC) is an ISO 9001 certified company. We provide our customers with excellent RF & microwave products including coax connectors & cable assemblies, couplers, filters, combiners & dividers, attenuators & terminations, circulators and isolators, and precision machined parts. All the products are 100% tested before shipping. Customization is also possible. Please visit STC today ...

Wavelength Electronics Intros Laser Diode Power Source

Wavelength Electronics Intros Laser Diode Power Source - RF CafeThe LDMOUNT is ideal for pump and communication diode lasers. The LDMOUNT from Wavelength Electronics is designed for optoelectronic modules in a 14-pin butterfly package that require up to 5A. With integrated heatsinking, built-in safety features, and easy connection to eight different high performance Wavelength controllers, the LDMOUNT can be used in a variety of applications, mounted on an optics table or to a chassis ...

ConductRF Offers Phase Matching Cable Solutions

ConductRF Phase Matching Cable Solutions 9/19/2017 - RF CafeConductRF's skill in the manufacturing of Phase Matched RF Cable Solutions is second to none. We have phase matched a diverse array of solutions from Low Frequency RG and LMR Cables to more premium exotic cables up to 70 GHz. Flexible, conformable & semi-rigid, phase & amplitude stable, low loss & high power, phase differential as low as ±0.2 °/GHz, many connector types, indoor & outdoor solutions. A broad base of standard connectors and cables in stock, we turn solutions around fast ...

Opportunity Awareness

Opportunity Awareness, October 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeEach month (unless I forget) I post a list of articles with advice on career enhancement including tips on preparing resumes, conducting yourself properly at interviews, getting along well with co-workers, handling a difficult boss, etc. I also post links to polls and studies done on career satisfaction, pay rates, education and experience levels, years in the field, etc. Those types of articles have been around since Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press. In the 1970s, Popular Electronics ran a series of articles titled "Opportunity Awareness" that offered such advice, much of which in principle is still valid today. One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself ...

Circularly Polarized Antennas Explained, Without the Math

Circularly Polarized Antennas Explained, Without the Math - RF CafeGlenn Robb, owner / engineer from Antenna Test Lab Company sent me this very excellent whitepaper he just wrote titled "Circularly Polarized Antennas Explained, Without the Math." As promised, his tutorial introduces the concept of circular polarization in electromagnetic waves and then describes how he measures and reports results in a spreadsheet using automated antenna positioning and frequency sweeping. Antenna Test Lab Co's evaluation service includes fully circular polarization antenna evaluations at no extra charge. Practical antenna evaluations with 2D or 3D patterns in hundreds of test directions (and frequencies) are available for $450 ...

UK Dragonfire Laser Cannon Unveiled at DSEI

UK Dragonfire Laser Cannon Unveiled at DSEI - RF Cafe"Under development by an MBDA-led consortium which includes Qinetiq, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Arke, BAE Systems, Marshall and GKN the so-called Dragonfire system will be a 50 kW class directed energy weapon designed for use on both land and sea. Laser weapons have key advantages over traditional systems: the munition is potentially unlimited, and it operates at the speed of light so the time from when you say "fire" to the weapon hitting its target is more or less instantaneous. According ..."

Communications, October 1970 Popular Electronics

Communications, October 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafePopular Electronics ran a monthly news roundup feature titled, simply, "Communications." Included were tidbits on CB, SWL, HAM, RTTY, FAX, TV, SSB, AM, FM, CW, and ISB. I know that because those are the acronyms in the string along the perimeter of the page's title. This particular column was chosen because of the weird-looking Elser-Mathes Cup that will commemorate the 1st amateur radio 2-way communications between Earth and Mars." I thought it was an artifact of some primitive tribe's religious rite, but in fact those are Martians in the carving, not Earthly savages ...

Career Tips for September

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for September 2017 - RF CafeI made the rounds of employment advice websites and pulled out these useful ones for September. A rather strange result is two articles written for Monster, one suggesting jobs for introverts and the other for extroverts. The strangeness lies in how both list contain the same job types - not sure if that was intentional or not.

Can Your Alma Mater Influence Lifetime Earnings?
How to Bargain for the Best Possible Salary
Resume Tips & Career Advice for Entry-Level Engineers
Gender Quotas in the Workplace
How Americans Perceive the Workplace  <more>

KR Electronics Intros 160 MHz BPF for Positive Train Control

KR Electronics Intros 160 MHz Bandpass Filter for Positive Train Control - RF CafeKR Electronics part number 3012-160 is a 160 MHz bandpass filter designed for Positive Train Control (PTC) applications. Encapsulated for enhanced shock and vibration resistance, 50 Ω source and load, N(F) to N(M) connectors. The filters are encapsulated/ruggedized for enhanced shock and vibration resistance. Thousands are currently installed and operating successfully in the field with major rail companies. Other frequencies and bandwidths are available ... 

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

Amateur Radio Emergency Net Active in Wake of Mexico Earthquake

Apple Watch Has Connectivity Issues

Google Acquisition Rumors Heat up As HTC Halts Stock Trades

LTE-Enabled Smart Watches to Drive Wearables Growth

Enrollments, Budgets Fall at 'Social Justice Warfare' Universities

Industry Needs to Do More to Include Other Networks in 5G

Rethinking Aircraft Radar Surveillance

New Battery Coating Could Improve Smart Phones and Electric Vehicles

Hydrogen Power Moves a Step Closer

NASA Launch Operators Expect Minimal Delays from Hurricane Irma

Unions Putting Pressure on Silicon Valley's Tech Giants

Axiom Test Equipment September Specials

Axiom Test Equipment September 2017 Specials - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, a provider of efficient and cost effective solutions customers' test equipment needs, offer the following special deals on their inventory. Axiom offers our customers several practical, efficient and cost effective solutions for their business or projects' test equipment needs. Whether you need to rent & buy test equipment, repair test equipment, sell or trade equipment, we are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment ...

Build an Electrolytic Restorer

Build an Electrolytic Restorer, October 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeReading this kind of article takes me back to my days of building prototype circuits as an electronics technician at Westinghouse Electric's Oceanic Division in Annapolis, MD. It was without a doubt the best technician job I ever had. In fact, working with über engineer Jim Wilson and a few others is what really drove my determination to get an electrical engineering degree of my own. Laying out perf boards for resistors, capacitors, inductors, LEDs, switches, etc., and soldering all the point-to-point connections, then testing (and sometimes fixing miswirings) was a great gig. Drilling and labeling the project box with the dry transfer rub-ons in an attempt to make everything look as "real" ...

Thanks to Antenna Test Lab Co for Continued Support!

Antenna Test Lab Co logoSince 2001, Antenna Test Lab Co has evaluated countless antennas and RF transmitter products. With a fully anechoic Antenna Test Lab Co Anechoic Chamber - RF Cafechamber, antennas can be quickly developed and RF products refined and deployed. Mounting surfaces like drywall, glass, wood, and even curved metal Antenna Test Lab Co 2D & 2D Patterns - RF Cafesimulated automobile available. The price for a standard resolution 2D or 3D field pattern plot is only $450 - for a passive or radiating antenna. That is an incredible deal!

Build an Induction Charger

Build an Induction Charger (Nuts & Volts) - RF Cafe"Nut & Volts" is one of my favorite magazines because of all the good project and theory articles presented in layman's terms. I have to read it online nowadays because my print subscription ran out last year. This article by Matthew Bates shows how to build a simple - but very functional - induction charger for wirelessly charging appropriately fitted devices. It uses a PICAXE 08M2 microcontroller to generate the 12 kHz signal, but you could substitute something else like a 555 timer if you do not have the equipment to program the 08M2 ...

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines September 17, 2017For the sake of avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. At least 10 clues in this puzzle with an asterisk (*) are pulled from this past week's (9/11 - 9/15) "Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe homepage (see the Headline Archives page for help). Enjoy ...

Multimillion Dollar Skyscraper in San Francisco is Sinking Fast

Multimillion Dollar Skyscraper in San Francisco is Sinking Fast - RF Cafe"The fourth-tallest building in San Francisco continues to sink after sinking over 17 inches already. Engineers are working to quickly find a solution to save the multimillion-dollar condos inside the building. One of the largest luxury towers in the San Francisco area is rapidly sinking, and engineers don't know how yet to fix the problem. Since being finished, the building has sunk 17 inches (43 cm) and tilted 14 inches (36 cm) toward the street. Millennium Tower is a high-rise luxury residential complex ..."

High-Frequency, High Bandwidth Millimeter-Wave Phased Array Chip

High-Frequency, High Bandwidth Millimeter-Wave Phased Array Chip - RF Cafe"Engineers at the University of California, Davis have designed a new high-frequency electronic computer chip with amazing capabilities. The chip has the potential to transmit tens of gigabits of data in mere seconds, and dramatically change the course of information technology by making it faster, more streamlined, and far more effective than current models. The chip is designed using a phased array antenna system. The system takes energy from various sources and funnels them into a single beam. The final product is a chip that operates at 370 GHz with 52 GHz of bandwidth ..."

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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
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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 Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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