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Today in Science History

Beads Block Noise

Beads Block Noise, April 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeThe April 1969 issue of Electronics World included a large number of articles on the topic of filter design and use. Included were titles such as "LC Filters," "Practical Operating Limits for Filters," "Filters for Microwave," " Crystal Filters," and others were contributed by experts in the field from industry and academia. This article on the use of ferrite beads for blocking RF signals is more of a sidebar note than an article, but it's still worthy of inclusion. Ferrite beads and toroids are still widely employed for stopping radio frequency interference (RFI) on everything from AC power cords to millimeter ...

Lenny & the Squigtones - "The Jolliest Fat Man"

Lenny & the Squigtones (The Jolliest Fat Man) - RF Cafe Video for EngineersMost people who were around in the 1970s remember the sitcom "Laverne & Shirley." It was popular as a part of the whole 1950s renaissance that was happening with shows like "Happy Days," "Grease," "American Graffiti," et al, that captured the attention of the parents of we teenagers as well as weselves[sic]. I was being held against my will at Southern Senior High School at the time, and many of the kids adopted a "greaser" lifestyle that included cigarette packs rolled up in t-shirt sleeves and Brylcreem in the hair (mainly just the guys), leather jackets and Keds high-top sneakers (guys and gals), and poodle skirts and saddle Oxford shoes (mainly just the gals). Two weirdo characters, Lenny and Squiggy, made cameo ...

SES Says FCC Should Make C-Band Registration Easier, More Affordable

SES Says FCC Should Make C-Band Registration Easier, More Affordable - RF Cafe"C-band satellite service provider SES recently told the FCC that if it wants a more accurate database of satellite earth stations, it should streamline the registration framework to make it simpler and more affordable. As revealed in a Dec. 7 ex parte filing (PDF), SES met with FCC staff on Dec. 5 to discuss midband spectrum and the history of C-band satellite. SES emphasized the benefit of C-band satellite capacity not only to cable operators but to other media industry members as well, explaining that virtually all of the video and audio programming ..."

NI/AWR Example Highlights Impedance Matching of a 60-GHz Printed Antenna

NI/AWR's New Application Example Highlights Impedance Matching of a 60-GHz Printed Antenna - RF CafeImpedance matching of high-frequency components is a key part of antenna design that ensures maximum transfer of power between the antenna and the transmitter / receiver circuitry. Antennas can be tuned to resonate at the desired frequencies much more quickly and efficiently by first designing a matching circuit rather than by making modifications to the antenna's physical dimensions. A new application example describes a unique design flow using NI AWR Design Environment Microwave ...

Boeing to Install Digital Electronics in E-3 Sentry Cockpit Avionics

Boeing to Install Digital Electronics in E-3 Sentry Cockpit Avionics - RF Cafe"Military avionics experts at the Boeing Co. are moving forward with a project to upgrade the cockpits of U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry radar aircraft with modern commercially available, digital electronics under terms of a $46.3M order announced Thursday. Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Oklahoma City to continue work on the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Diminishing Manufacturing Sources ..."

On-Chip Metal-to-Metal Tunneling Makes Light Without Lasers

On-Chip Metal-to-Metal Tunnelling Makes Light Without Lasers - RF Cafe"Light made on CMOS chips using quantum tunneling could be used for optical interconnect and chemical sensing, according to physicists at King's College London. Kings College gold nano-rod tunneling The technique involves constructing a ~1 nm gap between two metal electrodes (see diagram), and then using a potential difference to promote electron tunneling across the gap. This tunneling occurs in two forms: elastic and inelastic, King's physicist Dr Pan Wang told ..."

4 Facts About Magnets for Electric Vehicles

4 Facts About Magnets for Electric Vehicles - RF Cafe"There are four main types of magnets: ceramic (ferrite), AlNiCo, Samarium Cobalt (SmCo), and Neodymium (NdFeB). The latter is one of the most commonly used in motors for hybrids vehicles and EVs. Neodymium magnets have higher remanence, along with much higher coercivity and energy production, but often lower Curie temperature than other types. Special neodymium magnet alloys that include terbium and dysprosium have been developed with higher Curie ..."

QuinStar Power Amplifiers Boost Radar, Communications, Defense Systems

Quinstar Power Amplifiers Boost Radar, Communications, Defense Systems - RF CafeNASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued the following notice from their NASA Spinoff Database: Power Amplifiers Boost Radar, Communications, Defense Systems. As a subcontractor under an SBIR contract from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, QuinStar Technology Inc. of Torrance, California, developed a solid-state power amplifier of unprecedented efficiency. While most comparable devices lose 20% of their amplified energy when their signals recombine, QuinStar's lose 8%. The solid-state technology ...

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines December 17

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines December 17, 2017At least 10 clues in this puzzle with an asterisk (*) are pulled from this past week's (12/11 - 12/15) "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, etc. Enjoy ...

Fairview Microwave Waveguide to Coax Adapters for 1.7 GHz to 110 GHz

Fairview Microwave Releases Waveguide to Coax Adapters Operating in Frequency Range of 1.7 GHz to 110 GHz - RF CafeFairview Microwave, a supplier of on-demand microwave and RF components, has launched a new series of waveguide to coax adapters that cover a frequency range of 1.7 GHz to 110 GHz in 22 waveguide bands. Typical applications include test benches, instrumentation, high efficiency RF/Microwave transmission, MILCOM, SATCOM, radar and telecom. Fairview's new line of waveguide to coax adapters consists of 77 models in sizes of WR-10 to WR-430. These adapters are offered in a wide selection of waveguide flanges, sizes and materials. They support 10 ...

IEEE: Patent Power 2017

IEEE: Patent Power 2017 - RF CafeIEEE has published its "Patent Power 2017" review of the world's companies' patent portfolios and the influence wielded thereby. The web page includes an interactive table and chart that includes 18 industry scorecards with the top 20 companies in each sector. The thumbnail shown here is with everyone involved, but you can filter out non-relevant (per your definition) industries. Circle size indicated relative patent power for a given country. The U.S. still dominates overall. Apple is the figurative 800-lb. gorilla of electronics patents. Honeywell "owns" aerospace and defense (which surprises me). Intel leads in semiconductors. MIT rules in university patents. Take a look ...

Electromagnetic Water Cloak Eliminates Drag and Wake

Electromagnetic Water Cloak Eliminates Drag and Wake - RF Cafe"Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while simultaneously helping it avoid detection. The idea originated at Duke University in 2011 when researchers outlined the general concept. By matching the acceleration of the surrounding water to an object's movement, it would theoretically be possible to greatly increase its propulsion efficiency while leaving the ..."

Test Equipment Scene: VOM's, VTVM's and TVM's

Test Equipment Scene: VOM's, VTVM's and TVM's, March 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeFor most needs to measure voltage, current, and resistance, modern users of test equipment do not need to give much thought to the electrical characteristics of the instrument being used. Other than setting the function switch to the proper position (ohms, volts, amps, milliamps, etc.) and not exceeding the safe input limits, measurement accuracy can usually be assumed to be good to within ±2 to ±5 of the least significant displayed digit. I.e., if the digital display shows 10.000, then the actual value is likely in the range of 9.995 to 10.005. Autoranging even removes ...

Modelithics Co-Founder Dr. Tom Weller Named IEEE Fellow

Modelithics Co-Founder Dr. Tom Weller Named IEEE Fellow - RF CafeModelithics is pleased to share the news and congratulate Dr. Thomas Weller, the company's co-founder, on being named IEEE Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This high designation is given by the IEEE Board of Directors to persons having a history of significant accomplishments in the fields of electrical engineering. Dr. Weller has been recognized for his extensive contributions in the area of advanced RF and microwave modeling techniques for surface ...

How to Tame Electromagnetic Interference in Fabs and Beyond

How to Tame Electromagnetic Interference in Fabs and Beyond - RF Cafe"Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is an increasingly important topic across the global electronics manufacturing supply chain. Progressively smaller geometries of ICs, lower supply voltages, and higher data rates all make devices and processes more vulnerable to EMI. Electrical noise, EMI-induced signal generated by equipment, and factors such as power line transients affect manufacturing processes, from wafer handling to wire bonding to PCB assembly and test, causing millions of dollars in losses ..."

Mac's Service Shop: TVI from the Victim's Viewpoint

Mac's Service Shop: TVI from the Victim's Viewpoint, March 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen I read this installment of Mac's Service Shop, in Popular Electronics magazine, the first thing that came to mind was my own experience with television interference (TVI) when I was a kid. In that case, the transmitter of my radio control system for a model airplane was the culprit. The frequencies and channels are almost exactly the same as reported in this infodrama. In the 1970s, citizen band (CB) radios operated in the 27 MHz realm, as did my R/C transmitter. During summer vacation from junior high and high school, I would run my model airplanes up down the street in front of my house, getting up just enough speed to lift off and then immediately ...

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

Why Engineers Need to Pay More Attention to Fonts

Ericsson Wins Comprehensive 5G Contract from Verizon

FCC Proposes $25,000 Fine for Breaking Now-Voluntary Labeling Rules

The Sun is Blank, NASA Data Shows It to Be Dimming

Americans Spending More as the Holiday Season Continues

Researchers Report New Way to Make Dissolving Electronics

Microsoft Asserts Windows Gaining Ground in Education Market

FCC Proposes Penalty for Marketing of Improperly Labeled Radio Devices

Undersea Communications Cables Vulnerable to Sabotage

Your Smartphone as Medicine: Digital Therapy Here to Stay

FCC Grants Greater Access to Spectrum Above 24 GHz for Wireless

Beam-Switching Successfully Tested on Predator Drone

Beam-Switching Successfully Tested on Predator Drone - RF Cafe"Two satellite beams (or more) are better than one when it comes to data transfer and anti-jamming measures between satellites and drones. At least that's what last month's first successful test of beam-switching technology on an MQ-9 Predator drone seemed to show. Over the course of the testing, the drone flew 1,075 nautical miles and was able to switch smoothly between two spot beams multiple times throughout the trial. While traditional wide-beam satellites use one beam to cover thousands of miles, the satellites ..."

High-Density PC Boards

High-Density PC Boards, October 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeYou will probably chuckle at the sight of the printed circuit board being an example used in an article about high density PCB production. However, in 1969 it was heralded as leading edge technology. Remember, though, that surface mount components the size of a grain of salt were unheard of so such a board probably represents a bunch of leaded components being closely packed together with the biggest concern for density being heating / cooling issues. Part of the big deal with this board, when you read the article, is that it is one of eight that were produced on the same substrate and then singulated ...

Cuprate Stripes May Link to Ultrathin Semiconductor Use 'Rust' as Insulator

Ultrathin Semiconductor Use 'Rust' as Insulator - RF Cafe"Chip makers appreciate what most consumers never knew: silicon's virtues include the fact that it 'rusts' in a way that insulates its tiny circuitry. Two new ultrathin materials share that trait and outdo silicon in other ways that make them promising materials for electronics of the future. Facebook Twitter Email By Andrew Myers The next generation of feature-filled and energy-efficient electronics will require computer chips just a few atoms thick. For all its positive attributes, trusty ...

Notable Tech Quote: Werner von Siemens 

Werner von Siemens Notable Tech Quote - RF Cafe"Ideas alone have little worth. The value of an invention lies in its practical implementation." - Werner von Siemens, 1865. The unit of electrical conductance is named after him.

Terminal Radio Corp. Christmas and New Year Greeting

Terminal Radio Corp. Christmas and New Year Greeting, January 1941 QST - RF CafeOther than today's QST magazine being a larger format and being printed in full color, there is not much difference fundamentally between the amount of Christmas-themed company advertisements now and half a century ago. Those from the last century were more likely to incorporate a religious message in addition to or instead of a secular message to their customers. Terminal Radio Corporation was located in midtown Manhattan. Google Maps can find West 45th Street and it can find Cortlandt Street, but they evidently no ...

Pentagon Spending More on Emerging Tech

Pentagon Spending More on Emerging Tech - RF Cafe"The Department of Defense spent $7.4B in fiscal year 2017 on cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence technologies, according to a recent report by public-sector contracting analytics firm Govini. That represents a 32% increase since 2012, with more specific technologies like quantum computing, virtual reality and machine learning seeing some of the bigger boosts in investment. While cloud, AI and big data all saw spending jump over the past five years, AI accounted for the bulk of the increase in spending ..."

Army Developing Lasers That Pierce Fog, Dust to Destroy Targets

Army Developing Lasers That Pierce Fog, Dust to Destroy Targets - RF Cafe"A lot of people think that high-energy lasers, or HELs, can't penetrate fog, rain and dust, said Thomas Webber, director of the Directed Energy Division's Technical Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. That's just plain wrong. The key to making HELs work in poor atmospheric conditions is something called "adaptive optics," he said, adding that the Army is continuing to make more and more improvements on its adaptive optics system ..."

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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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