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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2016
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 Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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Today in Science History

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/February 13-17 Headlines

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines February 19, 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. Clues in this puzzle with an asterisk (*) are pulled from this past week's (2/13 - 2/17) "High Tech News" column on the RF Cafe homepage (see the Headline Archives page for help). Enjoy ...

Schematics for Admiral, GE, Detrola, Farnsworth, Howard, United Radios

Schematics & Parts Lists for Admiral, GE, Detrola, Farnsworth, Howard, United Radio Service Data Sheets - RF CafeSix new pages of radio service data sheets have been added to my growing list, which now totals 177 (that's a lot of work for not a lot of General Electric Model 250 Schematic & Parts List Schematic & Parts List, January 1947 Radio News - RF Cafepay). I try to find examples of actual radios on the Internet to show what they looked like.
• Admiral 6EI & 6EIN
• General Electric 250
• Detrola 571A & 571B
• Farnsworth EC-260, EK-262,
    EK-263, EK-264, & EK-265
• Howard 920
• United 980744 & 980745

Featured Book: Reflectionless Filters

Featured Book: Reflectionless Filters - RF CafeMini-Circuits has been running ads lately for 'reflectionless filters,' the likes of which are of great interest to frequency conversion circuit designers who like to place filters on RF and/or IF mixer ports. Normal filters have very bad out-of-band VSWR, which causes spurious signals to be reflected back to the mixer ports for 're-mixing,' causing even more spurious. The problem is typically addressed by placing attenuators between mixers and filters, which is undesirable from a noise figure perspective. This book by Mathew Morgan caught my attention because it deals with the issue ... (here is a good article in MWJ)

Online RF Calculators by Federal Custom Cable 

Online RF Calculators by Federal Custom Cable - RF CafeOnline calculators are a great convenience even in the 'The Age of the Phone App.' Website-based calculators have the advantage of being accessible from any device, and without having to download and store it in memory. Federal Custom Cable has a fairly extensive collection of basic electrical, RF and microwave type calculators. They are all conveniently listed on a single page. Before using any calculator I have never used before, I validate its accuracy with known quantities ... 

Alaska's HAARP Facility Once Again Open for Business

Alaska's HAARP Facility Once Again Open for Business - RF Cafe"The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. Among the investigators is UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, who will be working under a National Science Foundation grant, 'RAPID: Spatiotemporal Evolution of Radio-Induced Aurora.' Fallen says the HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility's ..."

Modelithics COMPLETE Library v17.0 for Keysight Technologies’ ADS

New Modelithics COMPLETE Library Release v17.0 for Keysight Technologies’ Advanced Design System Represents over 15,000 Components - RF CafeModelithics, Inc. is pleased to announce the latest release, of the Modelithics® COMPLETE Library version 17.0 for use with the Keysight EEsof EDA Advanced Design System (ADS) simulation software. This release marks another big milestone with over 15,000 commercial electronic components from over 65 different vendors now represented in the COMPLETE Library of advanced simulation models. The version 17.0 release contains 34 NEW MODELS, in addition to the already extensive collection of high accuracy, scalable parasitic ...

There's More Than One Way to Skin an Oscilloscope

There's More Than One Way to Skin an Oscilloscope - RF Cafe"Oscilloscopes are one of the primary electronic diagnostic tools, and there are a lot of vendors to choose from. While all oscilloscopes generally looked similar when they first appeared, things have changed radically since then. For example, do you know the difference between a digital phosphor oscilloscope (DPO) and a digital storage oscilloscope (DSO)? Here's a little quiz: Out of all the devices depicted in Fig. 1, can you select the oscilloscopes ..."

Millimeter-Scale Computers

Millimeter-Scale Computers - RF CafeHere is some serious die stacking... "Computer scientist David Blaauw pulls a small plastic box from his bag. He carefully uses his fingernail to pick up the tiny black speck inside and place it on the hotel café table. At one cubic millimeter, this is one of a line of the world's smallest computers. I had to be careful not to cough or sneeze lest it blow away and be swept into the trash. Blaauw and his colleague Dennis Sylvester, both IEEE Fellows and computer scientists at the ..."

Please Welcome Teledyne Microwave Solutions as a Sponsor!

Teledyne Microwave Solutions - RF CafeTeledyne Microwave Solutions (TMS) operates nine manufacturing facilities engaged in research, design, development, and manufacturing of microwave products. Amongst their extremely broad line of products are RF and microwave amplifiers, integrated assemblies, VCOs, frequency mixers, detectors, power dividers, switches, limiters, LNAs, attenuators, and AGC & log amps, TWTs, satellite modems. TMS service the commercial, space, and military markets. Please visit Teledyne Microwave today to learn how they can help your project ...

Inmarsat Delivers World's First Global LoRaWAN IoT Network

Inmarsat Delivers World's First Global LoRaWAN IoT Network - RF Cafe"Inmarsat recently brought to light how its LoRaWAN-based network, developed in partnership with Actility is delivering on its strategy to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to every corner of the globe. Early applications in Asset Tracking, Agribusiness and Oil & Gas are helping businesses in remote regions of the world become more efficient, reduce costs and drive new revenue through IoT-based solutions. Inmarsat and Actility's three early applications cover: Asset tracking: Tracking the location, movement, health and other key ..."

A New Spin on Electronics

A New Spin on Electronics - RF Cafe"Modern computer technology is based on the transport of electric charge in semiconductors. But this technology's potential will be reaching its limits in the near future, since the components deployed cannot be miniaturized further. But, there is another option: using an electron's spin, instead of its charge, to transmit information. A team of scientists from Munich and Kyoto is now demonstrating how this works. Computers and mobile devices continue providing ever more ..."

India Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Shot

India Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Shot - RF Cafe"The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is claiming a record: 104 satellites launched on a single rocket. India record space launch feb2017 Taking off this week, it was the 39th flight for the country’s India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) design, with ISRO's own 714kg Cartosat-2 earth observation satellite as its primary payload. Sharing the ride were 103 nano satellites together weighing ~663kg. All went off into a 505km polar sun-synchronous orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre ..."

Short Wave Snapshots

Short Wave Snapshots, June 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeHere are a few interesting photos from the annals of radio communications' 1935-era history that include airborne, land mobile, and fixed operator stations from around the world. Japanese amateur radio operator Seichiro Handa is shown sitting in his 'shack' donning headphones and a Morse code key. The author mentions that judging by his high quality radio equipment, Mr. Handa's finances seemed to be unaffected by the Great Depression that hit the United States and ...

Nokia's Famously Indestructible Phone Rumored to Be Returning to Shelves

Nokia's Famously Indestructible Phone Rumored to Be Returning to Shelves - RF CafeThe Nokia 3310 was one of the first reverse engineering reports I wrote for a former employer. Internal antennas were new on the scene. Nokia was undeniably king of the cellphone world. "On Sept. 1, 2000, the top movie in the country was 'Bring It On.' The No. 1 song was Janet Jackson's Doesn't Really Matter, from Nutty Professor II. And the newest cell phone on the market was the Nokia 3310 - a sturdy little brick of a phone. A lot has changed since then. But get ready for a blast from the past: Rumor has it the Nokia 3310 might be making a comeback. Sure, it was technically 'retired' in 2005, after selling some 126 million units (per Nokia) ..."

EPSRC Grant to Develop GaN-on-Diamond Microwave Technology

EPSRC Grant to Develop GaN-on-Diamond Microwave Technology - RF Cafe"The University of Bristol has been awarded a £4.3 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to lead an important new project to develop GaN-on-Diamond microwave technology. This next generation technology will underpin future high power radio frequency and microwave communications, space and defense systems, paving the way towards 5G and 6G mobile phone networks and much more comprehensive radar systems ..."

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Trap

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Trap, March 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeJerry missed an opportunity to patent his capacitive touch switch, the sort used to control everything from living room lamps to kitchen sink faucets. Untold millions of dollars in royalties could have paid for his engineering degree at Parvoo University and then used the rest as seed money for a startup business. When I started reading the adventure of Carl & Jerry, I thought they were going to rig the metal door to issue a high voltage pulse to whatever touched it, but that probably would have been too much of a liability for Popular Electronics to risk since readers would sometimes replicate the devices described ...

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

Qualcomm Launches RF Joint Venture Aimed at 5G

AT&T Vows Nationwide Launch of LTE-M in Q2

FCC Completes Incentive Auction, Raises $19.6B

3D, 2.5D IC Packaging Market Worth $170B by 2022

5G Report Gauges Trillion-Dollar Impacts

EU's RED May Present Challenges for Wi-Fi Manufacturers

Plan for $10B Chip Plant Shows China's Growing Pull

Qualcomm, Using Its Cellular Experience, Prepares for New Wi-Fi

H-1B Visas to Help Outsource IT Work Draws Criticism, Scrutiny

New Platform to Study Graphene's Electronic Properties

new platform to study graphene's electronic properties - RF Cafe"Graphene's unusual electronic structure enables this extraordinary material to break many records of strength, electricity and heat conduction. Physicists at the Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems (PCS), in collaboration with the Research Institute for Standards and Science (KRISS), used a model to explain the electronic structure of graphene measured by a new spectroscopic platform. These techniques, published in the journal Nano Letters, could promote future research on stable and accurate quantum measurements for 2D ..."

A Few Great RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 2017

A Few Great RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 2017 - RF CafeThis latest collection of articles from our industry's magazine publishers with a mix of topics including one of my favorite: grounding. Items move onto and off of all homepages quickly, so even if you visit Microwave & RF, Microwave Journal, Microwave Product Digest, High Frequency Electronics, et al ...

Tile Arrays Accelerate the
    Evolution to Next-Gen Radar
Opportunities for High Frequency
     Materials in 5G and the IoT
How Trump's New FCC May
    Affect You   <more...>

'Mysterious Foghorn' is Chinese Over-the-Horizon Burst Radar

'Mysterious Foghorn' is Chinese Over-the-Horizon Burst Radar - RF Cafe"The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports a mysterious 'foghorn' - a Chinese over-the-horizon (OTH) burst radar - is operating in Amateur Radio bands. 'We observed the mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14 MHz,' the newsletter recounted. 'This is a Chinese OTH radar, which is often jumping, and sounding like a foghorn.' The signal is frequency modulation on pulse (FMOP) with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts ..."

Novel Quantum State in Strange Insulating Materials

Novel Quantum State in Strange Insulating Materials - RF Cafe"Researchers from Brown University have shown experimentally how a unique form of magnetism arises in an odd class of materials called Mott insulators. The findings are a step toward a better understanding the quantum states of these materials, which have generated much interest among scientists in recent years. The study, published in Nature Communications, helps to confirm novel theoretical work that attempts to explain ..."

How to Communicate Biologically with Radio Waves

How to Communicate Biologically with Radio Waves - RF Cafe"U.S. military researchers will use an online Webcast to brief industry later this month on a new initiative to determine if humans and other living things can communicate with one another biologically with radio waves without the use of conventional antennas or RF transmitting equipment. Officials of DARPA in will present a Webcast from 1 to 2:30 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday, 21 FEB 2017, concerning the upcoming RadioBio program. The RadioBio ..."

TV's Trial by Torture

TV's Trial by Torture, March 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeNo it's not a college engineering class prank like the yearly piano drop at MIT's Baker House or University of British Columbia in Vancouver engineering students dangling a VW Bug from the Golden Gate Bridge. This is water "dunking" test carried out by a television manufacturer to assure that its products can survive an accidental exposure to moisture. I assume the water below is fresh water and not salt water. Vacuum tube TV sets were at a great disadvantage for survivability compared to modern solid state sets with LCD displays ...

60 Years of Electronics Through the Eyes of EDN

60 Years of Electronics Through the Eyes of EDN - RF Cafe"It's 1956. Korea is finally quiet. Elvis is king. <-- a great epochal opening! Texas Instruments has started producing the first silicon transistors to challenge the prevailing germanium products. Shockley Labs has set up shop in what will become known as Silicon Valley, and a team of Army scientists has patented a way of creating electronic circuitry by etching the patterns printed on a copper-clad board. It's the beginning of a new era in electronics and of a new industry publication. Rogers ..."

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