Whilst on the way to a doctor appointment this morning (3/30/2023), we saw
this guy driving his car with the
into the windshield. It appears the wind stream must have blown it back
while driving down the road since the windshield was smashed as well. We
followed him for about 5 miles on West Wendover Road, in Greensboro, NC, before
he turned off onto a side road. How he managed to see well enough to guide the
car is a mystery. There must have been a slim line of sight between the
dashboard and under the edge of the hood based on how he was leaning over in the
seat. Other drivers kept well away from him, but I had to take a risk and get up
next to him to get this video. It was extremely dangerous of him to do so, but
awfully funny as well.
Teledyne Relays 50+ GHz
Mini Matrix Boxes
Teledyne Relays, a leading provider of high-performance
coaxial switches, is pleased to announce the addition of 50+ GHz
coaxial switches to its
Mini Matrix Box product line. The new switches are available in SPDT, Transfer,
and Multi-throw configurations each with their own GUI. They can be ordered with
or without terminations, offering flexibility for various applications in RF and
automated test equipment. Teledyne Relays Mini Matrix Boxes are a compact, plug-and-play
solution, offering USB or Ethernet control for efficient and reliable switching
in laboratory and production environments. With the addition of the 50+ GHz
switches, Teledyne Relays can meet the growing demand for testing higher frequency
applications in the industry. "The introduction of the 50+ GHz coaxial
switches is an exciting milestone for Teledyne Relays. We are committed to delivering
high-quality, reliable, and innovative solutions that help our customers stay ahead
of the curve," said Michael Palakian, Teledyne Relays Vice President of Global Sales &
The 1954 Tournament of Roses (aka Rose Bowl
Parade) was famously the
world's first national commercial color television broadcast, provided by the
National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Prior to the NTSC (National Television Systems
Committee) finally settling on an all-electronic scheme for TV sets, many electro-mechanical
and electro-optical types were developed. The integrated RGB (red, green, blue)
color gun within a cathode ray tube (CRT) was a relatively new concept in 1949.
This Radio & Television News magazine article presents some of the
propositions by the two major research and development players at the time: RCA
and CBS. They might seem ridiculous in the light of knowledge available now, but
a round wheel wasn't immediately obvious to Oog sitting in his cave, trying to figure
out an easier way to transport that mastodon carcass...
RF Cascade Workbook
RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of
RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have
never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system
cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere
$45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch
and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than
using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all
that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...
Many Thanks to Aegis Power Systems for
Their Continued Support!
Aegis Power Systems is a leading supplier
of AC-DC and
DC-DC power supplies for custom and special applications. Aegis has been designing
and building highly reliable custom power supplies since 1995. They offer a complete
line of switch mode power supplies and power converters for a variety of markets
including defense, industrial, aircraft, VME, and telecom. Supports military, aircraft,
EV, telecom, and embedded computing applications. Design and manufacture of custom
power supply solutions to meet each customer's exacting specifications. Please visit
Aegis Power Systems today. Manufactured in the USA.
News Briefs: e-Vehicles & More
Hugo Gernsback was the Ulrich L. Rhode
of the early 20th century; he was very accomplished in many areas of electronics,
was a prolific publisher of technical content, knew everyone of any import in the
technology realm, had successful business ventures, and seemed to always be getting
presented with awards from one group or another. With guys like Gernsback and Rhode,
organizations considered themselves honored to have their offers accepted in order
to be worthy of the recipient's attention. This collection of industry New Briefs
in the January 1967 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine included the Antique Wireless
Association (still in existence) giving an award to Gernsback. It also reported
on General Motors using silver-zinc battery packs, SCR's and specially designed
ac motors in its experimental Electrovair II - a conversion of its gas-powered Corvair.
The government-controlled BBC's domination over "free" radio broadcasting was getting
a challenge from the Popular Music Authority...
Microsatellites Reduce Space Junk
"Satellite powered by 48 AA batteries and
a $20 microprocessor shows a low-cost way to
reduce space junk. Common sense suggests that space missions can only happen
with multimillion-dollar budgets, materials built to withstand the unforgiving conditions
beyond Earth's atmosphere, and as a result of work done by highly trained specialists.
But a team of engineering students from Brown University has turned that assumption
on its head. They built a satellite on a shoestring budget and using off-the-shelf
supplies available at most hardware stores. They even sent the satellite - which
is powered by 48 Energizer AA batteries and a $20 microprocessor popular with robot
hobbyists - into space about 10 months ago, hitching a ride on Elon Musk's SpaceX
Bell Telephone Labs Coaxial Cable
When you read today where someone writes
about, "back in the eighties...," you naturally think of 1980-something. This 1949
Radio & Television News magazine advertisement from by Bell Telephone
Laboratories mention of "back in the eighties" was referencing the 1880s, not the
1980s. What was six decades ago at the time is now thirteen decades ago - yikes!
The picture juxtaposes a telephone pole massively populated with horizontal cross
timbers, insulators, and wires, with an engineer holding up a section of coaxial
cable that was in the process of replacing the poles and wires. Thanks to Bell Labs'
relentless R&D efforts, those early single-channel,
short distance twisted pairs were obsoleted by 1,800-channel coax. Fiber optic
cables today typically support more than 30,000 voice channels...
Measuring with Humor
A relatively new feature has been appearing
on the Microwaves & RF website entitled "Measuring
with Humor," compliments of Fluke Calibration. I just saw it and don't know
how long it has been running, but there are four of them thus far. The comic depicts
situations commonly experienced by people in the test equipment realm. Fluke, of
course, is one of America's most well-known and oldest test equipment manufacturers.
I have used
Fluke (founded in 1948) gear since first entering the electronic and electrical
field in the 1970s. It always seemed strange to me that a high end electronic test
equipment company would assume the name "Fluke," even though it is the name of company
founder John Fluke. Even though a fluke can be defined as an unexpected stroke of
good luck, it often has a negative connotation describing an outlier event not typical
of the norm. The Fluke company's good reputation is due to smart employees who design
and manufacture good products - definitely not a fluke.
Understanding the JFET
Adolph Mangieri, who authored articles in
other electronic magazines in the 1970s and 1980s, provides a good introduction
junction field effect transistors (JFETs) in this 1973 piece in Popular
Electronics magazine. As mentioned, JFETs were a relative newcomer at the time
to the commercial electronics world because of high fabrication costs. Obtaining
consistent pinch−off voltages and gains was largely responsible for the relatively
high production costs due to substrate purity and doping issues. Semiconductor processing
and some circuit application examples are included. One of the first big commercial
applications of the JFET was probably transistorized multimeters, which enabled
a very high input impedance. Doing so helped minimize the loading effect on the
meter on the circuit under test...
Post Your Engineer & Technician
Job Openings on RF Cafe for Free
RF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has
been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering
managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable
job openings. HR department employees
and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting
at no charge. 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure
a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from
RF Cafe's high quality visitors...
Many Thanks to ConductRF for Continued
ConductRF is continually innovating and
developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest
TESTeCON RF Test
Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for
amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision
RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the
iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications
where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable
access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project!
It's Monday again. Here is another batch
comics to help cheer you up. They appeared in the April 1963 issue of Radio−Electronics
magazine. Usually the meaning of the comics is immediately apparent, or maybe after
a little critical investigation, but I'm going to need some help with the page 20
comic. I must be missing something obvious. There is nothing else on the page it
came from that it is supposed to go with. Maybe it is simply implying the lonely
life of a TV repairman on a service call. The page 49 comic plays on the era's popular
notion of a husband-wife battle involving his quest for bigger and better (and more
expensive) electronics gear. If you don't "get" the humor, note the stacking of
the equipment - which is stereo. Page 88's topic is as apt today as it was 60 years
ago. Page 105 is yet another instance of man's obsession with stereos back in the
IDTechEx Report on 6G Market 2023-2043
"IDTechEx, an independent market research
and business intelligence provider claims that 6G will arrive in 2028 at the earliest
in its recently published market research report, "6G
Market 2023-2043: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players". 6G, compared to its
predecessor, is expected to offer significantly better communication capabilities,
such as Tbps-level peak data rates, microsecond-level latency, and 99.99999% network
dependability. Although 6G promises a lot, it is unlikely that 6G will be in daily
life soon, despite the fact that several important companies and nations have already
begun 6G research, as shown in the figure below, the telecom industry needs to address
several issues before seeing the success of 6G. The difficulties are not only in
THz technology but also in identifying applications that will fuel 6G adoption.
IDTechEx has been researching 5G and 6G for years. This article will discuss some
of the hardware-related hurdles to 6G connectivity..."
Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, Ham Radio Operator
A lot of famous people have been or are
radio operators, including many present-day astronauts who broadcast from the
International Space Station (ISS). Some media people, like Tim Allen, star of the
Home Improvement and Last Man Standing fame, became a Ham after
playing a character who is one on his show. A 1958 edition of Popular Electronics
magazine published a story titled "VIP's Are Hams Too!," which included Arthur Godfrey
(9K4LIB), Herbert Hoover, Jr. (W6ZH), and Arthur Collins (W0CXX). I wrote an article
on radio host Jean Shepherd (K2ORS), of "A Christmas Story" fame. Senator Barry
Goldwater (K7UGA), of Arizona, was also an active Ham, as evidenced here in this
May 1967 edition of the ARRL's QST magazine. Senator Goldwater also appeared
in the June 1967 issue of QST...
EMI in Connected Vehicles
"Automakers need to rein in
electromagnetic interference before it pumps the brakes on in-vehicle connectivity
innovations. In early 1979, Ralph Liuzzi installed a mobile transmitter in his customer's
Cadillac Seville. However, Mr. Liuzzi found that whenever he attempted to transmit,
the car's engine would stall, resulting in a serious safety hazard for both driver
and pedestrians. At the time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) cited a 'lack of documentation on the effects of Electromagnetic Interference
(EMI) on automobile electronic engine control systems,' but reviewed the case and
eventually found that indeed EMI played a key role in the system malfunction. 'The
problem of EMI is a relatively new one in automotive technology since electronics
have only recently been introduced into usage in automobiles,' the NHTSA said in
its report. Now, more than 40 years later, the problem of EMI has only grown..."
Hetro Air-Ace Series M, 4−Band Superhet
This is another Radio Service Data Sheet
which appeared in the May 1936 edition of Radio-Craft magazine. I post
this schematic and functional description of the
Hetro Air-Ace Series M, 9-Tube 4-Band Superhet manufacturers' publications for
the benefit of hobbyists and archivists who might be searching for such information
either in a effort to restore a radio to working condition, or to collect archival
information. A thorough search on the Internet turned up no examples of a surviving
instance of the Hetro Air-Ace Series M radio. BTW, the "Air Ace" part of the
name refers to the radio air, as in "on the air" or "over the air," not a fighter
pilot ace with a certain number of kills painted on the side of his airplane...
Promote Your Company on RF Cafe
New Scheme rotates
all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000
website visits each weekday.
RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers,
technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 17,000 pages
in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many
types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily
basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple
times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search
within a few hours of being posted. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn.
If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.
Many Thanks to Berkeley Nucleonics
for Continued Support!
Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC) is
a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement,
and nuclear research. Founded in 1963, BNC initially developed custom pulse generators.
We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and
stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance.
We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal,
light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in
software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing
Electronics Mathematics Quiz
Don't let the title scare you away from
Mathematic Quiz." It appeared in the June 1969 issue of Popular Electronics
magazine, and was created by quizmaster Robert Balin. There are no scary equations
to complete and no mental calculations to bend your brain. Instead, the "mathematics"
required is to recognize physical and electrical signal shapes which are described
by common mathematics terms. For instance, a cardioid approximates the electromagnetic
radiation pattern of many directional antennas, which may include a parabolic dish.
Differentiator and integrator circuits generate distinct waveforms. Phase angles
and critical angles are familiar to circuit designers and radio operators. Shape
letter "E" will likely be familiar according to its name, although you might not
know what it is in the world of electronics...
Ultrathin Metasurface Display Rivals LCD
"Currently, LCD screens are the most dominant
and popular display technology for televisions and monitors, but they are unlikely
to get significantly better in the future. Now a new study finds the kind of physics
that make microscopic 'invisibility
cloaks' possible may lead to next-generation 'metasurface' displays roughly
1/100 the thickness of the average human hair that could offer 10 times the resolution
and consume half as much energy as LCD screens. LCD technology depends on liquid
crystal cells that are constantly lit by a backlight. Polarizers in front and behind
the pixels filter light waves based on their polarity, or the direction in which
they vibrate, and the liquid crystal cells can rotate the way these filters are
oriented to switch light transmissions on and off. LCD screens do continue to see
advances by improving the liquid crystals, the display technology or the backlight.
'However, improvement on LCD technologies are now mostly just..."
Howard Explorer Model W All-Wave Superhet
Here are the schematics, chassis layout,
and service info for the
Howard Explorer Model W Deluxe 19 Tube All-Wave Superheterodyne console
style (sits on the floor) radio. The wooden cabinet format is somewhat unusual in
that the top is a flat surface rather than the having more typical curvaceous lines
that radios of the era sported. It looks a lot like the models with built-in phonographs,
where the top would tilt upward. The Radio Service Data Sheets that were published
in Radio-Craft usually seem to have more information included than those published
in other magazines, at least in the same era (1940-ish). It might have to do with
how much material is provided by the manufacturer rather than a decision by the
magazine editors. This one appeared in the September 1934 issue. Believe it or not,
there are still people searching for such data. I could not find an example of a
real surviving Howard Explorer Model W radio...
Morse Code Rhythm Patterns from A to Z
Given that this "Morse
Code Rhythm Patterns from A to Z" article (p58) appeared in the April issue
of QST magazine, I was careful to ascertain that it was not written for
fools. It seems authentic, but for the life of me I don't know how many people would
find the proposed Morse Code learning system to be a natural method. Author Bill
Cody (K3CDY) is a musician who is accustomed to reading music, so for him and other
talented musical types, maybe such a system facilitates the learning of code. To
people like me, it's like suggesting a method for more easily learning how to apply
a bandage by adapting brain surgery principles. Unfortunately, you'll need to be
an ARRL member for access to the online article, or maybe you can borrow a copy
of the magazine from a friend (but you'll still need to sign in for the music/code
sheets). I'm still trying to figure out which article is the April Fools bait. BTW,
I remember using one of those Isolate Pad Circuit-Board Construction tools when
making proto boards (p91).
Micro-Waves Span the English Channel
We "Baby Boomers" remember a time when cell
towers did not present a ubiquitous (and, frankly, ugly) presence across the landscape.
Microwave relay towers for television and telephone links could be spotted sitting
atop hilltops and mountain ridges in some areas, and giant television and radio
station towers sat behind broadcast stations, and multi-element antennas dotted
house rooftops everywhere. Our grandparents (Millennials' great grandparents) remember
when even microwave relay towers were missing. This 1936 article reports on the
first microwave links spanning the English Channel to replace expensive and trouble-prone
submerged cable. Part of the impetus, not mentioned within, was the building inevitability
of war with Germany and the vulnerability of those communications links to being
compromised by Nazi submarines and divers...
Electronics Theme Crossword for March 26th
This custom RF Cafe
electronics-themed crossword puzzle for March 26th contains words and clues
which pertain exclusively to the subjects of electronics, science, physics, mechanics,
engineering, power distribution, astronomy, chemistry, etc. If you do see names
of people or places, they are intimately related to the aforementioned areas of
study. As always, you will find no references to numbnut movie stars or fashion
designers. Need more crossword RF Cafe puzzles? A list at the bottom of the page
links to hundreds of them dating back to the year 2000. Enjoy.
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 World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
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and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.