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"Engineers operate at the interface between science and society." - Gordon Brown, MIT School of Engineering

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Microsemi Announces Engineering Scholarship with University of Limerick

Turmoil in China Handset Market Hits Qualcomm

Proton Radius Mystery Deepens as Deuterium Measurement Comes up Short

AMSAT Issues Call for 2016 Space Symposium Papers

You're Being Tracked (and Tracked and Tracked) on the Web

30,000 Small Cells Deployed in U.S. Already

Apple, Google, Phone Firms Join FCC to Kill off Robocall 'Scourge'

NIST's New Password Rules

Forward Auction of 600 MHz AWS-3 Airwaves Draws over $9B in Bids

'Human Sacrifice' Ceremony at Geneva's CERN Laboratory

Rural China Kick Starts Global Smartphone Growth

What Is Li-Fi and How Can It Improve 5G Communications?

What Is Li-Fi and How Can It Improve 5G Communications? - RF Cafe"Nowadays there are many ways in which cell phones can connect to Internet by switching between the 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi services. However, these systems can be easily saturated in places where there is a high user density. Li-Fi is a complementary system that has been studied for more than 100 years and data would be transmitted in frequencies between the 400 and 800 THz, the visible light spectrum. The aim of Li-Fi is to send information through conventional lighting elements (LEDs) at the same ..."

3 Companies Agree to Plead Guilty for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic Capacitors

 Companies Agree to Plead Guilty for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic CapacitorsHere's a weird headline: "The U.S. Department of Justice announced this week that three companies have agreed to plead guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the U.S. and elsewhere. The companies are Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co Ltd, and Holy Stone Holdings Co Ltd. 'The Antitrust Division has now charged five companies and one individual for their participation in this international price-fixing conspiracy,' Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder . 'The electrolytic capacitors conspiracy affected millions of American consumers ..."

Radio Training Association of America Advertisement

Radio Training Association of America Advertisement - RF CafeWhenever I see advertisements for electronics training courses, I think of the line in "Duel in the Snow, or, Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid," where it mentions how during the Great Depression years the magazines were filled with ads "promising successful careers repairing radios." That story, which ultimately became the book and movie A Christmas Story, was contained in Gene Shepherd's book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. Jean Shepherd was a radio ...

Painless Reconversion - Establishing Hobby Relations on a Firm Footing

Painless Reconversion, September 1947 QST - RF CafeWhen the FCC forbade amateur radio operators (with a few exceptions) from transmitting during the years encompassing World War II, many Hams who were very active in the hobby went a bit stir crazy and began looking for other pastimes. They could still listen to other broadcasts, but no CW or phone transmissions were allowed. Author Chester Cunningham recounts here his chosen replacement avocation - aviation. His humorous story demonstrates one way Hams, whose curtailed radio activities resulted in equipment that had atrophied ...

Webinar: How to Design Phased Arrays for 5G, Radar, and Satellite

Webinar: How to Design Phased Arrays for 5G, Radar, and Satellite - RF Cafe
Multi-channel phased arrays using beamforming and MIMO are key enablers in the next generation of 5G, Radar, and Satellite communications systems. However, phased array design and verification is complex and crosses multiple engineering disciplines & tools domains. Viewers will learn tools and techniques to connect baseband, RF, and antenna domains into a predictive, model-based engineering flow from spreadsheets to test. This webcast starts at the system-level perspective and considers both transmitters and receivers ...

Nuclear Puzzle May Be Clue to 5th Force of Nature

Nuclear Puzzle May Be Clue to 5th Force - RF Cafe"In a new paper, University of California, Riverside theoretical physicist Flip Tanedo and his collaborators have made new progress towards unraveling a mystery in the beryllium nucleus that may be evidence for a fifth force of nature. Earlier this year, an experiment in Hungary reported very unusual behavior in the decays of beryllium-8 nuclei. The experimental collaboration suggested that their results may come from the effects of a new ..."

Saelig Intros TEA6000-95 0.1 to 6 GHz Digital Attenuator

Saelig Introduces TEA6000-95 0.1 to 6 GHz Digital Attenuator - RF CafeSaelig Company announces the availability of the TEA6000-95 0.1 to 6 GHz Digital Attenuator. This new RF signal attenuator operates over a 0.1 to 6 GHz frequency range and can reduce input signal amplitudes by up to 95 dB in 0.5 dB steps. It features excellent solid-state repeatability and performance, and the output signal is uninterrupted when changing attenuation values. It is powered and controlled using a USB interface. With a power rating of +23 dBm and a maximum switching speed of 1 μsecond ...

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Analog DNA Circuit Does Math in a Test Tube

Analog DNA Circuit Does Math in a Test Tube - RF Cafe"Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly. But in recent decades, some researchers have been putting the letters of the genetic code to a different use: making tiny nanoscale computers. In a new study, a Duke University team led by professor John Reif created strands of synthetic DNA that, when mixed together in a test tube in the right concentrations, form an analog circuit that can add, subtract and multiply as they form and break bonds ..."

Where the Tech Jobs Are: 2016

Where the Tech Jobs Are: 2016 - RF Cafe"The Class of 2016 will enter the most welcoming U.S. job market in nearly a decade: Sixty-seven percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, the highest number since 2007, according to job site CareerBuilder's annual forecast. Second only to business majors, freshly minted engineers are set to enjoy most of that hiring goodwill as the U.S. economy continues its slow-but-steady post-recession growth. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, at the end of last year, 2/3 of company respondents were planning to hire engineers ..."

China Raises Cyber Stakes with Quantum Satellite

China Raises Cyber Stakes with Quantum Satellite - RF Cafe"China's successful launch of what is billed as the world's first hack-proof communications satellite promises to transform experimental ground networks into ultra-secure global links as China raises the stakes in its ongoing cyber rivalry with the west. The recent launch of the 1,400-pound quantum satellite aboard a Long March-2D booster opens the door to a new era of secure communications that leverages the ephemeral properties of quantum physics, including the mysterious phenomenon known as quantum entanglement ..."

The Neglected Current-Squared Galvanometer

The Neglected Current-Squared Galvanometer, February 1931 QST - RF CafeGalvanometers are the basis for most analog type meter movements - remember those things? They work by having the current flowing through a fine wire coil armature generate a magnetic field that displaces an attached needle. Most galvanometers respond nearly linearly to applied current, and therefore are used in voltmeters and ammeters with simple resistor series and parallel configurations. The current-squared galvanometer, on the other hand, responds roughly linearly to power values. It can therefore be used in a transmitter output monitoring circuit, for instance, or within amplifier ...

'Artificial Atom' Created in Graphene

'Artificial Atom' Created in Graphene - RF Cafe"In a tiny quantum prison, electrons behave quite differently as compared to their counterparts in free space. They can only occupy discrete energy levels, much like the electrons in an atom - for this reason, such electron prisons are often called 'artificial atoms.' Artificial atoms may also feature properties beyond those of conventional ones, with the potential for many applications for example in quantum computing. Such additional properties have now been shown for artificial atoms in the carbon ..."

Laser Slicing to Slash SiC Wafer Production Costs, Increases Yield

Laser Slicing to Slash SiC Wafer Production Costs, Increases Yield - RF Cafe"Dubbed KABRA (for Key Amorphous-Black Repetitive Absorption), the patent-pending process uses a focused laser to form an amorphous layer of SiC decomposed into its constituents silicon (Si) and carbon (C), which becomes the base point for separating the wafer through cleavage. While today's wafer production typically involves the use of multiple diamond wire saws, taking several days to slice through an ingot and producing ..."

Pasternack's New Line of Coaxial Voltage Variable Attenuators

Pasternack Introduces a Brand New Product Line of Coaxial Voltage Variable Attenuators (VVAs) - RF CafePasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, introduces an all new line of voltage variable attenuators offering up to 60 dB of attenuation across broad frequencies from 400 MHz to 18 GHz. This line of voltage variable attenuators is most commonly deployed in applications such as electronic warfare, instrumentation, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radios, fiber optic and broadband telecom, microwave radio and VSAT, military radios, radar, ECM, SATCOM and sensors, and R&D. In most communications ...

Build this Radioman's R-C Bridge

Build this Radioman's R-C Bridge, April 1947 Radio News - RF CafeWhile not many people are likely to build this R-C bridge circuit with vacuum tubes, the article has a good basic description of operation of any calibrated bridge circuit used to measure an unknown value. Interestingly, a 'magic eye' or 'cat's eye' tube is used in lieu of a meter movement to give a visual indication of an open, short, intermittence, poor power factor, and low 'Q', as well as when the selected switch position correctly identifies the value of the resistor or capacitor under test ...

Locating Your New Store

Locating Your New Store, April 1947 Radio News - RF CafeLocation, location, and location. Those are always half-jokingly cited as the most important three factors to consider when deciding where to best set up a retail business. Unfortunately, the days of scouting out a spot to set up an electronics sales and service shop are long gone. Except for a cellphone screen replacement service at a mall kiosk and maybe the Geek Squad desk at the Best Buy store, there are not many places left that do consumer electronics repair - at least as a primary vocation. This story makes a good read for anyone contemplating setting up shop where serving the local population is a prime objective ...

Skyworks' New Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, ZigBee® RF Switches

Skyworks' New Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, ZigBee® RF Switches - RF CafeSkyworks is pleased to introduce two new Wi-Fi switches that are ideal for WLAN networks, repeaters, ISM band radios, Bluetooth® systems, smartphones, and connectivity modules. The SKY13585-679LF is a single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) switch intended for 1 to 6 GHz applications. Using advanced switching technologies, this switch maintains low insertion loss and high isolation for all switching paths. The SKY13586-678LF is a single-pole, triple-throw (SP3T) antenna switch for 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi applications ...

Vintage Electronics Magazines for Sale

Vintage Electronics Magazines for Sale - RF CafeOwn a piece of history and support RF Cafe at the same time! My collection of vintage electronics magazines has grown very large. They are where I get the articles that I scan and post here on RF Cafe. I buy them on eBay for around $3-$4 apiece. There are others I would like get, but will not until some of my existing inventory is sold. It is really cool to peruse the pages of these old magazines and see what was considered ...

Infineon Enables NFC Payment Ring

Infineon Enables NFC Payment Ring - RF Cafe"The ring is made by NFCring. 'Proximity payments based on NFC technology are clearly on the rise – and payment solutions with smart wearables will accelerate this trend,' says Infineon's Thomas Rostek. The global standard EMVCo facilitates worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions. Management of specifications and related testing processes is driven by EMVCo's 6 member organisations American Express, Discover, JCB ..."

Aemulus and Peregrine Collaborate to Advance High Frequency Testing

Aemulus and Peregrine Semiconductor Collaborate to Advance High Frequency Testing - RF CafeAemulus, a leader in automated test equipment (ATE) solutions, and Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., founder of RF SOI (silicon on insulator) and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, announce their strategic partnership in the development of a new microwave frequency tester. Building on the success of Aemulus's Amoeba™ AMB7600 RF tester, this next-generation test solution will extend its support into microwave frequency bands and enable more complex testing. "This Aemulus microwave tester is the latest ...

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for August 24, 2016

Engineering Career Advice Articles for August 23, 2016 - RF CafeLots of new job hunting, job improving, and job retention articles have been published since my last round-up in early July. The vast majority of articles are, IMHO, useless and appear to be written by people whose only job experience is writing employment advice for people who actually work. I'm guessing they'll ...
 - Communications Skills Needed to
    Advance an Engineering Career
 - How to Avoid the Job-Search
    Black Hole
 - How Einstein and Edison Solved
    Problems in Their Sleep
 - Quick and Easy Tips for Writing
    Attention Getting Emails  <more>

USAF Reveals Plan to 'Bomb the Sky' to Improve Radio Reception

USAF Reveals Plan to 'Bomb the Sky' to Improve Radio Reception"A fleet of tiny satellites could one day be used to detonate plasma bombs in Earth's upper atmosphere to improve the range of radio communications. The U.S. Air Force has granted contracts to three research teams to develop the technology needed to do this, with hopes that CubeSats could carry massive amounts of ionized gas to the ionosphere to create radio-reflecting plasma. The ionosphere begins roughly 40 miles above the surface and becomes denser with charged particles at night, allowing signals to travel ..."

A Hyperbolic Compact Generalized Smith Chart

A Hyperbolic Compact Generalized Smith Chart - RF CafeNo, this is not yet another depiction of the event horizon of a black hole. It is, however, a new way of visualizing information on the Smith Chart, as conceived by the originator of the 3D Smith Chart, Andrei A. Muller, with co-author Esther Sanabria-Codesal. The similarity to relativity is not so unexpected. Both involve the 2D projection of a 3D surface, both involve a scientist / engineer enlisting the assistance of a mathematician, and both involve the work of Poincaré. "The hyperbolic Smith chart maps the circuits with positive reactance above the horizontal (real line) of the ρh plane and the circuits with negative reactance below the real line of the hyperbolic reflection coefficients plane." Got that? ...

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