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Today in Science History

Tech Headlines

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Blackberry Stops Designing Its Own Phones

5G – Is It Economically Viable?

The Astronaut As Engineer: Winning the Space Race

N. American Semi Equipment Industry Posts August 2016 BtB Ratio of 1.03

More Than 200 U.S. Stations Signed up for Scouting's Jamboree on the Air

Laboratory Continues U.S. EMC Testing Services Expansion

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Endorsing Trump

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Endorsing Trump - RF CafeI posted Scott Adams' previous blog supporting Hillary, so in the spirit of bipartisanship, here is the balance. "As most of you know, I had been endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, for my personal safety, because I live in California. It isn't safe to be a Trump supporter where I live. And it's bad for business too. But recently I switched my endorsement to Trump, and I owe you an explanation. So here it goes ..." Adams is a brave man.

Air Force Moves Ahead with GPS III Preparations

Air Force Moves Ahead with GPS III Preparations - RF Cafe"The Air Force is moving ahead with its delayed GPS III constellation, awarding Lockheed Martin a $395M contract modification for the ninth and tenth of what will be a 32-satellite constellation. Deployment of the third generation of the Global Positioning System, which is expected to have a 25% longer lifespan, three times the accuracy and eight times the anti-jamming capability of GPS II, has been delayed by funding cuts and some technical problems ..."

Bluetooth Toolkits to Make Developing for IoT Easier

Bluetooth Toolkits to Make Developing for IoT Easier - RF Cafe"The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has released several updates to their developer Bluetooth toolkit line-up. The latest toolkits empower developers to build faster and smarter when creating things like mobile apps and low-cost beacons, as well as gateways that control IoT sensors. What developers can do today with Bluetooth far surpasses what they could do just a few years ago. Whether it’s connecting a Bluetooth device to the web, using beacons to develop unique ..."

AT&T Experimenting with Broadband Internet Delivery Using Power Lines

AT&T Experimenting with Broadband Internet Delivery Using Power Lines - RF CafeHams take note! Here we go again with power line carrier schemes. "AT&T has unveiled its Project AirGig experimental program that aims to use power lines as a way to extend internet access to hard-to-reach users in urban, rural and underserved parts of the world. The first field tests involving Project AirGig technologies are set to begin in 2017 through AT&T Labs, the company said in a September 21 announcement, with the goal of eventually delivering low-cost, multigigabit wireless internet ..."

Tribute by Hugo Gernsback to Guglielmo Marconi upon His Death

Marconi, October 1937 Radio-Craft - RF CafeDang, I meant to post this article on July 20th. It is an editorial commemoration written by Radio-Craft publisher Hugo Gernsback to radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, who died on that day in 1937. He was only 63 years old. Gernsback states, "The debt which the world owes to Marconi is staggering - if you figure only one single result of his accomplishments - the saving of tens of thousands of lives which would have perished in the sea and otherwise, if had not been for Marconi." The January 1939 issue of Radio-Craft featured an article titled, "Marconi - Father of Radio?," wherein author Edward H. Loftin challenges the veracity of Marconi receiving ...

Complex to Real Digital Communications Tutorials

Complex to Real Digital Communications - RF CafeThis is a great resource provided by Charan Langton, retired from Loral Space Systems. "Communications is not an easy science. The math is heavy, and intuition is slow to develop. To complicate things Charan Langton, Complex to Real - RF Cafefurther, the field does not stay put. New concepts are always coming to the fore. This website offers tutorials I have written on various topics in analog and digital communications that will help you cut through this complexity. I keep adding to this collection ...""

Würth SMD Designer Kits for Sale

Wurth Designer Kits - RF CafeFor Sale: Würth Electronics SMD 0402 Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor Design Kit, SMD Air Coil Inductor Design Kit, and Power Elements Design Kit. These are the kits - all unused - graciously provided by Würth for a product review. I have no need for them at this time, so this could be your lucky day. Full details are available here. They sell on Digi-Key for about $110 each, but you can buy all 3 of mine for a total of only $75 ... This is an incredible deal for designer kits!

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WindFreak Intros Innovative Low-Cost SynthDH PRO RF Signal Generator

WindFreak Technologies Releases Innovative SynthHD PRO Low-Cost RF Signal Generator - RF CafeWindfreak Technologies is excited to announce the launch of the new SynthHD PRO. The revolutionary SynthHD PRO has all the features of the original SynthHD, but has a milled aluminum case designed to be used in more rugged environments and to enhance electrical and thermal performance. The new SynthHD PRO Dual Channel RF Signal Generator is also designed for higher amplitude accuracy due to extra hours on the calibration bench getting a fully unique 5000 point calibration lookup table. For the SynthHD PRO datasheet, software user's manual, and software download ...

Chaos-Based Microchips Propose a Challenge to Moore's Law

Chaos-Based Microchips Propose a Challenge to Moore's Law - RF Cafe"Developed by researchers at North Carolina State University, the integrated circuits can reportedly be manufactured with off the shelf fabrication processes and could lead to novel computer architectures that do more with less circuitry and fewer transistors. Moore's law states that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit will double every two years in order to keep up with processing demands. This goal has so far been addressed by shrinking the size of individual transistors ..."

Saelig's Aaronia Drone Detection System Discovers Unwanted UAV Incursions

Saelig's Aaronia Drone Detection System (ADDS) Discovers Unwanted UAV Incursions - RF CafeIs this cool or what? Saelig isn't kidding with their "unique electronics" logo tag line. Saelig Company has introduced the Aaronia Drone Detection System (ADDS) for discovering the incursion of unwanted drones or other remote-controlled flying objects, thus protecting privacy and insuring physical security. Detecting the real-time directional measurement of the radio emissions used for controlling drones, the ADDS system warns the user when drones are in the area and can send automatic alerts ... (they need a look-down/shoot-down system to compliment it)

Carmakers, Telecomms Join Forces for 5G Development

Carmakers, Telecomms Join Forces for 5G Development - RF Cafe"In a cross-industry alliance, Audi, BMW and Daimler along with telecommunications equipment providers Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia as well as semiconductor vendors Intel and Qualcomm will bundle their R&D resources to evolve, test and promote communications solutions for connected mobility. The efforts will focus on the development of 5G mobile technologies. The “5G Automotive Association” announced to develop, test and promote ..."

RF Cafe Quiz: RF & Analog Company Name Change History

RF Cafe Quiz #67: RF & Analog Company Name Change HistoryThis quiz challenges your knowledge of the history of familiar electronics products companies' name changes (aka etymology). Many of you have lived through the plethora of acquisitions, mergers, and name changes represented here. There might be more than one correct answer. You might need a motion sickness pill when navigating all ...

World's Largest Radio Telescope Starts Operating in China

World's Largest Radio Telescope Starts Operating in China - RF Cafe"In the search for alien life, China has built the world's biggest radio telescope, which it says could 'lead to discoveries beyond our wildest imagination.' The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), nestled between hills in the mountainous region of Guizhou, began working this week. Built at a cost of ¥1.2B (£140M, $182M), the telescope dwarfs the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico as the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, with twice the sensitivity and a reflector as large as 30 football fields ..."

Retired Librarian Who Was Maine’s First Woman Radio Amateur Turns 108

Retired Librarian Who Was Maine’s First Woman Radio Amateur Turns 108 - RF Cafe"Mary Cousins, ex-W1GSC, who was the first woman in Maine to obtain an Amateur Radio license, celebrated her 108th birthday on September 20. Now a resident of a care facility in the coastal fishing village of Deer Isle, Cousins was treated to a party complete with a cake decorated with images of local newspaper articles from 1908, the year she was born. The confection also bore an image of her 1933 "Amateur First" radio ..."

Standardized Wiring Diagram Symbols & Color Codes

Standardized Wiring Diagram Symbols & Color Codes, August 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThe standardized wiring diagram symbols chart has been updated recently to reflect recent additions of semiconductor components, including the solid state diode and transistors. Notice the similarity between these symbols and many of the ones in the ARRL Handbook chart. Also presented are a resistor color code chart and capacitor charts for color codes and capacitor dot markings ...

Nanomaterial Could Yield Lossless Charge and Energy Transport

Novel Nanomaterial Could Yield Lossless Charge and Energy Transport - RF Cafe"Empirical evidence is continuing to pile up confirming that so-called topological insulators - materials that behave as conductors near their surfaces, but act as insulators throughout the bulk of their interiors - do exist. Now, researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Germany, have produced a new type of topological matter. It can carry an electrical current on its surface at room temperature and then get that ..."

How Dependable Are Your Meter Readings?

How Dependable Are Your Meter Readings?, October 1937 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThere is no arguing that digital multimeters are vastly superior to analog meters in many - maybe even most - ways. However, analog meters still have applications that make them indispensible in situations like monitoring slow variations in parameters and for quick visual approximations of values. One example is looking for variation of voltage or current levels under varying loads. Yes, digital instruments are available that emulate an analog display in certain modes, but that just proves the point of he usefulness of an analog movement. Another is the familiar control panel filled with meters ...

Revisiting NPR's 1983 Story On 'Cellular'

Revisiting NPR's 1983 Story On 'Cellular' - RF Cafe"A decade after Martin Cooper made the world's first public call from a portable phone in 1973, telephones were becoming truly mobile. 'It's still pretty rare to see someone using a telephone in a car. But it's about to become a lot more common.' That's how NPR host Jim Angle introduced a piece on November 5, 1983, titled 'Cellular Phones Are Completely Mobile' - the earliest mention of the term found in NPR's archives. From the vantage point of 2016 - where mobile ..."

Don't Drill a Headphone Jack Hole into Your iPhone 7!

Don't Drill a Headphone Jack Hole into Your iPhone 7! - RF Cafe"Miffed that you don't have a headphone jack on your new iPhone 7? Don’t want to use the adapter that comes in the box? Don’t want to spend $159 for Apple's new wireless earbuds? Well, good news! There's a 'secret hack' that's gone viral on YouTube. First, you get a drill with a 3.5mm bit. Then, you clamp your phone into a vice. Please promise not to drill a hole into your $649 palm warmer, as the jokester 'TechRax' advises you to do - and at least apparently does - to some hapless, screen freaking-out ..." -- Yep, they're really out there.

Threats to Extant Undersea Cable

Threats to Extant Undersea Cable - RF CafeI was surprised to discover that the #1 cause of damage to extant (currently used) undersea cable in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is fishing trawlers that snag them while dragging nets and pots. An infographic in the June 2016 issue of Scientific American lists the hazards as follows ...:

40% - Fish trawling
28% - Ship anchorages
  8% - Subsea earthquakes
  8% - Shunt (electrical) faults
  4% - Amplifier or branching unit
           failures
  3% - Abrasion (wave seabed, etc.)
  9% - Other factors (e.g., sabotage)

Triad RF Systems Intros 6.4-8.5 GHz SSPA for Any Modulation

Triad RF Systems Intros 6.4-8.5 GHz SSPA for Any Modulation - RF CafeThe TA1063 class AB GaN SSPA module is designed for both military and commercial applications in the 6.4-8.5 GHz band. It is capable of supporting any signal type and modulation format, including but not limited to 3-4G telecom, WLAN, OFDM, DVB, and CW/AM/FM. The latest device technologies and design methods are employed to offer high power density, efficiency, and linearity in a small, lightweight package ...

Chip Shifts Frequencies of Photon Qubits

Chip Shifts Frequencies of Photon Qubits - RF Cafe"Engineers in the U.S. have developed a chip that can convert visible light into infrared and back again, while preserving the quantum state of the original photons. This capability would allow quantum devices to transmit information to each other via the existing fiber-optic infrastructure. Researchers say this is a significant step in realizing a quantum network of devices and computers that can exchange ..."

Kymeta and TECOM Antenna Technology for the Aviation Market

Kymeta and TECOM Bring New, Cutting Edge Antenna Technology to the Aviation Market - RF CafeKymeta, the company delivering on the promise of global, mobile connectivity and TECOM, a Smiths Microwave brand and a leader in innovative design and manufacturing of high-performance antenna systems, today announced a Partner Development Program Agreement for the aviation market. Under the terms of the agreement, TECOM will incorporate Kymeta® mTenna® technology into an aviation grade terminal to demonstrate connectivity to a Ku-band satellite. Kymeta's flat panel satellite antenna technology offers a lightweight, low profile ...

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