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Click here to read about RF CafeView the YouTube RF Cafe Intro VideoKirt Blattenberger ... single-handedly redefining what an engineering website should be.

Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

5th MOB:
My USAF radar shop

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My daughter Sally's horse riding website

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- Welcome to the RF Cafe Website -
"Successful technology is invisible. It gets out of the way and lets us live our lives." - Amber Case of Geoloqi

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Newest Posts on RF Cafe Forums

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The "Neon" Interference Problem

The "Neon" Interference Problem, October 1935, Radio-Craft - RF CafeBefore there was radio, it really didn't matter much how much electromagnetic energy at any frequency was spewed into the air and into electric wires as long as the amplitude was not great enough to physically damage affected equipment. There was no need for an FCC or unintentional radiation limit regulations. It was not long after radio came along that the presence of electromagnetic interference (EMI) made itself painfully obvious due to its presence on audio as static. Motor brush arcing, electrical atmospheric phenomena (lightning, meteors), switching on and off of circuits, intermittent connections, nearby radio spurious emissions, high voltage transformers, and in this case, neon lighting were among ...

Nuvitron's Vintage Nixie Clock

Nuvitron's Vintage Nixie Clock - RF CafeJust in time for holidays for the Nixie tube aficionado who appreciates a fine wooden chassis and 'authentic' vintage, heretofore unused Nixies is Nuvitron's Vintage Nixie Clock (clever name). Says them, "With brand new, unused Nixie tubes that were rescued from exile in long abandoned basements in Eastern Europe, the vintage Nixie tube clock imparts a warm glow from within its beautiful, handmade, Art Deco enclosure. Each clock casing takes over 30 hours to create and a lifetime to admire. Make yourself appear cooler than you actually are with this super cool Nixie tube clock." Now, if anyone is still trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas ... (hat tip to Electronics Weekly, where I learned of it)

Pasternack Waveguide Mixers Operate
for Ka, Q, U, V, E & W Bands

Pasternack Waveguide Frequency Mixers Operate Across Full Ka, Q, U, V, E & W Millimeter Wave Bands - RF CafePasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, adds new millimeter wave (mm-wave) waveguide frequency mixers available in six down-conversion and six up-conversion models that cover full Ka, Q, U, V, E, and W bands. Designs utilize high performance GaAs Schottky Barrier Beam Lead Diodes in balanced configurations that require a +13 dBm LO drive and display low levels of conversion loss ...

Please Welcome Alliance Test
Equipment as My Newest Supporter!

Alliance Test EquipmentAlliance Test Equipment, located in Webster, Massachusetts, is a leading source of quality used/reconditioned test & measurement equipment. Please Welcome Alliance Test Equipment as My Newest Supporter!- RF CafeAlliance Test sells used & refurbished test equipment, offering short-and long-term rentals. They also purchase your excess test equipment in large or small lots, and do repair, maintenance and calibration. Alliance Test offers products from many manufacturers available at prices discounted up to 80% off manufacturer list price.

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger

The Architecture of Radio Displays Your
Electromagnetic Field Environment

The Architecture of Radio - RF Cafe"The Architecture of Radio is a data visualization, based on global open datasets of cell tower, Wi-Fi and satellite locations. Based on your GPS location the app shows a 360 degree visualization of signals around you. The dataset includes almost 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and hundreds of satellites. A site specific version of the app includes wired communication infrastructure embedded in the exhibition space. It's aim is to provide a comprehensive window into the infosphere." Created by Richard Vijgen. The Architecture of Radio app is currently available for iOS! The Android version is set to follow early 2016.

Li-Fi Is the New Wi-Fi - 100x Faster

Li-Fi Is the New Wi-Fi - 100x Faster - RF Cafe"Step aside, Wi-Fi. Scientists have just taken to the streets with a new wireless technology called Li-Fi, and it's 100 times faster than current speeds. Li-Fi transmits data using visible light communication, and it's now being tested in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn, Estonia. This new wireless system hit speeds of 224 Gbps in the lab, and has the potential to revolutionize internet ..."

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Thanksgiving 2015 - RF CafeThanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, being a day of thanks given for the blessings bestowed upon our country's early settlers by God and the welcoming actions of Native American tribesmen. Per the Smithsonian website, "Most Americans are familiar with the Pilgrim's Thanksgiving Feast of 1621, but few realize that it was not the first festival of its kind in North America. Long before Europeans set foot in the Americas, native peoples sought to insure a good harvest with dances and rituals such as the Green Corn Dance of the Cherokees. The first Thanksgiving service known to be held by Europeans in North America occurred on May 27, 1578 in Newfoundland, although earlier Church-type services were probably held by Spaniards in La Florida. However, for British New England, some historians believe that the ..."

Ultra High Definition TV to Exceed
330M Units by 2019

Ultra High Definition TV Sets to Exceed 330M Units by 2019 - RF Cafe"TV manufacturers could have a very good holiday season, and the good times likely will continue through 2019. Sales of 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV sets will exceed 330M units by the end of 2019... However, while the price of those sets has fallen sharply and likely will continue to fall, a report released this month by the Natural Resources Defense Council contended that new UHD models use on average 30% more energy than their HD predecessors." AGW warriors  would be committing sacrilege by owning one of these ...

ARDX V1.3 Arduino Experimentation Kit

ARDX V1.3 Arduino Experimentation Kit - RF CafeCyber Monday is just four days away, so why not use it as an excuse to buy yourself or significant other (wife, husband, teenager, college student) an introductory kit of components to join in on the Arduino craze? Per the sales pitch: "13 circuits to explore microcontroller basics. Covering LEDs, transistors, motors, integrated circuits, pushbuttons, variable resistors, photo resistors, temperature sensors & relays. Comes with an Arduino Uno (the latest Arduino) prototyping bundle to make constructing your circuits and future projects easy. Printed copy of the Arduino Experimenter's Guide."

Notable Quote: Lawrence Krauss

"What Einstein Got Wrong" September 2015 Sciam - RF Cafe"For most of us, the times when we go astray are happily forgettable. In Einstein's case, even the mistakes are noteworthy." - Lawrence M. Krauss, in What Einstein Got Wrong, appearing in the September 2015 issue of Scientific American.

RF Application Engineer Needed by e2v

RF Application Engineer Needed by e2v - RF Cafee2v is looking for an RF Applications Engineer that will support high performance RF IC products and Broad Band Data Converters. This position will provide application support for RF switches, mixers, PLLs, DSA, and prescalers in challenging environments for defense an space systems. High speed data converters with industry leading performance will also be a key focus. The position will also require the candidate to take the lead role in assessing and understanding Aerospace and Defense Electronics customers' system requirements and provide guidance to the R&D teams to develop successful semiconductor products. This position provides a unique opportunity to support current and new cutting edge technology that supports some of our nation's fundamental defense programs ...

Mac's Service Shop:
Automation and the Technician

Mac's Service Shop: Automation and the Technician, July 1961 Electronics World - RF CafeOnce transistorized computers made desktop-sized systems a reality, the sure eventuality of humans being replaced by their electronic equivalents became a popular theme of media pundits. News reports and 'special features' on TV at the same time scared citizens concerned for their jobs and assured them that by the year 2000, humans wouldn't need to work anymore anyway because computers and robots would be doing everything for them. The millennium crossover occurred a decade and a half ago as 2015 draws to a close, and looking back it is true that computers and robots have usurped a lot of what used to be done manually, but, as Mac presciently predicts in this story ...

Cobham Launches 'Universal'
Spring Mount Antenna Range

Cobham Launches 'Universal' Spring Mount Antenna Range - RF CafeCobham Antenna Systems, a market-leading antenna solutions provider, is proud to announce the launch of a 'Universal' range of spring-mount omni-directional antennas. A brochure covering the full range is available on request.  Cobham has designed and manufactured spring mount antennas, for over 20 years, with a vast number of happy customers and proven results in the field ...

"As God As My Witness, I Thought
 Turkeys Could Fly"

WKRP in Cincinnati: "As God As My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly" - RF CafeAnyone who watched the WKRP in Cincinnati sitcom back in the 1970s has to remember what was one of the funniest episodes ever. Here is the 5 minutes that made Prime Time history. In this Thanksgiving episode, station owner Arthur Carlson decided he would do a surprise good deed - that doubled as a promotional stunt - and drop live turkeys from a helicopter for lucky shoppers at the local shopping mall. Watch the disaster unfold as Les Nessman reports live, and then hear Carlson's final comment that is still used or alluded to in many comic routines ...

Simple Radio Mathematics
for the Service Man

Simple Radio Mathematics for the Service Man, September 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIncluded in this first of a series of the 'Simple Mathematics for the Serviceman' series that ran in Radio-Craft is another 'cheat sheet' full of oft-used formulas. It begins with basic Ohm's law, resistance, inductance, and capacitance, then builds from there. What was valid in 1930 is still valid in 2015. See October 1930 for the next installment that includes yet another handy-dandy cheat sheet of formulas ...

Visions of 1946

Visions of 1946, December 1936, Radio-Craft - RF CafeDecember is traditionally the issue for magazines to sum up accomplishments of the ending year and make predictions for the next year. Radio-Craft was no exception, but in 1936 they went ten steps farther and prognosticated a decade into the future - all the way to 1946! It is actually a tongue-in-cheek reprint from Pathe News magazine. However, note the drawing of 'professor teaches 2 million pupils,' where he is instructing via television and the railroad company boss checking in on the conductors en route via wireless teleconferencing. It might have seemed like a pipe dream in 1936, but now it is commonplace. Not only do we now have live classroom broadcasts, but millions of YouTube videos of instruction for performing ...

Electrons Always Find a Quantum Way

Electrons Always Find a Quantum Way - RF CafeScientists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have demonstrated for the first time how electrons are transported from a superconductor through a quantum dot into a metal with normal conductivity. This transport process through a quantum dot had already been calculated theoretically in the nineties, but scientists at the University of Basel have now succeeded in proving the theory with measurements. Transport properties such as electrical conductivity play ...

2016 Obamacare Cost for RF Cafe

2016 Obamacare Cost for RF Cafe - RF CafeIt looks like again in 2016 Melanie and I will be without health insurance because of the prohibitive cost of the misnamed Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Not only will we have no insurance, but we will be taxed at a rate of 2.5% of our Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI*) for opting out. Our expected MAGI of about $60,000 amounts to $1,500 being added to our standard income tax - which already includes paying the full amount of the Social Security tax**. What follows is a brief synopsis of our decision-making rationale. Bear in mind while reading that tens of thousands of Americans are making similar decisions nowadays. Prior to 2014, we had ...