Today in Science History -
Here are a couple more of the much-liked
Term Illustrated" comics, these appearing in the May 1947 issue of Radio-Craft
magazine. I probably spend way more time on colorizing these comics than I should.
You might think it's easy to just fill in areas with color, but most of the comics
are drawn in a manner where outlines of larger objects do not terminate against
another line. Being able to use a fill tool requires sealing off the area first.
Then there's the case of where an area uses a series of closely spaced lines or
cross-hatches. An area fill tool doesn't work well there, either, so the best way
I've found is to outline the area with a Bezier curve tool and copy / paste it over
itself so it is a separate object, then use a color transform tool to shift the
entire area to the chosen color. Even with all that work, the comics rarely turn
out the way I'd like them to...
These reports on advances in ePaper technology
remind me of the 1990s as color computer monitors were ratcheting up pixel and color
count - first with CRTs and then LCD and LED flat panel displays. ePaper is a purely
reflective vs. back-lit display. "E Ink's digital paper, often called ePaper, has
found a home in e-readers, displays, and even covering cars. Balancing the need
for high-quality displays and power requirements has always been a challenge. It
started as a gray scale display, but color ePaper displays have been available for
a while. The latest generation, E Ink's Kaleido 3, takes the quality to a new level.
It can deliver 16 levels of gray scale and 4,096 colors. This new display increases
color saturation by 30% compared to the earlier Kaleido Plus. It can display animations
and videos. The Kaleido 3 employs a color filter array (CFA) that's used in conjunction
with E Ink's Carta black-and-white ink film. The display also uses the company's
ComfortGaze, a front-light technology designed by E Ink's Front Light Team..."
Wikipedia claims there are about 350 species
of electric fish. Jerry tells fellow electrical and electronics experimenter Carl
that the electric eel is not an eel at all, but a fish. Actually, the eel is a fish
(a knifefish); however - and I needed to look this up - a true eel is a member of
the fish order Anguilliformes, which the electric eel is not. Having no expertise
in the field of eels, I'll leave it at that. Jerry's uncle, who is an active duty
Navy guy, somehow managed to ship an electric eel to him for experimentation purposes.
Doing so might have been possible in 1956 when this episode of "Carl &
Jerry" appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, but today it is doubtful.
Besides that, how to you mail an electric eel to somebody? The pair's measurements
of voltages and pulse widths jive pretty well with modern data. Here is a story
about how electric eels curl to obtain higher voltages for stunning prey...
Some years ago while first developing my
"RF Cascade Workbook" spreadsheets, I read that when Microsoft began using the
XML file format for Excel with the 2007 version (Office 12), what appears
in the File Manager as a *.xls or *.xlsm (*.xls with VBA‡ macros) is actually a
compressed collection of individual XML files and possibly a *.bin and any images
you might have buried within. If you want to see what actually makes up your Excel
file, follow these simple instructions. A word of warning though, as Otto von Bismarck
is reported to have admonished†, "Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see
them being made." After seeing what goes into an Excel file, you might loose your
taste for them (not really, it just seemed like an apt quotation at the moment).
There may be another way to dissect an Excel file, but probably the easiest is the
This "Radio Service Data Sheet" from a 1948
issue of Radio News provides schematics and parts lists for
152T and 153T receivers. Most - if not all - electronics servicemen had subscriptions
to these magazines because they were a ready source of not just these service sheets,
but because of the extensive articles offering advice on servicing radios and televisions.
In fact, many electronics manufacturers had a policy of supplying service data only
to bona fide shops. A large list is included at the bottom of the page of similar
documents from vintage receiver schematics, troubleshooting tips, and alignment
procedures. They were originally published in magazines like Radio-Craft,
Radio and Television News, Radio News, etc. I scan and post them
for the benefit of hobbyists who restore and service vintage electronics equipment...
With more than 1000
custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of
Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings!
Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-,
and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components
are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment,
racks (EIA 19", ETSI 21"), and more. Test equipment and racks are built at a 1:1
scale so that measurements can be made directly using Visio built-in dimensioning
objects. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good
presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...
Withwave manufactures an extensive line of
metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch,
board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a
4-port vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector
adaptors, attenuators, terminations, DC blocks, torque wrenches, test probes &
probe positioner. Special test fixtures for calibration and multicoax cable assemblies.
Frequency ranges from DC through 110 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to
see how they can help your project succeed.
VOLSCAN (Volume Scanning) radar system was a paradigm changer for air traffic
controllers charges with guiding aircraft while assuring safe separation. Busy terminal
areas were a particularly difficult challenge due to the large variation in aircraft
speeds and types. VOLSCAN was a computer that tracked the position, direction, and
speed of each target and even made recommendations to controllers for course assignments.
It also warned of impending dangerous scenarios. Another VOLSCAN article in the
July 1954 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine went into more detail and had color
photos of the equipment. Interestingly, the equivalent of maybe the world's first
light pen computer interface is used by the operator for letting the processor know
what part of the screen (PPI, or plan position indicator) he is referring to...
If ever there was a website that would likely
drag a radio and television broadcast historian down into the metaphorical rabbit
of a Generation... Television's Living History" is it. Like Alice's experience
in Wonderland, once you enter the homepage porthole and begin clicking on links,
not only will getting back out be difficult, but the journey will introduce you
to many fantastic experiences in TV broadcasting which you have never seen before.
As the subtitle says, "In essence, this is a Television history book with 5000 stories,
10,000 rare photos and hundreds of one of a kind videos." If you are old enough
to remember way back to the 1980s and before, then you will find interesting tidbits
of insider and backstage anecdotes about all of the popular television shows of
the various eras - back to the very beginning. That includes sitcom, variety, and
news types. Included in the collection is a wealth of photographs and videos, along
with histories of the electronic equipment and its inventors that made it all possible.
You will also find never-seen-before film footage of live taping sessions, TV show
production, interviews, and documentaries. Did you know that David Letterman owned
the entire "Late Night" franchise...
In part one of a two-part article, Popular
Electronics magazine presents some of the inner workings of what at the time was
a fledgling industry -
printed circuit board manufacturing. In 1956, when this piece appeared, a large
percentage of electronics assemblies were still being wired in a point-to-point
manner where resistors, capacitors, inductors, tubes, and cables were soldered directly
to terminals either on special blocks or on tube sockets. The process was heavily
labor intensive and prone to miswirings. High volume production was nearly impossible
prior to printed wiring boards (PWBs). Bell Telephone Labs was an early adopter
and driver of the technology. A good example of an early telephone PWB can be seen
in the 1970s vintage Snoopy telephone that I reconditioned a while back. Note the
rat's nest of wires going to the network terminal block...
"For all the recent advances in integrated
lithium niobate photonic circuits - from frequency combs to frequency converters
and modulators - one big component has remained frustratingly difficult to integrate:
lasers. Long haul telecommunication networks, data center optical interconnects,
and microwave photonic systems all rely on lasers to generate an optical carrier
used in data transmission. In most cases, lasers are stand-alone devices, external
to the modulators, making the whole system more expensive and less stable and scalable.
Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied
Sciences (SEAS) in collaboration with industry partners at Freedom Photonics and
HyperLight Corporation, have developed the first fully integrated high-power laser
on a lithium niobate chip, paving the way for high-powered telecommunication systems,
fully integrated spectrometers..."
This "Radio Service Data Sheet" covers the
International Kadette Model 66 and 666, superheterodyne receiver. Most - if
not all - electronics servicemen had subscriptions to these magazines because they
were a ready source of not just these service sheets, but because of the extensive
articles offering advice on servicing radios and televisions. In fact, many electronics
manufacturers had a policy of supplying service data only to bona fide shops. A
large list is included at the bottom of the page of similar documents from vintage
receiver schematics, troubleshooting tips, and alignment procedures. They were originally
published in magazines like Radio-Craft (this April 1936 issue), Radio
and Television News, Radio News, etc. I scan and post them for the
benefit of hobbyists who restore and service vintage electronics equipment...
Converse One Star Button Down Shirt 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...
PCB Directory is the largest directory of
Board (PCB) Manufacturers, Assembly houses, and Design Services on the Internet.
We have listed the leading printed circuit board manufacturers around the world
and made them searchable by their capabilities - Number of laminates used, Board
thicknesses supported, Number of layers supported, Types of substrates (FR-4, Rogers,
flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing,
fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. Fast turn-around on quotations for
PCB fabrication and assembly.
Here is your custom made
Technology-themed crossword puzzle for April 17th, 2022. All RF Cafe crossword
puzzles are custom made by me, Kirt Blattenberger, and have only words and clues
related to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry,
physics, and other technical subjects. As always, this crossword contains no names
of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything
of the sort unless it/he/she is related to this puzzle's technology theme (e.g.,
Reginald Denny or the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists
amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!
New Scheme rotates
all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000
website visits each weekday.
Hooded Poncho Sweater - NWT is a favorite of engineers,
technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 12,000 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.
Empower RF Systems is a global leader in
power amplifier solutions. Empower RF Systems is an established and technologically
superior supplier of high power solid state RF & microwave amplifiers. Our offerings
include modules, intelligent rack-mount amplifiers, and multi-function RF Power
Amplifier solutions to 6 GHz in broadband and band specific designs. Output
power combinations range from tens of watts to multi-kilowatts. Unprecedented size,
weight and power reduction of our amplifiers is superior to anything in the market
at similar frequencies and power levels.
For many years, Radio-Electronics
magazine editor Hugo Gernsback and Audion tube inventor
Dr. Lee de Forest had sort of a mutual admiration society thing going
on. that's understandable because they we both men of great accomplishment and are
deserving of everyone's admiration. In this 1952 issue, Dr. de Forest
was invited to procrastinate on future of the transistor - the semiconductor equivalent
of his amplifying vacuum tube. He humbly states, "If in the year 1912 some editor
had requested of me an article on the 'Future of the Electronic Tube,' I probably
would have felt quite as incompetent and short-sighted a prophet of the developments
of that [...], as I feel today as Mr. Gernsback requests from me an outlook over
the future of the transistor, [the] possible successor of the grid tube." Less than
four yeas had passed since the Bell Labs trio announced their transistor invention,
but the technology advanced quickly once made known. History shows Dr. de Forest
was correct in predicting the vacuum tube and transistor (in all their various forms)
would coexist for a long time. It was not until the 1980s that solid state devices
had replaced nearly all tubes (except the CRT display)...For many years, Radio-Electronics
magazine editor Hugo Gernsback and Audion tube inventor Dr. Lee de Forest
had sort of a mutual admiration society thing going on. that's understandable because
they we both men of great accomplishment and are deserving of everyone's admiration...
Based on beleaguered wife Sylvia Kohler's
mention of GE's Electronics Park in this story (surely a fable... or not), she and
unintentional antagonist, superheterodyne hubby (aka "Happy Boy," but we know him
as Popular Electronics cartoonist
Carl Kohler) probably lived in the Syracuse, New York, area. Electronics Park
(technically in Liverpool/Salina) existed during the hey days of General Electric
when the sprawling campus , just north of I-90, designed and manufactured a plethora
of both household (TVs and radios) and military electronics products. GE's Electronics
Laboratory ("E-Labs") was the company's pride and joy. Today, a tiny portion of
Electronics Park is still occupied by Lockheed Martin, who bought that GE division
in the 1990s, and the rest belongs the city. I worked there for about two years.
But I digress... enjoy the story (I highlighted her reason for referring to hubby
as a Superheterodyne)...
Reactel, industry leaders in the design and
manufacture of RF and Microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies from DC to
67 GHz, recently produced a new video short on
Filters. Benefits of waveguide filters include very low insertion loss, extremely
narrow bandwidths, high power handling, and very sharp band edge rolloff. Custom
sizes and shapes are available, along with many variations on duplexers, diplexers,
multiplexers, switched filter banks, and other configurations. Many off-the-shelf
products are available, and Reactel engineers are happy to assist you with determining
your system's needs and designing filters to help you succeed. Please take a couple
minutes to view this video, then give Reactel a call.
The "Up Front" page of the May 2022 issue
of QST magazine mentions a musical tribute to ham radio entitled, "Back
on the Air," by Allen Chance (W2BUZ) and Paul Rogers. It has a soothing melody
and the video is accompanied by photos matching the lyrics as it goes along. You
probably have to be a Ham operator to appreciate the message and visuals. A repeating
CW CW CW in Morse
code can be heard in the background. Warning: If you are easily triggered by
a couple "guy" pictures, this video is not for you; please move on...
Maybe I suffer from cranial rectumitis at
the moment, but I'm having a hard time with a statement made in this 1953 issue
of QST magazine about coaxial feedline impedance, to wit, "102-ohm line
(52-ohm lines in series)." I must be missing something because I don't understand
how placing two 52-ohm transmission cables in series results in twice the impedance.
Aside from that, author John Avery presents an interesting article on
dipole antennas. Empirical data is presented on how the feed−point impedance
of a dipole varies with distance above the ground. His results are very close to
theoretical values which assumes non-sagging elements, perfectly linear alignment,
a perfectly conductive ground, etc. He then extended his investigation into 2-wire
(4x impedance) and 3-wire (9x impedance) folded dipole antennas...
In 1942 and throughout the War Years,
Life magazine (and many others) ran many articles promoting industries,
services, organizations, and individuals who contributed toward our ultimate victory.
Of course no one knew for certain that we would prevail in the end, but if it hadn't
turned out that way, it wouldn't have been for lack of effort and sacrifice. Part
of the objective was to inform the populace about how the country was pooling its
resources - physical, labor, and mental - to defeat the Axis Powers that sought
to takeover the world. This particular issue of Life focused on the
chemical industry, with the raw materials and processes used to produce needed
products both for fuel and for the base components of other finished goods. Sulphur,
potassium, and coal mining and processing, along with petroleum, common table salt,
and air and water were some of the most fundamental ingredients of every other item
needed to aid the effort. Ever hear of Ameriopl rubber?