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Cool Links

Updated December 9, 2012

Before we get into "fun links", here is a short list of web sites that have good microwave engineering content on them.

Microwave-related links

Looking for some defense-related papers that are in public domain? Defense Technical Information Center's website is where you need to go! Be aware that some of the content is a little old. Go there and type L-band digital phase shifter into the search box and see what you get. That 1962 effort using triodes for switch elements is going to be a problem to duplicate...

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/

Progress In Electromagnetics Research (PIER) publishes peer-reviewed original and comprehensive articles on all aspects of electromagnetic theory and applications. You can find quite a few microwave topics there as well. Someone please tell us why there are separate JPIER-B and C and M sites that have to be separately searched?

http://www.jpier.org/PIER/

Antune offers free software for antenna and RF amplifier impedance network design. The software can communicate directly with a VNA, giving real time information on a PC screen with or without virtual impedance networks added. It can calculate optimized L/C networks from given frequency parameters, with no restrictions on target impedance. Just a few types of VNA's are supported, but more will be added upon request. It can also perform common calculations from imported Touchstone files, adding virtual filters, print them or save diagrams in a number of formats such as jpeg/html or back to Touchstone with the virtual network included. Thanks to Alf!

www.antune.net

Looking for used and surplus scientific equipment sales (i.e cheap test equipment?)? Tell Rich at BMI Surplus Inc. that that M101 sent you to his site...

www.bmius.com

Dr. Francesco Fornetti has a website, docfrankie.com, which includes video tutorials on microwave related topics, including lots of information on using Microwave Office:

http://docfrankie.com/index.htm

Datasheetzone is now a sponsor of Microwaves101! They have a variety of RF-related datasheets:

http://www.dz863.com/

Here's some shortcuts to the RF stuff:

RF Transceivers

RF Transformers

RF Front Ends

RF Receivers

Mark Ingalls has a personal site with lots of microwave related info, such as de-embedding, calibration, etc.

https://sites.google.com/site/markwingalls/About

You can find all manner of defense-related papers at the Defense Technical Information Center.

Iulian Rosu hosts an interesting amateur web site with many original technical articles and tons of schematics. Thanks to Tom for pointing it out!

http://www.qsl.net/va3iul/

Here is yet another über-user of Microsoft Excel applying the spreadsheet to RF matching networks... Thanks, Manfred!

Hi microwaves101 engineers, I have developed an EXCEL-spreadsheet which supports matching network designs. You can find it on http://www.maka-fss.de.
May be it is of interest for the community. Comments are appreciated.
(Contact info is on the linked page).

On this site you can download a free tool for plotting S-parameters, thanks to Orla, who resides in Denmark. If you use the tool, he requests your feedback so he can continue to improve it! Here is his description:

I have spent some time making a tool that plots S-parameters in selectable graphs. Nothing big, but much faster than MWO or ADS, and providing the possibility to associate your s2p files to the program, and displaying graphs by double click.

I don't expect to make money on the program, but would really appreciate some feedback. Actually it's made in Visual Express so selling it would be illegal.

Orla's program can be seen (and downloaded) at this web page:

http://www.orlaus.dk/SPARGRAPH.

scikit-rf is an open-source microwave project, being developed by Alex. it used to be called mwavepy. Here's his description:

scikit-rf is a compilation of functions and class's for microwave/RF engineering written in python. It is useful for things such as: Touchstone file manipulation, calibration, data analysis, data acquisition, and plotting. mwavepy can either be used interactively, through the python interpreter, or used in scripts.

http://scikit-rf.org/

What can scikit-rf do ?

  • Load touchstone (.s2p, s?p) files for data processing
  • Provide basic algebraic operations on networks' scattering parameters
  • Cascade 2-port networks
  • De-embed 2-port networks
  • Plot network's scattering parameter data (dB, Phase (unwrapped), Smith chart)
  • Save plots in vector format for publication (a feature of
    matplotlib)
  • 1-port calibration, given any number of standards (least squares)
  • 2-port calibration (svn version) with support for switch-terms.
  • Can be used with pyvisa for instrument control of some VNA's ( partial support for HP8510, HP8720, and R&S ZVA40 )
  • Provide basic TEM transmission line models, and some non-TEM transmission lines (rectangular waveguide)
  • Create analytically based models for networks (good for making custom cal sets and modeling)

On the mightyohm.com web site you can see (among other hacks) a homemade chop saw used for dicing alumina circuits, an amazing accomplishment. Thanks to Drone!

http://mightyohm.com/blog/2009/07/tonys-diamond-chop-saw-part-1/

Here is a cool website for that was suggested by Raghav. Is the largest parametric search engine for RF & Microwave components, try it and you will like it. The website also contains news, links to design articles and information on new products. It also provides numerous links back to Microwaves101 articles, thanks guys!

www.everythingrf.com

While we're building up more content on amplifier design, here's a good link to Queen's University web site that has a lot of information on the topic. Thanks to Sibasis!

Here's a microwave-related web site started by a student at Purdue. It contains a compilation of links to other sites which have been categorized to help you find what you need:

http://www.rfmwdesign.com/

Matweb is a great resource for material properties, check it out!

For those of you interested in frequencies higher than microwaves, check out Timbercon's glossary of fiber optic terms. Currently this site defines over 1,300 items. They have an education section and fiber optic tools as well if you poke around a bit.

http://britneyspears.ac/lasers.htm will teach you some semiconductor physics, accompanied by glamour shots of Britney. It is an interesting combination, and it shouldn't get you in too much trouble with the Thought Police at work. The person that created this web site might someday need ankle bracelets, but not you, you're just learning about semiconductors, right? Thanks to Terry!

http://www.odyseus.nildram.co.uk is an excellent on-line content about microwave design, not a collection of links.

Circuitsage.com offers some Mathcad tools, and a lot of miscellaneous links to other people's notes, even some links that aren't broken!

Barry Brown's VNAhelp.com has some good notes on vector network analyzers bit it's been moved, you can find it on this new site, which has eliminated non-Agilent information (October 2, 2005).

Designersguide.org is run by a couple of ex-Cadence guys. It offers a forum for asking questions on modeling just about anything to do with integrated circuits.

The bad news is that this link no longer works... the "ELECTRONIC WARFARE AND RADAR SYSTEMS ENGINEERING HANDBOOK" is available for your use, courtesy of the US Navy. It has plenty o'stuff of interest to microwave engineers, and you don't have to be an Old Crow to appreciate it. Great stuff on radar. Thanks for the tip, Terry of Oklahoma City! The good news is that we have the document on its own page now!

RFCafe.com is more politically-correct effort than the priceless gem that is Microwaves101.com. RF Cafe's material is mostly linked from other sites on the worldwide web, with an extremely busy web page design that boasts millions of page views. Kirt Blattenberger is the proprietor of this web site, and we hereby offer to arm wrestle him any day for a pint of beer, that is, if he is a real person and not a corporate creation such as Betty Crocker. RFCafe has a fair number of calculators up there, but most don't run in Mozilla Firefox, which really sucks because many of us despise Microsoft Internet Explorer, the proven way to infect your computer with spyware.

Who The Microwave Man?

Speaking of Mozilla Firefox (the official browser of Microwaves101), why not download it right now, for free? Stop supporting Bill Gates, and let someone else have a turn as the world's richest man!

robertcoats.net is the personal web site of Robert Coats, a man with over 50 years experience in microwaves, and a contributor to Microwaves101.com. Excellent site, great pictures, check it out!!!

Daycounter, Inc. has a calculator that analyzes transistor stability and maximum gain, and suggests a suitable conjugate L-matching network for a given load and source impedance of the circuit to which the transistor will be connected. But it analyzes just one frequency at a time, and you have to type in the data. They should have done this as an Excel download. Good luck!

ViPEC is a free linear analysis program with a GUI interface. Sourceforge.net claims that ViPEC analyzes lumped elements as well as physical elements including microstrip and stripline. We haven't had time to try this out yet. Thanks to Don for sharing this link!

If you are looking for free layout software, and cheap circuit boards, look on this page.

Other useful links

Hey, that was a short list! Here's some other links you might find useful, Mr. Big Microwave Guy:

NIST has a big book of math, yours for free. Recently updated!

http://dlmf.nist.gov/

A cool site for engineers on the history of various stuff. http://tingilinde.typepad.com/starstuff/history_of_technology/index.html

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is the U.S. agency devoted to measurements and standards. They have a comprehensive listing of physical constants, searchable at http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Constants/index.html.

Go to the United States Business Partner Network web site http://www.bpn.gov to look up CAGE codes (commercial and government entity) for businesses, Uncle Sam's way of keeping track of everybody. Search on 3MLV7 to find out more about the company that owns Microwaves101.com... yes, they've got it right, this is all about REUPHOLSTERY AND FURNITURE REPAIR! At least they haven't compromised the Unknown Editor's secret identity.

Check out military specifications at this site put up by the U.S. D.A.P.S and D.S.P (the government people who control documents). They call it ASSIST for "acquisition streamlining and standardization information system".

A very cool history-of-physics site: http://www.aip.org/history/esva/

Here's another very cool history site that has to do with strange technology:

http://tingilinde.typepad.com/starstuff/history_of_technology/index.html

Here's the American Institute of Physics very cool web site on the history of physics.

Be like Gilligan and give them each a Three Hour Tour!

Think you've got a new idea? Check to see if someone else had it first by looking on the U.S. Patent Office web site. It seems like every month we get a request to put a link to someone's patent download site. We have one word for all of you would-be entrepreneurial parasites: Google. No one is going to join your web site and get spammed now that they can download pdfs of patents including images on Google. Game over, Dudes! Maybe instead you should buy a Carvel franchise. Fat people always gotta eat!

Want to track an overnight shipment on any carrier? Check out:

http://shipping.langenberg.com/

Need an area code?

http://www.allareacodes.com/

Need a Zip code?

http://www.unitedstateszipcodes.org/

Those last two links were thanks to Linda.

Like a little light reading? Most military specs are available here:
http://www.dscc.dla.mil/Programs/MilSpec/DocSearch.asp

Fun links (no possible microwave use whatsoever!!!)

Want to learn about music from the Furry Leader? Check out Matt the Cat's Friday Night Cat Fight! Vote for your favorite versions of familiar tunes. Thank for entertaining us all, Matt!

For a great account of how to get rid of pesky telephone salepeople, check out this web site! OK, you have to click the flag to translate it to English... just keep repeating, 'we do not use... (insert product name)".

Here's a link that will tell you what info web sites such as Microwaves101 can pull from your browser when you "anonymously" surf our pages: http://www.internetfrog.com/. You can also check your uplink and downlink speeds and see if you are getting your money's worth on that new DSL connection!

Remember when Nasa promised us "faster, cheaper, better" stuff? Here is a Canadian video about Lockheed's satellites, which are more accurately described as "Dumb and Dumber!

It is possible to generate a random "corporate-speak" memo using a lava lamp? Click here and try it out!

Do you hate the "successories" posters that executives hang in the conference room, with banal claptrap such as "Success is formed when principles are hammered and forged on the anvil of excellence?" This stuff makes real engineers puke. Funny thing, the successories web site has a "clearance rack" for stuff they produced that was less than successful... It's good to know that parodies of these posters are available at Dispair.com! For example, "if you want to get to the top, prepare to kiss a lot at the bottom".

If you work at a big company, your motto might be "towards man's capacity for maximum effort to achieve minimal gain". Check out Rube Goldberg's site!

Like the Unknown Editor, are you interested in obscure bits of history? How about a book about the Ninth Air Force? Many books describe the Eight Air Force strategic bombing runs, the Ninth was the tactical air command that supported our troops on the ground using Mustangs, Marauders, Lightnings and Black Widows! Check out well-known travel author Harry A. Franck's long-lost book describing his Winter Journey following the U. S. airmen as they pounded the crap out of Nazi Germany in 1945!


Handsome Harry

KNON 89.3 FM North Texas radio's web site has some awesome Texas R&B, Texas blues and Texas dancehall music that you can download for free, or you can connect to their internet radio station! Be a sport and pledge a few bucks to buy one of their CDs. Power to the people!


KNON's White House



 
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