Interconnect Advances Fuel Technology Growth
By Orwill Hawkins, Vice President of Marketing, LadyBug Technologies

With increased frequencies, higher data rates, and lower noise levels, the microwave industry serves as a leader in technological capability. Demand for quality interconnects has increased right along with other higher-performance areas in the industry.


Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue

Another Sad Moment For the FCC
By Barry Manz

A significant number of rooftop antenna sites owned primarily by wireless carriers exceed FCC public and occupational exposure limits, make it impossible for workers to avoid standing in front of antennas, and are inadequately posted with warnings and barriers. The people who measure RF radiation levels at broadcast and wireless sites have known this for years.

Now a lot more people are getting the message, and it’s put the FCC (already smarting from the LightSquared debacle) in the position of trying to explain why it isn’t enforcing its own rules in the case of wireless carriers, all the while regularly nicking broadcasters for trivial infractions like not announcing their call sign at the top of the hour. Not a single fine has been levied by FCC against a wireless carrier for exceeding the limits.

The issue came to light last month when a group called the EM Radiation Policy Group sent out a press release announcing the results of work it had conducted to “unimpeachably” show that these problems exist, that the FCC ignores them, and that perhaps, just perhaps, it was because wireless carriers are good customers. That is, wireless carriers have added tens of billions of dollars to federal government coffers by buying the one thing the FCC has to offer: spectrum.

To provide proof of their accusations, the group paid a veteran RF radiation measurement specialist to test rooftop sites in 23 states, quickly finding more than 100 that were exceeding the limits (among other things) by up to 600%. It has posted videos on YouTube and its own Web site of rooftop installations, screen shots of instruments showing RF levels up to 600% above the standard, voice conversations with the FCC and wireless carriers, and the results of the group’s efforts to address the more than 100 complaints it has filed concerning specific sites (none of which, according to the group, the FCC has ever responded to). Some of the conversations would actually be funny if the issue wasn’t about safety.

The issue of whether or not non-ionizing radiation causes brain tumors, cancer, changes genetic structures, and a host other maladies has been around for decades and remains as contentious, politically charged, and odious as ever. The answer to the issue is that there is no answer, as “proof” would take long-term studies in man. The only undisputed fact is that microwave energy causes tissue heating, as anyone who owns a microwave oven can attest.

But that’s not the real issue here, which is that the FCC has rules and it doesn’t enforce them or enforces them selectively. These rules are designed to ensure that workers and the public are not exposed to high levels of RF radiation. The public and workers must be warned of and restricted from access to sites at which RF radiation levels are present. Every entity whose transmission equipment or industrial environment in which RF energy is present must ensure RF safety is maintained. The rules are extremely detailed largely agree with those of national and international standards bodies.

"Coincidentally", the FCC announced on March 29 that it is reviewing of its rules covering exposure limits to RF emissions from radio transmitters. The review is an effort to ensure FCC rules comply with the agency’s “environmental responsibilities and requirements,” and ensure that the public is protected from adverse effects of RF exposure. One goal is to reevaluate test methods and another is to essentially determine whether the cost of complying with the rules is commensurate with the perceived danger. However, even if the commission overhauls some of its rules, it won’t make any difference if it cannot or will not enforce them.

Barry Manz is a contributing editor to Microwave Product Digesting can be reached at



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MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest

The Design of Ultra Narrowband Amplifiers Using Small-Signal Varactor Upconverters
This paper presents a method of realizing tunable microwave amplifiers with ultra narrow bandwidths that can be less than 0.5% by the use of a varactor up-converter (UC).
Planar Monolithics

Directivity and VSWR Measurements
Return loss and VSWR measurements are complicated by the finite performance of the directional device used to measure the reflected power. The only accurate and convenient way to make return loss measurements is with a well matched high directivity directional coupler or bridge.
Marki Microwave

Switch Solutions for Systems with Low PIM Requirements
Dow-Key Microwave has invested in R&D for new RF switch products designed specifically to reduce intermodulation (IM) in coaxial switches.
Dow-Key Microwave

How to Specify RF and Microwave Filters
Covers cavity, ceramic, LC, crystal and helical filters.
Anatech Electronics

Mounting Considerations for Medium Power Surface-Mount RF Devices
Covers all factors that must be considered when mounting SMT devices.
TriQuint Semiconductor

Biasing MMIC Amplifiers
How to bias MMICs along with theory and techniques.

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