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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


For Today’s Telecom Boom, Thank Judge Green Barry Manz
In 1982, telecommunications in the U.S. changed forever when U.S. District Court Judge Harold Greene ruled in United States vs. AT&T that the industry was a monopoly. Like smashing an ice cube, this single action created seven regional holding companies within which were 22 Bell local operating companies along with AT&T, which retained Bell Laboratories. Judge Greene’s ruling, his first case after taking the bench was, to say the least, a monument in anti-trust litigation, but is also largely responsible for today’s booming telecommunications industry.

The Results Are In: Ham Radio is Healthy Barry Manz
A few years back I wrote an editorial in which I bemoaned the fact that thanks to the effortless ability to communicate virtually anywhere by picking up the phone (wired or wireless), fewer young people were interested in communicating via the ether, and amateur radio in general was not growing. This went over like a lead balloon with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which refuted my claim by providing statistics proving just the opposite. And they were right; it was growing, albeit slowly. So I was wrong and they were right, although I received 29 emails, some of which were several hundred words long, agreeing that it was indeed difficult to get today’s youth interested in amateur radio.

Wireless in 2014: The Industry at Mid-Year Barry Manz
As members of the RF and microwave industry make their annual pilgrimage to IMS 2014 (this year in Tampa), I offer my opinion on the industry’s overall health at mid-year. Fortunately, it appears that it’s going to be hot in Tampa in more ways than one. Just how hot depends on many factors, many of them company-specific, so there’s no single answer to “How’s business?” Nevertheless, a realistic approach with this blog is to look at key markets in the wireless industry.

DAS and the Wild West Barry Manz
If you’ve been following the progress of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and small cells and find yourself with more questions than answers you’re not alone. Many very knowledgeable people I speak with on this topic find it difficult to define with any certainty precisely what is going on in this environment.

5G: Coming Sooner than Later Barry Manz
Now that most of us have smartphones with LTE capability, life is good. Video streams nicely, downloads are quick, and if you happen to be standing next to a base station data rates can be truly impressive. It won’t be long before LTE Advanced shoves LTE aside with data rates 10 times faster, which means we will be able to download HD movies very quickly and do virtually anything else almost instantly. That however, is apparently not enough for the wireless industry, if developments in South Korea and the European Union are any indication.

The “Death of the Downconverter”? Not Just Yet Barry Manz
The impact of converting analog signals to digital form is one of the greatest advances the electronics industry has ever achieved. Although today almost every consumer, industrial, commercial, and military system depends on this capability, one of the last remaining outliers is directly converting analog signals at microwave frequencies into digital data streams without using large amounts of intervening microwave hardware (i.e., downconverters).

When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Shines Barry Manz
Let’s face it: When it comes to communicating, we’re spoiled. We can talk, text, or e-mail nearly anyone we want whenever we want, by simply picking up the phone -- be it wired or wireless. But ham radio can work when nothing else can get through.

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