## Introduction to Coaxial Cable Losses

Courtesy of Pasternack : Coaxial Cable Losses

Coaxial cable transfers radio frequency power from one point to another and, in the ideal world, the same amount of power would transfer along the cable to the remote end of the coax cable. However, real world conditions include some power loss along the length of the cable. Loss, or attenuation, is one of the most important features to look for when deciding what type of coaxial cable to use in a design.  Loss is defined by decibels per unit length and at a given frequency. Thus, the longer the coaxial cable, the greater the loss. Loss is also frequency dependent, generally increasing with frequency, but the loss is not necessarily linearly dependent upon the frequency. Power loss occurs in a variety of ways:

Resistive loss

Resistive losses within the coaxial cable occur when the resistance of the conductors and the current flowing in the conductors results in heat being dissipated. Skin effect limits the area through which the current flows, which leads to increased resistive losses as the frequency rises. To reduce the level of resistive loss, the conductive area is increased resulting in larger low-loss cables. Also, multi-stranded conductors are often used.  Resistive losses generally increase as the square root of frequency.

Dielectric loss

Dielectric loss is signal energy dissipated as heat within the insulating dielectric of a cable, but is independent of the size of the coaxial cable. Dielectric losses increase linearly with frequency, and the resistive losses normally dominate at lower frequencies and. As resistive losses increase as the square root of frequency and dielectric losses increase linearly, the dielectric losses dominate at higher frequencies.

Radiated loss in a coaxial cable is usually much less than resistive or dielectric losses, however poorly a constructed outer braid on some coaxial cables may yield a relatively high radiated loss. Radiated power, problematic in terms of interference, occurs when signal energy passing through the transmission line is radiated outside of the cable. Leakage from a cable carrying a feed from a high power transmitter may produce interference in sensitive receivers located close to the coax cable or a cable being used for receiving can pick up interference if it passes through an electrically noisy environment. To reduce radiated loss or interference, double or triple screened coaxial cables are designed to reduce the levels of leakage to very low levels.

Of these forms of loss, radiated loss is generally the less concerning as only a very small amount of power is generally radiated from the cable. Thus, most of the focus on reducing loss is placed onto the conductive and dielectric losses, except in certain applications.

Loss over Time

Loss or attenuation of coaxial cables tends to increases over time as a result of flexing and moisture in the cable. Although SOME coax cables are flexible, the level of loss or attenuation will increase if the RF cable is bent sharply or if there is a disruption to the braid or screen. Contamination of the braid by the plasticisers in the outer sheath or moisture penetration can affect both the braid where it causes corrosion and the dielectric where the moisture will tend to absorb power. Often, coax cables that use either bare copper braid or tinned copper braid experience more degradation than those with the more expensive silver plated braids. Although foam polyethylene provides a lower level of loss or attenuation when new, it absorbs moisture more readily than the solid dielectric types. Cables with solid dielectric polyethylene are more suited to environments where the level of loss needs to remain constant or where moisture may be encountered. Even though RF coaxial cables are enclosed in a plastic sheath, many of the plastics used allow some moisture to enter thus, for applications where moisture may be encountered, specialized cables should be used to avoid performance degradation.

## Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 USB Dongle

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : USB Dongle based on nRF52840

Just got your nRF52 Dongle? Click here to get started.

The nRF52840 Dongle is a small, low-cost USB dongle for Bluetooth® low energy, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary applications using the nRF52840 SoC. The Dongle is the perfect target hardware for use with nRF Connect for Desktop as it is low-cost but still support all the short range wireless standards used with Nordic devices. The dongle has been designed to be used as a wireless HW device together with nRF Connect for Desktop. For other use cases please do note that there is no debug support on the Dongle, only support for programming the device and communicating through USB.

It is supported by most of the nRF Connect for Desktop apps and will automatically be programmed if needed. In addition custom applications can be made and downloaded to the Dongle. It has a user programable RGB LED, a green LED, a user programmable button as well as 15 GPIO accessible from castellated solder points along the edge. Example applications are available in the nRF5 SDK under the board name PCA10059.

The nRF52840 Dongle is supported by nRF Connect for Desktop as well as programming through nRFUtil.

FEATURES

• Low cost USB dongle supporting Bluetooth low energy, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz
• 15 GPIO and interfaces available on castellated edge soldering points
• 1 Programmable RGB LED
• 1 Programmable green LED
• 1 Programmable Button
• Updatable through USB DFU

CONTENT

• 1 x nRF52840 Dongle

SUPPORTED PRODUCTS/COMPLEMENTARY

 Part # Description nRF52840 Multi-protocol Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth Low Energy/ANT/802.15.4/2.4GHz RF SoC nRF5 SDK Software Development Kit for nRF51 and nRF52 Series nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee Software Development Kit for the Thread and Zigbee solutions on the nRF52840 SEGGER Embedded Studio IDE A powerful and easy to use toolbox for developers S140 Bluetooth 5 20-link protocol stack

ORDERING CODES

 Part # Description nRF52840-Dongle USB Dongle based on nRF52840

Courtesy of Tibbo : Tibbit® Blocks

Tibbits (as in “Tibbo Bits”) are blocks of prepackaged I/O functionality housed in brightly colored rectangular shells. Tibbits are subdivided into Modules and Connectors.

Want an ADC? There is a Tibbit Module for this. 24V power supply? Got that! RS232/422/485 port? We have this, and many other Modules, too.

Same goes for Tibbit Connectors. DB9 Tibbit? Check. Terminal block? Check. Infrared receiver/transmitter? Got it. Temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors? On the list of available Tibbits as well!

Tibbits are divided into Modules (“M” devices) and Connectors (“C” devices). There are also Hybrid (“H”) Tibbits that are a cross between Modules and Connectors.

Tibbits are an integral part of our Tibbo Project System. They plug into Tibbo Project PCBs (TPPs) and fit our Tibbo Project Box (TPB) enclosures.

M1 “Narrow” Tibbit Modules

M1 Tibbits are single-width modules occupying one Tibbo Module socket on a Tibbo Project PCB (TPP). Their footprint is roughly 7 x 14 “squares” (one “square” is 2.54 x 2.54 mm or 100 x 100 mil).

M1 devices have four I/O lines for interfacing with the outside world. We found four to be the magic number. It’s just right for a wide variety of I/O functions.

M1s can be short (M1S) or tall (M1T). Most M1 devices fit into “short” 12.5mm shells, selected few are 17.5mm “tall.”

Each M1 Module’s color tells you if it is an…

M2 “Wide” Tibbit Modules

M2 Tibbits are double-width modules occupying two standard Tibbit Module sockets on a Tibbo Project PCB. They are roughly 14 x 14 “squares.”

With double the size comes the doubled internal space and I/O capacity. M2s have eight I/O lines. They are used for “grander things” that just wouldn’t fit into the M1 form factor.

Like M1s, M2 devices can be short (M2S) or tall (M2T).

The color coding scheme is the same:

C1 “Narrow” Tibbit Connectors

C1 devices are single-width Tibbit Connectors. On a Tibbo Project PCB they occupy one standard Tibbo Connector socket and install in front of Tibbit Modules. C1s have the equal width and height with M1T devices.

Some C1s are really just connectors of the power jack, terminal block, etc. variety. Others “sense” the outside world: they measure temperature, humidity, vibration, and so on.

C1 Tibbits are always orange.

C2 “Wide” Tibbit Connectors

With double the width of C1s, C2 Tibbits are wide enough to house DB9 connectors and 9-row terminal block banks.

On a Tibbo Project PCB they occupy two standard Tibbo Connector sockets and install in front of Tibbit Modules. C2s have the equal width and height with M2T devices.

C2 Tibbits are always orange.

H1 “Hybrid” Tibbits

H1 Tibbits are merged M1T and C1 devices. They occupy the combined space of one M1 and one C1 Tibbit.

The H1 form factor is used when it is unsafe or undesirable to interconnect M1 and C1 Tibbits via a Tibbo Project PCB. Examples of such cases are high-voltage and high-frequency (radio) circuits.

H2 “Hybrid” Tibbits

H2 Tibbits are merged M2T and C2 devices. They occupy the combined space of one M2 and one C2 module.

The H2 form factor is used when it is unsafe or undesirable to interconnect M2 and C2 Tibbits via a Tibbo Project PCB. Examples of such cases are high-voltage and high-frequency (radio) circuits.

## Taoglas GW.11.A113

Courtesy of everything RF : Taoglas GW.11.A113

The GW.11.A113 from Taoglas is a Antenna with Frequency 2.4 GHz, Gain 1.8 dBi, Power 1 W, Operating Temperature -20 to 65 Degree C, Storage Temperature -30 to 75 Degree C. Tags: Dipole. More details for GW.11.A113 can be seen below.

### Product Details

• Part Number : GW.11.A113
• Manufacturer : Taoglas
• Description : 2.4GHz, 1.8dBi Screw mount Dipole Antenna

### General Parameters

• Type : Dipole
• Directionality : Omni-Directional
• Polarization : Linear, Vertical
• Frequency : 2.4 GHz
• Cable : RG-178
• Gain : 1.8 dBi
• Power : 1 W
• Industry : WiFi / Bluetooth / ZigBee
• Mounting : Connector Mount
• Connectors : SMA, SMA – Male
• Length : 84 mm
• Operating Temperature : -20 to 65 Degree C
• Storage Temperature : -30 to 75 Degree C
• RoHS : Yes

## Wearable assistive technology employs Bluetooth Low Energy to connect muscle EMG sensors to wirelessly control paired devices

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Wearable assistive technology employs Bluetooth Low Energy to connect muscle EMG sensors to wirelessly control paired devices

Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC provides wireless connectivity for Control Bionics’ ‘NeuroNode’, enabling users suffering paralysis and loss of speech to control devices via electromyography

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Control Bionics, a Milford (Cincinnati), Ohio-based developer of wearable electromyography (EMG) devices, has specified Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) in its ‘NeuroNode’ device.

According to Control Bionics, the NeuroNode is the world’s first wearable EMG assistive technology device, giving those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also known as motor neurone disease (MND)—or any other condition causing paralysis and/or loss of speech the ability to communicate with family, friends, caregivers, and clinicians.

In operation, a small, non-invasive, medical-grade wireless sensor is placed on the skin over the muscle chosen to be the ‘switch’. When the user attempts to move that muscle, the NeuroNode interprets the signals sent from the brain to the muscle—even if there is no visible muscle movement—and uses those EMG signals to control the user’s paired computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Supported by the Nordic SoC, the NeuroNode system essentially functions as a wireless keyboard by connecting via the Bluetooth LE link to the user’s compatible device equipped with iOS/OSx, Android, or Windows. The NeuroNode works with most popular assistive scanning software such as Apple Switch Control and Google Switch Access.

By using the NeuroNode users with a disability are able to send and receive emails and text messages, play games, access social media, watch and download online entertainment, use environmental control systems, and operate external devices.

The NeuroNode uses a rechargeable LIR2032 battery, which has the same footprint as the common CR2023 battery but enables a substantially higher discharge current. The device is five times smaller than the NeuroSwitch (Control Bionics’ legacy EMG assistive communications device) and cuts power consumption by approximately 75 percent, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the nRF52832 SoC, which has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system.

Control Bionics has also developed an iOS companion app, the ‘NeuroNode Controller’, which allows the user and clinician to customize the NeuroNode to match the user’s abilities. The customized parameters are then saved to the NeuroNode for use with other platforms making it suitable for connection to a host of other devices via Bluetooth LE.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dBm RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM.

The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.

“The availability of Nordic’s SoftDevice for Bluetooth radio management, along with the bootloader, meant we could concentrate on developing our application,” says James Schorey, Chief Technology Officer at Control Bionics.

“Our peers had said positive things about the support offered by Nordic, and that support has turned out to be superb. For example, when we were ready to apply for our FCC certification and we needed software to turn the NeuroNode into a generic 2.4GHz radio for the testing laboratory, Nordic provided a ready-made solution with online support that allowed us to take the radio test software and easily adapt it to our product.”

## Making sense of the wearable market

Courtesy of u-blox : wearable market

The wearable market is undergoing a rapid evolution, which is driving innovation and influencing the time‑to‑market. From a usage experience, main drivers are fashion and personality choices that in turn drive requirements on form factor and usability. Further, monetization is moving from the device to services and thus driving big data / cloud analytics, a total ecosystem which is defined as the Internet of Things (IoT).

### Health

There’s a saying, “sitting is the new smoking”, implying health risks for those who don’t exercise. We see companies issuing health insurance to push their customers to be more physically active in order to lower the risk of future health problems. In the wearable industry, activity devices are already being used to encourage the user to be more active, and there is growing interest in using data to support the reduction of insurance premiums for active users. This trend is to a large extent driven by companies that are supporting the premiums of their employees. In these cases, enterprise programs are launched and each employee gets an activity tracker “for free”. With these trackers, they are incentivized to be more active and the company can then save costs on the insurance premiums plus benefit from a healthier staff.

### Fashion

The first generation of tech wearables was focused on function rather than fashion. Today, this is no longer the case, and fashion tech is here to stay. Wearables have become fashionable accessories in a range of styles, screens / no screens, material, and more. Wearables have been identified by fashion brands, OEMs, and watch makers as a growth area, and therefore, strategic investments are made to sustain this growth. Examples already underway include Fossil buying Misfit and HTC partnering with Under Armor. We see key watch brands (such as Casio, Citizen, Alpina) following this trend by integrating smart electronics in their products.

### Social

Not only has it become trendy to be fit and track your progress on your own, but today we want to share our achievements after the exercise. A brand that recognized this upcoming trend already a few years back was GoPro when they introduced their action camera slogan “You’re the Hero”. Hence, products that track your physical performance results are required – not only for the sake of knowing the performance, but to actually show the world how good you are and to compare your performance with that of your peers.

### User interface

We will also see significant changes to the user interface of wearables. Wearable technology users want to interact with the device via speech or even via image recognition. The devices thus need to evolve technically to satisfy the growing needs for interactivity with our personal senses.

### Tracking

Wearables fit very nicely with our growing need for precise tracking of the whereabouts of our loved ones, while also offering educational and interactive content. The elderly, kids and pets can be fitted with real‑time accurate location tracking devices with convenient safety zone settings. For instance, Korean KIWI PLUS’ smartwatch offers such capabilities.

### Time management

By enriching the experience and meeting desires to optimize our lives around the clock, we see new trends in the on‑the‑go‑lifestyle time management. With the influx of wearable tech devices we gain insight on how to keep our lives on track.

### Connectivity

Not only do we want to control our time, but also our everyday communication from emails and phone calls, or interact with our surroundings, such as the smart home. Intelligent wearables such as smart watches give us new connectivity tools that are ready when we are.

### Augmented reality

The possibility to interact with a device for pleasure or enhanced virtual experience is a fascinating new trend; the Pokémon GO fever in 2016 clearly showed how we want to be on the go and experience new worlds. Augmented reality can change how we interact with the world around us – from location sensing personalized messages to personal interaction.

## Nordic-powered sensor enables lighting manufacturers to deliver Bluetooth mesh networking to the professional lighting sector

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Nordic-powered sensor enables lighting manufacturers to deliver Bluetooth mesh networking to the professional lighting sector

The ‘Fixture-Integrated Sensor’ from Murata can be integrated into a wide range of luminaires, allowing users to configure and control lighting network from a smartphone

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Murata has released its ‘Fixture-Integrated Sensor’ for the professional lighting sector, employing Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide wireless mesh networking between individual sensors, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphones and tablets which offer a single point from where the sensors can be commissioned, configured, and controlled.

The ‘Fixture-Integrated Sensor’ combines occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, and 0-10V dimming control in a compact form factor, and can be integrated into a wide range of new or existing luminaires, enabling lighting manufacturers to deliver wirelessly-controllable and sensor-equipped lighting fixtures with minimal RF engineering expertise. The sensor employs Bluetooth mesh software which enables users to instantly and simultaneously control up to hundreds of Bluetooth mesh-equipped lights from smartphones or tablets.

Once installed, the luminaires just need to be connected to mains power and can then be provisioned (“commissioned”), configured, and controlled directly from a mobile device using either smart-light maker Silvair’s iOS ‘Platform’ or Nordic’s iOS and Android ‘nRF Mesh’ intuitive apps. The nRF Mesh app, for example, enables a range of management features for use in Bluetooth mesh networks, allowing simple provision and configuration of Bluetooth mesh networks and devices. Either app allows the user to create lighting zones, enable and disable sensors, pair with switches, as well as set desired lighting levels.

Bluetooth mesh allows devices within a Bluetooth LE network to communicate directly with companion devices without recourse to a central hub device. Such a system extends communication range, flexibility, and reliability. Key applications for Bluetooth mesh include professional lighting installations, back-ends for managed beacons, and industrial monitoring.

Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC is a powerful multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF52832 combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex™ M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dBm RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC’s powerful processor and generous memory can support the sensor’s complex mesh software, while the radio’s sensitivity ensures good range.

The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.

“We selected Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC because of the capabilities of the Arm processor and the large memory capacity,” says Takeshi Sato, General Manager of IoT Business Promotion Department, Murata. “The availability of technical information from Nordic is also impressive.”

## Taoglas Torpedo AQHA.11.A Active GNSS External Permanent Mount Antenna

Courtesy of Taoglas : Taoglas Torpedo AQHA.11.A Active GNSS External Permanent Mount Antenna

• GPS / GLONASS / GALILEO / BeiDou / L Band
• Wide Input Voltage Range
• Dual-Stage LNA
• IP67 Rated
• 92.5 D x 120mm H
• RoHS Compliant

The Taoglas Torpedo AQHA.11 GNSS quadrifilar helix antenna is a high-performance GNSS L1 antenna for demanding GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou / Galileo applications. Its wide bandwidth allows maximum coverage of the main global satellite constellations. The wide axial ratio beamwidth of the quad-helix provides excellent reception and signal fidelity across the sky, reducing multipath effects, all while seeing more low elevation satellites compared to patch antenna designs.

Typical Applications

• Timing
• Precision Positioning
• Telematics
• Autonomous Routing

The AQHA.11 is provided with a dual-stage combined front-end, which provides high rejection, low noise figure, and excellent gain. The amplifiers accept a wide input voltage range of 2 to 24V and requires low current (10mA typical). The quad-helix AQHA.11 is ready for outdoor industrial and commercial usage with full -40 to +85°C temperature rating and IP67 ingress protection rating.

## New Marki T3 MMICs Dominate Dynamic Range

Courtesy of Marki Microwave : New Marki T3 MMICs Dominate Dynamic Range

The Two Tone Terminator mixer has been the world’s highest dynamic range mixer across the broadest bandwidth since being introduced in 2006. Since 2013 Marki Microwave has offered small form factor chip style double balanced mixers such as the Microlithic® and MMIC lines of mixers that cover from 1 GHz to 67 GHz. Now Marki is proud to introduce the new MT3 line of small form factor, high linearity mixers. These integrated mixers offer the high linearity (IP3, P1dB, spurious suppression) and low conversion loss of the T3, but with the size and production scaling benefits of a MMIC.

The MT3H-0113HSM is a triple balanced passive diode mixer offering high dynamic range, low conversion loss, and excellent repeatability. As with all T3 mixers, this mixer offers unparalleled nonlinear performance in terms of IIP3, P1dB, and spurious performance with a flexible LO drive requirement from +16 dBm to +24 dBm. RF, LO, and IF ports are all operated single ended due to integrated baluns. The MT3H-0113HSM is available in a 4x4mm QFN, or in an SMA connectorized evaluation fixture. The MT3H-0113HSM is a superior alternative to Marki Microwave carrier and packaged T3 mixers.

## Pasternack Launches Phase Locked Oscillators in Six Single Output Frequencies between 50 MHz to 6000 MHz

Courtesy of Pasternack : Phase Locked Oscillators in Six Single Output Frequencies between 50 MHz to 6000 MHz

New Phase Locked Oscillators Support External Frequency References and Deliver Exceptional Phase Noise Performance

IRVINE, Calif. – Pasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, has unveiled a new line of phase locked oscillators (PLO) that deliver accurate and stable output frequencies with low phase noise and spurious performance, making them ideal for use in radar and other exciter or frequency generation applications. Typical applications include phase locked loops, frequency synthesizers function generators and as a local oscillator source in receiver and transmitter stages.

Pasternack’s 20 new phase locked oscillator models are offered with popular fixed output frequencies of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 6000 MHz. Typical performance for these PLOs includes excellent phase noise of -105 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset, a buffered output power level of +7 dBm and low second harmonic and spurious suppression levels of -25 dBc and -70 dBc respectively. They require an external frequency reference of either 10 MHz or 100 MHz and feature a TTL lock detect output to signal an out-of-lock condition.

These phase locked oscillator models are RoHS compliant and operate over the full temperature range of -30°C to +70°C. They require a single positive DC voltage supply are available in either SMA-connectorized or compact surface mount or packages. SMA-connectorized packages are nickel-plated with DC bias and signal pins and an integrated mounting baseplate. Surface mount packages feature gold over nickel mounting surfaces with downloadable Gerber file software for the mounting footprint. These PLOs are built to be rugged and withstand stringent MIL-STD-202 environmental test conditions for shock and vibration.

“Our new, comprehensive line of phase locked oscillators provides designers with a variety of popular fixed output frequencies that are stable and accurate. These 20 innovative designs are key components for many navigation, surveillance, communication or test and measurement systems,” said Tim Galla, Product Manager.

Pasternack’s phase locked oscillators are in stock and ready for immediate shipment with no minimum order quantity. For detailed information on these products, please visit https://www.pasternack.com/pages/rf-microwave-and-millimeter-wave-products/phase-locked-oscillators-(plo)-with-external-references.html. For inquiries, Pasternack can be contacted at +1-949-261-1920.

A leader in RF products since 1972, Pasternack is an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer and supplier offering the industry’s largest selection of active and passive RF, microwave and millimeter wave products available for same-day shipping. Pasternack is an Infinite Electronics company.

Press Contact:

Peter McNeil
Pasternack
17792 Fitch
Irvine, CA 92614
(978) 682-6936 x1174