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As is always the case, we've been busy adding plenty of new stuff to Microwaves101. We ain't been slack, Cap'n Walker!



New for July 2021: It's been 100 years since the first radio broadcast sporting event, when accused draft-dodger Jack Dempsey pummeled French war hero Georges Carpentier in Jersey City, witnessed by 80,000 attendees. At 1600 meter wavelength (188 kHz) this AM broadcast would not be picked up on a modern radio. On a tight budget, RCA set up a 3.5 kW transmitter, borrowed from the Navy and moved 160 miles by barge down the Hudson river, and installed a makeshift antenna strung from a clock tower at the Hoboken train station. The broadcast was permitted under a temporary license that was good for only 24 hours. RCA had to string 2.5 miles of cable from Jersey City to Hoboken to pass voice data to the radio station, as rival ATT (owner of all phone lines) did not want the scheme to succeed.  Across the east coast, thousands of radio enthusiasts set up their personal equipment in homes, theaters and auditoriums, and 350,000 people heard the fight of the century on July 2, 1921. Westinghouse's KDKA station in Pittsburgh, the first licensed commercial broadcast station in the US (since November 1920, and still active!) picked up the transmission and rebroadcast it. The box office in Jersey City took in a record $1.5M, and remote ticket sales were donated to the American Committee for Devastated France, an organization founded by, and staffed exclusively by women.  Fight organizer Andy White literally talked into a phone for four hours, describing the action from ringside.  In Hoboken, an RCA employee on the other end of the phone line typed up notes and handed them to another employee, J.O. Smith, to read into the radio microphone.  With maybe a minute of time delay from being "live", he even had a fake bell set up to ring between rounds.  The venue was a huge success, and RCA soon went into the broadcasting business, securing the nation's second commercial broadcast license to serve the New York City area.  J.O Smith went temporarily blind from sitting too close to the transmitter, and when a tube exploded he burned his hand severely when he replaced it to keep the broadcast going. Both Dempsey and Carpentier lived long lives afterwards, and became friends, visiting each other in New York and Paris. Dempsey served in WWII and received an honorable discharge.  Carpentier died in 1975 and Dempsey in 1983. Got 11 minutes? You can watch the entire four-round fight on YouTube.

Your radio history lesson is over, what's new at Microwaves101?

  • We were glad to be a part of IMS2021 live conference in Atlanta. The "Unknown Editor" provides some images of the event.  . 

  • In case you skipped that last link, go there are you will find a contest where you could win a hundred bucks! 

  • A resonator parameter calculator page was contributed by Juan M. O'Callaghan. This contribution will lead you to a site where you can upload an S2P file and determine unloaded Q and other parameters.  We're waiting for an example file, we'll provide an update when we have some data to try it out.

  • We have a new page on embedded resistors, thanks to Tom. Embedded resistors are thin-film process on printed circuit boards.

  • We've fully updated our microwave events calendar.  We note that the last "hybrid" event due to the pandemic is scheduled for September 2021, and conferences all plan to return to fully live after that. Yay!

  • In where-are-they-now land, for this month we have been looking at acquisitions by a new, privately-held company called Quantic.  What do most of the acquirees have in common?  Mostly they were literally Mom and Pop enterprises where the principals had aged out. Examples include Evans Capacitor, Planar Monolithics, Ohmega and Ticer

  • We added "intercom" to our list of portmanteaux. 

  • A history of microwave filters page was added, with inspiration from Roman, who provided the best IEEE paper on this topic, by Cohn and Levy. We have requested permission  from IEEE MTT-S to host that paper on our site.

  • There are some new articles available via the relatively new IEEE publication, IEEE Journal of Microwaves. Unlike most IEEE materials, this is a free publication (you can download the articles even if you are not an IEEE member). As before, articles cover a wide range of topics, including microwave history, spotlights on some microwave pioneers, and much, much more. .

  • We're always fixing typos and making fixes of one kind or another. We fixed our Marchand  balun page thanks to John C. Figure 13, the impedance variation across frequency, was incorrectly annotated.  Notice something not-quite-right? Let us know!

  • Meanwhile, on our discussion board, we've got some questions that need YOUR answers.  The message board seems pretty dead, as it is summer time; it should pick up when students go back to school.  Here's a new question on how to evaluate a Wilkinson resistor by coupling to it.  Pop on over to the discussion board to register and sign in, then chime in on existing threads, or start your own topics. Our new user approval process is quick and anonymous, blocks most bots, and eliminates spam by more than 99%. At least that's what the sales rep told us...

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