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 November 2023... Fifty years ago on November 16, 1973 the fourth and final mission to NASA's Skylab was launched.  The 1970s were a decade of national missteps and apathy, and from that perspective, Skylab 4 did not disappoint.  Three rookie astronauts were sent up for "Skylab 4", a mistake NASA never let happen again.  Snafus included trying to hide space sickness from flight surgeons, gyroscope failure, release of unapproved photos of classified Area 51,  loss of ground communications, overwhelmed and untrained astronauts and the rumor of a "strike" action right after Christmas.  However, Skylab 4 resulted in the longest space mission up till then, at 84 days (broken by Soviet cosmonauts in 1978 but not exceeded by NASA for two decades) and produced the first video taken from space of a solar flare birth. As a coda to the seventies, Skylab fell from orbit in 1979, raining down on the Indian Ocean and Australia.  None of Skylab 4's astronauts travelled to space again and the remaining Saturn IB boosters from the Skylab program were eventually scrapped. 

So, what's new on the Microwaves101 site?

  • Continuing a thread on phase shifter design using Microwave Office, this month's lesson shows how MWO's built-in phase shifter equations are incorrect. The good news is if you used the built-in RMS phase error calculation, you are selling your design short, and you need to update the data sheet.

  • Be sure to download each phase shifter lesson MWO project, they are in our download area. After a few more lessons you will be eligible for a valuable Microwaves101 certificate of participation, which you can pad your resume with!

  • On our where-are-they-now page, this may seem like old news to many, but Cobham is now CAES.  Colorado Engineering was their latest acquisition.

  • We posted a new page on Smith Chart tributes.  Two of the entries were moved off of our original Smith Chart page, but we have a new tribute: Smith Chart bierdeckels, thanks to Jack B!

  • We added three new commandments to our cable care page, thanks to NB!

  • Thanks to his alert grand-daughter, we made an update to our post on Ronald H. Barker, in the Microwaves Hall of Fame. Although he was born in Ireland, his parents moved him to England when he was just a wee lad.  He always considered himself English, and now, so do we.  Thanks to Ms. Barker! 

  • On our free book page we provide a link to a free download on printed circuit board design, which is offered at Microwave Journal's website. We also provide a link to MJ's library of free downloads.  If you see Pat Hindle, tell him to keep up the good work.

  • We have a new member of the Microwaves Hall of Fame, Buehring W. Pike.  He is well known for his studies of the effects of polarization mismatch in an antenna range. We'll follow up with a page on that technical topic next month, after we have time to digest Pike's lab notebook... which we just bought!

  • We have a favor to ask of anyone that cares about the future of this website.  Do you have any thoughts on what would be advantageous or otherwise if we were to enter into another agreement with IEEE MTT-S?  We started a thread about this on our discussion board, we encourage you to jump in and add your thoughts.  Just so you know, we are not rushing into anything, just considering options, and we will be sure to forward your feedback to MTT-S.

  • Also on our discussion board, we've always got some questions that need YOUR answers.  Please try to help out our members... Step it up and go! Here are the newest threads: Let's get to the bottom of how badly those pesky isolation resistors are needed in an SSPA power combiner. Discussion of CST calculating radar cross section. Wire and coax discussion with new thread on material properties of electroless nickel. Looking for a symbol for OMTs for a block diagram. Looks like we have a winner!

Pop on over to the discussion board to register and sign in, then chime in on existing threads, or start your own topics. Our 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.

  • We're always fixing typos and making corrections of one kind or another, mostly whenever one of you eagle-eyed viewers write to tell us when we've made a mistake.  For this month, we fixed some mistakes on our quarterwave tricks page having to do with matching PIN diodes, thanks to Edwin. Thanks to all of our assistant editors out there!

  • As always, we want you to sign up for the MW101Stuff newsletter, or submit a photo for our Microwave Mortuary. We'd love to hear from you, whether you have nice things to say about or just want to tell us how we've ruined your life.‚Äč

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