Technology



The Communications Research Group at the University of Hull graciously invited me to speak on the subject of “Near-Field Wireless Technology.” My hosts inform me that the seminar will start with refreshments, posters and informal discussion from 2.00pm with a 2.30pm start for the main seminar. We should finish about […]

Near-Field Wireless Technology



One fun aspect of working in a new technology is the harder you work, the better performance gets. The performance of Q-Track’s Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging indoor location systems just got even better. Bob DePierre and I started off in the ultrawideband (UWB) industry years ago – I designed antennas, and […]

Through Wall Indoor Location


Another of my favorite YouTube Channels is The Engineer Guy. Chemical engineer, Bill Hammack, is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his team produce short, remarkably informative videos on a wide range of interesting topics. Here are a few of my favorites: Bill details the […]

The Engineer Guy on YouTube



Given a decent view of the sky, a GPS receiver can determine your latitude and longitude to a high degree of accuracy as good as a meter or so. But what if the latitude and longitude themselves are in error? That’s the problem faced by the continent of Australia. Every […]

How Science Misplaced Australia


Steven Dufresne at Hackaday has another great piece up on the history of the capacitor, from the spark gap days, to the present. One such practical use was in Marconi’s wireless spark-gap transmitters starting just before 1900 and into the first and second decade. The transmitters built up a high […]

More History of the Capacitor



There’s a new browser in town: Brave. It’s in beta release, so I downloaded it to try it out. The business model is fascinating. Brave pledges to strip malicious or tracking advertisements from the websites you browse and replace them with different ads. Participating websites would get a piece of […]

Brave Browser – Clean, Fast, But Needs Work


I just had to share this remarkable optical illusion. The video shows real objects that look like square cylinders from one perspective and like circular cylinders from the other. Interested in how it works? Here’s another video revealing the secret of this clever design.

Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion



The Apollo 11 moon landing was a much more dramatic affair than might be inferred from the calmly professional dialogue between the astronauts and Mission Control. Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), piloting the lunar module, Eagle, saw the auto-pilot aiming Eagle toward a boulder-strewn field adjacent to a large crater. “Certainly not […]

Neil Armstrong Narrates: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Video




Simon Ramon (1913-2016) died June 27, in Santa Monica, California. The 103-year-old left behind a legacy of RF, intellectual, and business achievement. A pioneer in the development of microwave and radar technology, he was the “R” in TRW, a predecessor of which he co-founded in 1953. Ramo became the architect […]

RF Engineer, Author, and Entrepreneur, Simon Ramo, Dead at 103


It’s a rite of passage for STEM majors – the lights dim and the flickering frames of the classic 1940 newsreel fill the screen. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge oscillates wildly before finally collapsing. Here’s the video: Now it turns out that the original video was modified at an incorrect frame […]

New Look at The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse



Five years ago this week, tornadoes swept through the Huntsville, Alabama area. Today, I look back on the disaster by reposting my May 30, 2011 account of how my family,  business, and community fared: “ÆtherCzar is Back, Reporting on the North Alabama Tornadoes.” I have updated the post to remove […]

Remembering the Tornado Outbreak of April 27, 2011


One great challenge in parenting is finding worthwhile educational videos. My kids prefer the zany antics of Phineas and Ferb to most anything with a wiff of being educational. That’s why I’m delighted to have found a great series that combines education with engaging entertainment for the whole family. How […]

How We Got to Now – Great Science for the Whole Family




I will be presenting a Lunch-N-Learn seminar to the Joint Communications, Antennas & Propagation, and Microwave Theory and Techniques (JCAM) Chapter of the Huntsville Section of the IEEE this Wednesday, August 19, at 11:15 am to 12:45 pm. Lunch (Chicken Tenders) will be served, courtesy of our hosts at Technology […]

Energy Flow in Reactive Fields



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The Providence Journal has a fascinating piece on the little known story of domestic radio surveillance during WWII. The Intelligence Division of the FCC selected several sites in the U.S. to set up monitoring stations to listen for enemy spies. A wartime short movie featured the radio surveillance effort. The […]

Monitoring Rommel’s Afrika Corps from Rhode Island


SafeSpot™ systems make busy workplaces safer by warning pedestrians and forklift drivers of potential collisions. The system triggers a warning around blind corners if a forklift-forklift or forklift-pedestrian collision is imminent. Q-Track’s innovative system employs near-field electromagnetic ranging to detect proximity of forklifts and passive IR to detect pedestrians. Workers […]

Innovative Forklift Safety Product Now Available



One benefit of working at Q-Track is the opportunity to collaborate with talented people for whom  radio is a passion, not just a profession. This past weekend, my Q-Track colleague, Mark Brown [N4BCD], participated in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) “Field Day.” The weekend-long exercise tests the ability of […]

Amateur Radio Field Day


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Near-field wireless technology is an emerging area of great importance in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Specific applications include low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) RFID, Near-Field Communications (NFC), Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER), and wireless power transfer. This talk discusses the origins of near-field wireless, surveys applications, presents near-field links […]

Near-Field Wireless Technology – Video Available



I didn’t have time to address a few additional points in my previous post on creativity and innovation. In this post, I wanted to sumarize the evidence underlying my claim that most of innovation results from industry reworking, improving, and advancing existing technology and not from the direct application of […]

Some More Thoughts on Creativity and Innovation


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This evening, I will be presenting a talk “Some Thoughts on Creativity and Innovation” at Neurostimulation: Stimulating change in patient care by 2024 sponsored by Cambridge Consultants. If you are surprised why an RF scientist with expertise in antennas and near-field wireless systems is speaking at a conference on neurostimulation, […]

Some Thoughts on Creativity and Innovation




Auburn University recently announced that the RFID Research Center will be moving to Auburn from the University of Arkansas. Here’s a summary of coverage: RFID Journal | Arkansas RFID Research Center Moving to Auburn University RFID 24-7 | New RFID Lab will focus on the store of the future Birmingham […]

RFID Research Center Moves from Arkansas to Auburn University