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RF Shorts – June 30, 2011

"Golden Age" of Crystal Sets
Anyone with an interest in crystal radio receivers should take a look at Barry Evan's article Golden Age of Crystal Sets in "the journal," which is published in California's Humboldt County. While you probably won't learn anything new, it is a nice overview of this incredibly simple way of receiving AM radio signals. I actually built one of those "fox hole radios" using razor blades and a pencil lead when I was a kid. I still have a scar on my right middle finger to show for it! Yes, it did work but was tricky to adjust (hence the scar).

GPS Jamming Detection and Reporting Unit
The South African Dataweek reports on a GPS jamming detector developed by GlobalTop and marketed by Otto Marketing. "Using its special circuitry, Anti-Jack is able to provide two levels of jamming sensitivity that can automatically adapt to different antenna setup (active or passive). A total of four different GPS jammer detection modes are offered, including a smart power saving mode that reduces power consumption used by jammer detection when the GPS signal reception is above acceptable." The model number is GMM-U5J. GlobalTop said insurance companies around the world have reported a significant drop of up to 20 percent in stolen vehicle recovery due to the use of GPS jammers. I wonder if it could help ferret out interference from LightSquared terrestrial base stations?

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.