mdlsatshow

Tri-Channel Rotary Joint with a 14 Channel Slip Ring 

Rotary joints for military applications are among the most demanding rotary joints in terms of durability, reliability and low maintenance.

At MDL, we engineer and manufacture rotary joints for a large number of satcom and radar applications.

Our newly developed Tri-Channel Rotary Joint with a 14 Channel Slip Ring has been custom-designed for weapon radar systems. It features 2 waveguide channels, 14 channel slip ring, and 1 coax seal channel.

With over 65 years in the microwave industry, high reliability is MDL’s trademark.

Meeting strict military standards in precision and reliability, all our products undergo 100% functional performance verification, complete inspection and testing.

Contact our Engineering team for your next demanding application. We look forward to collaborating with you every step of the way.

Microwave Development Labs, Inc.
135 Crescent Road, Needham Heights, MA 02494

Contact via:
Telephone: (781) 292-6684
FAX: (781) 453-8629
E-mail: mdlsales@mdllab.com
Web: www.mdllab.com

MDL WILL FEATURE HIGH-PERFORMANCE WAVEGUIDE PRODUCTS, ROTARY JOINTS & SWITCHES AT INAUGURAL EDI CON USA SHOW IN BOSTON

September 14, 2016 – Microwave Development Laboratories (MDL) will be exhibiting at EDI CON USA (September 20-22) at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston (Booth # 329) and will also be making a technical presentation as part of the conference sessions.

Long recognized for its expertise in developing and supplying high-performance waveguide products, MDL will be exhibiting its waveguide and coaxial rotary joints and rotary switches at EDI CON 2016. MDL custom designs rotary joints and switches in different models that meet or exceed specified electrical and mechanical requirements. Rotary joints based on rigid waveguide provide high-performance and dependable connections in many commercial and military RF/microwave systems.

On Wednesday, September 21st at 3:00 (Room 209) MDL will speak on the subject of “Additive Manufacturing Techniques for the Production of RF Components.” This presentation, to be given by MDL’s Tom WcWalters, will showcase different additive manufacturing (AM) techniques used for the production of passive RF components, specifically waveguide components.

Tom will discuss Multi-Jet and Laser Beam Melting approaches and present examples of MDL products manufactured using AM technology. These AM techniques can save customers production cost and increase deliverability while maintaining good accuracy and reproducibility of RF components.

 

About MDL

Founded in 1948, MDL is the largest independent producer of waveguide and waveguide assemblies in the microwave industry. MDL’s products are used extensively in defense applications and in satellite and mobile TV communications. http://www.mdllab.com

 

Microwave Development Labs, Inc.

135 Crescent Road, Needham Heights, MA 02494

 

Contact via:

Telephone: (781) 292-6684

FAX: (781) 453-8629

E-mail: mdlsales@mdllab.com

Web: www.mdllab.com

MICROWAVE DEVELOPMENT LABS RETURNS TO IMS 2016

-Company to Show Its Waveguide-Based Products & Online Tools-

Needham Heights, MA, May 17, 2016 – Microwave Development Laboratories, Inc. (www.mdllab.com) will offer a sampling of its extensive expertise and product lines based on high-performance waveguide technology at the upcoming 2016 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS, http://www.ims2016.org) and Exhibition scheduled for May 22-27, 2016 in San Francisco, CA. MDL will be exhibiting within the Moscone Center at Booth #2432.

As part of the 2016 IMS Exhibition, Microwave Development Laboratories will welcome visitors to its booth with details and advice on the use of its comprehensive waveguide-based product lines, and how to match different sizes of waveguide products to different frequency bands and applications.

Products on display will include waveguide bends and twists, waveguide-to-coax adapters, power dividers, phase shifters, rotary joints, variable attenuators, and rotary switches. For applications requiring higher frequencies and higher power-handling capabilities, waveguide is still a preferred format over various other component formats, including surface-mount and coaxial components.

Rotary joints based on rigid waveguide can provide high-performance and dependable connections in many commercial and military RF/microwave systems. As long-time, highly experienced developers of waveguide and coaxial rotary joints, MDL can provide standard models of both waveguide and coaxial rotary joints, and provide guidance on performance differences in between the two types in terms of insertion loss, VSWR and power-handling capabilities,

In addition, visitors to the 2016 IEEE IMS Exhibition can learn more about Microwave Development Laboratories’ handy online tools, including their new Reflectometer Calculator, Rigid Waveguide Sliderule app and Rigid Waveguide Tool. These free-of-charge, downloadable programs help simplify and speed the process of finding the right performance for a particular size waveguide or waveguide component. Also online at MDL’s website are a CAD database for MDL Cast 90 degree Bends and the company’s full product catalog. Stop by MDL’s Booth (#2432) to talk about special shaped Bends based on MDL’s Additive Manufacturing Process.

 

Microwave Development Labs, Inc.

135 Crescent Road, Needham Heights, MA 02494

Contact via:

Telephone: (781) 292-6684

FAX: (781) 453-8629

E-mail: mdlsales@mdllab.com

Web: www.mdllab.com

 

MDL’s Aluminum Casting Material Offerings and the Rational for Choices for Microwave Castings for RF Applications.

By John Kane, Design and Manufacturing Engineer, @MDLlab

MDL has been producing Microwave Waveguide Castings for well over 50 years. During that time, one could say we “know a thing or two” about the fabrication process of Castings and what materials are best suited and mostly used in the Waveguide RF Industry.                                                                                                                                                                
MDL offers two choices of Aluminum materials D712 and A356.

The Aluminum materials can be separated into two categories;
a.) Aluminum that can be Brazed with other Aluminum Alloys (D712 material).
b.) Aluminum that cannot be Brazed with other Aluminum Alloys (A356 material).

The descriptions below provide just some of the beneficial characteristics of each of the Aluminum materials MDL offers.                                                                                                                     
  

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Alloy 712 is employed when a combination of good mechanical properties without heat treatment is needed. It also shows good shock, corrosion resistance, machinability and dimensional stability. No distortion is exhibited when D712 is heated. After brazing, the D712 alloy will regain its original strength by natural aging. (** D712 will age harden to T6 Temper over time.**)                                                                                                                                   
Ability to Cast —Alloy D712 has fair to good cast-ability. Although its pressure tightness and resistance to hot cracking are only fair, the alloy’s fluidity and solidification shrinkage tendency are rated as good.
Machinability—the machining characteristics of the D712 alloy are excellent. Fast speeds and feeds and wear-resistant tools correctly ground for cutting aluminum are recommended.
Finishing—Polished finishes are good. The anodized finish is good, and the color is medium golden yellow. Ability to Weld —Welding characteristics are fair for most common methods. The D712 alloy is NECESSARY for brazing.
Corrosion Resistance—the D712 alloy has good natural resistance to corrosion, and good additional protection is received from chemical conversion coatings.                                                  

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 Alloy A356 has greater elongation, higher strength and considerably higher ductility than D712. It has these improved mechanical properties because impurities are lower in A356 than in D712. Typical applications are airframe castings, machine parts, truck chassis parts, aircraft and missile components, and structural parts requiring high strength.

 Ability to Cast—all casting characteristics are excellent for this alloy.
Machinability—Alloy A356 has good machinability. Abrasiveness can be overcome and high tool wear can be minimized by using sharp, carbide-tipped tools with high rakes and clearances. Moderate to fast speeds are recommended.
Finishing—Electroplated finishes are good. Chemical conversion coatings give good protection, but anodized appearance is only fair. Mechanical finishes on A356 are good.
Ability to Weld—all common welding methods are excellent for joining this alloy. Brazing is not performed for this Alloy.
Corrosion Resistance—the A356 alloy has good resistance to most forms of corrosion.The following Tables list the compositions and the typical properties of the D712, A356 and A380 Aluminum Alloys. A380 is the most common and most cost effective Aluminum Alloy used in Die Casting.

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Pictures of Aluminum Die Cast parts courtesy of Viking SATCOM.

When choosing Casting for your Microwave Waveguide system, please consult MDL on your Casting material choice. MDL’s 50+ years of experience will guide you to the appropriate choice. Future considerations should include your rate of production. D712 and A356 Castings are typically produced in low to moderate volumes. Castings produced with Die’s should only be considered in High Volume production rates (due to the expense of the Die).

Visit our website at www.mdllab.com or call 1-781-292-6684 for your casting needs.

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Microwave Development Labs Shows Sampling of Waveguide at 2015 IMS in Phoenix, AZ

Microwave Development Laboratories, Inc. (www.mdllab.com) will offer a sampling of its extensive expertise and product lines based on high-performance waveguide technology at the upcoming 2015 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS, http://www.ims2015.org) and Exhibition scheduled for May 17-22, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. As part of the 2015 IMS Exhibition, Microwave Development Laboratories will welcome visitors to its booth (Booth 621) with details and advice on the use of its comprehensive waveguide-based product lines, and how to match different sizes of waveguide products to different frequency bands and applications. Products on display will include waveguide bends and twists, waveguide-to-coax adapters, power dividers, phase shifters, rotary joints, variable attenuators, and rotary switches. For applications requiring higher frequencies and higher power-handling capabilities, waveguide is still a preferred format over various other component formats, including surface-mount and coaxial components.

In addition, visits to Booth 621 at the 2015 IEEE IMS Exhibition can learn more about Microwave Development Laboratories’ handy online tools, including their online Reflectometer Calculator and their Rigid Waveguide Sliderule application. These are free-of-charge, downloadable programs that help simplify and speed the process of finding the right performance for a particular size waveguide or waveguide component. For all your waveguide needs, visit Microwave Development Laboratories at Booth 621 at the upcoming 2015 IEEE IMS Exhibition in Phoenix, AZ this May 17-22,2015.

Microwave Development Labs, Inc.
135 Crescent Road, Needham Heights, MA 02494
Telephone: (781) 292-6684
FAX: (781) 453-8629
E-mail: mdlsales@mdllab.com
Web: www.mdllab.com

MDL logo

Celebrating National Engineers Week

By John Kane

The Management and Engineers at MDL thought we might have a little fun with this months’ BLOG, which is written to commemorate National Engineers Week. (February 22 – 28)

Rather than exchange our usual, yearly, Engineer’s Week Cards and custom pocket protectors “bling”, we thought it might be nice, to actually interview one of our Engineers and ask what attracted them into the Engineering field.

The topic was good; the “interview idea” seemed appropriate; OK who should be interviewed? The room fell silent.

CRICKETS! (They always appear in this situation!)

“Dr. Riblet (President and CEO of MDL), I think an interview with you would be, very enlightening!” someone finally offered.

“No, No, I think someone else may be better suited for this one!” he replied.

AGAIN, CRICKETS! Damn! One down, two to go!

Finally after a short pause, Dr. Riblet turned to me and said,” Why don’t you interview yourself?”

Case closed, send everyone home!

Katie; “Bar the door!”

And so, here I sit, staring at the screen…

OK, let’s begin…

Interviewer – (John) – How did you decide to study Engineering?

Engineer – (me) – “Well, I seemed to excel in Math and Science in High School.”

Interviewer – (John) – How did you get into the RF side of Engineering?

Engineer – (me) – “I had a wonderful Professor in College, Dr. Peter Rizzi, who taught a course in Electromagnetic Theory. He was someone that turned on the Engineering can be exciting switch, for me.”

Interviewer – (John) – Does this sound boring to you?

Engineer – (me) – “Yes!”

Interviewer – (John) – How do we make it better?

Engineer – (me) – “Should we throw in a couple, cool, HFSS Electromagnetic simulations?”

Interviewer – (John) – “Nope, we’ll just keep it short, simple and honest!….”

Engineer – (me) – “Three words can’t be considered a BLOG!”

Interviewer – (John) – “What does being an Engineer mean to you?”

Engineer – (me) – “OK, OK…here’s what I have figured out in my 30+ years of Engineering…when in doubt; turn to Wikipedia!

Wikipedia’s definition of Engineering is:

Engineering (from Latin ingenium, meaning “cleverness” and ingeniare, meaning “to contrive, devise”) is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build, maintain, research, and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

Engineering and Engineers are about SOLVING PROBLEMS!

So, be inquisitive, inventive, clever and even ingenious…..

Don’t be timid or unsure!

Love what you do!

Enjoy…30+ years, goes fast!”

TO ALL ENGINEERS: CELEBRATE, ALL THE PROBLEMS YOU HAVE SOLVED and have a Happy and safe ENGINEERS WEEK!

(Nobody else knows about it!)

Why Use a Waveguide Variable Attenuator?

Waveguide-based high-frequency systems often require some control of amplitude or signal level. Waveguide attenuators can deliver that means of control, with fixed attenuators providing a single value attenuation setting and variable attenuators providing a range of attenuation control across a desired frequency range.

AttenuatorWaveguide variable attenuators can be especially useful in test-and-measurement systems and in applications where the final desired level may not be precisely known or may fall within a range of levels. But selecting a waveguide variable attenuator for an application is not a trivial task, and it can be helpful to know a bit about some of the main attributes of these components and some key performance parameters. Since there are several kinds of waveguide variable attenuators, it can also be helpful to know about the different ways in which the attenuation can be controlled. Typical options to control attenuation include; either a manual controlled version or a motor controlled version. The motor controlled version uses voltage to adjust the attenuator and attenuation value. Knowing what options are available allows the customer to pick the best waveguide variable attenuator for their particular application. Waveguide variable attenuators are available with a wide range of attenuation values, some capable of adjusting attenuation settings from 0 to 30 dB or more with impressive stability and reliability across waveguide frequency bands.

As with other waveguide components, the size of the waveguide in a variable attenuator will determine the usable frequency range. Within a given Waveguide sizes’ frequency range, two different constructions of variable attenuators will offer various attenuation ranges. Sidewall Variable Attenuators have an attenuation range of up to 40dB, whereas Topwall Variable Attenuators typically have an attenuation range from 0 to 15-20dB. As mentioned before, there are typically two different ways to control the attenuation range. Often, some form of movable structural element within the waveguide, such as a rotary vane or moving resistive card will cause the attenuation variation. The attenuation element may be moved manually or under motorized power. Manual variable attenuators typically employ an adjustable screw control to adjust the level of attenuation, while motor-driven waveguide variable attenuators may provide continuously variable control of the attenuator using voltage-tuned motors or they may tune in steps using, for example, a stepper motor for control of the attenuation element and attenuation. Many suppliers of mechanically tuned waveguide variable attenuators will offer a choice of the number of turns required by the tuning element to achieve the full attenuation setting.

Additionally, waveguide variable attenuators are available with fully electronic control of attenuation, for example, using PIN diodes to tune the attenuation level of the component. Manually tuned waveguide variable attenuators offer the benefits of simplicity and straightforward control. Motor- or diode-controlled electronically adjusted waveguide variable attenuators offer the option of remote control and rapid resetting of attenuation level, as needed.

Various methods can be employed to display the attenuation level set on one of these components, from simple mechanical dials to more sophisticated electronic readouts. The choice of attenuation display will typically be determined by the needs of a particular application. Depending upon the need for accuracy, waveguide variable attenuators are available as calibrated or uncalibrated models. Calibrated attenuators are typically verified by a supplier at different spot frequencies and attenuation settings; although these frequencies and attenuation settings can be chosen by a customer to best match the needs of an application.

Once such basic requirements as frequency range/waveguide size, attenuation range, and manual or electronic control of attenuation have been decided, specifying a waveguide variable attenuator is a matter of comparing key electrical and mechanical parameters for different available models. The electrical performance of different attenuators can be compared in terms of insertion loss, voltage standing-wave ratio (VSWR), and power-handling capability.

For many applications, stability is an important characteristic: How much will the attenuation and/or the phase response of the waveguide variable attenuator vary with frequency, or with attenuation setting, or even with temperature. In other applications, the attenuation flatness versus frequency might be of interest. Variations of ±1dB or ±2dB in attenuation can be typical across the full waveguide frequency range. (I.e. -10 to 15 GHz for a WR75) These variations, in attenuation, can also be impacted by the amount of total attenuation offered by a component. A waveguide variable attenuator offering an attenuation adjustment range of 0 to 15dB can be expected to provide less variation with frequency than a unit with an attenuation adjustment range of 0 to 40dB.

Most waveguide variable attenuators are somewhat limited in RF/microwave power-handling capability compared to fixed waveguide attenuators operating near or within the same frequency range. A wide range of waveguide variable attenuators are designed for input power levels in the 1-W or less continuous-wave (CW) power range, with higher-power units designed for input power levels of typically 4 to 5 W. In contrast, high-power waveguide fixed attenuators covering similar frequencies may be rated for 40 W or more of CW power.

The power-handling capability can be influenced by a number of factors, including the type of attenuation element used in the attenuator, the types of materials (I.e. -aluminum or brass) used in the construction of the attenuator or even the type of finish applied (such as a corrosion-resistant finish or silver plating).

The mechanical construction of a waveguide variable attenuator may be critical, for some applications. Waveguide size is a function of the wavelength of a frequency of interest, the physical size of most waveguide variable attenuators (such as the length) will be mostly determined by the operating frequency, with lower-frequency attenuators being considerably larger than higher-frequency attenuators, even though they may typically be rated for the same power-handling capabilities. The type of flanges used on the waveguide input and output ports may be of significance or the drive mechanisms’ construction.

Contact MDL for your waveguide variable-attenuator questions or requirements at 1-781-292-6684 or visit our website at www.mdllab.com.