Delay Lines Week Meet the Team: Bob Comstock, General Manager

by Jaymie Murray 10. March 2015 13:57

In his role as the General Manager of API's Auburn, NY facility, Bob Comstock works with several delay line topologies, including BAW, Dispersive Steel, Coaxial, and Lumped Constant (LC). In this Q & A, he discusses some of our delay lines, their applications, and what sets us apart from our competitors.   

Q: How long have you been here at API?

A: I’ve done a few long stints off and on over the past 30 years, so I would say that I’ve worked here for about 21 years total. During that time I’ve worked extensively with several of our delay lines topologies. In the early 80s, it was Dispersive Steel delay lines that were used to enhance radar signals for smaller targets. In the 90s, I worked with long dispersive delay lines that were also used in radars. From about 2002 until now I’ve been heavily involved with BAW (Bulk Acoustic Wave) delay lines in the 10 MHz – 120 MHz range with varying delays. These are primarily used for target generation, radar calibration, EW (Electronic Warfare), and digital memory delay. The BAW delay lines that calibrate radar and display systems are made out of quartz or glass that can be unheated or heated for increased stability.

Q: What other Delay Line products are made in the Auburn facility?

A: We also manufacture Lumped Constant (LC) delay lines that are used for video delay. They have short timers with delays of only a few nanoseconds to microseconds and feature discrete capacitors with digital inputs. 

Then there are our Coaxial delay lines which are made out of coaxial cables with a high frequency range and short delays of 250 nanoseconds down to 1 nanosecond, which is 70% the speed of light. These cables range from ¼ in long to 225 ft. long. With Coaxial delay lines the longer the cable, the longer the delay. 

Q: How do we add value for our customers?

A: We customize our delay line products about 99% of the time, so our customers almost always get a solution that is tailor-made for their specifications and needs. Our customers can also rest assured that these products are made to be highly reliable. Our Dispersive Steel delay lines are known to be used for 20 years without any issues, and they frequently do not need to be retuned until they have been in use for 30 years.  Our BAW delay lines provide a passive, stable delay source which can serve as reference for radar systems for many years, which is extremely important for radar calibration. 

We also offer a lower frequency Coaxial delay line box with switches that allow for trimming up to 10 radar channels. The customer can then control the trimming based on the delay that is needed. This is primarily used for multiple channels that need to be arranged in time, with each step having a 1.4 nanosecond change.  

Learn more about API's Delay Lines, request a quote, or contact us

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Meet the Team | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Delay Lines Week Meet the Team: Mike Schweyer, SAW Product Line Manager

by Jaymie Murray 10. March 2015 09:01

As the SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) Product Line Manager at API's Marlborough, MA facility, Mike Schweyer works directly with customers to find the best SAW Delay Line solution to fit their needs. API offers a variety of SAW Delay Line bandwidths, frequencies, packaging, and substrates, which ensures that customers get a solution that meets their exact requirements.

Q: What is your title here at API and what is your background?

A: I’m the Product Line Manager for SAW products at API’s Marlborough, MA facility. I got my degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maine and I’ve been in this field for 15 years. During my career, I’ve worked mostly with different types of SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) products, including SAW delay lines.

Q: How are delays created in the SAW delay lines?

A: We use three different substrates that have different wave velocities which produce different delays. We choose the substrate based on the end use. We also use aluminum transducers that convert an acoustic wave to a fixed velocity, and then we can adjust the delay based on how far apart we place the transducers. The further apart the transducers, the longer the delay. 

Q: Where can API’s delay lines be found and why are delay lines needed?

A: For example, the military uses our SAW delay lines for radar calibration and jamming. The delay lines allow the radar system to effectively process and synchronize signals that are traveling at the speed of light. Without the delays, the radar wouldn’t be able to interpret all of the signals it is receiving.  

Q: What makes our SAW delay lines unique to our customers?

A: There are a few reasons. First, we manufacture our SAW delay lines in a MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K facility in Marlborough, MA. While this is a requirement to do business with military customers, we use the same equipment and design philosophies when we are working with our commercial customers, resulting in the same high quality, high reliability products.

We pride ourselves on being able to successfully deliver on even the most difficult technical specs. As an example, while the typical SAW delay line is around 13.3 mm x 6.5 mm, we created packages that are as small as 3 mm x 3 mm for customers that needed an extremely small footprint. 

API doesn’t just deal in extremely large volumes like a lot of our competitors do. None of our SAW delay lines come off the shelf, they are all either semi-standard or custom. Over the years, we have created over 3000 different designs, so we have the heritage and experience customers need. 

API also offers an integration team dedicated to creating a complete solution for customers. We can craft an entire sub-system using the other products in our RF & Microwave line. If a signal needs to travel a particularly long distance, we can add one of our amplifiers to the sub-system. That amplified signal can then be delayed based on customer requirements.

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Meet the Team | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Introducing Delay Lines Week

by Jaymie Murray 9. March 2015 09:36

API’s extensive catalogue of delay lines offer a range of semi-standard and customizable topologies that feature wide bandwidths and low insertion loss. Our BAW (Bulk Acoustic Wave), SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave), Lumped Constant, Steel Dispersive, and Coaxial - High Frequency delay lines are available in a variety of package sizes and interface options, ensuring that our customers will get the best solution for their individual needs. All this week, we will be exploring the many features and applications of our delay lines and what they can offer to customers that require both high performance as well as high reliability. 

Delay Lines API TECHNOLOGIES BAW Topologies SAW Low frequency Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) Delay Lines offer a wide range of semi-standard or custom delay solutions designed to meet unique specifications. Many interface options are offered including SMA (Female and Male), N-Type (Female), TNC (Female), Leaded and SMD. Packaging options include low cost, plastic encapsulated or hermetically welded. BAW delay lines are available in both connectorized or pin and surface mount. Frequency Range: 20MHz - 2000MHz Delay: 0.1µsec – 10µsec InsertionLoss: Starts at 3dB, increase withdelay and bandwidth Frequency Range: 10MHz - 120MHz Delay: 0.15µsec – 3,000µsec InsertionLoss: 6dB – 65dBSteel Dispersive Lumped Constant Coaxial Non-dispersive and dispersive SAW Delay Lines offer semi-standard or custom designs with various delay and bandwidth options. SAW Delay Lines are available in several packaging options such as ceramic leadless chip carriers, which provide small size and weight, and platform packages, which are suited for harsh applications. API Technologies has experience with delay lines on various substrates including quartz, lithium tantalate and lithium niobate. All SAW Delay Lines are hermetically sealed to ensure robust performance. Lumped Constant Delay Lines offer excellent frequency stability in semi-standard or custom designs to meet unique specifications. Active buffered, passive fixed and variable designs are available. Many interface options are offered including DIP, SIP Leaded and SMD. Packaging options include low cost, plastic encapsulated or hermetically welded. Pulse compression Dispersive Steel Delay Lines are offered in semi-standard or custom designs and available in many interface options including SMA (Female and Male), N-Type (Female), TNC (Female), Leaded and SMD. Our dispersive Steel delay lines can be ovenized for high stability center frequencies. Non- or hermetically welded packaging options are available. Frequency Range: DC- 6GHz Delay:1nsec -250nsec InsertionLoss:0.2dB-50dB Frequency Range: 5MHz - 65MHz Delay: 10µsec - 350µsec InsertionLoss: 20-45dB Frequency Range: DC - 150MHz Delay: 10nsec – 5000nsec InsertionLoss: 5% bandwidthHigh frequency Coaxial Delay Lines utilize semi-rigid cable, from small diameters, such as .041” up to diameters of .250”. API’s coaxial delay lines can be easily adjusted by changing the length of the cable and can be heated to improve temperature stability. Many interface options are offered including SMA (Female and Male), N-Type (Female), TNC (Female), Leaded and SMD. API offers a wide range of semi-standard and custom coaxial delay solutions designed to meet customer specifications for a wide range of applications. InsertionLoss:0.2dB-50dB Applications Signal Processing Circuits Radar Systems Electronic Warfare Clock Synchronization

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Commercial Wireless Solutions Week Case Study: Solving Wireless Co-Location & Brute Force Overload Issues for Major Telecom Company

by Jaymie Murray 20. February 2015 10:00

In a rapidly changing wireless landscape with ever growing system demands, telecom companies need to constantly increase their cell site footprint. In this case study, we explore how one telecom company faced major co-location and brute force overload (BFO) issues when they expanded LTE coverage near a military training base. Faced with the possibility of removing the cell site and thereby impacting their customers, the company turned to API Technologies filters to solve their issues and help them continue to provide excellent service.

Challenge A major telecommunications company that provides wireless, internet, and digital television services has been rapidly expanding LTE (high speed wireless data) coverage to meet consumer demand. One of their cell towers operating in the AWS-band at 2100 MHz was placed at a busy airport to meet the needs of travelers and staff.  While service was enhanced for consumers at the airport, this created an interference problem for the military training base located nearby. The base’s three satellite receivers were located within 50 feet of the cell tower, creating brute force overload (BFO) and co-location issues that posed significant problems. Solution After repeatedly trying and failing to find a vendor that had the capabilities to rectify the situation, the telecom company contacted API Technologies. API’s engineers quickly determined the source of the issue and suggested a solution that would quickly and efficiently mitigate the problem. By installing a receive filter with a very low insertion loss in the military base’s system, everything on the AWS frequency was filtered out. Result The filter restored functionality to the base’s satellites and allowed the telecom company to keep their cell tower located at the airport.

Learn more about API's commercial wireless solutions, contact us for more information, or request a quote

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RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Commercial Wireless Solutions Week: How API's Filters Work Microwave Magic for Telecom Titans

by Jaymie Murray 19. February 2015 10:20

Cell base station co-location interference issues pose a significant challenge for major telecom service providers. Several mobile carriers operating on different frequencies typically share a single base station, which can cause severe interference problems. API Technologies' filters rectify this problem by discerning and then discarding competitor frequencies, thereby eliminating interference issues. 

How API’s FiltersWork Microwave Magic for TelecomTitans A cell site is a cellular phone site where antennas and other communications devices are placed on an elevated structure. Typically, there are several receiving signals at the same cell site. With each carrier concurrently operating to use frequency discriminating devices to remove signals generated by their competitors. Without these devices, cell phones would pick up ALL of the frequencies in range, rendering them inoperable. competitors’signals and only transmit and receive their own signals. What is Cell Base Station Co-Location? Why is Co-Location a Problem? How do API’s Filters SolveThis Problem? Why Choose API’s Filters? API’s High-Q provide lowerloss and betterperformance perform better, they provide higher cell coverage Means fewer cell sitesare needed to retain highqualityservice even as users and datademands increase! The Q Factor Better Performance Higher Cell Coverage Visit Or call +1 (888) 553.7531 to learn more

Learn more about API's commercial wireless solutions, contact us for more information, or request a quote

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Infographics | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Commercial Wireless Solutions Week | Meet the Team: John Yania, Filters Product Line Manager

by Jaymie Murray 18. February 2015 14:00

In his role as Filters Product Line Manager, John Yania engages with customers to find the best filter solution to suit their project requirements. For customers in the telecom and wireless communications industry, John uses his extensive experience and product knowledge to create custom bandpass, bandreject, and duplexers / diplexers filters for broadband networks, communication uplink / downlink systems, spectrum clearing, as well as many other applications. 

Q: What is your role, how long have you worked at API, and what does your position entail?

A: I was one of the founders of FSY Microwave in 1983, which was then acquired by Spectrum Microwave in 2002, which became API a few years ago.  I have been in this field for over 30 years and with API since they expanded their RF & Microwave business.  

I’m the Filter Product Line Manager in API’s RF, Microwave & Microelectronics (RF2M) group.  In this role, I work directly with our customers to create fully customized filters that are optimized to fit their needs, whatever they may be.   

Q: What are some of the custom needs our customers have? 

A: None of our filters are standard, off-the-shelf products.  Every filter we make is created specifically for our customers to fulfill their needs.  Whenever I work with a customer, I try to engage with them early on in the process to get a better idea of their priorities so we can create the design based on those needs.  Sometimes cost is the most important factor, sometimes size, rejection, insertion loss, or another electrical parameter is paramount.  If the filter is going to be used for defense or space applications, a fighter plane or a satellite for example, reliability is obviously going to be the prime concern.  

For our commercial customers, I’ve found that they put a lot of emphasis on quick turnaround times.  If a company wants to be first to the market with a brand new idea, they need to get their products manufactured as soon as possible.   Commercial customers tend to want much more compressed development times and a significantly higher volume of filters compared to our defense customers, but API has the expertise and infrastructure in place to be able to fulfill these needs.

Q: What are the commercial applications for our filters? 

Our filters can be found in a wide range of commercial products, from medical testing instruments to GPS equipment.  In cable TV applications, our filters are used to ensure customers only receive their package’s channels.  For utility companies, API’s filters are used for remote meter reading.  These readings can be sent directly to the utility, or can be scanned by a van passing through the area.  Our Rancho Cordova, CA location mainly manufactures filters that are used in wireless and other demanding commercial applications.  We also provide filters used in location tracking for our commercial as well as defense customers.  

Q: What differentiates our products from what our competitors offer?

A: Over the years, we’ve created over 10,000 different models for our customers.  It’s highly unusual for us to sell the same exact part to two different customers.  I think that is what really sets us apart from our competitors.  We partner with our customers to create a filter that fits their exact specifications, rather than taking an existing product and then adapting it.  We don’t subscribe to the “one size fits all” philosophy that some of our competitors have, and that really does add value to our proposition.  

We also offer our customers the option of having their filters produced at our low cost manufacturing facility in Mexico.  By utilizing our production team in Mexico, our customers can cut costs without sacrificing quality.  The filters produced there are exactly the same as the ones produced in the US, but we are able to pass the labor savings on to our customers.  

Learn more about API's commercial wireless solutions, contact us for more information, or request a quote

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Meet the Team | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Commercial Wireless Solutions Week Case Study: API's Filter Mitigates BAS Interference for Major Telecom Company

by Jaymie Murray 16. February 2015 15:27

Over the years, API Technologies has built a solid reputation among wireless service providers by solving even the most challenging interference issues. API's range of filter designs for the telecom industry offer a host of customizable topologies and models that can be modified and adapted to meet the specific needs of the customer. One such customer, a major telecom company, struggled with significant and persistent issues concerning Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) interference in Electronic News Gathering (ENG) trucks. After several other companies tried and failed to rectify the situation, the telecom company engaged API Technologies. The result? Find out in this case study:

Case Study: API Technologies’ Filter Mitigates BAS Interference for Major Telecom Company Challenge A major telecommunications company that provides wireless, internet, and digital television services was experiencing a persistent and complex issue with television Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) interference. One particular major network affiliate in a large metropolitan area was having severe problems with their Electronic News Gathering (ENG) trucks. The frequencies used by these trucks to transmit news video back to the station were experiencing severe interference problems. The interference was so severe that the company had to contact several filter manufacturers to attempt to mitigate the situation, to no avail. However, when they contacted API Technologies, a company that had previously successfully solved a similar problem by using an Advanced Wireless System (AWS) and Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) interference mitigation filter (CMN719 2.1 GHz Band Reject Filter), API was confident that they could solve this issue. Solution After only three months of design iterations and lab calculations, API’s first filter prototypes were sent out for field testing. While a significant improvement was seen, it was not quite enough to allow the BAS receivers to function properly. The prototype filters were then sent back to API, minor re-tuning adjustments were made, and the units were shipped back to the customer, all within the span of one week. The interference problem was identified as Out Of Band Emissions (OOBE) and was remedied with API’s customized CMN719 2.1 GHz Band Reject Filter. Result Within a month the telecom company had sent out a directive to all of their regional offices which described this problem, API’s filter solution, and the requirement to install the filters at all cellular sites that may be impacting the BAS receive frequencies. Within only eight months, affiliates in nine different regions ordered over a thousand filters to finally solve their BAS interference issues.After solving this major issue for this customer, it brought to light an interesting possibility: if this telecom provider was experiencing this problem, there is a good chance that television networks and their affiliates around the country are being affected by OOBE without even realizing it or knowing that it can be easily rectified using API’s CMN719 2.1 GHz Band Reject Filter. API's CMN719 2.1 GHz Band Reject Filter API’s reputation for designing and delivering some of today’s most challenging bandreject filters is the reason why engineers trust us with their designs. Choosing from a wide assortment of topologies, including lumped element, cavity, ceramic, waveguide and suspended substrate, our engineers match the optimum topology to your requirements. The customizable CMN719 2.1 GHz Band Reject Filter features 2030 to 2109.5 MHz passband, 1.60 dB max insertion loss, 16 dB min return loss, and 60 dB min    2110.6 – 2121.5 MHz rejection. To learn more about this model and API's other filters for wireless communications, visit

Learn more about API's commercial wireless solutions, contact us for more information, or request a quote

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RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

AFCEA West 2015 Week: Show Preview

by Jaymie Murray 6. February 2015 09:24

AFCEA West 2015 starts on Tuesday, February 10th, and API will be exhibiting a range of products from our Power and Microwave lines. Here's a preview of what you can expect to see at booth #1943.


Tactical Power Supply (TPS) SolutionThe TPS75, a 75 Amp COTS tactical power supply, supports power-hungry applications, such as RF and mobile networks, while eliminating the necessity for tactical vehicle-based power, significantly reducing TOC for military vehicles. 

AC SMARTStart® 3-Phase Power Distribution UnitsThe 3 Phase AC SMARTStart provides power control and distribution for high powered applications. AC SMARTStarts are configurable devices with remotely managed power sequencing and fault management. Remote monitoring reduces the threat of downtime by avoiding unintended power interruptions. 

Power Entry Panel (PEP)The Power Entry Panel (PEP) is a 10KW AC power panel with an automatic transfer switch made to seamlessly transfer from vehicle power to generator or community power. Designed for Command Post Platforms and other derivatives to distribute onboard vehicle power as well as shore power, the PEP ensures reliable power to critical communications and telemetry equipment with minimal downtime and optimal performance.

Power AmplifiersAPI Technologies’ wide bandwidth and high reliability Power Amplifiers operate up to 26 GHz, with output levels from 500mW to 1Kw. Our Power Amplifier products support critical communication requirements for both commercial and military applications.

Wireless Communications FiltersAPI Technologies is a leading manufacturer of high performance filter products for the wireless telecom industry, with expertise in co-location solutions, wireless site development, spectrum clearing, and communication up-link / down-link systems.

If you are attending the show and would like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a member of the API team, contact us

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Power & Systems Solutions | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics | Trade Shows

AFCEA West 2015 Week: Customize API's Rugged AC SMARTStart®

by Jaymie Murray 5. February 2015 10:11

The AC SMARTStart® High Reliability (HR) Series is a tactical AC switched power distribution unit that offers a wide range of customizations based on customer needs. Options include input/output voltage, 120 VAC or 220 VAC configurations, single or 3 Ø design, 8 or 16 outlet configuration, protections for harsh environments or extreme weather conditions, as well as many other customizations. To facilitate the customization process, API has developed an AC SMARTStart® Customization Tool to allow customers to create a product tailored to their individual needs. 

Create your own custom version of the Rugged AC SMARTStart®, see a product demo at booth #1943 at AFCEA West 2015, request a quote, or contact us

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Power & Systems Solutions | Trade Shows

AFCEA West 2015 Week: Why the Rugged MIL-STD Power Entry Panel is the Ideal Solution for AC & DC Shore and Onboard Power Distribution

by Jaymie Murray 4. February 2015 11:00

API's Rugged MIL-STD Power Entry Panels (PEP) distribute onboard vehicle power and shore power to Command Post Platforms and other derivatives, ensuring reliable power is sent to critical communications and telemetry equipment with minimal downtime and optimal performance. Designed to MIL-STD 810 standards, the rugged PEP is made to withstand brutal elements without sacrificing functionality, portability, or power. This unique combination of features makes the PEP an excellent solution for AC & DC shore and onboard power distribution. 

  • Ideal Input/Output (I/O) Power. Featuring both +24/28 VDC (5.6 kW) @ 200 Amps and 3 Phase AC (21.6 kW) @ 60 Amp per Phase I/O distribution capability, the power panel also includes a 3 Phase 60 Amp pass through connector interface to support additional forward operating base requirements. 
  • Built Rugged. The PEP was designed to withstand the harsh conditions often found in the field. It is operational from -46º C to 60 º C, and meets MIL-STD 810 standards for shock, vibration, rail impact, water tightness, and fungus, as well as MIL-STD 461E EMC requirements.
  • SWaP-ped. The size, weight, and power consumption have all been reduced in this unit, all while enhancing functionality. Overall weight has been reduced by 22% (72 lbs. vs. 92 lbs.), and maximum specified volume has been reduced by 53% (1.27 ft³ vs. 2.7 ft³). These reductions allow for an easier installation, creates more space for new configurations, increases fuel savings, and adds to payload capacity.
  • Fault Protected. The PEP is a reliable fault protected power distribution system capable of preventing damage to critical mission sensitive data & communication hardware in the shelter or tactical vehicles.

Learn more about the Rugged MIL-STD Power Entry Panel by visiting booth #1943 at AFCEA West 2015, request a quote, or contact us. 

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Power & Systems Solutions | Trade Shows

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