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Don't Forget The Little Guy

I have been a reader of Microwaves & RF magazine for many years and have enjoyed your technical articles and Product Features, although I would prefer that the stories about products would include more opinion and insight on these products, such as the "feel" of using a new microwave vector network analyzer (VNA), like the millimeter-wave system recently featured in the September issue. Most magazines repackage in some shape or form the information provided by the manufacturer of these new products, which is also available on each company's website. But what would truly be useful would be a "hands-on" review of a new product, providing insight into the true value and quality of the product and, in the case of the microwave VNA, some thoughts about actually using the instrument and how well it is designed for ease of use.

One new thing in the magazine for which I would like to applaud you is the addition of the "Inside Track" column, in which you interview key figures at various electronics companies. I must, however, question the choice of some of these interview subjects. Some, such as Bob Van Buskirk from RF Micro Devices, who was interviewed in the September issue, make perfect sense. This has been a dynamic, fast-growing company that has done as well as any company in this industry in serving the various wireless communications markets.

But some of these interviews seem less obvious, such as Dr. Ian Dunn of Mercury Computer Systems in the May 2011 issue. Although the interview addressed Mercury's acquisitions of RF/microwave companies such as LNX, this is still essentially a digital/computer company with almost all of their business with military customers. Such an interview might have been better placed in your Defense Electronics supplement.

Going forward, and this is only one reader's opinion, I would like to see more of these "Inside Track" interviews conducted with "the little guys" in this industry, some of those companies that have remained small over the years but provide invaluable services and products to their customers. You had done one such interview with Meca Electronics, and it was excellent. Other small companies that come to mind are Microphase, RLC Electronics, and Voltronics, companies that have remained small but hearty, and have steadfastly supported their customers with legacy and new productsalways of the highest quality. Let's not forget these little guys who make this industry go!

Alan Darcon
Configuration Analysis Management
Danbury, CT

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