Mystery component

At some point in the recent past, probably at a hamfest, I acquired these red square components.

Mystery component
Mystery component

I’m sure whoever I bought them from at the time told me what they were and that I thought they’d be something I could make use of. However, I neglected to label the bag with any information about them, probably because I figured I could find info about them online.

Silly me.

Fast forward to the future and I come across them again during another round of the “Organize the closet” game.

According to the printing on the components, they’re some kind of wide band transformer made by the Vari-L company. I’m guessing 9531 is the part number, and Z-Match is a model or branding for this part. No idea what the HF:112 might refer to.

They’re 0.5″ square by 0.25″ tall with 6 pins spaced 0.2″ apart (they fit nicely into a breadboard).

Mystery component pin numbering
Mystery component pin numbering

The numbering of the pins seems a little odd to me, but what do I know.

My Google-fu hasn’t yielded any useful results about the component itself, although I did find out the company was sued by the SEC in 2001 for financial reporting fraud and sold its assets to another company in 2002.

No idea how far back these parts date to, but considering the company history, it’s likely these little red squares are old enough that there won’t be much info online.

Using my multi-meter to probe the pins, I found that pins 1-3 and 2-4 are connected, while pins 5 and 6 don’t appear to be connected to anything. I guess my next step will be to put some kind of signal through and see what comes out the other end.

Update: Thanks to Thomas/LA3PNA for pointing me to a datasheet for the part (his Google-fu is strong). It turns out the 9531 is a date code (Week 31 of 1995) and HF:112 is the part number. Naturally, an obsolete part which Mouser shows as being manufactured by Qorvo, while the data sheet shows Sirenza Microdevices. The specs on the datasheet are consistent with the parts that I have. Thomas also suggests that they would probably be useful in an transceiver, so it’s doubly nice to know I have potential uses for them.

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