Abstract  Introduction  Description of the system  Component list  Circuit stages  PCB design & artwork  Appendix 

Abstract: Frequency modulation is a system in which the amplitude of the modulated carrier is kept constant, while its frequency and rate of change are varied by the modulating signal. In FM the deviation of the carrier is proportional to the amplitude of the modulating voltage. The rate at which the carrier shifts from it¶s resting point to a nonresting point determined by the frequency of the modulating signal (the interaction between the amplitude and frequency of the modulating signal on the carrier is complex and requires the use of Bessel¶s functions to analyze the result). The prime requirement of a frequency modulation system is a variable output frequency with the variation proportional to the instantaneous amplitude of modulating voltage. The subsidiary requirements are that unmodulated frequency should be constant and the deviation independent of modulating frequency. This is obtained by varying the capacitance of LC oscillator tank, this variation being obtained by a varactor diode. This transmitter circuit uses the direct method of FM generation. The circuit built around transistor T1 (BF494) is a basic low-power variable-frequency VHF oscillator. A varicap diode circuit is included to change the frequency of the transmitter and to provide frequency modulation by audio signals. Transistor T2 (2N3866) forms a VHF-class A power amplifier. Potentiometer VR1 to set the fundamental frequency near 100 MHz Since this circuit does not use any amplifiers at the mic input and there is absence of preemphasis circuit, the output of FM transmitter is affected by much interference like adjacent channel interface, co channel interference and low signal to noise ratio. Also the power output of this circuit is very low because no power amplifier stages were incorporated. Due to all these interferences the transmitted signal may get corrupted and a flickering noise may arise at the receiver. In case of proper tuning with the trimmers and absence noise the circuit can transmit signal up to 2 km which is its ideal theoretical transmission range. This transmitter should only be used for educational purposes. Regular transmission using such a transmitter without a license is illegal in India 

Introduction: Frequency modulation:
Suppose the baseband data signal (the message) to be transmitted is

And is restricted in amplitude to be

And the sinusoidal carrier is

Where fc is the carrier's base frequency and Ac is the carrier's amplitude. The modulator combines the carrier with the baseband data signal to get the transmitted signal,

In this equation, is the instantaneous frequency of the oscillator and is the frequency deviation, which represents the maximum shift away from fc in one direction, assuming xm(t) is limited to the range ±1.Although it may seem that this limits the frequencies in use to fc ± f , this neglects the distinction between instantaneous frequency and spectral frequency. The frequency spectrum of an actual FM signal has components extending out to infinite frequency, although they become negligibly small beyond a point. While it is an over-simplification, modulating signals are usually represented as a sinusoidal Continuous Wave signal with a frequency fm. The integral of such a signal is

Thus, in this specific case, above eqn. simplifies to:

Where the amplitude

of the modulating sinusoid, is represented by the peak deviation (


The harmonic distribution of a sine wave carrier modulated by such a sinusoidal signal can be represented with Bessel functions - this provides a basis for a mathematical understanding of frequency modulation in the frequency domain.

Modulation index:
As with other modulation indices, this quantity indicates by how much the modulated variable varies around its unmodulated level. It relates to the variations in the frequency of the carrier signal:

Where is the highest frequency component present in the modulating signal xm(t), and is the Peak frequency-deviation, i.e. the maximum deviation of the instantaneous frequency from the carrier frequency. If , the modulation is called narrowband FM, and its bandwidth is approximately If , the modulation is called wideband FM and its bandwidth is approximately . While wideband FM uses more bandwidth, it can improve signal-to-noise ratio significantly. The modulation given by this circuit is narrowband FM. With a tone-modulated FM wave, if the modulation frequency is held constant and the modulation index is increased, the (non-negligible) bandwidth of the FM signal increases, but the spacing between spectra stays the same; some spectral components decrease in strength as others increase. If the frequency deviation is held constant and the modulation frequency increased, the spacing between spectra increases. .

Carson's rule
A rule of thumb, Carson's rule states that nearly all (~98%) of the power of a frequencymodulated signal lies within a bandwidth of

Where , as defined above, is the peak deviation of the instantaneous frequency center carrier frequency . The circuit used here is direct method of generation of FM. Comparison of FM with other modulation systems: The major advantages of angle modulation over AM are:

from the

1. The transmitted amplitude is constant, thus the receiver can be fitted with an efficient amplitude limiter. This characteristic has the advantage of significantly improving immunity to noise &interference. 2. The Formula used to derive modulation index is: Modulation index=fdev/fav Since there is no natural limit to the modulation index, the modulation index can be increased to provide additional noise immunity, but there is common tradeoff involved, system bandwidth must be increased. Pre-emphasis & de-emphasis: FM additionally has the advantage, over both AM&PM, of providing greater protection from noise for the lowest modulating frequencies. The resulting noise-signal distribution is here seen as triangle, whereas it is rectangular in both AM &PM.A consequence of this is that FM is used for analog transmissions, whereas PM is not. Because FM broadcasting is latecomer compared with AM broadcasting, the system design has benefited from the experience gained with AM. Two of the most notable benefits are the provision of guard bands between adjacent transmissions & the use of pre-emphasis & de-emphasis. With emphasis, the highest modulating frequencies are artificially boosted before transmission & corresponding attenuated after reception, to reduce the effects of noise. Waveforms: 

Description of system: Circuit diagram: 

Components list: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Components Resistor R1 Resistor R2 Resistor R3 Resistor R4 Resistor R5 Resistor R6 Resistor R7 Resistor R8 Capacitor c1,c3, c7 Capacitor c2, c5 Capacitor c4 Capacitor c6 Inductor L1 Inductor L2 Inductor L3 Inductor L4 Transistor t1 Transistor t2

Value 10 k ohm 100 k ohm 180 k ohm 4.7 k ohm 15 k ohm 68 ohm 470 ohm 30 k ohm 0.1 micro f 1nf 4.7 p f 0.001 micro f 4 turns 20 SWG 2 turns 24 SWG 7 turns 24 SWG 7 turns 24 SWG BF 494 2N 3866

Quantity 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Cost (Rs.) o.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 3 3

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Diode d1 Trimmer vc1 Condenser vc2 Variable resistor Condenser mic Antenna PCB Breadboard Connecting wires Fecl3 soln

BB 109 50 p f 50 p f Vr1 = 47 k ohm Vr2 = 22 ohm

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 20mg total

2 3 3 2 2 10 3 120 5 60


Circuit stages:  Input stage: Typical electrets condenser microphone capsule: y y y y 2 terminal device (there are also 3 pin capsules) Acts as a current source when biased with around 1-9 volt routinely consumes less than half a milliamp. This power is consumed by a very small preamplifier built into the microphone capsule which makes the conversion of very high impedance source of the electrets element itself and the cable which needs to be driven. This impedance is swamped at signal frequencies by cable capacitance so that at 1 kHz the assembly will exhibit an impedance of a few 10's of K. Because the electrets itself contains a small buffer amplifier which adds noise, it is common to specify a signal to noise ratio (usually at 94dB SPL) or self noise figure, which is the equivalent acoustic noise level, commonly around 20-30dB SPL. Electrets need biasing because of the built-in FET amplifier inside the microphone capsule. Bias voltages should be kept clean, because the noise in this will get to the microphone output.



Operation of a variable capacitor They key to understanding how a varactor or varicap diode works is to look at what a capacitor is and what can change the capacitance. A capacitor consists of two plates with an insulating dielectric between them. The capacitance of the capacitor is dependent upon the area of the plates - the larger the area the greater the capacitance, and also the distance between them - the greater the distance the smaller the level of capacitance. A reverse biased diode has no current flowing between the P-type area and the N-type area. The N-type region and the P-type regions can conduct electricity, and can be considered to be the two plates and the region between them the depletion region is the insulating dielectric. This is exactly the same as the capacitor above.

Varactor diode: As with any diode, if the reverse bias is changed so does the size of the depletion region. If the reverse voltage on the varactor or varicap diode is increased, the depletion region of the diode increases and if the reverse voltage on varactor diode is decreased the depletion region narrows. Therefore by changing the reverse bias on the diode it is possible to change the capacitance. Varactor or varicap circuit symbol The varactor diode or varicap diode is shown in circuit diagrams or schematics using a symbol that combines the diode and capacitor symbols. In this way it is obvious that it is being used as a varactor or varicap capacitor rather than a rectifying diode.

Circuit symbol for a varactor diode / varicap diode When operated in a circuit, it is necessary to ensure the varactor diode remains reverse biased. This means that the cathode will be positive with respect to the anode, i.e. the cathode of the varactor will be more positive than the anode. VHF oscillator: The circuit built around transistor T1 (BF494) is a basic low-power variable-frequency VHF oscillator. A varicap diode circuit is included to change the frequency of the transmitter and to provide frequency modulation by audio signals. The output of the oscillator is about 50 mill watts. Class A power amplifier: Transistor T2 (2N3866) forms a VHF-class A power amplifier. It boosts the oscillator signals¶ power four to five times. Thus, 200-250 mill watts of power is generated at the collector of transistor T2. Antenna: With a good matching 50-ohm ground plane antenna or multi-element Yagi antenna, this transmitter can provide reasonably good signal strength up to a distance of about 2 kilometers Adjust both trimmers (VC1 and VC2) for maximum transmission power. Adjust potentiometer VR1 to set the fundamental frequency near 100 MHz. This transmitter should only be used for educational purposes. Regular transmission using such a transmitter without a license is illegal in India. 

PCB Design & artwork:
These are the steps to the PCB design process & work flow which we cover in the PCB design guide. Step 1: Finalize your Circuit Design Everything starts with the circuit design. Without a circuit there is no need for a PCB. In today¶s world of modern computing, the circuit design is capture directly in a schematic using softwares like WinQcad, Protel, etc. Step 2: Choose PCB Design Software Many times electrical engineers don¶t have a choice when it comes to choosing the PCB design software. It¶s important to choose a package that is first and foremost easy to use, but also capable of completing the PCB design as some packages won¶t be able to handle the complexity. Step 3: Capture Your Schematic As mentioned earlier it¶s likely that the circuit design is being captured electronics from the getgo. In general ³capturing the schematic´ is the process by which each component is drawn electronically and is interconnected with each other. Step 4: Design Component Footprints Once the schematic is complete its time to draw the physical outline of each of the components. These outlines are what are placed on the PCB in copper to allow the components to be soldered to the printed wiring board. Step 5: Establish PCB Outline Each project will have restrictions related to the board outline. This should be determined in this step since an idea of component count and area should be known. Step 6: Setup Design Rules With the PCB outline and PCB footprints complete is just about time to start the placement. Before placement thought you should setup the design rules to ensure that components or traces aren¶t to close together. This is only one example as there are probably hundreds of different rules that can be applied to a PCB design. 7: Place Components Now its time to move each component onto the PCB and begin the tedious work of making all those components fit together. This is where you¶ll find that PCB design is really a jigsaw puzzle.

Component 1. Diode 2. Resistor 3. Disc cap 4. Electrolytic cap

Distance 3 cm 3 cm 1 cm As per leads

Step 8: Manual Route Traces It¶s necessary to manually route critical traces. Clocks. Power. Sensitive analog traces. Once that¶s complete you can turn it over to Step 9. Step 9: Using the Auto Router There are a handful of rules that will need to be applied for using an autorouter, but doing so will save you hours if not days of routing traces. Step 10: Run Design Rule Checker Most PCB design software packages have a very good setup of design rule checkers. It¶s easy to violate PCB spacing rules and this will pinpoint the error saving you from having to re-spin the PCB. Step 11: Output Gerber Files Once the board is error free it¶s time to output the gerber files. These files are universal and are needed by the PCB fabrication houses to manufacture your printed circuit board. 12. Printing The Gerber files are printed on copper clad and are made significant by the use of marker , radium stickers , etc.. Step 12: Etching: Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original process²in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used on other types of material). The copper clad is dipped in FeCl3 soln. for nearly 3 to 4 hrs. Step 14: Drilling

Holes of 1mm to 2mm are drilled on the etched surface. 1mm is used for small components and 2mm are used for the components like diodes, transistors, inductors which have more dimensions. Step 15: mounting: Components are mounted on the circuit on PCB and soldered at their ends on back side.


Single sided copper clad board

Cut board to size punch tooling holes

Drawing the track on PCB by maker

Final touchup for tracks

Etch unwanted copper

Drilling holes on the PCB

Testing of board for continuity

Mounting the components on the PCB

This circuit is used to transmit a signal by using frequency modulation for an ideal range of 2 kms. under the complete absence of noise. The noise can be minimized by using sensitive mic with noise-proof signal ( in sound proof acoustic rooms).The circuit uses direct method of frequency generation using varactor diode as variable reactance as per input signal and a low VHF oscillator for the carrier circuit with a class A power amplifier at the output stage. The transmission using any kind of frequency modulation is illegal in India unless for educational purposes.

References: 1. 2. 3. 4. Electronics communication systems by George Kennedy

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