AM and FM Receivers

Design Description and Comparison By Ashar Salman CE04-0383

Project Report of Communication System

M.INDEX Modulation Amplitude Modulation Frequency Modulation Demodulation AM Receiver Superheterodyne Receivers Circuit for Superheterodyne Receiver Local Oscillator Stage Mixer Stage Coupling Capacitor Intermediate Frequency Transformer/Filter (IFT) Detector Stage Audio Amplifier Stage FM Receiver (a) F. Discriminator (figure 12) (b) Ratio Detector (c) Crystal Discriminator (d) Phase Lock Loops FM receiver with TDA7088T Comparison between AM and FM References 1 1 2 2 2 3 5 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 11 11 14 16 .

Figure 1: (a) Carrier signal. The highest frequency of the modulating data is normally less than 10 percent of the carrier frequency. (b) message (c) AM signaliii . the process by which some characteristic of a higher frequency wave is varied in accordance with the amplitude of a lower frequency wave. In other words.Modulation Modulation is a technique for transferring information or message of lower frequency by riding it on the higher frequency carrier. For this purpose message is multiplied with a sinusoidal of frequency ωο. The instantaneous amplitude (overall signal power) varies depending on the instantaneous amplitude of the modulating data.ii Figure below shows an AM signal. There are two types of modulation: 1 AM 2 FM Amplitude Modulation The basic idea of AM is that “vary the amplitude of carrier wave in proportion to the message signal”.i This solves the major problem of antenna size and signal distortion (or noise) in communication system.

(b) FM signal Demodulation Demodulation is the reverse of modulation that is a process for retrieving an information signal that has been modulated onto a carrier. AM Receiver For extracting the message signal back from the carrier wave we “demodulate” the RF signal. Another definition could be Frequency modulation (FM) is a form of modulation. For AM demodulation we have different methods: v Early Receiver Architectures o 4. the frequency of carrier wave is varied with respect to the amplitude of message signal.1. which represents information as variations in the instantaneous frequency of a carrier wave.2 Regenerative Receivers o 4.1 Tuned RF Receivers o 4.iv In figure below a FM signal shown.Frequency Modulation In Frequency Modulation.1.3 Super-Regenerative Receivers Superheterodyne Receivers o Modern Single Conversion Implementations o Multiple Conversion Implementations o Up Conversion Implementations o Designs with Ultra-Low IFs o Designs with Image Rejection Mixers o Designs with Selective Demodulators .1. Figure 2: (a) Message signal.

Narrow.Direct Conversion Receivers Digital Receivers Ideal Low-Power Receivers Keeping in mind the limited pages of this report. The result became the well-known architecture used today with high quality channel-select filtering and no adjustments aside from volume and tuning controls. Synchronous and Asynchronous. the separate tuned-RF receiver was replaced by the dedicated IF section of the modern superheterodyne design. Amplification could be provided primarily at a lower frequency where high gains were easier to achieve. Amplification was split between two Two demodulation techniques are used with superheterodyne receivers. including: The low-frequency receiver (typically a high quality tuned-RF design) could be adjusted once. it was quickly recognized that the basic approach offered many additional benefits. Superheterodyne Receivers The concept of heterodyning an incoming signal to convert it to a lower frequency was developed by Armstrong and others in 1918. I will discuss only superheterodyne receiver. Eventually. in which pre-tuned fixed-frequency filters are employed. high-order filtering was more easily achieved in the low frequency receiver than at the actual incoming RF frequency being received. so that the risk of unwanted regenerative feedback could be reduced. and thereafter all tuning could be done by varying the heterodyne oscillator. was intended to allow low frequency radiotelephone receivers to be adapted for use at newer HF frequencies being used in Europe. shown in Figure. . Armstrong's original design. Figure 3: Original Superheterodyne design However.

Figure 4: Synchronous and Asynchronous superheterodyne receivers.vii Figure 5: block diagram of superheterodyne receiver . Below in the figure is shown a more general block diagram of superheterodyne receiver. I will stick to only with Asynchronous Superheterodyne model. Again for simplicity.

and when weak. or allowed to reach its normal maximum. One of them is Automatic Gain Control (AGC).viii The AGC circuit keeps the receiver in its linear operating range by measuring the overall strength of the signal and automatically adjusting the gain of the receiver to maintain a constant level of output. The complete circuit at next page appears complicated. the gain is increased.Circuit for Superheterodyne Receiver Although superheterodyne radio receivers looks not very complicated but for practicable purposes there must be additional circuitry involved in the design. I will present a circuit without AGC.ix For simplicity of circuit. the gain is reduced. When the signal is strong. . that is why I have decided to explain it systematically.


Figure 6 Figure 7: Three different views of LO Figure 8 Mixer Stage Multiplying the RF signal from the antenna with the frequency of LO is an essential part of demodulation.Local Oscillator Stage In most of AM receivers. The top side of LO is colored white in order to distinguish it from intermediate frequency transformers. The pin configuration of LO is shown in figure 7. The main purpose of having a moveable core is to tune the oscillator at desire band. Moreover. Different methods are employed for this purpose. But I prefer IC NE612 for this purpose in my circuit for many reasons. diodes. They are not more than ordinary transformer but with an additional capability. The main reason is that using IC instead of other component is that the need of RF stage amplifier is reduced very much. known as oscillator coil. because NE612 takes very little power from input signal. transformers or other electronic components may be used. local oscillator (LO) is designed with the help of a special component. other important reason is that the quality of mixing is very good and output signal is very much close to the intermediate frequency (IF). transistors. Another good reason is that as we all know that for mixer circuit the Figure 9: Block Diagram and pin configuration of NE612 . that their core is movable between the coils. They come in metal housing and there are five pins plus two pins of metal housing.

we use coupling capacitor.x . Japanese IFT's have the capacitor C placed in the cavity of the plastic stopper. The colours are voltage should be very constant. From the bottom side of the housing you can see 5 pins emerging from the plastic stopper. There block diagram and pin configuration is shown bellow. that link the IFT to the PCB. This part is colored in order to distinguish the IFT's between themselves. They are just pair of two capacitors connected parallel to each other. being connected inside the IFT. Coupling Capacitor As we know that in superheterodyne design our RF stage and LO should oscillate in such a way that their difference is always 455 kHz (IF frequency). as shown in figure. Besides them. One is for main tuning and other is for fine-tuning. attach antenna to pin 1 or 2. The only difference is that they also have a capacitor built in them. which are to be soldered and connected with the device ground. with fewer quirks in it. a parallel oscillatory circuit with a leg on its coil. As you can see it in figure. In the case of FM. yellow and black (the coil of the local oscillator is also being placed in such housing. that mean that we don’t have to implement one by our self. 8. there are also two noses located on the bottom side. but is being painted in red. They too came in metal housing as LO. the IFT is. to distinguish it from the IFT). so it is called IFT. And the biggest advantage is that its use is very simple. The coil body has a ferrite core (symbolically shown with single upward straight dashed line) that can be moved (with screwdriver). in our case 455 kHz. there are four capacitors. In order to get simultaneously tuning of both circuits. 3 and 6 volt to pin no. The part of the core that can be moved with the screwdriver can be seen through the eye on the top side of the housing. The capacitor can be seen in the following figure. in fact. which allows for the setting of the resonance frequency of the circuit. and NE612 has its own voltage regulator. Both the coil and the capacitor C are placed in the square-shaped metal housing that measure 10x10x11 mm. The same body contains another coil. Then connect LO between pin 6 and 7. ground pin no. figure 10-d. Together with the bigger one it comprises the HF transformer that takes the signal from the oscillatory circuit into the next stage of the receiver. Intermediate Frequency Transformer/Filter (IFT) Intermediate frequency filter is made with the help of transformer similar to the LO stage. since there are usually at least 3 of them in an AM receiver. and get IF frequency out from pin 4 and 5.

Audio Amplifier Stage In order to get good and loud voice from the speaker it is essential to have an audio frequency (AF) amplifier or simply audio amplifier. Please not that this method is known asynchronous detection.Figure 10: Details and pin description of IF Filter Detector Stage The detector stage is implemented with the easiest method that is with envelop detection. We can get 20 to 200 times amplification from it. It is low priced and good quality IC. which in turn is connected with the loudspeaker. The speaker should be round about 10Ω rated to 1W. If speaker is not available just omit the LM386 and place a headphone just after the detector. No description is necessary. . Pin 5 gives the output. For this purpose well-known audio amplifier IC LM386 is used. only the circuit is given below.

Briefly T1 converts the f. notably early T. Discriminator (figure 12) Figure 12 This discriminator simply works on the principal that with no modulation applied to the carrier there is no output at the detector. The principal discrete ones were: (a) F.T. As an aside. and when rectified the output is still zero because they would be equal but opposite in polarity.F.m. with frequency drift there will be an output difference (in either direction) which is amplified and applied to front end tuning diodes for correction. The difference between these outputs is the audio. receivers. .m. With no frequency variation there is no output.) schemes in some a.Figure 11: Audio Amplifier and LM386 pin description FM Receiver As I described earlier that FM receiver is not much different with AM superheterodyne except the detector stage. receivers. if modulation is applied then there is a shift in the phase of the input component with a corresponding difference in the signals out of the diodes.M.m.V. A number of FM detection schemes have evolved over the years. signal to a. this is somewhat similar to some Automatic Fine Tuning (A.

(c) Crystal Discriminator Once favored by radio amateurs but superseded by later I.e. and it placed some relaxation on the severe limiting requirements.m. .m.C. FM receiver with TDA7088T This IC is the successor of the famous TDA7000. This scheme was quite popular in entertainment type receivers. it is an improved model of TDA7000. You detect f. that allows to implement both monophonic and stereophonic FM receiver.(b) Ratio Detector The schematic looks a little similar to figure 6 but has a third (tertiary) winding on the secondary of T1. designs (d) Phase Lock Loops Among the relatively newer designs and PLL's overcome many of the drawbacks and costs associated with building and aligning LC discriminators. diode D2 has its polarity reversed and the two divider resistors are replaced by capacitors. but NOT a. The basic features of TDA7088T are given in the following table. i.

causing its capacitance to decrease. i. the BB910 varicap diode is used instead. to the anode of the BB910. Its capacitance is being changed by varying the DC voltage supplied to its anode over the 5k6 resistor. the most significant novelty is the auto-tuning circuitry. The VCO voltage is led into the mixer (MIXER) which also receives. This voltage is then transferred. As far as practical use is concerned. The 100 nF capacitor then starts chargingl and the voltage on the pin 16 increases. This is how the tuning is performed: When the user press and releases the pushbutton marked with “RUN”. IF amplifier and FM detector. fm=73 kHz (selectivity is being accomplished by two active filters whose components are the . but also some other circuits that extend the possibilities and improve the features of this IC. over pin 11. The mixer outputs the FM signals whose frequencies are equal to the differences of the oscillator and the original station frequency. The only signal that can reach the demodulator (FM detector) is the one whose carrier frequency is equal to the inter-frequency. over the 5k6. The IC contains all the parts of the classic superheterodyne receiver: the local oscillator. No variable capacitor is necessary for tuning. the positive voltage impulse is released to the S(et) input of the SEARCH TUNING circuit.The electronic diagram of the HF part of the monophonic FM receiver made with TDA7088T IC is given on following figure. the signals of all the other FM stations.e. as it was in all the previous projects. which increases the frequency of the local oscillator (VCO).

the charging of the capacitor is halted by the command that is sent into the SEARCH TUNING circuit by two detectors (diode-blocks) located in the MUTE circuit.capacitors connected to pins 6. . On its output. the adder (+) and resistor.e. The detectors (diode-blocks) control the operation of the MUTE circuit. over the LOOP FILTER stage. and it is modulated by the programme of the first station that is found after the RUN button is pushed. the voltage on pin 16 drops down to zero. reducing the deviations of the signal being received from ±75 kHz to ±15 kHz. When the RESET button is pushed. the oscillator frequency increases until it gets the condition fO-fS=73 kHz is accomplished. 8. until the RUN button is pushed again (this voltage can vary from 0 V til 1. 9 and 10). By connecting the demodulator exit. the 100 nF capacitor is discharged. to the VCO. Let us get back to the mixer. gets amplified in the IF amplifier (IF LIMITER) and passed onto the input of the demodulator. the 73 kHz FM signal is obtained. and the receiver is set to the low end of the reception bandwidth. The AFC (Automatic Frequency Control) circuit now gets its role and prevents the voltage on pin 16 to be changed. 88 MHz. preventing the LF (AF) signal to reach the output pin (2) until the tuning on the station that creates the signal in the antenna that is strong enough for quality reception is obtained. This signal then passes the active filters. Therefore. i. the so-called FFL (Frequency Feedback Loop) circuit is accomplished.8 V during the tuning). the invertor (-1) and MUTE circuit onto the pin 2. over the LOOP FILTER. The LF (AF) signal is led from the demodulator. When this happens. 7.

xii 8. 3. FM receiver requires small antennas as compared to AM receivers. the frequencies used in FM broadcasting are not reflected by the ionosphere. Most FM receivers today are made with the use of ICs such as TDA7000 or TDA7088A. 13. Therefore. 6.2 = 100 stations on the FM dial. AM radio stations are allocated only 10 kHz of bandwidth. On the other hand. There can be at most a maximum of (108-88)/0. as it can travel through them. . which may be in another country. FM radio stations have 200 kHz of bandwith. An AM wave seldom notices things as small as houses and buildings. the number of AM stations in an area is much lower for a number of other reasons. The frequencies used in AM broadcasting are reflected by the ionosphere and by the earth so these frequencies can bounce back and forth. FM receiver can be easily manufactured in ICs and very easy to use. 11. the AM signal from a powerful station in one city can be received in another city.xi 4. 9. approximately. 2. with the carrier frequency again in the middle of the range. 7. Further. 5. AM signals can be reflected from the ionospheric layer back to earth. On the other hand. Whereas there can be at most (1605-535)/10 = 107 AM stations in an area. The reason is that the noise in its nature can only change amplitude as in AM. Commercial AM bands are between 550 kHz and 1600 kHz while FM is between 88 MHz and 108 MHz. Consequently. AM receivers are easy to built but difficult to tune or adjust for good performance. FM receivers are bit difficult to make but they can be optimized easily. so that the signals can reach unintended places that are thousands of miles away. Frequency modulation is superior to AM in the sense that there is very little or no effect of random noise on FM as compared to AM. The phase or frequency is usually not effected by the noise because of its nature. AM signals are often subject to regulations such as the use of directional antennae or reduced power at nighttime or even going off the air at night. Am has longer range because its wavelengths are so much larger. In practice. An FM wave is only around 10 meter long. 12. so the reception of these signals is pretty much "line of sight". with the carrier frequency in the middle.xiii 10. An AM wave is about 500 meters long. The range allows a broad range of audio frequencies to be represented allowing for better music. Additional circuitry may be required in AM design such as Automatic Gain Control (AGC) and Low Noise Filter (LNF) for better performance. as in FM. The first difference between two is their modulation technique. By contrast. the ionospheric reflection is increased during the night time.Comparison between AM and FM 1. An FM wave can be affected by anything at least a few feet wide as it bounces back after colliding with it.

the consumers prefer to listen to music in FM and to spoken words in AM.346 persons between 12 and 75 years old conducted by IBOPE Argentina during 1999-2000. and any program program type above this diagonal line is preferred more in AM.xiv . Any radio program type that is below this diagonal line is preferred more in FM.Here I will cite some survey data from the TGI Argentina study. Alternately. this reflects the strengths of each transmission method --larger coverage with theoretically poorer quality for AM. Thus. These respondents were presented with a list of radio program types and ask their preferences for either AM or FM reception in listening to each program type. this simply reflects the fact that AM stations carry mostly spoken words and FM stations carry most music. This is a survey of 12. (Source: TGI Argentina. The survey results are shown in the form of a scatter plot below. Each respondent may indicate an preference for AM or FM or indifference. IBOPE Argentina) The scatterplot contains a 45 degree diagonal line. each playing to its own perceived strengths. Clearly. the most and the best music programs are found on the FM spectrum. and smaller coverage with theoretically better quality for FM. There are two interpretations of this phenomenon. and the most and the best news programs are found on the AM spectrum. First of all. xii http://www.References i www. xi iii iv en. Dalton The Story of Radio.nus.htm ii . vii Image courtesy of Peter A. London. Kuhn “Design of Radio Receivers in BiCMOS Technologies” v William B.htm xiv http://www.htm Adam Hilger. Stark copyright © 2002 viii http://en. 1975.mikroe. Low ix http://en. Volumes 1-3. 1995 vi x xiii http://www.

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