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Single-Sideband Communications

SSB modulation and demodulation

Types of Sideband Transmission

Standard single sideband or SSB system

Carrier and one of sideband are completely eliminated at transmitter

Only one sideband is transmitted

Another system eliminate one sideband

Suppress carrier to desire level

Suppressed carrier (pilot carrier) can then be used at receiver for reference

Military communication

Twin-sideband suppressed carrier or independent sideband (ISB) transmission

Transmission of two independent sidebands
Each contain different intelligence
Carrier suppressed to desire level

Vestigial sideband

Used for television video transmission

Vestige (trace) of unwanted sideband and carrier are included with one full sideband

Recent system

Amplitude-compandored single sideband (ACSSB)

Used pilot carrier like SSBSC
But compressed the speech signal at transmitter and expand at receiver

Advantages of SSB
Effective utilization of frequency spectrum
Less effect of selective fading
Power saved by not transmiting carrier and one sideband
SSB has noise advantage over AM due to bandwidth reduction

Normally SSB offer 10 to 12 dB advantage over AM

Obtaining 12 dB advantage

Sideband Generation

SSB Filters
Voice transmission require audio frequency ~100 Hz to 3 kHz
Upper and lower sideband generated by balanced modulator are
separated by 200 Hz f


fc = center or carrier frequency

f = separation between two sidebands
dB = suppression of unwanted sideband

Example 4-1
Calculate required Q
for situation in Figure
a) 1 MHz carrier and
80 dB sideband
b) 100 kHz carrier and
80 dB sideband

Practical Consequence of SSB signal

SSB signal from example 4-1
Generate around lower 100 kHz carrier in combination with crystal filter
Remove one sideband
Additional frequency translation to get sideband up to desired frequency range by using mixer

SSB transmitter and receiver

Required selective bandpass filters in region 100 to 500 kHz
Need high order adjacent channel rejection at receiver if channels are too closed
Necessary to have high quality filters to pass all wanted frequencies

Types of filters

Crystal filters
Ceramic filters
Mechanical filters
High Q filter (Surface Acoustic Wave filter)
Used in radar and TV applications

Crystal Filters
Crystal equivalent circuit (a) and filter (b)

High Q (~50000 are available)

Crystal filter pass much narrow band frequencies
than the best LC filter
Ls, Cs, Rs are series resonant circuit
Cp is parallel capacitance of crystal holder

C1 is external variable capacitor (Phasing capacitor)

Cp and C1 pass undesired frequencies equally
Voltage across Cp and C1 due to undesired frequencies
are equal and 180 out of pahse
Thus, undesirable frequencies canceled and do not
appear in output
Rejection Notch: a narrow range of frequencies
attenuated by a filter, which can be tuned to minimize

Ceramic Filters
Ceramic filter symbol (a)

Response curve (b)

Normally constructed from lead zirconate-titanate

Outperform LC filter
Small Q (~2000) than crystal Q (~50000)
Low cost
More rugged
Smaller in size than crystal

Bandwidth at 60 dB and 6 dB
Shape Factor: ratio of the 60 dB and 6 dB bandwidths of a high
Q bandpass filter
Shape factor ( 6 ) provide filter selective
Ideal value 1 indicate
Vertical slope at both frequency extremes
Horizontal slope within passband with zero
Ripple Amplitude: variation in attenuation of a sharp bandpass
filter within its 6 dB bandwidth

Mechanical Filters

SSB transmitter using balanced modulator to

generate DSB
Filter eliminate one of generated DSB sideband
For simplicity, we used 200 Hz intelligence signal
Normally, human voice has complex form

Crystal frequency is 9 MHz

Signal frequency is 2 kHz and mixed with 9 MHz
Balanced-Modulator output is 9 MHz 2 kHz
(sum & difference)
Two sideband applied to filter
Only desired upper sideband is passed
Carrier and lower sideband are removed
Output of 1st balanced-modulator is filtered then
Mixed with new conversion frequency, after
Adjust output to desire transmitter
After mixing two input to get two new sidebands
2nd Balanced-modulator remove new 3 MHz
Apply two new sidebands 3 MHz 2 kHz
2.898 MHz and 3.102 MHz

SSB Transmitters

Example 4-2
For the transmitter system shown in figure, determine
the filter Q required in the linear power amplifier.

Filter SSB Generator

Crystal-Lattice Filter: filter containing at least two but usually four
Continuous Wave: undamped sinusoidal waveform produced by an
oscillator in a radio transmitter
Phase method:

Greater ease in switching from one sideband to the other

SSB can be generated directly at desired transmitting frequency
IF balanced modulator not needed
Lower intelligence frequencies can be economically used
High Q is not necessary

Phase-Shift SSB Generator

Consider modulating signal f(t) is pure cosine
= cos cos
cos = , cos =

= + +

Apply to fDSB(t),
1 =
2 =


cos + + cos
cos cos +

Upper sideband canceled, leaving lower

1 + 2 = cos

Upper balanced modulator received carrier and intelligence

Lower balanced modulator received both of them shifted in phase 90
Combining output of both modulator in adder result in SSB output
SSB output amplified by linear power amplifier
Then signal go into the transmitting antenna

Amplitude Compandoring Single Sideband (ACSSB) Systems

ACSSB: compress audio before modulation
and expand it following demodulation at
In figure, SA571 connected to expandor
IC has unity gain for 0 dBm input

When used as compressor,

All negative dBm power level increase
Positive dBm decrease

For instance,
-40 dBm becomes -20 dBm
+15 dBm becomes +7.5 dBm

Expandor reverse the process to restore

signal original dynamic range
-20 dBm to +7.5 dBm becomes -40 dBm to +15
dBm at expandor output

Compandor (compress/expand): to provide better

noise performance, a variable gain circuit at the
transmitter increases it gain for low-level signals; a
complementary circuit in receiver reverse the
process to restore the original signal

ACSSB Signal
ACSSB include pilot carrier signal
It added to audio signal sufficiently
But receiver can distinguish between two

Audio passband for voice transmission

is fully attenuated by 3 kHz
Pilot tone 3.1 kHz above eliminated
carrier is normal
Suppressed by 10 dB from max PEP
(Peak Envelope Power)
At no voice, transmitter power output
is -10 dB of maximum
At receiver, pilot tone compared to
reference oscillator in phase-lock-loop
(PLL) circuit
PLL difference voltage used to shift
receiver oscillator until error is removed

SSB Demodulation
a) Three difference sinewave
intelligence signal
b) AM waveform
c) DSB waveform
d) SSB wave form

Mixer SSB Demodulator

500 kHz carrier frequency and 1 kHz sinewave

Transmit modulator upper sideband
Receiver demodulator would see 501 kHz at its input
500 kHz oscillator input will result in mixer output frequency of 1 kHz
1 kHz is desired signal

BFO Drift Effect

Beat Frequency Oscillator (BFO) or Variable Frequency Oscillator
Minor drifts in BFO cause serious problems in SSB reception
Oscillator drift of 100 Hz for 1 kHz intelligence signal would be
detected either 1100 Hz or 900 Hz
Speech transmission need < 100 Hz shift
> 100 Hz lead to talker start sounding like Donald Duck or
completely unintelligible

Example 4-3
At one instant of time, an SSB music transmission consists of a
256 Hz sinewave and its second and fourth harmonics, 512 Hz
and 1024 Hz. If the receivers demodulator oscillator has drifted
5 Hz, determine the resulting speaker output frequencies.

Product Detector
Using balanced modulator to
recover the intelligence in
SSB signal
Plessey Semiconductor
Capacitor connected to
output pin 5 forms the LPF
lowpass filter
LPF allow only low audio

SSB Receivers

SSB receiver block diagram

Example 4-4
The SSB receiver in the figure has output as 1 kHz and 3 kHz. The carrier used
and suppressed at the transmitter was 2 MHz and upper sideband was utilized.
Determine the exact frequencies at all stages for a 455 kHz IF frequency.

Testing for carrier leak-through
Carrier Leak-through: the amount of carrier not suppressed by the balanced modulator

Testing SSB Receiver Systems


Signal Injected

Test Point

Tone Present


1 kHz modulated IF


Mixer 2 and audio amplifier good; go to step 3

Go to step 2

No (no)

1 kHz signal


Modulated IF


Modulated RF


Modulated RF


Mixer 2 stage bad, audio amplifier good

Audio amplifier bad
IF amplifier okay; go to step 4
IF amplifier bad
Mixer 1 and local oscillator good; go to step 5
Problem resides in mixer 1 or the LO
Trouble lies beyond RF amp: check antenna, cable, connector
RF amplifier bad

SSB Filter in Multisim