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Chapter: Communication Theory : Angle Modulation

FM Transmitter

Indirect method (phase shift) of modulation, Using Reactance modulator direct method, Frequency Multiplie,



ü   Indirect method (phase shift) of modulation

The part of the Armstrong FM transmitter (Armstrong phase modulator) which is expressed in dotted lines describes the principle of operation of an Armstrong phase modulator. It should be noted, first that the output signal from the carrier oscillator is supplied to circuits that perform the task of modulating the carrier signal. The oscillator does not change frequency, as is the case of direct FM. These points out the major advantage of phase modulation (PM), or indirect FM, over direct FM. That is the phase modulator is crystal controlled for frequency.

The crystal-controlled carrier oscillator signal is directed to two circuits in parallel. This signal (usually a sine wave) is established as the reference past carrier signal and is assigned a value 0°.The balanced modulator is an amplitude modulator used to form an envelope of double side-bands and to suppress the carrier signal (DSSC). This requires two input signals, the carrier signal and the modulating message signal. The output of the modulator is connected to the adder circuit; here the 90° phase-delayed carriers signal will be added back to replace the suppressed carrier. The act of delaying the carrier phase by 90° does not change the carrier frequency or its wave-shape. This signal identified as the 90° carrier signal.

The carrier frequency change at the adder output is a function of the output phase shift and is found by. fc = ∆θfs (in hertz)


When θ is the phase change in radians and fs is the lowest audio modulating frequency. In most FM radio bands, the lowest audio frequency is 50Hz. Therefore, the carrier frequency change at the adder output is 0.6125 x 50Hz = ± 30Hz since 10% AM represents the upper limit of carrier voltage change, then ± 30Hz is the maximum deviation from the modulator for PM.


The 90° phase shift network does not change the signal frequency because the components and resulting phase change are constant with time. However, the phase of the adder output voltage is in a continual state of change brought about by the cyclical variations of the message signal, and during the time of a phase change, there will also be a frequency change.

In figure. (c). during time (a), the signal has a frequency f1, and is at the zero reference phase. During time (c), the signal has a frequency f1 but has changed phase to θ. During time (b) when the phase is in the process of changing, from 0 to θ. the frequency is less than f1.


ü   Using Reactance modulator direct method


The FM transmitter has three basic sections.


1.     The exciter section contains the carrier oscillator, reactance modulator and the buffer amplifier.


2.     The frequency multiplier section, which features several frequency multipliers.


3.     The poweroutput ection, which includes a low- level power amplifier, the final power amplifier, and the impedance matching network to properly load the power section with the antenna impedance.


The essential function of each circuit in the FM transmitter may be described as follows.

ü   The Exciter


1.     The function of the carrier oscillator is to generate a stable sine wave signal at the rest frequency, when no modulation is applied. It must be able to linearly change frequency when fully modulated, with no measurable change in   amplitude.


2.     The buffer amplifier acts as a constant high-impedance load on the oscillator to help stabilize the oscillator frequency. The buffer amplifier may have a small gain.


3.     The modulator acts to change the carrier oscillator frequency by application of the message signal. The positive peak of the message signal generally lowers the oscillator's frequency to a point below the rest frequency, and the negative message peak raises the oscillator frequency to a value above the rest frequency. The greater the peak-to-peak message signal, the larger the oscillator deviation.


ü   Frequency multipliers are tuned-input, tuned-output RF amplifiers in which the output resonant circuit is tuned to a multiple of the input frequency. Common frequency multipliers are 2x, 3x and 4x multiplication. A 5x Frequency multiplier is sometimes seen, but its extreme low efficiency forbids widespread usage. Note that multiplication is by whole numbers only. There can not a 1.5x multiplier, for instance.


ü   The final power section develops the carrier power, to be transmitted and often has a low-power amplifier driven the final power amplifier. The impedance matching network is the same as for the AM transmitter and matches the antenna impedance to the correct load on the final over amplifier.

ü   Frequency Multiplier


A special form of class C amplifier is the frequency. multiplier. Any class C amplifier is capable of performing frequency multiplidàtion if the tuned circuit in the collector resonates at some integer multiple of the input frequency.


For example a frequency doubler can be constructed by simply connecting a parallel tuned circuit in the collector of a class C amplifier that resonates at twice the input frequency. When the collector current pulse occurs, it excites or rings the tuned circuit at twice the input frequency. A current pulse flows for every other cycle of the input.


A Tripler circuit is constructed in the same way except that the tuned circuit resonates at 3 times the input - frequency. In this way, the tuned circuit receives one input pulse for every three cycles of oscillation it produces Multipliers can be constructed to increase the input frequency by any integer factor up to approximately 10. As' the multiplication factor gets higher, the power output of the multiplier decreases. For most practical applications, the best result is obtained with multipliers of 2 and 3.


Another way to look the operation of class C multipliers is .to .remember that the non-sinusoidal current pulse is rich in harmonics. Each time the pulse occurs, the second, third, fourth, fifth, and higher harmonics are generated. The purpose of the tuned circuit in the collector is to act as a filter to select the desired harmonics.

In many applications a multiplication factor greater than that achievable with a single multiplier stage is required. In such cases two or more multipliers are cascaded to produce an overall multiplication of 6. In the second example, three multipliers provide an overall multiplication of 30. The total multiplication factor is simply the product of individual stage multiplication factors.

ü   Reactance Modulator

The reactance modulator takes its name from the fact that the impedance of the circuit acts as a reactance (capacitive or inductive) that is connected in parallel with the resonant circuit of the Oscillator. The varicap can only appear as a capacitance that becomes part of the frequency determining branch of the oscillator circuit. However, other discrete devices can appear as a capacitor or as an inductor to the oscillator, depending on how the circuit is arranged. A colpitts oscillator uses a capacitive voltage divider as the phase-reversing feedback path and would most likely tapped coil as the phase-reversing element in the feedback loop and most commonly uses a modulator that appears inductive.


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