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2 Radio Receivers

2.1 Radio Receiver Parameters


There are several parameters commonly used to evaluate the ability of a receiver to successful demodulate a radio signal. The most important parameters are Selectivity Tuning Range Image Frequency Rejection Bandwidth improvement Insertion Loss Sensitivity and Gain Tracking Fidelity Dynamic Range Noise Temperature and Equivalent Noise Temperature

2.1.1 Tuning Range Many radio receivers are fixed-tuned to a specific signal frequency, while others are designed to be continuously adjustable over n range (or band) of frequencies. Tuning of the RF amplifiers and the oscillator is accomplished by varying the capacitance (or sometimes the inductance) in resonant circuits that act as band-pass filters. The tuning range is usually limited by the range over which the capacitance can vary, typically a maximum of about 10: I. The resonant frequency of a high-Q tuned circuit is given by

The circuit frequency tuning range ratio Rf is defined as the ratio of its maximum frequency to its minimum frequency, and the corresponding capacitance tuning range ratio RC is the ratio of maximum capacity to minimum capacity. Applying these ratios to the resonant equation gives

If the oscillator frequency is chosen to be above the received signal frequency, then the tuning range of the oscillator tuned circuit will be smaller than that of the RF amplifier tuned circuits. If the oscillator frequency is below the signal, then its tuning range will be larger than that of the RF circuits, and also its harmonics may fall within the signal range to cause interference. This is particularly true if the intermediate frequency IF is made much smaller than the signal frequency, where the oscillator is located very near the signal frequency. While direct interference may not occur, the oscillator signal may desensitize the receiver. Thus it is usual to choose the oscillator frequency to be well above the signal frequency with the IF just below the minimum signal frequency to be used. 2.1.2 Tracking A scanning receiver is one that is designed to tune continuously over a range or band of frequencies. For this type of receiver to function properly, the local oscillatory tuning circuit

and RF amplifier tuning circuit must track each other so that all points across the band the RF circuits tune exactly to the signal, and the oscillator is offset from this by exactly the IF. The oscillator tuning section must have a smaller capacitor with a smaller tuning range than that of the RF amplifier circuits. One way to obtain the different capacitances is to use a specially made tuning capacitor that has two or more sections, with one cut specially to provide the proper capacitance to tune the oscillator. If the receiver is to tune more than one band, then usually the sections of the tuning capacitor are made identical to each other, and the value of the oscillator section is altered by adding series padder capacitors and/or parallel trimmer capacitors. The tracking result is not perfect, and adjustment of the circuit to minimize tracking error is tedious. Furthermore, for each band of frequencies to be covered, a different set of trimmers and padders must be switched into the circuits, further compromising the design. Figure shows the three possible arrangements of trimmers and padders to provide oscillator tracking. With a single trimmer or single padder, the tracking error can be zero at two points within the band, while if both padders and trimmers are used, the error is zero at three points, and the maximum error can be made smaller with careful adjustment. For tracking with only a padder Cp in series with the oscillator section main capacitor Cs, the oscillator capacitor Co is given by

Substituting minimum and maximum values of Co into the max/min capacitory range equation allows Cp to be found uniquely. If a trimmer capacitor is used in the oscillator section, then Co is the parallel combination given by Co = Cs + Ct and again Ct can be found by substituting in the max/min capacitor range equation. For the combined padder-trimmer combination, the oscillator capacitor is found to be

Modern scanning receivers use varactor diode tuning, in which the tuning capacitors are replaced by the voltage-variable capacitoy of the varactor diodes. In this case, a variable dc voltage is genderated by variable resistor. The oscillator varactor is chosen to give the proper range of tuning, or same type may be used for both RF and oscillator and the oscilaltor adjusted with a padder. Since the source of the tuning voltage does not have to be located in the RF section of the receiver, this system is ideal for remote tuning applications. In the following circuit, all three varactors have parallel trimmer capacitors to allow adjsutments of their ranges to track each other. The oscillator has a padding capacitor in series with varactor to shift its tuing range to the required value.

2.1.3 Sensitivity and Gain The sensitivity of a receiver is the minimum RF signal level that can be detected at the input to the receiver and still produce a usable demodulated information signal. This sensitivity may be defined in several ways. First it may be stated in terms of the signal field strength of a signal that will produce a desired demodulated output level under a certain modulation level. The sensitivity is usually stated in terms of the voltage developed by the antenna across the receiver antenna terminals in micro-volts. Another way of stating the sensitivity is to state the antenna terminal signal voltage required to produce a specific signal-to-noise ratio. In the case of receivers for digital signals, the sensitivity is usually stated as the input signal level required for producing a desired bit-error rate which is related to signal-to-noise ratio. In the case of FM receivers, the sensitivity is stated as the input voltage level required which just brings the limiting amplifier to the saturation level.

Receiver sensitivity is also called receiver threshold. The best way to improve the sensitivity of a receiver is to reduce the noise level. The gain required in the RF and IF amplifier chain of a receiver depends on the required input and output. The input is the minimum usable signal level to be presented at the antenna terminals. The output is the minimum signal level at the input of the detector/demodulator required to make the detector perform satisfactorily.

2.1.4 (Adjacent channel) Selectivity Selectivity is a receiver parameter that is used to measure the ability of receiver to accept a given band of frequencies and reject all others. There are several ways to describe the selectivity of a radio receiver. One common way is to give the bandwidth of the receiver at the -3 dB points. This bandwidth however is not necessarily a good means of determining how well the receiver will reject unwanted frequencies. Hence it is common to give the receiver bandwidth at two levels of attenuation -3 dB and -60 dB. The ratio of these two bandwidths is called the shape factor and is expressed as

Ideally, the bandwidth at the -3dB and -60dB points would be equal, and the shape factor will be 1. This value is impossible in a practical circuit. A typical AM radio receiver will have a shape factor of 2. Sophisticated satellite, microwave, and two-way radio receivers have shape factors closer to the ideal value of 1. A good receiver should provide 60 to 80 dB of rejection of the adjacent channels, or more in a high-quality receiver. In the past, IF selective has been obtained by using several cascaded high-Q tuned circuits in different combinations. Such system suffers from amplitude and phase distortion over the band pass. Better in-band distortion characteristics can be obtained with such systems by using stagger tuning. An odd number of tuned circuits are used, and these are tuned so that one is on the centre frequency and each successive pair is tuned to be equidistant and progressively farther from the centre frequency. The overall response is again the product of the individual responses, but this time the top has several peaks, forming a ripple. This ripple can be smoothed by adding more tuned circuits with their peaks tuned closed together. The steepness of the skirts of the response is dependent on the total number of tuned circuits is used. In both of these systems, the tuned circuits must be isolated from each other so that a five-hump response would require five tuned circuits separated by four amplifiers.

2.1.5 Bandwidth Improvement The noise reduction ratio achieved by reducing the bandwidth is called bandwidth improvement (BI) and is expressed as

where BI = Bandwidth Improvement, BRF = RF Bandwidth, BIF = IF Bandwidth. The corresponding reduction in noise figure due to the reduction in Bandwidth is called noise figure improvement and is expressed in dB as: NFimprovement = 10 log BI 2.1.6 Dynamic Range The dynamic range of a receiver is defined as the difference in decibels between the minimum input level necessary to discern a signal and the input level that will overdrive the receiver and produce distortion. The minimum receive level is a function of front-end noise, noise figure and the desired signal quality. The input signal level that will produce overload distortion is a function of the net gain of the receiver (the total gain of all the stages in the receiver). The high-power limit of a receiver depends on whether it will operate with a single- or a multiple- frequency input signal. If single frequency is used, the 1-dB Compression point is generally used for the upper limit of usefulness. The 1-dB compression point is defined as the output power when the RF amplifier response is 1 dB less than the ideal linear-gain response.

2.1.7 Fidelity Fidelity is a measure of the ability of a communications system to produce, at the output of the receiver, an exact replica of the original source information. Any frequency, phase or amplitude variations that are present in the demodulated waveform that were not in the original information signal are considered distortion. There are three forms of distortion that can deteriorate the fidelity of a communications system: amplitude distortion, frequency distortion, and phase distortion. Phase distortion is not particularly important for voice transmission because the human ear is relatively insensitive to phase variation. However, phase distortion can be devastating to data transmission. The predominant cause of phase distortion is filtering (both wanted and unwanted). Absolute phase shift is the total phase shift encountered by a signal and can be generally tolerated as long as all frequencies undergo the same amount of phase delay. Differential phase shift occurs when different frequencies undergo different phase shifts and may have a detrimental effect on a complex waveform. Amplitude distortion occurs when the amplitude-versus-frequency characteristics of a signal at the output of a receiver differ from those of the original information signal. Amplitude distortion is the result of non-uniform gain in amplifiers and filters. Frequency distortion occurs when frequencies are present, in received signal that were not present in the original information signal. Frequency distortion is a result of harmonic and intermodulation distortion and is caused by nonlinear amplification. Third-order intercept distortion is the predominant form of frequency distortion. Frequency distortion can be reduced by using a square-law device, such as a FET, in the front end of a receiver. 2.1.8 Insertion Loss Insertion Loss (IL) is defined as the ratio of the power transferred to a load with filter in the circuit to the power transferred to a load without the filter. 2.1.9 Noise Temperature and Equivalent Noise Temperature Since thermal noise is directly proportional to temperature, noise can be expressed in terms of temperature as below

Where, T= Environmental temperature (Kelvin), N= Noise power (Watts), k = Boltzmanns constant, B = Bandwidth (Hertz). Equivalent noise temperature (Te) is a parameter that is often used in low-noise, sophisticated radio receivers than noise figure. It is an indication of the reduction in the signal-to-noise ratio as a signal propagates through a receiver. The lower the equivalent noise temperature, the better the quality of the receiver. Te = T (F-1) Where Te = Equivalent noise temperature (Kelvin), T = Environmental temperature (Kelvin), F= Noise factor.

2.1.10 Spurious Responses Spurious responses occur when a signal with a frequency near that of the desired frequency passes through the RF amplifier to the mixer with an appreciable amplitude and either it ore one of its harmonics mixes with the oscillator or one of its harmonics to produce a frequency with the band-pass of the IF filter. Increasing the selectivity of the RF amplifiers by increasing the Q (i.e. more tuned circuits) will reduce this effect. 2.2 Tuned Radio Frequency Receivers The tuned radio-frequency (TRF) receiver has an RF stage, a detector state, and an audio stage as shown in the block diagram. Generally, two or three RF amplifiers are required to filter and amplify the received signal to a level sufficient to drive the detector stage. The detector converts RF signals directly to information, and the audio stage amplifies the information signals to a usable level. Disadvantages The primary disadvantage is their bandwidth is inconsistent and varies with centre frequency, when tuned over a wide range of input frequencies, due to skin effect. At radio frequencies, current flow is limited to the outermost area of conductor, thus, the higher the frequency, the smaller the effective area and the greater the resistance. Consequently the quality factory (Q=XL / R) varies over a wide range of frequencies, causing the bandwidth (f/Q) to increase with frequency. The second disadvantage is instability due to the large number of RF amplifiers all tuned to the same centre frequency. Multistage RF amplifiers are susceptible to breaking into oscillations. This problem can be reduced by tuning each amplifier to a slightly different frequency, slightly above or below the desired centre frequency. This technique is called stagger tuning. The third disadvantage is their gains are not uniform over a very wide frequency range because of the non uniform L/C ratios of the tank circuits in RF amplifiers.

2.3 Superheterodyne Receivers Superheterodyne receivers have good gain, selectivity and sensitivity characteristics. Heterodyne means to mix two frequencies together in a nonlinear device or to translate on frequency to another using nonlinear mixing. There are five sections: an RF section, a mixer/converter section, an IF section, an audio detector section, and the audio amplifier section.

2.3.1 Superheterodyne Receiver construction 2.3.1.1 RF section The RF section generally consists of a preselector and an amplifier state. The preselector is abroad-tuned band pass filter with an adjustable centre frequency that is tuned to the desired carrier frequency. The preselector provides enough initial band-limiting to prevent image frequency from entering the receiver. It also reduces the noise bandwidth of the receiver. The RF amplifiers are responsible for Greater gain, thus better sensitivity Improved Image-Frequency Rejection Better Signal-to-Noise Ratio Better Selectivity 2.3.1.2 Mixer/Converter section The mixer/converter section includes a Radio-Frequency oscillator stage (commonly called a local oscillator) and a mixer/converter stage (commonly called the first detector). The mixer stage is a non-linear devices and it converts radio frequencies to intermediate frequencies (RF-to-IF frequency translation). Heterodyning takes place in the mixer stage, and radio frequencies are down-converted to intermediate frequencies. The information contained in the signal remains unchanged during this down-conversion. Also the bandwidth is unchanged by the heterodyning process. 2.3.1.3 IF section The IF section consists of a series of IF amplifiers and band pass filters called as the IF strip. Most of the receiver gain and selectivity is achieved in the IF section. The Intermediate Frequency and bandwidth are constant for all stations. Also, low-frequency IF amplifiers are

less likely to oscillate than their RF counterparts. Therefore, a receiver may have 5 or 6 IF amplifiers and a single RF amplifier or possibly no RF amplification. 2.3.1.4 Detector section The detector section converts the IF signals back to the original source information. The detector is generally called an audio detector or the second detector in a receiver. The detector can be as simple as a single diode or as complex as phase-locked loop or balanced demodulator. 2.3.1.5 Audio amplifier section The audio section comprises several cascaded audio amplifiers and one or more speakers. The number and type of amplifiers depends on the audio signal power desired.

2.3.2 Receiver operation


During the demodulation process in a superheterodyne receiver, the received signals undergo two or more frequency translations. First, the RF is converted to IF, and in last stage, the IF is converted to the source information. RF for the commercial AM MW broadcast band is 535 kHz to 1610 kHz and IF is the range 450 to 460 kHz. In commercial broadcast FM receivers (88 MHz to 108 MHz), the IF is 10.7MHz. Intermediate frequencies simply refer to frequencies that are used within a transmitter or receiver that fall somewhere between the radio frequencies and the original source information frequencies. 2.3.2.1 Frequency conversion Frequency conversion in the mixer/converter stage is the process of down-converting of RF signals. IN the mixer/converter, RF signals are combined with the local oscillator frequency in a non-linear device. The output of the device contains a infinite number of harmonics and cross-product frequencies, which include the sum and difference frequencies. The Intermediate Frequency filters are tuned to the difference frequencies. The local oscillator is designed such that the difference between the RF and the local oscillator frequency is always equal to the IF. The adjustment for the centre frequency of the preselector and the adjustment for the local oscillator frequency are gang tuned. Gang tuning means two adjustments are mechanically tied together, so that both of the adjustments take place at same time. When the local oscillator frequency is tuned above the RF, it is called high-side injection or high-beat injection. When the local oscillator frequency is tuned below the RF, it is called low-side injection or low-beat injection. In AM receivers, high-side injection is always used. For high-side injection, For low-side injection, f lo = fRF +fIF. flo = fRF fIF.

Where flo local oscillator frequency, fRF Radio Frequency, fIF Intermediate Frequency

The following figure illustrates the frequency conversion process for an AM broadcast-band superheterodyne receiver using high-side injection. The input to the receiver could contain any of the AM broadcast-band channels, which occupy the bandwidth between 535 kHz and 1605 kHz. The preselector is tuned to channel2, which operates on a 550 kHz carrier frequency with a bandwidth of 10 kHz. The preselector has broad pass band of 30 kHz, which allows channels 1, 2 and 3 to the mixer/converter stage where they are mixed with 1005 kHz local oscillator frequency. The mixer output contains the same three channels except the sidebands are flipped over, channels switched places with respect to centre channel 2 due to high-side injection. The heterodyning process converts channel 1 from 535-kHz to 545-kHz band to the 460-kHz to 470-kHz band, channel 2 from the 545-kHz to 555-kHz band to the 450-kHz to the 460-kHz band, and channel 3 from the 555-kHz to 565kHz band to the 440 kHz to 450 kHz band. Channel 2 (the desired channel) only falls within the bandwidth of the IF filters (450 kHz to 460 kHz). Therefore, channel 2 is the only channel that continues through the receiver to the IF amplifiers and eventually the AM detector circuit.

2.3.2.2 Local oscillator tracking Tracking is the ability of the local oscillator in a receiver to oscillate either above or below the selected radio frequency carrier by an amount equal to the intermediate frequency throughout the entire radio frequency band. With high-side injection, the local oscillator should track above the incoming RF carrier by a fixed frequency equal to fRF + fIF and with low-side injection, the local oscillator should track below the RF carrier by a fixed frequency equal to fRF fIF.

The difference between the actual local oscillator frequency and the desired frequency is called tracking error. A maximum tracking error of 3 kHz is best for a domestic AM broadcast-band receiver with a455 kHz Intermediate Frequency. The tracking error is reduced by a technique called three-point tracking. The preselector and local oscillator each have a trimmer capacitor in parallel with the primary tuning capacitor that compensates for minor tracking errors at the high end of the AM spectrum. The local oscillator has an additional padder capacitor in series with the coil that compensates for minor tracking errors at the low end of the AM spectrum. With low-side injection, the local oscillator would have to be tuneable from 85 kHz to 1145 kHz (a ratio of 13.5 to 1). Consequently, the capacitance must change by a factor of 182 (13.52). Standard capacitors can vary by a factor of 10 at maximum. Hence, low side injection is impractical for commercial AM broadcast-band receivers. Ganged capacitors are relatively large, expensive and inaccurate. They are replaced by solidstate electronically tuned circuits. Electronically tuned circuits are smaller, less expensive, more accurate, and relatively immune to environmental changes, more easily compensated, and more easily adapted to digital remote control and push-button tuning than their mechanical counterparts. They use variable-capacitance diodes (varactor diodes). The diode capacitance and, consequently, the resonant frequency of the tuned circuit vary with the reverse bias.

2.3.2.3 Image Frequency An image frequency is any frequency other than the selected RF which will produce intermediate frequency when mixed with local oscillator in a receiver. Once an image

frequency has been mixed down to Intermediate Frequency, it cannot be filtered out or suppressed. If the selected RF carrier and its image frequency enter a receiver at the same time, two different stations are received simultaneously. With high-side injection, the selected RF is below the local oscillator by an amount equal to the IF. Therefore, the image frequency is located above the local oscillator by an amount equal to the IF. For high-side injection, fim = flo + fIF fim = fRF +2 fIF Hence, the higher the Intermediate Frequency, the farther away is the image frequency from the desired RF. Therefore, for better image frequency rejection, a high intermediate frequency is preferred. However, the higher the IF, the amplifiers stability will decrease with gain. Therefore, there is a trade-off between image-frequency rejection and IF gain and stability.

2.3.3 Choice of Intermediate Frequency Selection of the intermediate frequency depends on various factors. While choosing the intermediate frequency it is necessary to consider following factors. 1. Very high intermediate frequency will result in poor selectivity and poor adjacent channel rejection. 2. A high value of intermediate frequency increases tracking difficulties. 3. At low values of intermediate frequency, image frequency rejection is poor. 4. At very low values of intermediate frequency, selectivity is too sharp, sometimes cutting off the sidebands. 5. At very low IF, the frequency stability of the local oscillator must be correspondingly high because any frequency drift is now a larger proportion of the low IF than of a high IF. 6. The IF must not fall in the tuning range of the receiver, otherwise instability will occur and heterodyne whistles will be heard, making it impossible to tune to the frequency band immediately adjacent to the intermediate frequency. With the above considerations the standard broadcast AM receivers [tuning to 540 to 1650 kHz] use an IF within the 438 kHz to 465 kHz range. The 465 kHz is most commonly used IF. 2.3.4 Image-frequency rejection ratio The image-frequency rejection ratio (IFRR) is a numerical measure of the ability of a preselector to reject the image frequency. For a single-tuned preselector, the ratio of its gain at the desired RF to the gain at the image frequency is the IFRR.

Once an image frequency has been down-converted to IF, it cannot be removed. Therefore, to reject the image frequency, it has to be blocked prior to the mixer/converter stage. If the bandwidth of the preselector is sufficiently narrow, the image frequency is prevented from entering the receiver. The ratio of RF to the IF is also an important consideration for imagefrequency rejection. The closer the RF is to the IF, the closer the RF is to the image frequency.

2.4 Automatic Gain Control Circuits An automatic gain control (AGC) circuit is a circuit which automatically increases the receiver gain for weak RF input levels and automatically decreases the receiver gain when a strong RF signal is received. There are several types of AGC, which include direct or simple AGC, delayed AGC, and forward AGC. 2.4.1 Direct or simple AGC The AGC monitors the received signal level and sends a signal back to the RF and IF amplifiers to adjust their gain automatically. AGC is a form of degenerative or negative feedback. The purpose of AGC is to allow a receiver to detect and demodulate, equally well, signals that are transmitted from different stations whose output power and distance from receiver vary. The AGC produces a voltage that adjusts the receiver gain and keeps the IF carrier power at the input to the AM detector at a relatively constant level. AGC is not a form of automatic volume control as it is independent of modulation and totally unaffected by changes in the modulating signal amplitude.

An AGC is essentially a peak detector. Often the AGC correction voltage is taken from the output of the audio detector. The dc voltage at the output of a peak detector is equal to the peak unmodulated carrier amplitude minus the barrier potential of the diode. If the carrier amplitude increases, the AGC voltage increases, and if the carrier amplitude decreases, the AGC voltage decreases. The circuit shown in the figure is a negative peak detector and produces a negative voltage at its output. The greater the amplitude of the input carrier, the more negative is the output voltage. The negative voltage from the AGC detector is fedback to the IF stage, where it controls the bias voltage on the base of the transistor. When the carrier amplitude increases, the voltage on the base of transistor becomes less positive, causing the emitter current to decrease. As a result the amplifier gain decreases, which in turn causes the carrier amplitude to decrease. When the carrier amplitude decreases, the

AGC voltage becomes less negative, the emitter current increases and the amplifier gain increase.

2.4.2 Delayed AGC With simple AGC, the AGC bias begins to increase as soon as the received signal exceeds the thermal noise of the receiver. Consequently, the receiver becomes less sensitive which is called automatic desensing. This is avoided by delayed AGC. Delayed AGC prevents the AGC feedback voltage from reaching the RF or IF amplifiers until the RF level exceeds a predetermined magnitude. Once the RF carrier has exceeded the threshold level, the delayed AGC voltage is proportional to the carrier signal strength.

With delayed AGC, the receiver gain is unaffected until the AGC threshold level is exceed, whereas with the simple AGC, the receiver gain is immediately affected. Delayed AGC is used in sophisticated communication receivers while simple AGC is used in simple inexpensive broadcast-band radio receivers. 2.4.3 Forward AGC Both simple and delayed AGC have the disadvantage that they are forms of post-AGC (afterthe-fact) compensation. With post-AGC, the circuit that monitors the carrier level and provides the AGC correction voltage is located after the IF amplifiers; therefore, the AGC voltage changed is too late (the carrier level has already change and propagated through receiver). Hence forward AGC is used.

In forward AGC, the receiver signal is monitored closer to the front end of the receiver and the correction voltage is fed forward to the IF amplifiers. Consequently, when a change in signal level is detected, the change can be compensated for in succeeding stages.

2.5 Electronically Tuned Receivers (ETRs) Figure shows a representative AM electronically tuned receiver (ETR) tuning arrangement. The local oscillator, mixer, IF amplifiers and detectors are all contained in a single chip, the National LM 1863. The RF stages include an input FET buffer amplifier followed by a tuned input/tuned output RF amplifier. The two RF tuned circuits are varactor tuned, trimmed for tracking, and transformer coupled to the signal circuit for impedance matching. The oscillator tuned circuit is also varactor tuned and trimmed. The same type of varactor diode is used in all three tuned circuits, with the same type of trimmer capacitor, and all three are driven by the same tuning voltage. Proper tracking is accomplished by adjusting the three trimmers to obtain the desired tuning ratios. The local oscillator in the receiver becomes the voltage-controlled oscillator for a frequency synthesizer system included on a National OS8907 chip. In the IF chip, a sample of the local oscillator signal is amplified by a buffer amplifier and coupled to the feedback input of the phase-locked loop chip to drive the programmable divide-by-(N + I) counter. This produces a signal with a frequency of fo/ (N+ I) = 10 kHz (the channel frequency spacing for the AM band), which becomes one input to the phase detector multiplier. A crystal oscillator on the same chip produces a 4-MHz reference frequency signal, which is then divided by K = 400 to produce a 100 kHz reference signal for the other input of the multiplier. For signal frequencies from 550 to 1600 kHz with a 450kHz IF, the required values of N are from 99 to 204 in steps of 1, giving 106 channels each 10 kHz wide. The two signals presented to the phase detector multiplier are both at 10 kHz once lock is achieved, but are displaced in phase by 90 plus a phase offset. This phase offset produces a de bias voltage that is filtered and used to drive the local oscillator varactor, tuning it to the lock frequency at (N + I) x 10kHz. The same voltage also drives the RF circuit tuning varactor diodes, which are trimmed to track the local oscillator. Control of the tuning system is accomplished using a dedicated microprocessor chip. In a manual mode, the frequency of the desired channel may be entered through the keypad, and the microprocessor will calculate the required value of N and pass it to the programmable counter in the synthesizer chip. Automatic band scanning is a desirable feature in automotive applications, especially where local station frequency assignments are not known. The signal detector on the IF chip produces a logic high condition (called the valid station stop) when a strong signal appears in the IF frequency window while scanning. This signal tells the computer to stop scanning and lock on the current frequency. Automatic scanning is initiated by pressing a scan start button on the panel. A software channel counter in the control computer starts counting up (or down) from the current channel number and continues until a strong signal produces the valid station stop condition. The value of N at each step of the channel counter is computed from the channel number by the equation N = 99 + [1 x (CH -1)] where CH is the channel number, with values from I to 106. When the scanner tunes to a valid channel, indicated by the presence of a carrier to produce the stop signal, scanning stops and the receiver locks to that signal. Because the AGC circuits in the receiver do not

respond instantaneously, it is necessary for the scan control to stop on each channel number long enough for the AGC to respond and give a true level for the valid station stop signal. This is typically on the order of more than 100 ms, the same as the AGC time constant. In an automotive receiver, both AM, FM signals usually are required. Hence the receiver system will include two complete receivers, one for AM and other for FM. The National LM1865 is an FM receiver while LM1863 is an equivalent AM receiver. Both are included in this chip. Both receivers are serviced by the same tuning control system and synthesiser. Under control of the microprocessor, when FM desired, the audio output signals are switched and the value of K is changed to 160. The values of N range from 3951 to 4743 in steps of 8 for the commercial FM band from 88 to 108 MHz with a 10.7 MHz IF, embracing 100 channels each 200 kHz wide. The signals at the phase comparator input are at 25 kHz, the eighth submultiple of the channel spacing of 200 kHz. The value of N is computed as N = 3951 + [8 x (CH 1)] where CH is the channel number, with values form 1 to 100.

2.6 Integrated Receivers


Consider an Integrated Circuit Receiver built around the National LM 1863 chip. As indicated by the block diagram in Fig. 7.12.2, this chip includes the mixer, the IF amplifier, the detector, the local oscillator, the AGC circuits, and the valid station stop detector.

2.6.1 RF section
The receiver uses a discrete-component two-stage RF tuner with two tracking tuned circuits to obtain sufficient image rejection. The antenna is coupled through a fixed-tuned broadband pass filter T1 to help to reject the image and spurious responses. The first stage is an FET buffer Q1 operating in common-source mode with the drain circuit tuned. The tuned circuit is a transformer T2 with the secondary tuned by the varactor diode D1 and coupled through the primary to the signal circuit to match impedances. The second stage is a common-emitter amplifier Q2 with its collector tuned by the transformer T3 and varactor D2. Both stages share a common bias current source, which is modulated by the RF AGC voltage. The RF amplifier output signal is connected through coupling capacitor C28 to the mixer input on pin 18, along with the IF AGC voltage through R22.

2.6.2 Mixer section


The mixer is a doubly balanced multiplier-type mixer, operated in linear mode so that no second harmonics of the RF and oscillator signals are generated. The mixer output appears on pin 9 and is coupled through singly tuned transformer T4 for impedance matching into a 450kHz ceramic IF filter block with a 20 kHz band pass, to the IF amplifier input on pin 10. The local oscillator is tuned by inductor T6 and varactor D3 connected at pin 16. An internal level detector and bias circuit control the output level of the oscillator as its frequency changes to maintain a constant output level. This reduces the harmonic output of the oscillator to reduce spurious responses. The oscillator output is internally coupled to one input of the mixer and also passed through a buffer amplifier to the output pin 17 for feedback to the synthesizer for the phase-locked-loop frequency control.

2.6.3 IF section
The IF amplifier is a single-stage differential amplifier operated in single-ended input mode, followed by a common-emitter amplifier whose collector is tuned by a single tuned circuit T5 connected at pin 12 (the IF amplifier output). The emitter current source of the differential pair is used to apply AGC control.

2.6.4 Audio detector, Audio amplifier sections


The IF output is internally coupled through a buffer amplifier to a peak-rectifying envelope detector. The detected audio output is passed through a buffer amplifier to pin 13 and on to successive audio stages.

2.6.5 AGC section


A sample of the detector output dc level (which is proportional to the carrier level) is separately amplified and passed through a two-stage filter to provide AGC to the mixer stage, which is coupled through pin 1 and R22. The AGC voltage at this point is passed through a second AGC amplifier and applied to the main IF differential stage, all internally.

Bypass capacitors C1 on pin 1 and C2 on pin 3 complete the two AGC filter blocks. The IF AGC threshold is set so that an input signal level of 30, V will give 20 dB suppression of the noise level. A sample of the AGC voltage is also passed to a driver amplifier, producing a voltage to drive an external dc voltmeter to indicate received signal strength at pin 15. A second AGC detector samples the RF signal at the mixer input, and when this level exceeds 6 mV, it puts out the RF AGC voltage on pin 3 to desensitize the RF amplifiers and prevent overloading the mixer. This voltage is applied to the RF stage after filtering by R19, C11.

2.6.6 Valid station stop detector section


A sample of the IF amplifier output at pin 12 is also internally connected to an amplifier tuned to the IF centre frequency at 450 kHz. The tuning is accomplished by a ceramic resonator connected to pin 7, in parallel with 12 k resistor R2. This resistor has the effect of spoiling the Q of the resonator so that a 4 kHz wide window is established about centre frequency. When a 450 kHz signal is in the window, it is amplified and passed to a peak detector to produce a bias signal. This is compared with the AGC voltage, and if both are present, a logic low output signal (the valid stop signal) is passed through pin 8 to the tuning controller to stop automatic scanning. A voltage divider R21 and potentiometer R1 present a preset voltage to pin 5 to allow adjustment of the signal threshold level, at which scan stop signal occurs.

Performance summary of LM1863 AM ETR chip Static Characteristics Supply current: 8.2 mA Operation voltage: 7.0 to 16.0 V Dynamic Characteristics

f MOD = 1 kHz fo = 1.0 MHz Maximum sensitivity 20 dB Quieting S/N for 10 mV input THD Audio output Stop signal threshold Stop Window Stop time RF Bandwidth Image Rejection RF AGC Threshold

30% MOD 2.2 V 30 V with 16 dB Antenna pad 54 dB 0.2% 125 mV 50 V externally adjustable 4 kHz < 50 ms 28 kHz > 70 dB 3 mV with 16 dB Antenna pad

2.7 FM Broadcast Receivers


FM broadcasting in India takes place in the VHF band between 88 and 108 MHz frequencies. Within this band, allotted frequencies are spaced 200 kHz apart and are allowed a maximum frequency deviation of 75 kHz around the carrier frequency. FM propagation is restricted to line of sight, and coverage is usually only for a radio of about 50 miles around the transmitter location. The figure below shows the block schematic of typical FM broadcast receiver of the monaural (mono) or single-channel variety. It is a superheterodyne circuit, with a tuned RF amplifier so that maximum signal sensitivity is typically between 10 V. The RF-stage-tuned circuits and local oscillator are tuned by a three-ganged variable capacitor controlled from a panel knob. The oscillating frequency can be varied from 98.7 to 118.7 MHz, yielding an Intermediate Frequency of 10.7 MHz. The Intermediate Frequency amplifier section is comprised of several high gain stages, of which one or more are amplitude limiters. All stages are tuned to give the desired band-pass characteristics. This is centred on 10.7 MHz and has a 180 kHz bandwidth to pass the desired signal. Amplitude limiting is usually arranged to have an onset threshold of about 1 mV at the limiting-stage input, corresponding to the quieting level of input signal, which will be set usually at 10 V or lower. The FM detector incorporates automatic frequency control. AGC is usually not provided in less expensive FM receivers. AGC may be provided to control the RF and early IF stages so that saturation of the non-limiting IF stages does not occur on strong signals. The block diagram below uses AGC. A sample of the Intermediate Frequency signal is extracted just before the input to the limiting IF amplifier. This sample is applied to a special detector used only to obtain the AGC signal and is a peak amplitude detector. The derived AGC signal is applied to control the RF preamplifier and the first IF amplifier.

2.8 FM Stereo Receivers


All new FM broadcast receivers are being built with provision for receiving stereo or twochannel broadcasts. The left (L) and right (R) channel signals from the program material are combined to form two different signals, one of which is the left-plus-right signal and one of which is the left-minus-right signal. The (L - R) signal is double-sideband suppressed carrier (DSBSC) modulated about a carrier frequency of 38 kHz, with the LSB in the 23- to 38-kHz slot and the USB in the 38- to 53-kHz slot. The (L + R) signal is placed directly in the 0- to 15kHz slot, and a pilot carrier at 19 kHz is added to synchronize the demodulator at the receiver. The composite signal spectrum is shown in the figure below. Also, the Figure shows

the block schematic of a stereo channel decoder circuit. The output from the FM detector is a composite audio signal containing the frequency-multiplexed (L + R) and (L - R) signals and the 19-kHz pilot tone. This composite signal is applied directly to the input of the decode matrix. The composite audio signal is also applied to one input of a phase-error detector circuit, which is part of a phase locked loop 38-kHz oscillator. The output drives the 38-kHz voltage-controlled oscillator, whose output provides the synchronous carrier for the demodulator. The oscillator output is also frequency divided by 2 (in a counter circuit) and applied to the other input of the phase comparator to close the phase locked loop. The phase-error signal is also passed to a Schmitt trigger circuit, which drives an indicator lamp on the panel that lights when the error signal goes to zero, indicating the presence of a synchronizing input signal (the 19-kHz pilot tone). The outputs from the 38-kHz oscillator and the filtered composite audio signals are applied to the balanced demodulator, whose output is the (L - R) channel. The (L + R) and (L - R) signals are passed through a matrix circuit that separates the L and R signals from each other. These are passed through deemphasis networks and low-pass filters to remove unwanted high-frequency components and are then passed to the two channel audio amplifiers and speakers. On reception of a monaural signal, the pilot-tone indicator circuit goes off, indicating the absence of pilot tone, and closes the switch to disable the (L - R) input to the matrix. The (L + R) signal is passed through the matrix to both outputs. An ordinary monaural receiver tuned to a stereo signal would produce only the (L + R) signal, since all frequencies above 15 kHz are removed by filtering, and no demodulator circuitry is present. Thus the stereo signal is compatible with the monaural receivers.

(a) Spectrum of the composite audio signal from the FM detector (b) Spectrum of the demodulated (L-R) signal after removal of higher frequencies Most of the circuitry for FM receivers is now available in Integrated Circuit form. Example for FM IC decoder is RCA CA3090AQ. This chip contains all the circuits necessary to accomplish the functions of a FM stereo decoder shown in the block diagram and comes with the chip mounted in a 14-pin DIP. Only a few external components are needed to make the circuit work. These include bias resistors and de-emphasis capacitors on the output, reactive components (L and C) for the VCO, and some bypass capacitors and bias resistors. All other circuits are built into the chip.

Block diagram of FM stereo receiver