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Amplitude Modulation Radio Simulator

Avelino, Anne Loraine L., Galang, Vincent N., Nañoz, Allona Jane M., Punzalan, Justine Roy A.
College of Engineering
School of Technology
First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities

Abstract— This paper aims to create an amplitude modulation

radio simulation through different subVIs using LabVIEW.

An amplitude modulation radio simulation was generated in
this experiment. It features an audio signal viewer to
simultaneously display the frequency spectrum and time-domain
representations of any desired signal in the system and play the
signal on the sound card. Using trigonometric functions, it can
form mathematical expressions for the carrier and the modulating
signal and combine these to create a formula for the complete
modulated wave. Modulators compute the product of the carrier
and modulating signals. Figure 2.1: Radio Simulator Front Panel

Amplitude modulation has been in use since the very earliest The front panel of the radio simulator shown in Figure 2.1 has
days of radio technology. The first recorded instance of its use two displays, the output waveform of the signal in time domain
was in 1901 when a signal was transmitted by a Canadian and its equivalent form in spectrum analyzer. The frequency knob
engineer named Reginald Fessenden. Amplitude modulation is is the adjust for the carrier frequency. The modulated signal will
defined as the process in which is the amplitude of the carrier then be displayed on the graph based on the carrier frequency set
wave is varied about a means values linearly with the base band in the knob.
signal. It is the most straightforward way of modulating a signal.
B. Radio Simulator Block Diagram
Lastly, AM transmitter and receiver should be formed in this
experiment through different subVIs. To further explain the operation of the radio simulator, the
block diagram will be discussed in this section. The constants in
the block diagram is placed to global variables. These global
II. CIRCUIT DESIGN variables composed of signal duration dur[s], the sampling
The Amplitude Modulation Radio simulator made in this frequency f_s[Hz], maximum frequency f_max[Hz], and the
machine problem features an audio signal viewer to intermediate frequency used by the receiver f_IF[Hz] which has
simultaneously display the spectrum and time domain default values shown in Figure 2.2.
representations of any desired signal in the system and play the
signal on the sound card. The radio simulator is composed mainly
of two main sections: the AM transmitter and the receiver
sections, and every sections is built with different subVIs which
will be discussed later in this section.

A. Radio Simulator Front Panel

Figure 2.2: System Constants

AM Transmitter

a) Three AM Transmitters

Figure 2.5: Triangle Wave Generator

Figure 2.5 shows the block diagram of the triangle wave

generator. The only difference of this triangle wave to sine wave
is the triangle wave node. The process of getting the samples and
the normalized frequency is the same as the sine wave generator.

d) Dual Sine Wave Generator

Figure 2.3: AM Transmitters

Figure 2.3 shows the AM transmitter section of the radio

simulator. There are three baseband signals with different
frequencies namely sine, dual sine and the triangle each is placed
in different subVI’s. These signals will go through the AM
modulator (another subVI) that modulates the signal based on the
carrier frequency set. The modulated output signals are then “mix
together” by the use of the compound arithmetic function which
will be processed on the receiver section.

b) Sine Wave Generator

Figure 2.6: Dual Sine Wave Generator

In the program shown in Figure 2.6. The sine wave

generator is just doubled to produce two sine signals. However,
the other sine signal is set to have 0.7 amplitude and frequency of
1.7 times of the input signal. The two sine waves are added
together to produce a dual sine signal.

e) AM Modulator

Figure 2.4: Sine Wave Generator

Figure 2.4 shows the block diagram of the sine wave

generator. The product of the two global variables for sampling
frequency, and the duration gives the number of samples that is
converted to integer. To get the normalized frequency, the
sampling frequency is divided by the input frequency. These
parameters are processed by the sine wave node to produce the

c) Triangle Wave Generator Figure 2.7: AM Modulator

The AM Modulator is the vital part of the Radio

simulator. Figure 2.7 shows the block diagram of the modulator.
First, the signal must be modulated according to the equation:
ym (t) = [A + x(t)]cos⁡(2πfc t), where A = |Xmin(t)|.

To get the amplitude of the array input signal, the
function Array Max and Min is used. This will get the minimum
value of the input. This minimum value is added to the input array

To get the function cos⁡(2πfc t), first is to make a sine wave.

Like in sine wave generator, the normalized frequency and the
number of samples is needed. The output of the sine wave is then
process on the function Get Waveform components. This will get
the components of the waveform sine producing a function
sin⁡(2πfc t). Taking the derivative by the aid of the derivative
Fig. 2.10: Local Oscillator with Mixer. (BPF input refers to received RF Signal)
node, the function cos(2πfc t) will be get. The amplitude and the
function cosine is simply multiplied to get the modulating The second stage of the receiver consists of Local
equation. Oscillator and Mixer as shown on Fig. 2.10. In this stage, RF
Signal is down converted to Intermediate Frequency (IF). Before
conversion, a local oscillator (sine wave) is created. This signal is
AM Receiver then multiplied together with Bandpass’ output. After mixing
with local oscillator, RF is now successfully converted to IF.
Accordingly, although it is converted, envelope still remains the
same thus preserving the intelligence signal.

Fig. 2.8: RF Filter Stage

Fig. 2.8 shows the complete block diagram and flow of

data/ signal to create an AM Receiver. Details of each subVI and
stage is shown below including their function and significance.

Fig.2.11: IF Section

Receiver’s third stage is the Intermediate Frequency

section. IF Section is consisted of series of bandpass filters. For
this simulation however, as shown on Fig. 2.11 only one bandpass
filter is used with center frequency of 750 Hz which is a system
constant. Value of intermediate frequency and bandwidth is
constant for all stations and less than any of RF signals received.
With IF as center frequency, filter’s selectivity would boil down
close enough to the baseband signal. Also, this stage further clears
the received of signal by ideally rejecting unnecessary parameters
Fig. 2.9: RF Filter Stage present in the signal.

The first stage for AM Receiver is RF Filter. Accordingly, its

primary functions include detecting, bandlimiting and amplifying
the received RF Signals. SubVI BPF shown in Fig. 2.9
demonstrates a bandpass filter used in filtering RF Signal.
Butterworth Order is a constant ten which is equivalent to a circuit
of ten cascaded filter design. Control input Frequency[Hz] will
serve as the tuning knob for the AM radio. Low cutoff frequency
is defined to be fc – fmax. On the other hand, high cutoff
frequency is defined to be its opposite fc + fmax.. Remembering
Fig.2.12: Low Pass Filter
that the input signals were RF, this stage enables all necessary
frequency components to be passed onto its next stage based on
The fourth stage of AM Reception is the demodulator.
the tuning desired by the user and likewise, reject others. A Select
Demodulation process extracts the information signal. Actual
function is also included so that the circuit can be disabled when
circuits use diode (detection), capacitors and resistors (both for
filters) to completely define a simple demodulator. Filters stated
above is referred as Low- Pass Filters. It is demonstrated on Fig. A triangle wave is used to provide another intelligence
2.11. Without LPF, output of demodulator (see Fig. 2.12) can signal. Set with the same frequency as the sine wave, 500 Hz, a
have a lot unnecessary parameters. Signal output becomes triangular modulating signal is shown in Figure 3.2.
unintelligible. Through LPF, information signal can be properly

Fig.2.12: Demodulator

AM Receiver’s last stage for this simulation is the DC

Blocker. Fig. 2.13 shows how the group used an amplifier and AC
& DC Estimator to finally output the transmitted signal. Ideally,
signal transmitted must be received and decoded as it is before Figure 3.2
transmission. For this simulation, it was stated that the output
waveform had DC components. To prevent offset caused by DC, A third intelligence signal was made by combining two
the estimator is implemented. Moreover, due to Amplitude sine waves of different tone frequencies and amplitude. A visible
Modulation and many filtering processes, amplitude was output of the combined sine waves is shown in Figure 3.3, which
attenuated. To solve the problem, an audio amplifier is added is quite unique but a pattern in the wave can be easily determined.
which is represented by multiplication operand (gain).

Fig.2.13: DC Blocker


Figure 3.3
The AM radio simulator views the intelligence signal and the
demodulated signal which allows comparison in the results, The next step is to develop a sub VI that stands as the
whether they’re the same or not. With the models presented and modulation stage of the signal that includes the carrier frequency.
simulated in LabVIEW, the actual process of transmitting and Setting the input of the modulator to be the three intelligence
receiving different signals can be easily understood. signal, a modulated signal is produced. And shown in Figure 3.4
are the three modulated signal with a carrier frequency calibrated
The first intelligence signal is a sine wave, simulated at a to 1500 Hz.
frequency of 500 Hz, as shown in Figure 3.1. A signal viewer was
used to help in the visualization of the signal in time domain and
its respective frequency in the spectrum.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.4
Another simulation of the modulated signals is carried Adding the three modulated signal using compound
out but the carrier frequency this time is 3 kHz. The signals in arithmetic, a signal is derived and is shown in Figure 3.7. The
time domain is shown in Figure 3.5. combined signal has a resemblance in the modulated dual sine
wave despite being combined with the sine and triangle waves.
A final simulation for the modulated signals is done by setting the Nonetheless, it just resembled the dual sine wave because it is one
carrier frequency to 4.5 kHz, shown in Figure 3.6. of its origin, but they’re completely not equal. A requirement to
keep the transmitter from stepping on each other’s signal is that
By experimenting with the carrier frequency and setting they operate at different frequencies. By doing so, unique signals
it to different values, it can be observed that as the carrier can be modulated without stepping on each other’s signal that will
frequency increases, the frequency of the modulated signal also cause distortion.
increases. It is evident in the figures that the lines in the graph are
getting thicker and forming a clear envelope.

Figure 3.7

After the transmitting the baseband signals, an AM

receiver is done to demodulate the combined modulated signal.
The first stage of a receiver is the RF filter, which is labeled in
this experiment as the tuner. The output of the RF filter will be
multiplied to the local oscillator which its frequency depends on
the tuning knob. This stage serves as the mixer.
Figure 3.5

During the ‘F’ condition of the bandpass filter (BPF),

which is also the RF filter, with a frequency set to 1.5 kHz, the
spectrum and time domain signal is shown in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.6 At the same stage, tuning the frequency to 3 kHz, a

change in the spectrum and time domain is quite noticeable in
From the waveform of the baseband signals and the Figure 3.9.
output waveform when they’re entered in the AM modulator, an
envelope was formed which connects the positive and negative
peaks of the carrier waveform. It can be noticed that the positive
values in the modulated signal is also the same as the intelligence
signal. While the negative values of the modulated signal, is a
mirror of the signal input.

Enabling the bandpass filter by setting it to ‘T’, a drastic
change happened and can be viewed in Figure 3.11. With a
frequency set to 1.5 kHz, just like the calibration when the
condition is ‘F’, the spectrum doesn’t show any frequency that is
allowed to pass through it. Only the time domain has a signal and
has a very low amplitude.

Figure 3.9

Different band of frequencies are allowed to pass

through the filter but compared to the previous output, the filtered
frequencies has a greater interval. The frequencies in the
spectrum of the 1.5 kHz frequency is closer to each other
compared to the 3 kHz.
Figure 3.11
For the last trial, the knob is calibrated to a 4.5 kHz
frequency, and the results in spectrum and time domain is shown Setting the frequency to 3 kHz, frequencies appeared in
in Figure 3.10. the spectrum, which means that now, there are frequencies
allowed to pass through the filter but with a less amplitude. Still,
a change in the signal in the time domain is evident as shown in
Figure 3.12.

Figure 3.10

Notice that the spectrum of a 4.5 kHz has a distinct

change compared to the previous two. There are certain Figure 3.12
frequencies that are allowed to pass through but a very low
amplitude. This affects the amplitude in the time domain signal. Figure 3.13 shows the results in the spectrum and in time
domain when the frequency is changed to 4.5 kHz. Just like the
Simulating these when the bandpass filter is in ‘F’ previous result, certain band of frequencies are allowed.
condition, the output of the random frequencies is similar to the Comparing their amplitude, a 4.5 kHz is slightly greater than a 3
output when the baseband signals are added. This is due to the kHz. This is also true when the filter is set to false condition; that
false condition of the filter. It’s because, during this condition, the the higher the input frequency, the higher its amplitude.
input in the bandpass filter, will also be its output. Then
multiplying it with the signal produced by the local oscillator,
only a change in amplitude will happen.

The spectrum of a desired station can be translated to its

corresponding intermediate frequency when the bandpass filter is
enabled, which is the true purpose of the mixer.

With these three simulation, it can be said that as the

frequency of the local oscillator increases, the greater interval of
the frequencies passed through the filter are set in false condition.

Figure 3.13

It can also be observed that the signal in the time domain
of Figure 3.13 looks like the modulated signal of the triangle
wave, although the reception of this signal is not as clear as the
modulated triangular signal.

The primary benefit of the bandpass filter with the

translation of the desired station to the intermediate frequency is
that it limits the frequency that will pass through it. With the help
of the tuning knob that will serve as the center frequency of the
filter, only limited frequencies will be mixed with the local
oscillator and be converted to intermediate frequency. Having Figure 3.16
said that, the bandpass filter only operates one signal at a time.
Figure 3.16 shows the output signal when the frequency
is set to 5 kHz, the same as the carrier frequency of the triangle
wave. It can be easily noticed that the modulating signal in this is
a triangle signal and its modulation index is almost equal to 1.

The benefit of the IF filter is that it allows a narrow

bandwidth to pass through which in return, improves the accuracy
of the signals allowed to pass through it without any distortion
and interfering of other signals in neighboring frequencies.

Figure 3.14

The next stage after the mixer is the IF filter. After

converting the radio frequency to its corresponding intermediate
frequency, it be filtered again, but this time, the frequency that
will determine its high-cutoff and low-cutoff frequency is set to
be the f_IF equivalent to 750 Hz.

Shown in Figure 3.14, is the result of the IF filter when

then knob is calibrated to the carrier frequency of the sine wave
which is 2.5 kHz. Though, the sine wave is not that clear for the
process of the receiver is not completed yet.

Figure 3.17

Shown in Figure 3.17 are the outputs of the demodulator

stage when it is in ‘F’ condition. It can be seen that the output
signal are only positive values and the observation of the
modulating signal is getting clearer. This is because of the
disabled lowpass filter. Similar to the previous filters with an ‘F’
condition, the demodulator (LPF) will only output what its input.
And after the IF filter, the absolute value of the output is used to
be the input of the demodulator that is why only positive values
Figure 3.15 appear on the output of the demodulator.
Adjusting the frequency to 3.75 kHz, the carrier
frequency of the dual sine signal, Figure 3.15 shows band of
frequencies in the spectrum but compared to the output of the
previous stage, this one is more limited in terms of the frequency
that is allowed to pass through, which is a good deal.

Figure 3.18 Figure 3.20

Enabling the demodulator (LPF), another drastic change After the demodulator stage, the audio amplifier is the
happened in its output shown in Figure 3.18. Notice that the next and last stage of an AM receiver. One feature of the audio
output of the enabled demodulator is the outline of the output amplifier is the DC blocker which blocks the DC component of
when the demodulator is disabled. Which means that the role of the signal. Figure 3.21 shows the output of the receiver when the
the lowpass filter is to reject all frequencies that are above the knob is calibrated to 2.5 kHz, the carrier frequency of the sine
low-cutoff frequency. wave. The spectrum shows that the sine wave has a frequency of
300 Hz, which is the exact value in the transmitter.
Shown in Figure 3.19 is the spectrum of the disabled
demodulator (sine – dual sine – triangle) and comparing it to the
spectrum of the enabled demodulator (sine – dual sine – triangle)
shown in Figure 3.20, it can be perceived that the enabled lowpass
filter only allows the first set of frequencies from the disabled
filter, which is the reason why the signal in the time domain of
the enabled is only the outline of the disabled.

Figure 3.21

Figure 3.22 shows the output when the knob is set to

3.75 kHz, the carrier frequency of the dual sine wave. It is seen in
the spectrum analyzer the two frequency tones that the dual sine
wave contains. A delayed dual sine wave is shown in the time
domain, similar to the delay of the sine wave in Figure 3.21.

Figure 3.19

Figure 3.22

Adjusting the knob to 5 kHz, the carrier frequency of the signals is modulated with the given intelligence frequency and
triangle wave, the frequency of the triangle wave in the spectrum carrier frequency. The frequency knob is a representation of
is shown in Figure 3.23, which is approximately 80 Hz just like tuning process where it has to be set on the frequency of the
the frequency in the transmitter. carrier you want to see in the Graphs. Although there is no noise
introduce in the exercise, there is still other matters happen like
the attenuation of the signal when it passes through the bandpass
filters. The importance of the amplifier in the latter part of the
circuit is quite an important part of the receiver.

Vincent N. Galang
Figure 3.23
In our finished machine problem, I learned the principles of
From the results of the AM receiver, it can be noticed amplitude modulation and the fact that it can be divided into AM
that the amplitudes are not the same as the amplitudes of the transmitter and receiver. Modulating an AM signal can be
baseband signals. It is because certain losses occurred when the achieved in a number of ways. In terms of transmission, we need
signal is passed through the filters. That is why there is a need for to create an AM modulator that modulates its baseband input
an audio amplifier, but still, fidelity cannot be achieved for the signal array according to the equation given. While in terms of
amplitude of the output in the receiver varies on the frequency set reception, essentially, the first stage is the RF section where in it
in the knob. amplifies the received RF signals. Second, the mixer section,
where it down-converts the received RF frequencies to
intermediate frequencies. Next is the IF section, the stage where
IV. CONCLUSIONS it amplifies and select the signal. AM envelope detector takes
Simulating the AM transmitter and the receiver gives a clearer place after it amplifies the selected signals. It demodulates the
knowledge and understanding in the application of it in the real AM wave and converts it to the original information signal. It can
life. Three different baseband signals are created to represent the be implemented by an absolute value operator followed by a
modulating signal that will be transmitted and demodulated. lowpass filter. After that, a DC blocker is used to eliminate the dc
These signals are added and it can still be demodulated by tuning component of the demodulator output. Lastly, the audio amplifier
the control knob in its corresponding carrier frequency. So the which is the final stage of the receiver. The resulting output will
knob basically, is the carrier frequency. The spectrum in the front be the required amplitude modulated signal.
panel will display the frequency of the modulating signal, while
the time domain shows the actual signal. Different stages in the
receiver was passed through and upon seeing the final output of
the receiver, it was then noticed that the amplitudes of the
baseband signals and the amplitudes of the demodulated signals Allona Jane M. Nañoz
are not the same. Figuring out what may be the cause of this, the
viewer is connected to every output stages in the receiver. Then, AM Radio Simulator emphasizes the function and significance
a conclusion was derived that every time the signal passes of each block in the process. Baseband signals which represent
through a filter, the amplitude decreases. That is why an audio the AM radio stations in real life is modulated in terms of
amplifier is needed. The group added a constant amplifier to the amplitude then transmitted as RF Signals. On the other hand,
part of the DC blocker to achieve an output amplitude of 1 but the receiver must be able to amplify and demodulate. After series of
outcome didn’t made all the signal amplitudes to 1. Because the stages in the reception, signal’s amplitude is degraded, therefore
amplitude of the demodulated signal depends on the frequency set an amplifier is needed.
in the knob, which was also discovered when experimenting in
the different output stages of the receiver. In an ideal reception, transmitted signal is the same when it is
received and demodulated. However, based on this Machine
Problem/ Simulation, it is impossible to attain such accuracy. The
signal goes a lot of process before it is fed to the amplifier.
Anne Loraine L. Avelino Simulation revealed that the baseband signal as viewed from
output has some difference compared to its state before
The Machine Problem demonstrates the basic process of AM transmission.
Modulation from the input baseband signals, to transmission and
reception. The machine problem clearly demonstrates how the
This MP also showed the importance of filters in accepting and
rejecting signals specially in the demodulation process.
However, more filter means degradation of amplitude signal.
Therefore, it is important to consider the number of filters in
cascade to balance its effect on the amplitude of transmitted

Justine Roy A. Punzalan

[1] Amplitude Modulation. [Online]. Available at:
[2] Amplitude Modulation. [Online]. Available at: