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AM RECEIVERS

J.V. Rañada, ECE


AM Demodulation
• Reverse process of modulation
• Receiving
• Amplifying
• Demodulating an AM wave
AM Demodulation Diagram
Sections of an AM Demodulator
RF section – 1st stage of the receiver, also known as
the receiver front end.
• Detecting
• Band limiting
• Amplifying received Radio Frequency (RF) signals.

MIXER/Converter Section – down-converts Radio Frequencies


to Intermediate Frequencies (IF)

IF Section – amplification and selectivity.


Sections of an AM Demodulator
AM detector – simply converts AM wave to original
format of an information or intelligence signal. (or
modulating signal)

Audio Section – amplification (amplifiers).


Receiver Parameters
The most important parameters are selectivity and
sensitivity.

• Selectivity – ability of the receiver to accept signal


frequencies and reject all others.
- Shape Factor ---- ideal is 1.

Note: AM Broadcast band separation


channels = 10 kHz (Bandwidth allocation)
Receiver Parameters
• Bandwidth Improvement – simply reducing the
bandwidth of the system to increase the S/N ratio.
- Reducing noise figure
- Improving system performance
• The bottom line is that the receiver’s bandwidth
must exceed the bandwidth of the information
signal.
• Practical Problem – higher order filters are needed.
• Theoretical problem – the quantity of BW reduced.
Receiver Parameters
• The corresponding reduction in the noise figure due to
the reduction in BW is called noise figure improvement.

• Sensitivity – the parameter of the receiver that can


receive the minimum RF signal level and still produce a
usable demodulated information signal.
- microvolts, typical
- also known as receiver threshold.
- the best way to improve this parameter is
to reduce noise level.
Receiver Parameters
• Dynamic Range – input power range of the receiver
in which demodulation process is still useful.
• Fidelity – an ability of the receiver to produce an
exact replica of the original source information.
Note : any frequency, phase or amplitude
variations that are not present from the original
source that was demodulated are considered
distortion.
- typically results in non-uniform gain and
frequency response on amplifiers and filters.
Insertion Loss
• Attenuation of signal due to losses from different
lossy components (resistors)
AM receiver types
• Coherent – the oscillator freq. produced at the
receiver should synchronized to oscillator produced
from the transmitter. Used for single-sideband
communications.

• Non-coherent – demodulation are completely


independent from the transmitter carrier
frequency. Also called envelope detection. Simply
detecting the shape of the AM wave to recover the
intelligence signal.
Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF)
Receiver
• Earliest types of AM receivers.
• RF stages, detector stage and an audio amplifier
stage.
• Disadvantage – BW is inconsistent, varies with
center frequency when it comes to tuning. Due to
skin effect.
• Not stable due to large number of RF amplifiers
having the same center frequency.
• Gains are not uniform over the wide frequency
range.
Block Diagram of TRF Receiver
Superheterodyne Receiver
• Means to mix to frequencies in a non-linear device
to translate one frequency to another.
Sections
• RF section
- preselector and an amplifier.
- preselector bandlimiting frequencies to prevent
image frequencies.
- RF amplifier – determines the sensitivity of the
receiver. Primary contributor of noise (e.g. thermal and
shot noise)

• Mixer/Converter Section – known as the first detector.


RF to IF conversion. AM Intermediate frequencies is
455 kHz
Sections
• IF Section – most of the receiver’s gain and
selectivity is achieved in this section. IF center
frequency and BW are constant for all stations.
• Detector Section – convert IF signals to original
source information. The 2nd detector.

• Audio amplifier section – simply amplifies the


demodulated signal such that it will perceived by
the receiver’s destination.
• Gang tuning – means that two adjustments of center
frequency one at a time.

• High Side Injection – LO frequency is above the RF


freq.

• Low-side Injection – LO frequency is below the RF


freq.

• Typical AM broadcast band receivers use High- Side


Injection. For practical purposes.
• Tracking – the ability of the LO in a receiver to
oscillate above or below the RF freq. by an amount
equal to IF throughout the entire radio frequency
band. (e.g. 455 kHz for AM, 10.7 MHz for FM)

• Tracking error – if not equal to IF. Can be corrected


with fine tuning using variable capacitors.
• Electronic ganged tuning
Image Frequency (fim)
• Any frequency other than the selected radio
frequency.
• Will cause an interference.
• Two different stations are received simultaneously.
• The higher the IF, the less the fim will occur.
Image frequency Rejection Ratio
(IFRR)
• A numerical measure of the ability of a receiver to
reject fim.
Double Spotting
• Occurs when a receiver picks up the same station at
two nearby points. One point is the desired
location and the other point is the spurious point.

• It will cause weak stations to be overshadowed by


the stronger station.
Reading Assignments
• AM receiver Circuits
• RF section
• Mixer/Converter
• IF Section
• Demodulator (detector)
• Audio Amplifiers
• LOW- Noise Amplifier (LNA)
IF transformers
IF transformers
IF transformers come as specially designed tuned
circuits in groundable metal packages called IF CANS
Automatic Gain Control (AGC)
• Compensates for minor variations in the received
RF signal level.
• Automatically increases the receiver gain for weak
signals, and automatically decreases when a strong
signals is received. (to prevent saturation)

• Simple AGC
• Delayed AGC
• Forward AGC
Simple AGC
Forward AGC
Squelch Circuits
• Quieting a receiver in the absence of a received
signal.
• To prevent receiver to demodulate and amplify its
own internal noise.
• Keeps the audio section muted when there is no RF
signal received.

• One disadvantages is that weak signals may not


demodulate.
Applications of Clippers or
Limiters
• High amplitude noise transients of short duration
on the received signals can be eliminated using
these. (at the audio section)
• Threshold level – maximum peak of the intelligence
signal.
Double Conversion AM Receivers
• For good image frequency rejection, high IF should
be considered.
Net Receiver Gain
• Simply the ratio of the demodulated signal level at
the output of the receiver to the RF signal level at
the input of the receiver.
• The sum of all the gains minus the sum of all the
losses. (note: in dB)

• GdB= gainsdB - lossesdB


Net Receiver Gain