pulse modulation. "> Angle and pulse modulation

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Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe frequency-shift keying (fsk) and methods of providing this type of modulation.
  • Describe the development of frequency modulation (fm) and methods of frequency modulating a carrier.
  • Discuss the development of phase modulation (pm) and methods of phase modulating a carrier.
  • Describe phase-shift keying (psk), its generation, and application.
  • Discuss the development and characteristics of pulse modulation.
  • Describe the operation of the spark gap and thyratron modulators.
  • Discuss the characteristics of a pulse train that may be varied to provide communications capability.
  • Describe pulse-amplitude modulation (pam) and generation.
  • Describe pulse-duration modulation (pdm) and generation.
  • Describe pulse-position modulation (ppm) and generation.
  • Describe pulse-frequency modulation (pfm) and generation.
  • Describe pulse-code modulation (pcm) and generation.


In chapter 1 you learned that modulation of a carrier frequency was necessary to allow fast communications between two points. As the volume of transmissions increased, a need for more reliable methods of communication was realized. In this chapter you will study angle modulation and pulse modulation. These two types of modulation have been developed to overcome one of the main disadvantages of amplitude modulation - susceptibility to noise interference. In addition, a special application of pulse type modulation for ranging and detection equipment will be discussed.


ANGLE MODULATION is modulation in which the angle of a sine-wave carrier is varied by a modulating wave. FREQUENCY MODULATION (fm) and PHASE MODULATION (pm) are two types of angle modulation. In frequency modulation the modulating signal causes the carrier frequency to vary. These variations are controlled by both the frequency and the amplitude of the modulating wave. In phase modulation the phase of the carrier is controlled by the modulating waveform. Let's study these modulation methods for an understanding of their similarities and differences.


In frequency modulation an audio signal is used to shift the frequency of an oscillator at an audio rate. The simplest form of this is seen in FREQUENCY-SHIFT KEYING (fsk). Frequency-shift keying is somewhat similar to continuous-wave keying (cw) in AM transmissions.

Frequency-Shift Keying

Consider figure 2-1, views (A) through (D). View (A) is a radio frequency (rf) carrier which is actually several thousand or million hertz. View (B) represents the intelligence to be transmitted as MARKS and SPACES. Recall that in cw transmission, this intelligence was applied to the rf carrier by interrupting the signal, as shown in view (C). The amplitude of the rf alternated between maximum and 0 volts. By comparing views (B) and (C), you can see the mark/space intelligence of the Morse code character on the rf. The spacing of the waveform in view (D) is an example of the same intelligence as it is applied to the frequency instead of the amplitude of the rf. This is simple frequency-shift keying of the same Morse code character.


0120.GIF (7068 bytes)

Figure 2-1B. - Comparison of ON-OFF and frequency-shift keying. AMPLITUDE VARYING (ON-OFF) MODULATING WAVE (MORSE CODE CHARACTER "N")

Figure 2-1C. - Comparison of ON-OFF and frequency-shift keying. TRANSMITTED ON-OFF KEYED CW SIGNAL

Figure 2-1D. - Comparison of ON-OFF and frequency-shift keying. TRANSMITTED FREQUENCY-SHIFT KEYED SIGNAL (FSK)

In fsk the output is abruptly changed between two differing frequencies by opening and closing the key. This is shown in view (D). For illustrative purposes, the spacing frequency in view (D) is shown as double the marking frequency. However, in practice the difference is usually less than 1,000 hertz, even when operating at several megahertz. You should also note that the limit of frequency shift is determined without reference to the amplitude of the keying signal in the fsk system. The frequency shift may be set at plus or minus 425 hertz from the allocated channel frequency. The total shift between mark and space would be 850 hertz. Either the mark or space may use the higher of the two frequencies. The upper frequency of the transmitted signal is usually the spacing interval and the lower frequency is the marking interval.

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