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Design and implementation of a Fm Transmitter

This project work is on the construction of an F.M transmitter this system
consists of four discrete modules namely the audio frequency (AF) amplifier
(class A) the modulator the master oscillator and the radio frequency (RF)
amplifier (ClassC) these formed the conventional events for building FM
transmitter here the signal (from the microphone) is fed into the (AF) for
amplification then to the modulator which combines the modulating signal
with the carrier wave transports the modulated signal through (RF) for final
amplification to the antenna via the resonance circuit for propagation the
transmitter was tested using radio receiver it transmitted clearly at the
frequency of 108 MH3 and the coverage was to metres.

Title page
Approval page
Table of content
Chapter one
Concept of modulation and demodulation
Objective of the project
Significance of the project.
Chapter two
Literature review
Historical background of the project
Theories and models relevant to the construction
System component description

Chapter three
Hardware construction and implementation
Block diagram and system specification
Construction of audio frequency (Af) amplifier stage
Construction of radio frequency (RF) amplifier stage
Circuit diagram of FM transmitter
Circuit component analysis
Component list
Chapter four
Methodology packaging testing and results
Packaging of the system
Testing and results
Chapter five
Cost analysis problems encountered
Recommendation and conclusion

Cost analysis
Problems encountered


Information transmission is very vital to human life just as the early men used
sticks to produce sound which indicates the location of each other as they
wander about also down to the middle era when town crises come into play for
the same information propagation to be transmitted from one point to another
with the aid of radio communication which necessities the application of radio
transmitter and receive.
A radio transmitter is device whose major function is to send information
(intelligence) from one point to another in most cases the information to be
transmitted are voice music and code signals. However the transmission of
radio signal is done with the aid of electrical resonance this is when the
frequency of the receiver is equal to the incoming one from the transmitter
resonance is observed which is the totality of radio communication I personally
decided to work on frequency modulation (FM) transmitter because it
transmitted radio signal which is less distorted than other wave bands like
amplitude modulation and short wave band. The frequency on the tuning dial
ranges from 88MHZ to 108MH3.

In transmitter configuration a sound is fed at the microphone which is the

transducer that converts the physical sound into the electrical signal which is
usually amplified by the fist electronic circuit (audio frequency amplifier class
A) whose output is fed into a modulator which fields a frequency modulated
output fed into the final stage (radio frequency amplifier class C) then to the
antenna which radiates the radio signal into the atmosphere. All these process
were because audio frequency signal cannot be radiated out from the antenna
directly because transmission at audio frequency is not particle this is because
of audio frequency signals.

They have reactively short range


It everybody started transmitting these low frequency signal directly

mutual interference will render all of them ineffective


The size of antenna required for their would be large

Furthermore for proper understanding of this information transmission-using

transmitter I here by introduce the concept of modulation and demodulation.


Modulation is technically the process of combining an audio frequency signal
(low frequency signal) with a high frequency oscillator. However the audio
frequency signal which is being transmitted super imposes on the carrier wave
that transports it to the out put of the radio frequency amplifier into the antenna
this audio frequency signal other wise known as modulating signal is being
amplifier by the radio frequency amplifier in order to overcome air impendence
as it travel from the transmitter to the receiver.
Demodulation in the other hand is the process of separating or recovering the
signal (modulating signal) from the modulated earlier wave it is the opposite of
modulation and it is performed at the receiving end (radio receiver.)
There are three types of modulation namely amplitude modulation (AM)
frequency modulation (FM) and phase modulation (PM)

Amplitude modulation (AM) is the types of modulation in which the

information signal (audio frequency signal) varies the amplitude of
the earlier wave without changing its frequency. As the name implies

it is only the amplitude of the earlier wave without changing its

frequency. As the name implies it is only the amplitude that is being
varied while the frequency is kept constant as the wave travels

Frequency modulation (FM) is the type of modulation is which the

modulating signal varies the frequency of the carrier wave here it is
only the frequency of the signal in frequency modulation carrier
information (intelligence) is carried


is variations in its frequency.

Phase modulation (PM) is the type of modulation that varies the

phase of the radiated wave at the modulating frequency and by an
angle, which is proportional to the amplitude of the modulating wave


The objective of this project is to construct an electronically operated system
known as FM transmitter capable of transmitting a frequency modulated signal
with a littler or no distortion into the atmosphere for dissemination secondly to
aid the gradating student into a season research activities that will carry them
along during the professional practice as a scientist


The project signifies a lot in the electronic communication system which
telecommunication is the vital aspect which is usually demonstrated through
and radio communication system the frequency modulation transmitter is
applied in a lot of instance frequency modulation is unavoidable used in FM
radio stations scattered all over the country whose advantage is paramount
compared to its counter part AM modulation frequency modulation transmitted
is equally used in a miniaturized from as wireless morpheme.


The basic Frequency Modulation communications system has:

1) Transmitter, which is the sub-system that takes the information signal and processes
it prior to transmission. The transmitter modulates the information onto a carrier
signal and broadcasts it over the channel
2) Channel: The medium which transports the modulated signal to the receiver. In this
project, LED will be connected to FM transmitter end. Signals then will be picked up
by the Photo Detector diode right before the FM Receiver
3) Receiver that is the sub-system that takes in the transmitted signal from the channel
and processes it to retrieve the information signal. The receiver must be able to
discriminate the signal from other signals which may use the same channel medium,
amplify the signal for processing and demodulate (remove the carrier) to retrieve the

Audio Amplifier



Figure 1) simple drawing for FM system

Parts List

FM Transmitter and Receiver Circuits Parts List


R4, R6, R7, R8, R9 5.1k
R1, R3, R5


C2, C3

PLL chip, MC14046B

Op-Amp chip, LM741

U2, U3

9V battery



XLR3 connector, female





Unit Price * Total Cost


















*Note - only the MC14046B was purchased while all other components were provided by the school, therefore unit prices were estimated.

Figure 2) Parts list

To design the FM transmitter and receiver from the beginning we estimate that 25 manhours would be needed. The majority of those man-hours would be devoted to discovering
the frequency characteristics of the transmitters VCO (VCO voltage input vs. VCO
frequency output) by changing the resistor and capacitor components that determine it.
However, we estimate that only 5 hours would be needed to produce the printed circuit
boards and install all the components of the transmitter and receiver.
FM Transmitter
The FM Transmitter uses FM waves (frequency modulated waves) to send sound. Frequency
modulation transmits data (in our case an audio signal) over a carrier wave by changing the
frequency of the carrier wave, where the frequency of the carrier wave corresponds to the
voltage level of the audio signal. In order to use electromagnetic transmission, the audio
signal must first be converted into an electric signal. The conversion is accomplished by a
transducer, in our case the microphone. After conversion, the audio signal is used to
modulate a carrier signal.

Figure 3) An example of frequency modulation. The top diagram shows the

modulating signal superimposed on the carrier wave. The bottom diagram
shows the resulting frequency-modulated signal. Ref (1)

The process of modulation means to systematically use the information signal (what you
want to transmit) to vary some parameter of the carrier signal. The carrier signal can be a
sinusoidal, as shown above, but in our case the carrier signal will be a square-wave that is
generated by a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO).


In our circuit we used an amplifier in order to amplify the audio signal and increase the
amplitude of the VCO input. We chose an LM741 operational amplifier that was readily
available in our lab, and configured it for use as a non-inverting amplifier. Our amplifier
was designed to have gain of 20, therefore if the input signal is 100mV the output of
amplifier will be 2V.

Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO)

A voltage-controlled oscillator or VCO is an electronic oscillator designed to be controlled
in oscillation frequency by a voltage input. The frequency of oscillation is varied by the

applied voltage, while in our case signals will be fed into the VCO to cause frequency
modulation (FM).
A voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) provides a periodic signal where the frequency of the
signal is related to the level of an input voltage control signal supplied to the VCO.
We collected data to plot the voltage-frequency characteristics of the VCO of the

Figure 4) voltage-frequency characteristics of the VCO

Due to limitation of the frequency response of the LED and photodiode, we limited our
frequency range to a maximum of approximately 1MHz. Therefore we chose the
characteristics of the pink line, which reaches 1MHz at approximately 5.9V.
For the choice of the center frequency, we considered the capture frequency range of the
receiver. We believed that the PLL would safely be able to lock onto a frequency range of
300kHz. This meant a frequency range of the VCO between approximately 700kHz and
1MHz. We chose a center frequency of 860kHz which corresponds to a VCO input voltage
of 4.9V.

FM Receiver
For the FM receiver our team is using the Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) chip which receives an
amplified signal from the photodiode circuit and is able to demodulate the signal. The
demodulated signal is the reproduced audio signal.

Phase locked Loop
A PLL is a circuit that causes a particular system to track with another one. PLL
synchronizes its output signal (generated by oscillator (VCO)) with a reference or input
signal in frequency as well as phase. In the synchronized, often called locked, state the phase
error between the oscillators output signal and the reference signal is zero, or remain
If a phase error builds up, a control mechanism acts on the oscillator in such a way that the
phase error is again reduced to minimum. In such a control system the phase of the output
signal is actually locked to the phase of the reference signal. This is why it is referred to as a
phase locked loop.
The PLL consists of three basic functional blocks:
1) A Voltage-Controlled Oscillator (VCO)
2) A Phase Detector
3) A Low Pass Filter

Figure 5) PLL diagram Ref (2)

If the phase error (error signal) is not zero, the phase detector develops a nonzero output
signal. After some delay the loop filter would also produce the signal. The signal would
cause the VCO to change its operating frequency in such a way that the phase error finally
For PLL, we use the MC14046B chip, which contains two phase comparators, a
voltagecontrolled oscillator (VCO), and a source follower. The VCO has been already
described. For our design purpose we use Phase Comparator 1. Phase comparator 1 (an
exclusive OR gate) provides a digital error signal PC1out, and maintains 90 phase shift at
the center frequency between PCAin and PCBin signals. The following figure shows the
inside structure of the MC24046B chip, and input and output signals to the phase
comparator. (for more information please refer to Appendix)

Figure 6) PLL Circuit design and Phase comparator (Source: MC14046B datasheet from
ON Semiconductor)

Pspice Design
FM Receiver Circuit (Not including photodiode circuit)

U 3

C 3

5 .1 k

S IG _ IND E M O _ O U T
C O M P _ IN
C 1
C O M P1_O U T
C 2
C O M P2_O U T
R 1
R 2
V C O _ IN

R 8



VD D *




Input signal from photodiode circuit received at pin 14 of U3

Output signal at pin 10 of U3 (passed to speaker amplifier circuit)


R 9
5 .1 k

C 4
1 .8 n F

R 10

C D 4046


Figure 7) Pspice design for receiver


FM Transmitter Design methodology:

In telecommunications, frequency modulation (FM) conveys information over
a carrier wave by varying its frequency. FM is commonly used at VHF radio
frequencies for high-fidelity broadcasts of music and speech. Throughout the
world, the broadcast band falls within the VHF part of the radio spectrum.
Usually 87.5 - 108.0 MHz is used to transmit and receive the FM signals.
Designing and assembling an FM transmitter is a difficult task. The Note given
here explains how a simple FM transmitter is designed and assembled.
Design Considerations The performance of an FM transmitter depends on two
important aspects. 1. Tuning of the FM transmitter to the desired frequency.
Even a slight change in the coil specification or slight change in the variable
capacitor value can shift the harmonic frequency instead of the 88-108 MHz
FM band. 2. Length of the Antenna used to transmit the frequency. The
important parameters for the optimum performance of an FM transmitter are :
1. Transmitter frequency, output power and range of transmission. 2. Antenna
length. 3. Coil diameter, length, number of turns and gauge of the wire used for
coil winding. The circuit diagram shown below is that of a Single transistor FM
transmitter with a range of 30- 50 feets and 100 125 milli watt output.

L1 Air Core Coil

Coil Specification - 5 Turn 22 SWG Enameled Copper Wire
Coil Length 0.25 Inch - Diameter 0.265 Inch
The design details of each component are as follows.
1. Condenser MIC The condenser MIC is used to pick up the sound signals. The diaphragm
inside the MIC vibrates according to the air pressure changes and generates AC signals.
Variable resistor VR1 adjusts the current through the MIC and thus determines the
sensitivity of MIC. The condenser MIC should be directly soldered on the PCB to get
maximum sensitivity. Sleeving the MIC inside plastic tubing can increase its sensitivity
2. Decoupling Capacitors C1 is the first decoupling capacitor impedes the different
frequencies of speech signals. C1 modulates the current to the base of transistor. The 4.7 uF
capacitor isolates the microphone from the base voltage of the transistor and only allows
alternating current (AC) signals to pass. A large value capacitor induces bass (low
frequencies) while a low value one gives treble (high frequencies). Capacitor C2 (0.01) act
as the decoupling capacitor. Capacitor C3 across the transistor T1 keeps the tank circuit
vibrating. As long as the current exists across the inductor coil L1 and the Trimmer
capacitor, the tank circuit (Coil-Trimmer) will vibrate at the resonant frequency. When the
tank circuit vibrates for long time, the frequency decays due to heating. Presence of the

capacitor C3 prevents this decay. A capacitor between 4 and 10 PF is necessary.

3. Resistors Variable resistor VR1 restricts the current through the MIC. The voltage divider
R1 and R2 limits the base current of T1 and R3 forms the emitter current limiter. The given
values are necessary for the 2N 2222A transistor.
4. Transistor 2N 2222A is the common NPN transmitter used in general purpose
amplifications. It has maximum power rating of 0.5 Watts. Over powering of 2N 2222A can
generate heat and destroy the device. So maximum power output should be around 125 milli
watt. Pin assignment of 2N 2222 A is 1 Emitter - 2 Base - 3 Collector (EBC) from the front
side (Flat side on which the number is printed).

5. Inductor Coil The inductor used in the circuit is a hand made coil using 22 SWG
(Standard Wire Gauge) enameled copper wire. The length, inner diameter, number of turns
etc are the important parameters to be considered while making the inductor. Then only the
inductor resonates in the 88-108 band FM frequency. For this circuit, the coil radius was
selected as 0.26 inches (outer diameter) and 0.13 inner diameter. Coil can be wound around
a screw driver (with same diameter) to get a 5 turn coil of 0.2 inch long. Remove the coil
from the screw driver and use the 5 turn Air core coil. Remove the enamel from the tips and
solder close to the transistor. The inductance of the coil can be calculated using the formula
L = n2 r2 / 9r + 10 x Where r is the inner radius of the coil, x is the length of the coil and n,
number of turns. The resulting value is in Micro Henry.

6. Trimmer capacitor A small button type variable capacitor with a value of 22 pF can be
used to adjust the resonant frequency of the tank circuit. The variable capacitor and the
inductor coil form the Tank circuit (LC circuit) that resonates in the 88-108 MHz. In the tank
circuit, the capacitor stores electrical energy between its plates while the inductor stores
magnetic energy induced by the windings of the coil. The resonant frequency can be
calculated using the formula
f = 1 / 2 x LC = Hz Where f is the frequency in hertz, x is the coil length, C is the
capacitance of trimmer in Farads, and L is the inductance of coil in Hendry.
Tank Circuit Every FM transmitter needs an oscillator to generate the radio Frequency (RF)
carrier waves. The name 'Tank' circuit comes from the ability of the LC circuit to store
energy for oscillations. The purely reactive elements, the C and the L simply store energy to
be returned to the system. In the tank (LC) circuit, the 2N 2222 A transistor and the feedback
4.7 pF capacitor are the oscillating components. The feedback signal makes the base-emitter
current of the transistor vary at the resonant frequency. This causes the emitter-collector
current to vary at the same frequency. This signal fed to the aerial and radiated as radio

7. Antenna A plastic wire or Telescopic aerial can be used as antenna. The

length of the antenna is very important to transmit the signals in the suitable
range. As a rule, the length of the antenna should be of the FM wave length.
To determine the length of antenna, use the following equation. By multiplying
the Wave frequency and wave length will give the speed of light.
Speed of Light = Frequency of Oscillation x Wavelength = in Kms/ Sec
Wave length = Speed of light / Frequency = in meters
Antenna length = 0.25 x wavelength = in meters By using this formula it is
easy to select the antennal length. For the circuit mentioned above, a 25-27
inches long antenna is sufficient.

Assembling and Testing The circuit can be assembled on a Dot type common PCB or Perf
board. The following tips should be considered while assembling the circuit 1. Assemble the
components as close as possible, especially the transistor, trimmer and coil to prevent
unwanted oscillation. 2. Lead length of capacitors, resistors, transistor should be as small as
possible. 3. Solder the MIC directly on the PCB ( use the trimmed leads of the resistors to
connect MIC) 4. Observe the polarity of MIC. 5. Check the pins of 2N 2222 A. The pin
assignment is E-B-C (Emitter Base Collector) from the front side (Flat side on which the
number is printed). 6. Coil should stand horizontally above the Emitter of transistor. 7. Coil
should be closely wound.
How to test After assembling the circuit, connect 9 volt battery. A battery operated FM
pocket radio is necessary for testing. AC powered FM players will give lesser performance
than the battery powered FM receivers due to noise. Tune the FM receiver to a Dead Air
space (around 108 MHz where there is no station). Place the FM radio 2 feet away from the
transmitter. Gently tap on the MIC. If the tank circuit is properly tuned, tapping sound will
be heard in the radio. If no sound is heard, slightly pull the coil to separate the windings.
Adjust the shaft of the Trimmer slowly with a preset screwdriver. Check again. If the sound
is clear, move the FM radio and assess the range. Try again by adjusting the trimmer and
position of aerial of both transmitter and FM radio. If the sound clarity is good and there is
sufficient range, stick the coil with nail polish or glue to avoid frequency change. The FM
transmitter is ready to use.


Result and conclusion:



(Transmitter Side)

VCO chip
(Transmitter Side)


Audio input


Figure 8) Transmitter Circuit (top view)


Figure 9) Transmitter Circuit (back view)

FM Receiver



Receiver unit

PLL Chip: MC14046B)

Figure 10) Receiver circuit (top view)



Figure 11) Receiver circuit (back view)


Increase the input impedance of the speakers power amplifier stage to reduce the
current sinked by that circuit.

Lower the center frequency and utilize the VCO configured with a less steep frequencyvoltage input curve.

Improve techniques on soldering wires. For instance, wires soldered onto the PC board
have a tendency to detach if the soldering was not sufficient.

Lessons Learned From The Course

Initially, for our FM transmitter design we considered using some type of analog oscillator
circuit (i.e. using an RLC circuit). However we learned that simply utilizing a VCO already
built on an IC was much easier and quicker to implement.
Additionally, in this course we learned practical design and implementation issues that were
not explicitly taught in previous lab courses such as the effects of ground loop. Also, since
we worked more in-depth with AC circuits versus previous courses, we discovered the ill
effects of impedance mismatching. This is because this course required the connections of
separately designed circuits. These are issues to keep in mind when doing future circuit