How do Ham Radio Transmitters Work

Since the early days of radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, radio transmitters all have used the same basic design.  They all start with a low frequency signal which is then transformed to ever higher frequencies through an electronic step called "mixing".  The mixing steps are designed so that the final output frequency is the desired transmitted signal to be coupled into the antenna.  Even today, the Software Defined Radio, uses these basic transmitter building blocks, although implementing some of them using digital signal processing software.

We begin Chapter 9.  Transmitters and Operating Modes by describing a CW transmitter and how it uses a digital synthesizer to generate a starting frequency. Mixers are used to transform the starting synthesized frequency to the final transmitted frequency.  Moving on from the simple CW transmitter, we describe how the AM, SSB, and FM modulation modes are created.  A software defined radio is shown in its basic elements. Antenna tuners and transmitter adjustments you normally use to make sure your transmitted signal is up-to-par.

Fred Cady,
Nov 19, 2018, 7:10 PM