Module Title:Electronic Communications
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 10
NFQ Level:6
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: (a) Teaching will be conducted using lectures, tutorials and practicals. (b) At the end of each section, self-test question sheets will be issued to the students, they will be given a period of time to complete these questions. Any difficulties arising from the self-test question sheets will be addressed during the following tutorial. (c) The practical sessions will be used to back up the theory.
Module Aim: To give the students the ability to describe and analyse AM and FM superheterodyne radio receivers.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Analyse the behaviour of resistor, capacitor and inductor circuits when excited by an AC source and understand how these circuits are used in communications systems.
LO2 Describe the different modes of electromagnetic propagation.
LO3 Describe Amplitude and Frequency modulation techniques.
LO4 Describe the operation of each block in a superheterodyne radio receiver.
LO5 Analyse the behaviour of an analogue communications system.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
Requirements
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
“Principles of Electricity” or equivalent; “Introduction to Electronics” or equivalent
 

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
1. Capacitors in AC circuits:
(i) Draw a phasor diagram showing the phase relationship between the current and the voltage. (ii) Define capacitive reactance. (iii) Calculate capacitive reactance. (iv) Sketch a graph of capacitive reactance versus frequency. (v) Calculate true power and reactive power. (vi) Describe some applications of a capacitor (AC coupling, power line decoupling, bypassing
2. Inductors:
(i) Describe the basic construction and characteristics of an inductor, (ii) Show how an inductor stores energy. (iii) Calculate the inductance of a coil (L = N2A/l). (iv) Use a lumped model to indicate the winding resistance. (v) Measure the inductance of an inductor using an inductance meter. (vi) Draw the symbol for a fixed, variable, air core, iron core and ferrite core inductor. (vii) Calculate the total inductance when inductors are connected in series. (viii) Calculate the total inductance when inductors are connected in parallel.
3. Inductors in DC circuits:
(i) Describe the energising and de-energising of an inductor. (ii) Define RL time constant. (iii) Describe induced voltage. (iv) Apply the exponential equations for the current and voltage when energising and de-energising an inductor.
4. Inductors in AC circuits:
(i) Draw a phasor diagram showing the phase relationship between the current and the voltage. (ii) Define inductive reactance. (iii) Calculate inductive reactance. (iv) Sketch a graph of inductive reactance versus frequency. (v) Calculate true power and reactive power. (vi) Calculate the Q factor. (vii) Describe the operation of a RF choke.
5. Series RC and RL circuits:
(i) Express the voltages and current as phasor quantities. (ii) Define impedance. (iii) Express capacitive reactance in complex form. (iv) Express total impedance in complex form. (v) Draw an impedance triangle. (vi) Calculate impedance magnitude and phase. (vii) Calculate the power factor.
6. Parallel RC and RL circuits:
(i) Express the voltage and currents as phasor quantities. (ii) Express total impedance in complex form. (iii) Draw an impedance triangle. (iv) Define conductance and admittance.
7. RC and RL filters:
(i) Explain the operation of a low pass filter. (ii) Explain the operation of a high pass filter. (iii) Calculate the cut off frequency. (iv) Define the –3dB point, roll off rate, and the bandwidth. (v) Use an oscilloscope to plot the phase difference between input and output. (vi) Use log-linear graph paper to plot the frequency response. (vii) State where such filters may be used.
8. Series and parallel RCL circuits:
(i) Express the voltages and current as phasor quantities. (ii) Calculate the total reactance. (iii) Calculate the phase angle. (iv) Define resonance. (v) Calculate the resonant frequency. (vi) Plot impedance versus frequency. (vii) Plot phase angle versus frequency. (viii) Define Q factor.
9. Filter response
(i) Define a decibel. (ii) Describe the operation of a band pass filter. (iii) Explain the operation of a series resonant band pass filter. (iv) Explain the operation of a parallel resonant band pass filter. (v) Describe the operation of a band stop filter. (vi) Explain the operation of a series resonant band stop filter. (vii) Explain the operation of a parallel resonant band stop filter. (viii) Calculate the bandwidth for each type of filter. (ix) Define selectivity. (x) List applications where such filters may be used
10. Radio wave propagation:
(i) List the frequency bands for HF, VHF UHF and SHF communication systems. (ii) Sketch the layers of the ionosphere. (iii) Describe the refraction of an electromagnetic wave as it travels through the ionosphere. (iv) Describe ground wave, sky wave and space wave propagation. (v) Define critical frequency, maximum usable frequency and skip distance. (vi) Define general fading and selective fading.
11. Amplitude Modulation:
(i) Describe the principles of amplitude modulation. (ii) Write an equation for a sinusoidally modulated wave. (iii) Given the instantaneous wave equations for the carrier and the modulating signal (iv) Sketch a modulated wave in the time domain. (v) Sketch a modulated wave in the frequency domain. (vi) Calculate the modulation index. (vii) Calculate the power in the carrier and side frequency components. (viii) Calculate the bandwidth. (ix) Draw a block diagram of a dsbsc modulator. (x) Draw a block diagram of an ssbsc modulator. (xi) Contrast dsb, dsbsc and ssbsc. (xii) Describe the operation of a diode detector.
12. Frequency Modulation:
(i) Describe the principles of frequency modulation. (ii) Define frequency deviation. (iii) Define modulator sensitivity, modulation index and deviation ratio. (iv) Give the instantaneous wave equations for the carrier and the modulating signal: (v) Sketch a modulated wave in the time domain. (vi) Sketch a modulated wave in the frequency domain. (vii) Calculate the modulation index. (viii) Calculate the power in the carrier and side frequencies (using Bessel tables). (ix) Calculate the bandwidth. (x) Explain the relationship between the noise at the output of a FM system and the rated system deviation. (xi) Describe the principles of pre-emphasis and de-emphasis.
13. Superheterodyne radio receiver:
(i) Draw a block diagram of a superheterodyne radio receiver. (ii) Describe the function of each block. (iii) Describe ganging and tracking. (iv) Describe the purpose of automatic gain control. (v) Explain why the LO frequency is higher than the IF frequency. (vi) Define selectivity and adjacent channel ratio. (vii) Define sensitivity and describe how it is measured.
14. Interference signals:
(i) Define the following interference signals: co-channel, image channel, adjacent channel and IF breakthrough. (ii) Describe where and how each of these interference signals can be minimised. (iii) Define image channel response ratio.
15. Analogue communication systems:
(i) Contrast AM and FM under the headings. Complexity. Spectrum efficiency. Electromagnetic interference. Fidelity of the received audio signal
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment20.00%
Practical20.00%
End of Module Formal Examination60.00%
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other Students will sit a number of class tests. 1,2,3,4,5 20.00 n/a
No Project
Practical
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation The student will complete practical assignments during the module and write a detailed report on each assignment. Students will also complete formative practical tests. 1,2,3 20.00 n/a
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam The final written examination will evaluate the extent of the student’s knowledge of the learning outcomes 1,2,3,4,5 60.00 End-of-Semester

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment

 

Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Every Week 2.00
Tutorial Every Week 1.00
Practicals Every Week 2.00
Independent Learning Time Every Week 2.00
Total Hours 7.00
 

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_EESYS_B Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electronic Systems 3 Mandatory
CW_EEEEN_D Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Engineering 3 Mandatory