Elements of Electronic Communications System

Updated on November 2, 2016
jemuelO profile image

Jemuel is an electronics engineer who also finds passion in writing. He does the writing stuff during his free time and on weekends.

NASA's Deep Space Network provides the radio communications for all NASA's spacecraft. It is also utilized for radio astronomy and radar observations of the solar system and the universe. This communications system uses complex electronic circuit.
NASA's Deep Space Network provides the radio communications for all NASA's spacecraft. It is also utilized for radio astronomy and radar observations of the solar system and the universe. This communications system uses complex electronic circuit. | Source

Basic Elements of Electronic Communications System

Electronic communications is the transmission, reception, and processing of information between two or more locations with the use of electronic circuits. The basic components of electronic communications system are the transmitter, communications channel or medium, receiver, and noise. Analog signals (such human voice) or digital signals (binary data) are inputted to the system, processed in the electronic circuits for transmission, and then decoded by the receiver. The system is said to be reliable and effective only when errors are minimized in the process.

Let’s discuss each component of the system and we’ll take note of their important functions.

A sample diagram as to how signal is being processed in electronic communications.
A sample diagram as to how signal is being processed in electronic communications. | Source

Transmitter

Transmitter is defined as a collection of one or more electronic devices or circuits that converts the original source information - also called as baseband signal - to a form suitable for transmission. It is a part of the system where the sender inputs or encodes the information. Examples of transmitters are our mobile phones and AM radio transmitters.

Functions of a Radio Transmitter

A radio transmitter is an electronic unit that accepts the information signal to be transmitted and converts it into a radio frequency (RF) signal capable of being transmitted over long distances.

A transmitter must:

  • generate a signal of desired frequency
  • provide some form of modulation that allows the information signal to modify a signal of higher frequency, also known as the carrier signal. Amplitude Modulation (AM) and Frequency Modulation are commonly used in broadcasting.
  • provide power amplification in order to ensure that the signal level is high, in such a way that it will carry over the desired distance for which the signal is to be sent


Communications channel

The channel is the medium by which the electronic signal is sent or propagated from one place to another. It provides a means of transporting signals between a transmitter and a receiver. The channel can be as simple as copper wire or as complex as the optical fiber and satellite systems. Signals can also be propagated through radio waves or free space depending upon the type of modulation and frequency being used.

Although channel provides a way for communication, it also attenuates the signal that carries the message. All types of media are capable of degrading the signals, resulting to weaker signals, and appear to have smaller amplitudes. Amplifiers are included both in the transmitter and receiver to compensate this problem.


Satellite systems provide global communications.
Satellite systems provide global communications. | Source

Receiver

The receiver is a collection of electronic devices and circuits that accepts the transmitted signals from the transmission medium and then converts those signals back to their original form which is understandable by humans. One good example of a receiver is the television.

What if electronic communications were not developed? What if we don't have our mobile phones now? Mobile communications play a very important role in our lives, bringing people closer to each other.
What if electronic communications were not developed? What if we don't have our mobile phones now? Mobile communications play a very important role in our lives, bringing people closer to each other. | Source

Primary requirements for any communications receiver:

Selectivity

  • The ability of a receiver to select a signal of a desired frequency while rejecting those on closely adjacent frequencies. With good selectivity, the receiver can select the desired signal and eliminate all other RF signals. Tuned circuits or LC circuits are used to obtain selectivity.

Sensitivity

  • It is the ability of a receiver to pick up weak signals. Sensitivity is directly related to receiver's gain. By the way, gain is the factor by which an input signal is multiplied to produce the output. This can be increased by having a series of amplification. Better sensitivity is attained with higher gain.

This is how noise degrades the quality of a signal

Typical video distortion caused by noise.This photo shows how noise can badly affect the signal and degrades the quality.
Typical video distortion caused by noise.This photo shows how noise can badly affect the signal and degrades the quality. | Source

System noise

  • Noise is any unwanted electrical signals that interfere with the information signal. It is a random electrical energy that enters the system via the medium. However, noise can also be generated in the receiver which causes some errors in demodulation process. Noise may come from different sources such as the atmosphere, particularly lightning and thunderstorms. It may also come from the outer space where the sun and billions of stars emit radiation which interferes with the signal.
  • Noise is inevitable, it is always present in a system. It can never be avoided, but can always be minimized with the use of sophisticated techniques and electronic circuits.

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Jemuel

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      • profile image

        mithra 

        5 months ago

        Thanks a lot

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        8 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

        You’re welcome kavule vicent!

      • profile image

        kavule vicent 

        8 months ago

        thank u very much cos I have learnt a lot.

      • profile image

        Auwal Ahmed 

        13 months ago

        thanks alots

      • profile image

        Anit 

        14 months ago

        Hello sir...please send me all data related to communication

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        17 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Glad it help you, Ibrahim. Thank you!

      • profile image

        ibrahim m gani 

        18 months ago

        hello mr. jemuel you really tried and I am very impressed with this your write up and I found it useful also helpful. keep it up, may Allah see you through.

        Best regard

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        19 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Sounds very cool! Thanks, jungkook.

      • profile image

        jungkook 

        19 months ago

        i used this in class for a project thank you so much jemuel.

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        2 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        You're welcome, Josy!

      • profile image

        Josy 

        2 years ago

        Jemuel,thanks so much for this write up. It really helpful

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Hi mkmATT, are you asking how to decrease noise in the medium? There are lot's of ways that noise is attenuated, but they are usually done at the receiver. Few examples are having limiters or filters in the receiver.

      • profile image

        mkmATTT 

        3 years ago

        Any idea about decrease noise. for example. at communication cable

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Thank you so much FitnezzJim! Your kind words have encouraged me to write more articles like this.

      • FitnezzJim profile image

        FitnezzJim 

        4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

        These types of articles are always interesting and great fun to read. Way late, but welcome to HubPages.

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        @Mahir: Thank you for reading this hub. It feels so great to know that someone finds your article useful! I hope this will be helpful to all people, not only to those who have knowledge about the topic, but also to those who want to dig in and explore the world of electronic communications.

      • Mahir Maric profile image

        Mahir 

        5 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegovina

        I have read the hub and some great info are offered in it. Maybe I didn't figured out all but most of it provides really useful informations. Thanks

      • KenDeanAgudo profile image

        Kenneth C Agudo 

        6 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

        hehehe that is great!

      • jemuelO profile imageAUTHOR

        Jemuel 

        6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Thank you so much Ken Dean! Yes you are right, I was once an ECE student before...I just graduated BSECE last March (this year). I'm glad to know that our courses are somewhat related. I guess, we can really understand each other on some topics like electronics and computers. Best regards on your studies!

      • KenDeanAgudo profile image

        Kenneth C Agudo 

        6 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

        hello, your hub was impressive! Are an ECE student?? cause Im a computer engr student, our courses are related from one another. Good luck !

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