Elements of Electronic Communications System - TurboFuture - Technology
Updated date:

Elements of Electronic Communications System

Author:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Let's check your comprehension!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What are the primary requirements for any receiver?
    • simplicity and availability
    • sensitivity and simplicity
    • selectivity and reliability
    • selectivity and sensitivity
  2. Which one is considered as barrier of human communications?
    • distance
    • symbols
    • physical defects
    • noise
  3. The unwanted electrical signals that can interefere with the information signal.
    • receiver
    • transmitter
    • noise
    • medium or channel
  4. Which of the following is a good communications channel?
    • water
    • radio or free space
    • soil
    • mobile phone
  5. All channels have the characteristics to__________the signals.
    • attenuate
    • amplify
    • bend
    • reflect
  6. Original information such as voice and video signals are also called as ______________
    • analog signal
    • baseband signal
    • digital signal
    • continuous wave
  7. Which of the following is NOT a major communications channel?
    • Copper wires
    • Free space
    • Water
    • Fiber optic cable
  8. The original electrical information signal to be transmitted is called ________.
    • carrier
    • source signal
    • baseband signal
    • modulated signal
  9. Which of the following is NOT a source of noise?
    • Thermal agitation in electronic components
    • Carrier signal
    • Atmospheric effects
    • Manufactured electrical systems
  10. Noise that comes from heavenly bodies that are powerful sources of radiation.
    • Space Noise
    • White Noise
    • Thermal noise
    • Shot noise

Answer Key

  1. selectivity and sensitivity
  2. distance
  3. noise
  4. radio or free space
  5. attenuate
  6. baseband signal
  7. Water
  8. baseband signal
  9. Carrier signal
  10. Space Noise

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 3 correct answers: Don't lose hope. You can always read the hub and try to answer the quiz again.

If you got between 7 and 8 correct answers: Congrats! You have a good comprehension.

If you got 9 correct answers: Outstanding. Keep up the good work! You are almost there.

If you got 10 correct answers: You're a genius! Congratulations.

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.

© 2013 Jemuel

Comments

mithra on May 02, 2019:

Thanks a lot

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on February 21, 2019:

You’re welcome kavule vicent!

kavule vicent on February 07, 2019:

thank u very much cos I have learnt a lot.

Auwal Ahmed on September 19, 2018:

thanks alots

Anit on August 19, 2018:

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

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on May 27, 2018:

Glad it help you, Ibrahim. Thank you!

ibrahim m gani on April 01, 2018:

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

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on March 24, 2018:

Sounds very cool! Thanks, jungkook.

jungkook on March 20, 2018:

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

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on July 22, 2017:

You're welcome, Josy!

Josy on June 25, 2017:

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

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on April 11, 2016:

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.

mkmATTT on April 11, 2016:

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

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on June 26, 2015:

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

FitnezzJim from Fredericksburg, Virginia on June 20, 2015:

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

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on November 18, 2013:

@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 from Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 17, 2013:

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

Kenneth C Agudo from Tiwi, Philippines on September 09, 2013:

hehehe that is great!

Jemuel (author) from Cebu, Philippines on September 09, 2013:

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!

Kenneth C Agudo from Tiwi, Philippines on September 07, 2013:

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