From Secrets of RF Circuit Design, Third Edition

The purpose of the detector or demodulator circuits is to recover the intelligence impressed on the radio carrier wave at the transmitter. This process is called demodulation and the circuits used to accomplish this are called demodulators. They are also called second detectors in superheterodyne receivers.

In a superheterodyne receiver the detector or demodulator circuit is placed between the IF amplifier and the audio amplifier (Fig. 27-1). This position is the same in AM, FM, pulse modulation, and digital receivers (although in digital receivers the demodulator might be in a circuit called a MODEM).

Figure 27-1: Location of the demodulator circuit.

AM envelope detectors

An amplitude modulation (AM) signal consists of a slow audio signal which revolves around an average radio frequency (RF) carrier signal. It is essentially a multiplication or mixing process in which the RF carrier and AF signals are both output, along with the (RF AF) and (RF + AF) signals. Because of the selectivity of the transmitter circuits, only the RF carrier and the sum and difference signals appear in the output. The AF signal is suppressed. The sum signal (RF + AF) is known as the upper sideband (USB) while the difference signal (RF AF) is known as the lower sideband (LSB). Because of this action, the bandwidth of the AM signal is determined by the highest audio frequency transmitted and is equal to twice that frequency. A total of 66.67% of the RF power in an...

Products & Services
RF Receivers
RF receivers are electronic devices that enable a particular radio signal to be separated from all others being received and converted into a format for video, voice, or data.
I/Q Modulators and I/Q Demodulators
I/Q modulators and I/Q demodulators change the amplitude, frequency, or phase of a carrier signal in order to transmit information. I/Q modulators split an incoming data stream into its in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) components, mix the resulting signals with local oscillators that are 90º apart in phase, and then combine the outputs vectorially in a 0º mixer.
RF Power Detectors
RF power detectors are devices that detect an RF signal and convert it to an output that corresponds to the RF power. These devices typically connect in-line with coaxial connectors.
RF Transceivers
RF transceivers are electronic devices that receive and demodulate an RF signal, then modulate and transmit a new signal.
Signal Generators
Signal generators and waveform generators are used to test and align all types of transmitters and receivers, to measure frequency and to generate a signal, waveform or noise source. Signal generators can use AC energy, audio frequency (AF) and radio frequency (RF) to function.

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