Super heterodyne Receiver

This is  the most commonly used Receiver and it uses “hetero dyning” principle which is used almost in all types of receivers like TR Receiver and Radar Receiver etc. The word hetero(≈different) dyne(≈mixing) means mixing  different frequencies using a Mixer. Hence the name given as super hetero dyne Receiver.

The block diagram consists of  a receiving antenna followed by an RF stage as the primary block , the receiving signal has been fed to RF stage through the antenna. 

In a Super hetero dyne Receiver the incoming RF signal frequency (f_{s}) is combined with local oscillator frequency(f_{o}) through a mixer and converts a signal of a lower fixed frequency (IF) this lower fixed frequency is called as Intermediate Frequency (f_{i} or f_{IF}). A constant frequency difference is maintained between the Local Oscillator and incoming RF signal. This is provided through Capacitance tuning that is all capacitors are ganged together and operated by a common control knob.

\therefore incoming RF is  down translated to IF using a mixer now this IF is given as input to the secondary stage of the block diagram that is IF amplifier. IF amplifier consists of number of transformers each consisting of a pair of mutually tuned circuits thus with a large number of double tuned circuits, operating at a specially chosen frequency the IF amplifier provides most of the gain.

Thus IF stage full fills most of the gain (sensitivity) and Band width(selectivity) requirements of the Receiver. For a Super hetero dyne receiver Sensitivity and selectivity are quite uniform throughout it’s tuning range this is one of the advantage over TRF Receiver.

The amplified IF signal is given as an input to the Detector. The Detector or the demodulator demodulates the signal and down translates the IF signal to AF(Audio Frequency) signal.

The AF signal is amplified by Audio amplifier and further by power amplifier. The last stage of the receiver is a Loud speaker , which receives AF signal. Loud speaker is in general a transducer which converts electrical signal into a voice (or) Audio.

The advantages of Super hetero dyne receiver makes it most suitable for majority of Radio Receiver applications like AM, FM, Communications, SSB, TV and even Radar Receiver.

Advantages of super hetero dyne Receiver:-

  • It provides high gain through IF amplifier that is more sensitivity is being provided by it.
  • Improved selectivity over TRF receiver.
  • Improved adjacent channel rejection.
  • BW remains constant over the entire operating range.
  • Selectivity and Sensitivity are uniform throughout it’s tuning range.
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Author: Lakshmi Prasanna Ponnala

Completed M.Tech in Digital Electronics and Communication Systems and currently working as a faculty.