Receiver Module


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Sheet 1 Sheet 2 Sheet 3 Sheet 4 Sheet 5


PCB Layout

Sheet 1



The receiver module is a single-signal, direct conversion design, which is capable of receiving Single Sideband (SSB), AM and CW signals over a range of <100 KHz to 30 MHz. Receiver adjacent channel selectivity is provided by an audio filter chain of a four pole, highpass filter followed by an eight pole, lowpass filter. Automatic Gain Control (AGC) is provided to maintain a constant audio level despite wide variations in RF signal level. The audio output amplifier is capable of driving >1 Watt into an 8 Ohm loudspeaker, providing sufficient audio drive level for use in noisy environments. This module does not provide local oscillator generation or receiver front end selectivity; these functions are provided by the OSC_FILTER module.



DC supply input: 10-15 VDC

Operating temperature: 0 70 C

Receiver MDS: -130 dBm

Two-Tone Third Order Dynamic Range: 102 dB

Operating frequency range: <100 KHz 30 MHz

Undesired sideband suppression: >40 dB

Modes of operation: SSB, CW, AM (by zero beat method)

Local oscillator output level: TBD

PCB dimensions: 3.9 x 6.25




Schematic Sheet 1

RF signals, which have been previously band-limited by filters on the OSC_FILTER board, enter the receiver module via connector J1. From here, the RF is passed to U17, which is a dual, single pole four throw solid state analog switch, configured as a Quadrature Sampling Detector (QSD), also known as a Tayloe detector. For an explanation of how the QSD operates, please refer to this article by Mr. Tayloe, as well as the patent for his circuit. C2, C3, C4 and C5 are chosen such that, when combined with a 50 Ohms signal source impedance from the RX INPUT, each forms a lowpass filter with a cutoff frequency of approximately 7.9 KHz. The signals developed across C2, C3, C4 and C5 are then amplified and further lowpass filtered in U1A and U1B. Each of these amplifiers has a lowpass cutoff frequency of approximately 16 KHz.


After the signal has been detected in U17, U1A and U1B generate two audio signals: RX_I_AUDIO and RX_Q_AUDIO. These signals are identical in their information content and amplitude, but, they are separated in phase by 90 degrees. A portion of these signals is sent to buffer amplifiers U7A and U7B for use in offboard Software Defined Radio (SDR) experiments, or other uses. RX_I_AUDIO and RX_Q_AUDIO are also sent to the audio phase shift circuits (sheet 2) for further processing.


Local oscillator drive for the QSD is provided by U2A and U2B, which form a quadrature counter. RX CLOCK enters the receiver module at 4X the operating frequency and is divided by U2A and U2B to produce four separate signals at the operating frequency and separated by 90 degrees. R7, R8, R9 and R10 are 0 Ohm jumpers which are selected to be installed as needed to obtain the correct sideband selection sense. Only one pair of resistors (R7 and R9 or R8 and R10) should be installed at any time.


Schematic Sheet 2

U3, U4 and U5 form a wideband audio phase shift network which is configured identically to that in the exciter module. The network was designed using the J-TEK Allpass Filter Designer to provide a 90 degree phase differential over the range of 200 4000 Hz. The passive components used in this network are identical to those in the exciter.


A difference amplifier (U6A) takes the difference between the audio signals at the outputs of U5A and U5B to extract the upper sideband (USB) audio signal. Potentiometer R34 is used to adjust the amplitude balance of the two signals, in order to obtain the deepest null of the unwanted lower sideband (LSB) possible.


U6B is configured as a summing amplifier, which sums the output voltages of U5A and U5B to recover the LSB audio signal. Potentiometer R35 adjusts the amplitude balance of the two input signals to null the undesired upper sideband signal.


The desired sideband audio signal is selected by means of U18, a solid state switch. Control of U18 is by means of a front panel switch with USB a logic high (or open) and LSB with a logic low (or ground). The same signal controls sideband selection in the exciter. This signal is compatible with 5 volt logic levels, opening the possibility of control via a microcontroller port pin.


Schematic Sheet 3

The selected sideband audio (RX_SELECT_AUDIO) passes into a four pole, highpass, active filter consisting of U8A and U8B. This filter has a cutoff frequency of 300 Hz.


The signal next passes through an eight pole lowpass filter consisting of U9A, U9B, U10A and U10B. This filter has a cutoff frequency of 2400 Hz.


While the filters in the receiver appear similar to those in the exciter, they have quite different response characteristics. In the first version of this receiver, both the high and lowpass filters had Tchebychev responses, identical to those in the exciter. The advantage of the Tchebychev response is that it has a very sharp roloff beyond the cutoff frequencies. Unfortunately, a negative attribute of the Tchebychev filter response is phase distortion that occurs throughout the passband, which causes received atmospheric noise to have a very annoying sound, as well as excessive ringing, which makes CW signals difficult to copy.


In the end, another filter was designed which has a near linear phase response. While this filter has a more gradual rolloff outside the passband, the sound is much more pleasing to the ear. A simulation of the amplitude versus frequency can be seen here, and a simulation of filter pulse response can be seen here.


These filters were designed with the use of the TI Filter Designer, available as a free download from Texas Instruments.


Schematic Sheet 4

U11 and U12 for a variable gain amplifier (VGA) which provide a maximum gain of about 90 dB to the receive signal path. U12 contains a detector which converts the output signal to a varying DC voltage which is proportional to the RMS value of the signal at the output of U12. This proportional DC voltage is applied to the gain control pins of both U11 and U12, providing a means automatic gain control (AGC) of the received signal. It is recognized that there are times that automatic gain control is not desired; for that reason, two methods of manual gain control have also been provided.


A short across pins 1 to 2 of J3 will complete the AGC loop, causing AGC action to occur. Putting a short across pins 2 to 3 of J3 allows the gain to be controlled by means of a voltage applied to pin 5 of J3. This voltage can be obtained R66 (if installed), or, by the use of an external 10 K Ohm potentiometer connected to pins 4, 5 and 6 of J3.


Capacitors C47 and C49 control the time constants of the AGC system. Increasing capacitance increases both the attack and release times. The values shown appear to be good starting values for SSB operation. See the AD8367 datasheet for more details.


Schematic Sheet 5

LEVELLED_RX_AUDIO from the AGC amplifiers is next sent offboard to the volume control, which is a 10 K Ohm potentiometer. This potentiometer should be a log taper unit, if possible.


When the audio returns to the board, it next goes to U19, a solid state switch which selects receiver audio, or TX_SIDETONE from the exciter board based on the level of the /PTT line. When /PTT is high (or open), receive audio is selected. Conversely, when /PTT is low (or ground), TX_SIDETONE is selected.


The audio signal from U19 is passed to audio power amplifier (AFPA) U13 where it is amplified to a level suitable for driving a loudspeaker. A snubber network, consisting of C60 and R73 prevent oscillation of U13. Amplified audio is capacitor coupled to J7 for connection to an offboard loudspeaker. The loudspeaker should be rated for 8 Ohms and capable of dissipating a minimum of 1 Watt.


Main power, in the range of 10 15 VDC enters the board through J8. Q2 is a P-channel MOSFET (IRF7416), which provides protection of the module circuits in the case reverse polarity main power is applied. The use of a P-channel MOSFET provides less voltage drop than a series diode and does not result in a blown fuse as would be the case with a parallel protection diode.


The polarity protected supply voltage is applied to linear regulators U14 and U16 to provide regulated 5 VDC to the +5V and +5VD rails, respectively. Diodes CR1 and CR3 provide protection for their respective regulators when power is removed from the module.


When power is removed from the board, energy stored in capacitors on the +5V and +5VD rails will attempt to discharge through the regulators. Diodes around the regulators provide a path for this energy to safely discharge, avoiding damage to the regulators.


Separate LM1117 regulators were provided for the +5v and the +5VD rails not for noise isolation, but rather, to provide more choices for the component to be used in U17. U17 is an SN74CBT3253D, and is used in the QSD. This part is available in both 3.3 and 5 volt versions. The LT6231 used in the following stage will operate from 3.3 or 5 volts, as-is. Powering the +5VD from a separate regulator allows the use of either the 3.3 or 5 volt versions of U17 by simply changing regulator U16 to the appropriate type.



Bill of Materials

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Column Label Meaning

A NI? NI = Component not installed

B Pattern Name PCB component pattern

C Ref Des Component reference designator

D Device Component type

E Val Component value

F Wat Component rating in Watts (if applicable)

G PCT Component tolerance

H Volt Component Voltage rating

I PMFR Primary manufacturer

J PMFR P/N Primary manufacturer part number

K P Vendor Primary Vendor (Note: digi = Digikey)

L P Vendor P/N Part number used by the primary vendor

M SMFR Secondary manufacturer

N SMFR P/N Secondary manufacturer part number

O S Vendor Secondary Vendor

P S Vendor P/N Secondary P/N


Important note:

The listing of any vendor or manufacturer in this Bill of Materials does not in any way constitute any endorsement of any vendor or manufacturer. Vendors, manufacturers and their part numbers are listed soley for convenience of the builder. The information presented in this Bill of Materials may contain errors; the author assumes no liability for the accuracy of the information contained herein. The user assumes all liability for the use of any information presented in this Bill of Materials.


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