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 NXP Semiconductors

  • Low-cost FSK Generator

  • Created: Nov 06, 2014

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One of the simplest digital modulation schemes in current use is the Frequency-shift keying (FSK). FSK is similar to Frequency Modulation or FM except that the modulating signal is a binary pulse stream that varies between two discrete voltage levels rather than a continuously changing analog waveform. In FSK, two discrete frequencies are used to represent the binary digits 0 and 1.

The heart of the circuit consists of two Wien-bridge oscillators built using a dual op amp LM1458, for the two frequencies. The two frequencies are enabled corresponding to digital data using two switches in HEF4016BP. The control lines of these switches are logically inverted with respect to each other using one of the switches in HEF4016BP as an inverter, so as to enable only one oscillator output at a time. The digital bit stream is used to control the analog switches as shown. Since the switching frequency limit of HEF4016BP is 40 MHz, high-data rates can be easily accommodated. This method comes in handy when expensive FSK generator chips are not readily available; also, the components used in this circuit are easily available off the shelf and are quite cheap.

FSK was originally used to transmit teleprinter messages by radio (RTTY) but can be used for most other types of radio and landline digital telegraph. Currently, FSK is commonly used in Caller ID and remote metering applications.



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