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Design and Construction of a Wireless Microphone FM Transmitter


Haruna U. Adoga, Bulama A. Kadafur
Department of Computer Science, Federal University Lafia, Nigeria
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
{haruna.umar.adoga, kadafur}@gmail.com

Abstract- This paper presents the design and construction of a wireless microphone FM
transmitter with a range of about 100meters. The use of cable microphones creates
inconvenience and obstruction while in use so it becomes paramount to design and construct a
wireless microphone using Frequency Modulation as link instead of a cable with a reception
which should be portable, affordable and operate efficiently. The transmitter works using a 9v dc
supply which operates on the principle of FM (frequency modulation) band. The design consists
of four parts which include; the input unit (electret microphone), audio amplifier unit, modulator
and finally the oscillator unit. The input unit is a microphone which is used to provide the signal
in the form of speech amplified by the audio amplifier; the amplified signal is then transferred to
the modulator unit where the signal is being superimposed on the carrier wave in a suitable
manner. The oscillating unit which is an LC oscillator provides the necessary high frequency
needed for transmitting the signal through an antenna. The output is a signal transmitted through
a distance of 100m which is transmitted at a frequency of 102.3MHZ.
Keywords Signal amplification, frequency modulation, audio transmission, transducer.


1. INTRODUCTION

A wireless microphone as the name implies is a microphone without a physical cable connecting
it directly to the sound recording or amplifying equipment with which it is associated. More
commonly known as a radio microphone, there are many different technologies used to replace
the wire microphones cable connection and make it into a wireless microphone. They can
transmit for example, radio waves using various digital modulation schemes. Some low cost
models use infrared light. Infrared microphones require line of sight between the microphone and
the receiver, while costlier radio frequency models do not. Some models operate on a single
fixed frequency, but the more advanced models operate on a user selectable frequency to avoid
interference. The two most important analogue methods for transmitting and receiving signal are
frequency modulation (FM) and amplitude modulation (AM). In order to transmit information in
the form of modulation, we vary some parameters of a basic electromagnetic wave usually called
a carrier wave. A radio frequency signal is normally used, as the original information which is in
a form that is not suitable for distance transmission directly due to some factors and it is
necessary to convert it to higher frequency through modulation.
In this paper, we designed an alternative to cable microphone (a wireless microphone), we intend
to eliminate the challenges faced when working with cable or wired microphones, the advantage
is to give the user greater mobility when using the microphone, the problem of restriction of


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distance of transmission when using cable microphones will also be solved. Our design of the
frequency modulation (FM) wireless microphone is expected to have high signal to noise ratio
since the performance of the system is determined by its signal to noise ratio.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Bandwidth and Spectrum
Almost all wireless microphone systems use wideband FM modulation, which requires
approximately 200KHZ of bandwidth to operate in. because of the relatively large bandwidth
requirements, wireless microphone use is effectively restricted to VHF and above. Many older
wireless microphone systems operate in the VHF part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Systems
operating in this range are often crystal controlled, and therefore operate on a single frequency.
However, if this frequency is chosen properly, the system will be able to operate for years
without any problems; most modern wireless microphone products operate in the UHF television
band. Thus the frequency modulation (FM) band will be used for this design. Table 1 below
shows a list of various radio signal classification, their abbreviations and frequency ranges.
Table 1. Radio frequency classifications [3]
Classification Abbreviation Frequency range

Very Low Frequency VLF 9kHz and below
Low frequency(Longwave) LF 30kHZ-300kHz
Medium Frequency MF 300kHz-3MHz
High Frequency(Shortwave) HF 3MHz-30MHz
Very High Frequency VHF 30MHZ-300MHz
Ultra High Frequency UHF 300 MHz-3GHz
Microwaves 3GHz and above

2.2. Modulation
This is the process of combining an audio frequency (AF) signal with a radio frequency (RF)
carrier wave. The AF is also called a modulating wave and the resultant wave produced is called
modulated wave. During modulation, some characteristics of the carrier wave are varied in time
with the modulating signal and this is accomplished by combining the two. [1]
Methods of modulation;
The mathematical expression for a sinusoidal carrier wave is
e= E
c
sin(
c
t + ) = E
c
sin(2F
c
t + )
Obviously, the waveform can be varied by any of its following three factors or parameters:
E
c
The amplitude, Fc

the frequency, the phase.
Accordingly, there are three types of sine-wave modulations known as:
a. Amplitude modulation (AM) Here, the information or AF signal changes the amplitude of
the carrier wave without changing its frequency.


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b. Frequency modulation (FM) In this case, the information signal changes the frequency of
the carrier wave without changing its amplitude or phase.
c. Phase modulation (PM)- here, the information signal changes the phase of the carrier wave
without changing its other two parameters.[1]
Demodulation is the process of extracting the base band message from the carrier so that it may be
processed and interpreted by the intended receiver. [2]
2.3. Methods of Generating FM Signal
There are basically two methods of generating an FM signal. The direct method and the indirect
method. In the direct method, voltage controlled oscillator (VCOs) is used to vary the frequency
of the carrier signal in accordance with the base amplitude variation. These oscillators use
devices with reactance that can be varied by the amplification of voltage, where the reactance
causes the instantaneous frequency of the VCO to change proportionally by incorporating such
devices into a standard Harley or croupiest oscillator; FM signal can be generated. In the indirect
method, This is based on approximating a narrow base FM signal and a signal sideband (SSB)
signal where the side band is 90 degree out of phase with the carrier.

2.4. The Antenna
The antenna is the circuit element responsible for converting the output power from the
transmitter amplifier into an electromagnetic wave suitable for efficient radiation in free space.
Antenna takes many different physical forms determined by the frequency of operation and the
radiation pattern desired for broadcasting purposes, the antenna that radiates its power uniformly
to its listeners is desirable.
A helical antenna is been used to achieve the design presented in this paper. Helical antenna- A
helical antenna is an antenna consisting of a conducting wire wound in the form of a helix. In
most cases, helical antennas are mounted over a ground plane. Helical antennas can operate in
one of two principal modes: normal (broadside) mode or axial (or end fire) mode.
In the normal mode or broadside helix, the dimensions of the helix are small compared with the
wavelength. The antenna acts similarly to an electrically short dipole or monopole, and the
radiation pattern, similar to these antennas is omnidirectional, with maximum radiation at right
angles to the helix axis. The radiation is linearly polarized parallel to the helix axis. A tesla coil
secondary coil is also an example.
In the axial mode or end-fire helix, the dimensions of the helix are comparable to a wavelength.
The antenna functions as a directional antenna radiating a beam off the ends of the helix, along
the antenna's axis. It radiates circularly polarized radio waves. [5]
2.5. Antenna Characteristics
Antenna impedance- an antenna must be matched to the connecting transmission line or wave
guide for efficient radiation.
Radiated power- the amount of power radiated by a transmit antenna will limit the separation
distance between the transmitting and receiving antenna.


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Directivity- the direction in which the antenna radiates the power will dictate how the transmit
and receive antenna should be positioned.
Efficiency (losses) - the amount of power dissipated by the antenna should be small in
comparison to the amount of power radiated in order to minimize the source power requirement.
2.6. Basic RF amplifier functions
RF amplifiers may be designed to operate at any frequency from 50 kHz to 500 MHz. The
amplifier may be used as the input stage of a receiver. In this mode of operation its primary
function is to work with a very weak voltage signal picked up by the antenna, and amplifu the
signal while contributing a minimum of intermediate cascaded stages gradually building up the
signal level. It may function as a mixer stage in which two signals at different frequencies are
combined. It may be designed as a frequency multiplier where the output frequency is double or
triple or quadruple the frequency at the input.[9]


3. WIRELESS MICROPHONE DESIGN
3.1. The Amplification Stage
The fixed amplifier amplifies the signal from the input transducer (microphone); it raises its
amplitude to a desired level and then the amplified signal to a radio frequency (RF)
amplifier/oscillator. For amplification, the common emitter configuration is been used for
amplification. The fixed amplifier configuration is shown in figure 1 below.
VBE
to tuned amplifier
R5
1k
+
C2
1uF
R4
1k
R3
1k
R2
1k
Q1
NPN
+
V1
10V
+
C1
1uF

Figure 1: Fixed amplifier circuit
The bias is set by the ratio of resistances R2 and R3.
C1 and C2 block dc to or from the input and output circuitry while letting the a.c signal pass.
R4 keeps the output signal from being shorted out through the power supply. A signal voltage
enters the collector-emitter circuit through C1, where it causes the base current, IB to vary. The


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small fluctuations in IB cause changes in IC. This current passes through R4 causing a
fluctuating dc voltage signal to appear across this resistor. The ac part of this passes unhindered
through C2 to the output (tuned amplifier)
The analysis is thus shown below.
From the data sheet,
For 2N2222 NPN transistor, this is used for the fixed amplifier stage,
IC (max) =0.8A=800mA..2.1
Hfe= | =200
let emitter voltage VE=5V............................................................2.2
IE =
RE
VE = 106.4mA = 0.1064A.........................................................2.3
R5=
IE
VE =
O = 1 . 47
106 . 0
5 ..2.4
Also from IC=| IB.2.5
IB=
mA
IC
4
200
8 . 0
= =
|

I.e. base current.
Rth which is the resistance across the base of Q1 is given by
VCC=IBth + VBE.2.6
Rth =
IB
VBE VCC
Where VBE=0.7V
Rth=
O =

K 1 . 2
10 4
7 . 0 9
3

Also from VCE=
V
VCC
5 . 4
2
9
2
= =
.2.7
But R2 and R3 were chosen to be 15k and 22k since they protect the transistor from excessive
current, RB (base resistor) must be high.
The values of IB, IC, R5 and IE where found to be 4mA, 800mA, 47.1O and 106mA
respectively
3.2. Introduction of Tuned Amplifier
A tuned amplifier is one which is required to handle a relatively narrow band of frequencies
centered on a particular radio frequency. Such an amplifier has two main functions


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(i) It must provide the selectivity necessary to ensure that frequencies outside the wanted band
are not amplified to the same extent.
(ii) It must provide a specific gain over a given frequency band. The required selectivity is
generally obtained by a parallel resonant circuit, as a collection or drain load for the transistor of
FET. The required LC product, for resonance to occur at a desired center frequency is fairly
small and is easy to obtain.
Transistors are subject to internal feedback of energy at radio frequencies and a transistor-tuned
amplifier must be designed to avoid instability. Generally, the collector-emitter configuration is
chosen in preference to the common base because it provides greatest gain and its sometimes
chosen when one or more of its particular characteristics are required for amplification, the
common emitter configuration is been used for amplification.
+
C1
2.2uF
L1
1uH
+
C7
470uF
+
C6
22pf
+
C4
0.1uF
Q2
NPN
antenna
+
V1
9v
C5
5-60pf
R9
22OK
R8
2.2k
R7
47k
R6
1k

Figure 2: Equivalent circuit of a tuned amplifier
3.3. The Oscillator Circuit
It is also called LC circuit or tank circuit. The oscillatory circuit consist of two reactive elements
i.e. an inductor and a capacitor. Both are capable of storing energy. The capacitor stores energy
in its electric field whenever there is a potential difference across its plates. Similarly, a coil or
an inductor stores energy in its magnetic field whenever current flow through it. Both L and C
are supposed to be loss free. Figure 3 below shows the tank circuit.
L1
1mH
C5
5-60pf

Figure 3: Tank circuit


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Inductance calculation:
Coil manufacturers in factories use the formula
L=
) (
10 9
2 2
H
x r
N r

+
2.8
Where r = radius of the coil
N = number of turns
X = length of wire
The equation above is used for the computation of coil parameters and preference is
given to high frequency region of operation.
For N = 6 turns of 24AWG wire
r = 0.06m = 0.6cm
x = 0.2m = 2cm
From the above equation,
L=
H
) 2 ( 10 ) 6 . 0 ( 9
6 ) 6 . 0 (
2 2
+

L=0.5 H
Capacitance Calculation:
The transmitter is designed to operate at a frequency of within the FM frequency range
of 88-108MZ.
From F=
LC t 2
1
2.9
Where c = capacitance
L= inductance
t =3.142
F = 100MHZ
C=
L F
2 2
4
1
t

C= 5pf
Thus C5 is variable between 5pf and 60pf hence 22pf was selected, which falls within the range.
The equivalent DC analysis is shown below for the last sage


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Where Q2 =2N2222
IC(max) = 0.8A = 800mA
Hfe = 200
VCC = 9V
The above were gotten from the data sheet
The value of VE was chosen to be 5V


From VB=VE + VBE 2.9.1
VE = 5 + 0.7 = 5.7V
The current flowing through the tank circuit is calculated taking 40% of IC (max)
Then,
IC = 0.4 0.8
= 0.32A
VE=
RE
IE

RE =
O = = 625 . 15
32 . 0
5
IE
VE

But the value of RE
2
(R9) was chosen to be 220O
3.4. The Oscillator Stage
Within nearby every electronic instrument, it is essential to have an oscillator or waveform
operator of some sort, a device without an oscillator, either doesnt do anything or expect to be
driven by another device (which probably contains an oscillator). Depending on the application,
an oscillator may be used as a source of regulatory spaced pulse or demand may be made on its
adjustability e.g. local oscillator in a transmitter or receiver which is employed in this design or
its ability to produce accurate wave forms.
An oscillator has the following characteristics:
1. It is a circuit which converts d.c energy at very high frequency.
2. It is an electronic source of alternating current or voltage having size square, saw tooth or
pulse shape.
3. It is a circuit which generates an a.c output signal without requiring any externally
applied input signal.
4. It is an unstable amplifier.

3.5. Classification of Oscillators


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Electronic oscillator may be broadly divided into the following groups.
(i) sinusoidal( harmonic) oscillator: it produces an output having sine waveform
(ii) Non-sinusoidal (relaxation) oscillator; they produce an output which has square,
rectangular or saw tooth waveform or is of pulse shape.
Sinusoidal oscillators are further subdivided into;
a. Tuned-circuits or LC feedback oscillator.
b. LC phase shift oscillator
c. Crystal oscillator
d. Heterodyne or beat frequency oscillator.
Discussions will be however restricted to the LC tuned circuit oscillator for this design
3.6. The Antenna
The length of the antenna should be approximately
4
1
of the FM wavelength and the transmitter
is designed to operate at 100MHZ
Recall that;
Speed of light = frequency wavelength
I.e. C = F

C = 299 792 458 m / s

Hence =
m
F
C
3 =
2.9.2
Therefore antenna length =
4
1
3 = 0.75m
Thus the antenna which is a helical antenna should be kept at a length which is suitable for
effective signal transmission.
The Transmitter Power Calculation
From wave theory
Pt =
Z
V
2
2.9.3
Where V = supply voltage
Z = impedance
Z=
C L X X
2 2
2.9.4
Where
FL X
L
t 2 =

And
FC
X
C
t 2
1
=
thus the transmitter transmit at a frequency of 102.3MHZ


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t
= 3.142

XL= 2t 102.3 10
6 6
10 5 . 0


=321.38
And
FC
X
C
t 2
1
=
=77.04
2
2
) 04 . 77 ( ) 48 . 292 ( = Z

Z = 282.2O
The transmitter power is given by: Pt =
Z
V
2

i.e. from equation 2.9.3, Pt =
Z
V
2
2 . 282
81
2 . 282
9
2
= =

= 0.3W
I.e. << 1watt
It is a miniature transmitter (with small signal radiation)
4. COMPONENT ASSEMBLY
4.1 Component Selection
The component used especially capacitors and resistors, usually have their calculated values
different from the standard values. However, the components used in the construction are either
calculated values or chosen from the data book in accordance with the standard values of the
parameters, table 2 and 3 below shows the resistor and capacitor values respectively.
Table 2. Resistor values
Components Design
value
Standard
value
Resistor R1 10k 1k
Resistor R2 10k 15k
Resistor R3 22k 5.6k
Resistor R6 10k 1k
Resistor R8 2.2k 3.3k

Table 3. Variable capacitor values


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Components Design value Standard value
Capacitor C5 5-60pf 22pf

For the capacitor above (variable capacitor), a fixed value of 22pf was used which falls within
the range of the capacitor.
The advantages of this design (frequency modulation) over the amplitude modulation are;
1. FM signal has wide frequency bandwidth and is made insensitive to amplitude
variations of the signal; such random interference can be largely eliminated.
2. Efficiency is increased because all the RF stages do not involve modulations
envelops
3. Wider bandwidth and more communication channels.
Thus FM is preferred to AM for signal transmission.
Table 4 below gives a list of the components that were used in the design.
Table 4. List of overall components used
S/N COMPONENTS TYPES/VALUES QUANTITY
1 Resistor 1k 2
2 Resistor 15 1
3 Resistor 5.6k 1
4 Resistor 10k 1
5 Resistor 47k 2
6 Resistor 3.3k 1
7 Resistor 220O 1
8 Resistor 330O 1
9 Capacitor 22 f
(electrolytic)
1
10 Capacitor 10 f
(electrolytic)
1
11 Capacitor 4.7 f
(electrolytic)
1


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12 Capacitor 22 f
(electrolytic)
1
13 Battery Hi watt (9v) 1
14 Antenna Helical(wire
antenna)
1
15 Flexible wire 24 awg 1 yard
16 Lead .. 2yards
17 Vero board Small size 1
18 Microphone Elect ret 1
19 Casing Plastic ..
20 Transistor NPN(2N2222) 2
21 LED Red 1
22 Switch Sps2 1
23 Proto-board White 1
24 Capacitor 10 f (ceramic) 1
Assembling is an important stage in any construction process; it involves inserting, connecting or
joining the various components on the Vero board in accordance with the schematic diagram; the
components were assembled based on the circuit diagram shown below in figure 4.
electret
mic
D1
LED1
L1
1uH
+
C7
470uF
+
C6
22pf
+
C4
0.1uF
+
C3
10uF
+
C2
4.7uF
+
C1
10uF
switcth
Q2
NPN
antenna
+
V1
9v Q1
NPN
C5
5-60pf
R10
330
R9
22OK
R8
2.2k
R7
47k
R6
1k
R5
47k
R4
10k
R3
22k
R2
15k
R1
1k

Figure 4: Circuit diagram of a wireless microphone FM transmitter.


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4.2. Principle of Operation
At the first stage, the microphone which is a transducer converts sound energy into electrical
audio signal. If the wireless microphone goes one step further, it converts the audio signal
created by the microphone into the radio signal which is sent to the receiver through the
transmitter. The transmitter handles the conversion of the audio signal into radio signal and
broadcasts through the antenna. The capacitor and the self-made inductor (tank circuit) will
vibrate at frequencies in the FM radio band i.e. 88-108MHZ. the elect-ret microphone has a
resistance that depends on how loud is the sound passed to it. The microphone battery power
functions according to ohms law;
V=IR
Also changes in resistance for fixed voltage will result in proportional changes in current; this
current is fed into the base of the 2N2222 NPN transistor, which is connected into the capacitor,
inductor and antenna. The voice will be modulated to a frequency which falls within the FM
frequency (88-108MHZ). The transmitted signal from the wireless microphone is been received
by an FM radio receiver which is 50 to 100m away. The block diagram is shown in figure 5
below.

POWER
SUPPLY
MICROPHONE
AUDIO
AMPLIFIER
MODULATION OSCILLATION
ANT.

Figure 5: Block diagram of the wireless microphone
4.3 Testing and Measurement
This section analyzes the testing at some stages of the wireless microphone.
Thus the equipment used include
(i) digital multi-meter (model; MAS 830L)
(ii) 12 band FM radio receiver (model; KK913A)
Table 5 below shows the test results at point 1.
Table 5: Test at point 1(voltage drawn at power source)


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Measured value Design value % error
8.80V 9V 2

The oscillator stage (tank circuit), i.e. the inductive and capacitive reactance test results is shown
in table 6 below.
Table 6. Inductive and capacitive reactance measurements
Inductive reactance (Xl) Capacitive reactance (Xc) Transmission frequency
77.04 292.48 102.3MHZ
The FM radio receiver was used to detect the above frequency.


5. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK
In this paper, we designed and constructed a frequency modulation wireless microphone. Test
and analysis carried out on the constructed wireless microphone reveals the overall success of the
work. The design can be employed for voice communication and high quality audio
broadcasting; it could also be used as a public address system in lecture halls and classrooms.
The testing focused on determining its operating frequency range, radius of operation and the
current it draws from the battery. It was found that;
(i) The radius of operation is about 100meters.
(ii) Its frequency of operation is 102.3 MHZ
(iii) The current drawn from the battery is about 33.4mA

For better system performance, a double tuned amplifier can be used for the purpose of obtaining
a wider band than those obtained with single tuning; thereby improving on the system radius of
operation (coverage). With regards to limitations, we therefore suggest that further studies be
conducted with both FM transmitter and receiver to form a complete wireless microphone
system.



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