A radio frequency (RF) signal generator is an indispensable tool if you work with, test or build radio or television equipment. The generator produces reliable signals with frequencies ranging from 100 KHz to 100MHz and above. Most will also modulate the base signal with an audio frequency for testing radio receivers. With a small antenna connected to the RF generator, you can broadcast a signal to a radio in the same room.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- RF signal generator
- Coaxial cable with BNC connectors
- FM antenna with BNC connector
- FM radio
Connect the BNC female connector on the coaxial cable to the male connector on the RF signal generator. Connect the other end of the cable to the male connector on the oscilloscope.
Turn on the RF generator and oscilloscope. Set the oscilloscope's horizontal sweep rate to 1 microsecond per division. Set its channel 1 vertical gain to 200 millivolts per division. Set the channel 1 input coupling to AC. Adjust the RF generator's frequency to between 100 KHz and 1MHz. You should see the signal on the oscilloscope screen.
Switch on the RF generator's AM and FM modulation signals. Observe how the AM signal adds a lower-frequency amplitude modulation to the radio-frequency carrier. The FM modulation does not affect amplitude; instead, it modulates the carrier frequency. Disconnect the BNC cable from the RF signal generator and turn the oscilloscope off.
Connect the antenna to the RF signal generator. Turn on the FM radio and tune it to a frequency that has no local station. Switch on the RF generator's frequency modulation signal and adjust the generator's frequency to match the radio's. You should hear the modulation test tone coming from the radio speaker.
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