Radio & Electronics Introduction

Lesson 1

1.  How is a digital radio different from an analog radio?

An analog radio sends information by changing the shapes of waves.  It’s a direct physical change to an existing wave.  So the trouble is that if something disrupts or gets in the way of the natural wave the signal can get lost.  The wave is always in real time so if it gets lost you miss parts of it.

What makes a digital radio more reliable?

Digital is more reliable because it uses a much wider bandwidth that has many more signals all at once.  The signals are coded into numbers and are sent many times.   If they are disrupted there is a lot more chance that one or more of the signals reaches the receiver.   The receiver blends all the signals together and that is called multiplexing.

Digital radios are behind in getting the signals and putting them together compared to the analog radios.  You will hear information faster from an analog radio but you might miss some information if the wave is disrupted.  Or you’ll hear all the information on a digital radio but it will be behind.

2.   What is the difference between AM and FM?

AM (amplitude modulation) uses waves that are already there as carrier waves to travel along and they are longer or called MW or medium wave.

FM (frequency modulation) uses short quick waves that therefore have a higher frequency and FM has it’s own waves that it makes itself.

3.   What makes analog radios sometimes sound crackly?

When a radio sounds crackly it is because something has interfered with the radio wave causing the single to be choppy.

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