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Creating my own wireless communication system

  1. Oct 23, 2012 #1
    I don't have much experience in EE, but for a project, I was wondering if I could create a device that can wirelessly transmit short binary strings from one end of a classroom to another. Would it be a feasible project for a freshman student of electrical engineering?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2012 #2
    Wooah. Hello there..

    The straight answer would be - No. It's too complex.

    But since I know that if I were you, I would probably not be satisfied with that answer, and demand an instruction so I could choose myself :D

    Well first of all, the things you would need is

    Antenna, Transceiver, Microprocessor - Not very complex eh?

    The problem is, it would be very difficult to build all of this yourself. You would probably end up buying all of them, and then just programming the Microprocessor.

    The Antenna would have to be designed for the specific frequency range you would want to transmit on. There are some simple antenna designs, like the inverted F antenna you could look up on. But my advice would be to buy the antenna from farnell.com or perhaps RS components.

    The transceiver is a complex piece of hardware. It's purpose is to translate the signals in the air into a bitstream. Also, it will have to translate a bitstream into a signal.

    The way it does this is by digital demodulation and digital modulation. If you want you can look up on ASK Modulation (Amplitude Shift Keying), which would be one of the ways to do it.

    So the Transceiver spits out a bitstream. This bitstream would then be received by your Microprocessor which can then decode the message depending on how you have decided to arrange the bits in a protocol.

    But I would recommend that you buy all of the stuff and then program the Microcontroller. For learning purposes, you could look into the modulation schemes, but I really think it will be problematic, if you haven't learned about Fourier transformations yet.
  4. Oct 24, 2012 #3


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    Please do not be discouraged by the above pessimistic post. Remember that Radio Frequency (RF) energy is not the only means we can use to send short binary strings from one end of a classroom to another. Consider using Optical Frequencies. There are many infrared and visible light emitting diodes available to transmit pulses. For receiving those pulses there are entire families of phototransistors and photodiodes. Additionally, there is a wide variety of receiver and transmitter simple circuits available for free. After a few minutes of searching I found these possibilities you can consider:

    www.ece.ucsb.edu/…asses/ece2c/labs/Lab4_2C_2009.pdf [Broken]

    Let us know here on Physics Forums how your project goes.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Oct 24, 2012 #4
    You won't achieve it by radio: far too difficult for a beginner.
    Infrared maybe.
  6. Oct 24, 2012 #5
    It wasn't being pessimistic. My thoughts were in the RF direction, and that is a complex area. Of course anything is possible if you want to buy everything, but if he wants to build it all from scratch then it requires a bit more than being a beginner. Its simply being realistic.
  7. Oct 24, 2012 #6
    Emphasize. RF needs several years of uncompressible learning time for a gifted person.
  8. Oct 25, 2012 #7
    I do not think this would really be that complex - unless you mean to build 100% from scratch and understanding every component, and it is anywhere on par with modern equiment - I guess it is the "create a device" that needs more clarification.

    A simple Morse code type tone fed into an FM transmitter kit - and revived by a FM radio will do this - or if this is part of a larger project and you want to build a device from sub-functional parts to do this there are bluetooth and wifi kits as well. -- that seems appropriate for 1st year EE -

    These can technically do what you are asking - again you do not mention how you are going to generate the sting ( Manually, Serial, some other source).
  9. Oct 25, 2012 #8


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    The OP said "create a wirelesss communication system".

    IMO that's not the same as "build a radio transmitter and reciever" (and for extra credit make your own cat's whiskers instead of buying semiconductors).
  10. Oct 25, 2012 #9


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    When you hold your TV remote control in your hand and push one of the buttons you are "wirelessly transmit(ing) short binary strings from one end of a classroom (living room)to another" by means of infrared pulses.
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