Single-sideband modulation

In radio communications, single-sideband modulation (SSB) or single-sideband suppressed-carrier modulation (SSB-SC) is a type of modulation, used to transmit information, such as an audio signal, by radio waves. A refinement of amplitude modulation, it uses transmitter power and bandwidth more efficiently. Amplitude modulation produces an output signal the bandwidth of which is twice the maximum frequency of the original baseband signal. Single-sideband modulation avoids this bandwidth increase, and the power wasted on a carrier, at the cost of increased device complexity and more difficult tuning at the receiver.

SSB bandform
Illustration of the spectrum of AM and SSB signals. The lower side band (LSB) spectrum is inverted compared to the baseband. As an example, a 2 kHz audio baseband signal modulated onto a 5 MHz carrier will produce a frequency of 5.002 MHz if upper side band (USB) is used or 4.998 MHz if LSB is used.

Basic concept

Radio transmitters work by mixing a radio frequency (RF) signal of a specific frequency, the carrier wave, with the audio signal to be broadcast. In AM transmitters this mixing usually takes place in the final RF amplifier (high level modulation). It is less common and much less efficient to do the mixing at low power and then amplify it in a linear amplifier. Either method produces a set of frequencies with a strong signal at the carrier frequency and with weaker signals at frequencies extending above and below the carrier frequency by the maximum frequency of the input signal. Thus the resulting signal has a spectrum whose bandwidth is twice the maximum frequency of the original input audio signal.

SSB takes advantage of the fact that the entire original signal is encoded in each of these "sidebands". It is not necessary to transmit both sidebands plus the carrier, as a suitable receiver can extract the entire original signal from either the upper or lower sideband. There are several methods for eliminating the carrier and one sideband from the transmitted signal. Producing this single sideband signal is too complicated to be done in the final amplifier stage as with AM. SSB Modulation must be done at a low level and amplified in a linear amplifier where lower efficiency partially offsets the power advantage gained by eliminating the carrier and one sideband. Nevertheless, SSB transmissions use the available amplifier energy considerably more efficiently, providing longer-range transmission for the same power output. In addition, the occupied spectrum is less than half that of a full carrier AM signal.

SSB reception requires frequency stability and selectivity well beyond that of inexpensive AM receivers which is why broadcasters have seldom used it. In point to point communications where expensive receivers are in common use already they can successfully be adjusted to receive whichever sideband is being transmitted.


The first U.S. patent application for SSB modulation was filed on December 1, 1915 by John Renshaw Carson.[1] The U.S. Navy experimented with SSB over its radio circuits before World War I.[2][3] SSB first entered commercial service on January 7, 1927, on the longwave transatlantic public radiotelephone circuit between New York and London. The high power SSB transmitters were located at Rocky Point, New York, and Rugby, England. The receivers were in very quiet locations in Houlton, Maine, and Cupar Scotland.[4]

SSB was also used over long distance telephone lines, as part of a technique known as frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). FDM was pioneered by telephone companies in the 1930s. With this technology, many simultaneous voice channels could be transmitted on a single physical circuit, for example in L-carrier. With SSB, channels could to be spaced (usually) only 4,000 Hz apart, while offering a speech bandwidth of nominally 300 Hz to 3,400 Hz.

Amateur radio operators began serious experimentation with SSB after World War II. The Strategic Air Command established SSB as the radio standard for its aircraft in 1957.[5] It has become a de facto standard for long-distance voice radio transmissions since then.

Mathematical formulation

Single-sideband derivation
Frequency-domain depiction of the mathematical steps that convert a baseband function into a single-sideband radio signal.

Single-sideband has the mathematical form of quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) in the special case where one of the baseband waveforms is derived from the other, instead of being independent messages:


where is the message, is its Hilbert transform, and is the radio carrier frequency.[6]

To understand this formula, we may express as the real part of a complex-valued function, with no loss of information:

where represents the imaginary unit is the analytic representation of   which means that it comprises only the positive-frequency components of :

where and are the respective Fourier transforms of and   Therefore the frequency-translated function contains only one side of   Since it also has only positive-frequency components, its inverse Fourier transform is the analytic representation of

and again the real part of this expression causes no loss of information.  With Euler's formula to expand    we obtain Eq.1:

Coherent demodulation of to recover is the same as AM: multiply by   and lowpass to remove the "double-frequency" components around frequency . If the demodulating carrier is not in the correct phase (cosine phase here), then the demodulated signal will be some linear combination of and , which is usually acceptable in voice communications (if the demodulation carrier frequency is not quite right, the phase will be drifting cyclically, which again is usually acceptable in voice communications if the frequency error is small enough, and amateur radio operators are sometimes tolerant of even larger frequency errors that cause unnatural-sounding pitch shifting effects).

Lower sideband

can also be recovered as the real part of the complex-conjugate, which represents the negative frequency portion of When is large enough that has no negative frequencies, the product is another analytic signal, whose real part is the actual lower-sideband transmission:

Note that the sum of the two sideband signals is:

which is the classic model of suppressed-carrier double sideband AM.

Practical implementations

Collins KWM-1
A Collins KWM-1, an early Amateur Radio transceiver that featured SSB voice capability

Bandpass filtering

One method of producing an SSB signal is to remove one of the sidebands via filtering, leaving only either the upper sideband (USB), the sideband with the higher frequency, or less commonly the lower sideband (LSB), the sideband with the lower frequency. Most often, the carrier is reduced or removed entirely (suppressed), being referred to in full as single sideband suppressed carrier (SSBSC). Assuming both sidebands are symmetric, which is the case for a normal AM signal, no information is lost in the process. Since the final RF amplification is now concentrated in a single sideband, the effective power output is greater than in normal AM (the carrier and redundant sideband account for well over half of the power output of an AM transmitter). Though SSB uses substantially less bandwidth and power, it cannot be demodulated by a simple envelope detector like standard AM.

Hartley modulator

An alternate method of generation known as a Hartley modulator, named after R. V. L. Hartley, uses phasing to suppress the unwanted sideband. To generate an SSB signal with this method, two versions of the original signal are generated, mutually 90° out of phase for any single frequency within the operating bandwidth. Each one of these signals then modulates carrier waves (of one frequency) that are also 90° out of phase with each other. By either adding or subtracting the resulting signals, a lower or upper sideband signal results. A benefit of this approach is to allow an analytical expression for SSB signals, which can be used to understand effects such as synchronous detection of SSB.

Shifting the baseband signal 90° out of phase cannot be done simply by delaying it, as it contains a large range of frequencies. In analog circuits, a wideband 90-degree phase-difference network[7] is used. The method was popular in the days of vacuum tube radios, but later gained a bad reputation due to poorly adjusted commercial implementations. Modulation using this method is again gaining popularity in the homebrew and DSP fields. This method, utilizing the Hilbert transform to phase shift the baseband audio, can be done at low cost with digital circuitry.

Weaver modulator

Another variation, the Weaver modulator,[8] uses only lowpass filters and quadrature mixers, and is a favored method in digital implementations.

In Weaver's method, the band of interest is first translated to be centered at zero, conceptually by modulating a complex exponential with frequency in the middle of the voiceband, but implemented by a quadrature pair of sine and cosine modulators at that frequency (e.g. 2 kHz). This complex signal or pair of real signals is then lowpass filtered to remove the undesired sideband that is not centered at zero. Then, the single-sideband complex signal centered at zero is upconverted to a real signal, by another pair of quadrature mixers, to the desired center frequency.

Full, reduced, and suppressed-carrier SSB

Conventional amplitude-modulated signals can be considered wasteful of power and bandwidth because they contain a carrier signal and two identical sidebands. Therefore, SSB transmitters are generally designed to minimize the amplitude of the carrier signal. When the carrier is removed from the transmitted signal, it is called suppressed-carrier SSB.

However, in order for a receiver to reproduce the transmitted audio without distortion, it must be tuned to exactly the same frequency as the transmitter. Since this is difficult to achieve in practice, SSB transmissions can sound unnatural, and if the error in frequency is great enough, it can cause poor intelligibility. In order to correct this, a small amount of the original carrier signal can be transmitted so that receivers with the necessary circuitry to synchronize with the transmitted carrier can correctly demodulate the audio. This mode of transmission is called reduced-carrier single-sideband.

In other cases, it may be desirable to maintain some degree of compatibility with simple AM receivers, while still reducing the signal's bandwidth. This can be accomplished by transmitting single-sideband with a normal or slightly reduced carrier. This mode is called compatible (or full-carrier) SSB or amplitude modulation equivalent (AME). In typical AME systems, harmonic distortion can reach 25%, and intermodulation distortion can be much higher than normal, but minimizing distortion in receivers with envelope detectors is generally considered less important than allowing them to produce intelligible audio.

A second, and perhaps more correct, definition of "compatible single sideband" (CSSB) refers to a form of amplitude and phase modulation in which the carrier is transmitted along with a series of sidebands that are predominantly above or below the carrier term. Since phase modulation is present in the generation of the signal, energy is removed from the carrier term and redistributed into the sideband structure similar to that which occurs in analog frequency modulation. The signals feeding the phase modulator and the envelope modulator are further phase-shifted by 90° with respect to each other. This places the information terms in quadrature with each other; the Hilbert transform of information to be transmitted is utilized to cause constructive addition of one sideband and cancellation of the opposite primary sideband. Since phase modulation is employed, higher-order terms are also generated. Several methods have been employed to reduce the impact (amplitude) of most of these higher-order terms. In one system, the phase-modulated term is actually the log of the value of the carrier level plus the phase-shifted audio/information term. This produces an ideal CSSB signal, where at low modulation levels only a first-order term on one side of the carrier is predominant. As the modulation level is increased, the carrier level is reduced while a second-order term increases substantially in amplitude. At the point of 100% envelope modulation, 6 dB of power is removed from the carrier term, and the second-order term is identical in amplitude to carrier term. The first-order sideband has increased in level until it is now at the same level as the formerly unmodulated carrier. At the point of 100% modulation, the spectrum appears identical to a normal double-sideband AM transmission, with the center term (now the primary audio term) at a 0 dB reference level, and both terms on either side of the primary sideband at −6 dB. The difference is that what appears to be the carrier has shifted by the audio-frequency term towards the "sideband in use". At levels below 100% modulation, the sideband structure appears quite asymmetric. When voice is conveyed by a CSSB source of this type, low-frequency components are dominant, while higher-frequency terms are lower by as much as 20 dB at 3 kHz. The result is that the signal occupies approximately 1/2 the normal bandwidth of a full-carrier, DSB signal. There is one catch: the audio term utilized to phase-modulate the carrier is generated based on a log function that is biased by the carrier level. At negative 100% modulation, the term is driven to zero (0), and the modulator becomes undefined. Strict modulation control must be employed to maintain stability of the system and avoid splatter. This system is of Russian origin and was described in the late 1950s. It is uncertain whether it was ever deployed.

A second series of approaches was designed and patented by Leonard R. Kahn. The various Kahn systems removed the hard limit imposed by the use of the strict log function in the generation of the signal. Earlier Kahn systems utilized various methods to reduce the second-order term through the insertion of a predistortion component. One example of this method was also used to generate one of the Kahn independent-sideband (ISB) AM stereo signals. It was known as the STR-77 exciter method, having been introduced in 1977. Later, the system was further improved by use of an arcsine-based modulator that included a 1-0.52E term in the denominator of the arcsin generator equation. E represents the envelope term; roughly half the modulation term applied to the envelope modulator is utilized to reduce the second-order term of the arcsin "phase"-modulated path; thus reducing the second-order term in the undesired sideband. A multi-loop modulator/demodulator feedback approach was used to generate an accurate arcsin signal. This approach was introduced in 1984 and became known as the STR-84 method. It was sold by Kahn Research Laboratories; later, Kahn Communications, Inc. of NY. An additional audio processing device further improved the sideband structure by selectively applying pre-emphasis to the modulating signals. Since the envelope of all the signals described remains an exact copy of the information applied to the modulator, it can be demodulated without distortion by an envelope detector such as a simple diode. In a practical receiver, some distortion may be present, usually at a low level (in AM broadcast, always below 5%), due to sharp filtering and nonlinear group delay in the IF filters of the receiver, which act to truncate the compatibility sideband – those terms that are not the result of a linear process of simply envelope modulating the signal as would be the case in full-carrier DSB-AM – and rotation of phase of these compatibility terms such that they no longer cancel the quadrature distortion term caused by a first-order SSB term along with the carrier. The small amount of distortion caused by this effect is generally quite low and acceptable.

The Kahn CSSB method was also briefly used by Airphone as the modulation method employed for early consumer telephone calls that could be placed from an aircraft to ground. This was quickly supplanted by digital modulation methods to achieve even greater spectral efficiency.

While CSSB is seldom used today in the AM/MW broadcast bands worldwide, some amateur radio operators still experiment with it.


The front end of an SSB receiver is similar to that of an AM or FM receiver, consisting of a superheterodyne RF front end that produces a frequency-shifted version of the radio frequency (RF) signal within a standard intermediate frequency (IF) band.

To recover the original signal from the IF SSB signal, the single sideband must be frequency-shifted down to its original range of baseband frequencies, by using a product detector which mixes it with the output of a beat frequency oscillator (BFO). In other words, it is just another stage of heterodyning. For this to work, the BFO frequency must be exactly adjusted. If the BFO frequency is off, the output signal will be frequency-shifted (up or down), making speech sound strange and "Donald Duck"-like, or unintelligible.

For audio communications, there is a common agreement about the BFO oscillator shift of 1.7 kHz. A voice signal is sensitive to about 50 Hz shift, with up to 100 Hz still bearable. Some receivers use a carrier recovery system, which attempts to automatically lock on to the exact IF frequency. The carrier recovery doesn't solve the frequency shift. It gives better S/N ratio on the detector output.

As an example, consider an IF SSB signal centered at frequency = 45000 Hz. The baseband frequency it needs to be shifted to is = 2000 Hz. The BFO output waveform is . When the signal is multiplied by (aka heterodyned with) the BFO waveform, it shifts the signal to  and to , which is known as the beat frequency or image frequency. The objective is to choose an that results in   = 2000 Hz. (The unwanted components at can be removed by a lowpass filter; for which an output transducer or the human ear may serve).

Note that there are two choices for : 43000 Hz and 47000 Hz, called low-side and high-side injection. With high-side injection, the spectral components that were distributed around 45000 Hz will be distributed around 2000 Hz in the reverse order, also known as an inverted spectrum. That is in fact desirable when the IF spectrum is also inverted, because the BFO inversion restores the proper relationships. One reason for that is when the IF spectrum is the output of an inverting stage in the receiver. Another reason is when the SSB signal is actually a lower sideband, instead of an upper sideband. But if both reasons are true, then the IF spectrum is not inverted, and the non-inverting BFO (43000 Hz) should be used.

If is off by a small amount, then the beat frequency is not exactly , which can lead to the speech distortion mentioned earlier.

SSB as a speech-scrambling technique

SSB techniques can also be adapted to frequency-shift and frequency-invert baseband waveforms (voice inversion). This voice scrambling method was made by running the audio of one side band modulated audio sample though its opposite (e.g. running an LSB modulated audio sample through a radio running USB modulation). These effects were used, in conjunction with other filtering techniques, during World War II as a simple method for speech encryption. Radiotelephone conversations between the US and Britain were intercepted and "decrypted" by the Germans; they included some early conversations between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Churchill. In fact, the signals could be understood directly by trained operators. Largely to allow secure communications between Roosevelt and Churchill, the SIGSALY system of digital encryption was devised.

Today, such simple inversion-based speech encryption techniques are easily decrypted using simple techniques and are no longer regarded as secure.

Vestigial sideband (VSB)

VSB bandform
VSB modulation

Limitation of single-sideband modulation being used for voice signals and not available for video/TV signals leads to the usage of vestigial sideband. A vestigial sideband (in radio communication) is a sideband that has been only partly cut off or suppressed. Television broadcasts (in analog video formats) use this method if the video is transmitted in AM, due to the large bandwidth used. It may also be used in digital transmission, such as the ATSC standardized 8VSB.

The broadcast or transport channel for TV in countries that use NTSC or ATSC has a bandwidth of 6 MHz. To conserve bandwidth, SSB would be desirable, but the video signal has significant low-frequency content (average brightness) and has rectangular synchronising pulses. The engineering compromise is vestigial-sideband transmission. In vestigial sideband, the full upper sideband of bandwidth W2 = 4.75 MHz is transmitted, but only W1 = 1.25 MHz of the lower sideband is transmitted, along with a carrier. This effectively makes the system AM at low modulation frequencies and SSB at high modulation frequencies. The absence of the lower sideband components at high frequencies must be compensated for, and this is done in the IF amplifier.

Frequencies for LSB and USB in amateur radio voice communication

When single-sideband is used in amateur radio voice communications, it is common practice that for frequencies below 10 MHz, lower sideband (LSB) is used and for frequencies of 10 MHz and above, upper sideband (USB) is used.[9] For example, on the 40 m band, voice communications often take place around 7.100 MHz using LSB mode. On the 20 m band at 14.200 MHz, USB mode would be used.

An exception to this rule applies to the five discrete amateur channels on the 60-meter band (near 5.3 MHz) where FCC rules specifically require USB.[10]

Extended single sideband (eSSB)

Extended single sideband is any J3E (SSB-SC) mode that exceeds the audio bandwidth of standard or traditional 2.9 kHz SSB J3E modes (ITU 2K90J3E) to support higher-quality sound.

Extended SSB modes Bandwidth Frequency response ITU Designator
eSSB (Narrow-1a) 3 kHz 100 Hz ~ 3.10 kHz 3K00J3E
eSSB (Narrow-1b) 3 kHz 50 Hz ~ 3.05 kHz 3K00J3E
eSSB (Narrow-2) 3.5 kHz 50 Hz ~ 3.55 kHz 3K50J3E
eSSB (Medium-1) 4 kHz 50 Hz ~ 4.05 kHz 4K00J3E
eSSB (Medium-2) 4.5 kHz 50 Hz ~ 4.55 kHz 4K50J3E
eSSB (Wide-1) 5 kHz 50 Hz ~ 5.05 kHz 5K00J3E
eSSB (Wide-2) 6 kHz 50 Hz ~ 6.05 kHz 6K00J3E

Amplitude-companded single-sideband modulation (ACSSB)

Amplitude-companded single sideband (ACSSB) is a narrowband modulation method using a single sideband with a pilot tone, allowing an expander in the receiver to restore the amplitude that was severely compressed by the transmitter. It offers improved effective range over standard SSB modulation while simultaneously retaining backwards compatibility with standard SSB radios. ACSSB also offers reduced bandwidth and improved range for a given power level compared with narrow band FM modulation.

Controlled-envelope single-sideband modulation (CESSB)

The generation of standard SSB modulation results in large envelope overshoots well above the average envelope level for a sinusoidal tone (even when the audio signal is peak-limited). The standard SSB envelope peaks are due to truncation of the spectrum and nonlinear phase distortion from the approximation errors of the practical implementation of the required Hilbert transform. It was recently shown that suitable overshoot compensation (so-called controlled-envelope single-sideband modulation or CESSB) achieves about 3.8 dB of peak reduction for speech transmission. This results in an effective average power increase of about 140%.[11] Although the generation of the CESSB signal can be integrated into the SSB modulator, it is feasible to separate the generation of the CESSB signal (e.g. in form of an external speech preprocessor) from a standard SSB radio. This requires that the standard SSB radio's modulator be linear-phase and have a sufficient bandwidth to pass the CESSB signal. If a standard SSB modulator meets these requirements, then the envelope control by the CESSB process is preserved.[12]

ITU designations

In 1982, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) designated the types of amplitude modulation:

Designation Description
A3E Double-sideband full-carrier – the basic amplitude-modulation scheme
R3E Single-sideband reduced-carrier
H3E Single-sideband full-carrier
J3E Single-sideband suppressed-carrier
B8E Independent-sideband emission
C3F Vestigial-sideband
Lincompex Linked compressor and expander

See also


  1. ^ US 1449382 John Carson/AT&T: "Method and Means for Signaling with High Frequency Waves" filed on December 1, 1915; granted on March 27, 1923
  2. ^ The History of Single Sideband Modulation Archived 2004-01-03 at the Wayback Machine, Ing. Peter Weber
  3. ^ IEEE, Early History of Single-Sideband Transmission, Oswald, A.A.
  4. ^ History Of Undersea Cables, (1927)
  5. ^ "Amateur Radio and the Rise of SSB" (PDF). National Association for Amateur Radio.
  6. ^ Tretter, Steven A. (1995). "Chapter 7, Eq 7.9". In Lucky, R.W. (ed.). Communication System Design Using DSP Algorithms. New York: Springer. p. 80. ISBN 0306450321.
  7. ^, listing numerous articles.
  8. ^ "A Third Method of Generation and Detection of Single-Sideband Signals" D K Weaver Jr. Proc. IRE, Dec. 1956
  9. ^ "BRATS – Advanced Amateur Radio Tuition Course". Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  10. ^ "FCC Part 97 - Amateur Service rules" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Controlled Envelope Single Sideband" (PDF). 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2017-01-15. by David L. Hershberger, W9GR, QEX, issue Nov./Dec. 2014, pp. 3–13.
  12. ^ "External Processing for Controlled Envelope Single Sideband" (PDF). 2016-01-01. Retrieved 2017-01-15. by David L. Hershberger, W9GR, QEX, issue Jan./Feb. 2016, pp. 9–12.


Further reading

  • Sgrignoli, G., W. Bretl, R. and Citta. (1995). "VSB modulation used for terrestrial and cable broadcasts." IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics. v. 41, issue 3, p. 367 - 382.
  • J. Brittain, (1992). "Scanning the past: Ralph V.L. Hartley", Proc. IEEE, vol.80,p. 463.
  • eSSB - Extended Single Sideband
2182 kHz

The radio frequency 2182 kHz is one of the international calling and distress frequencies for maritime radiocommunication in a frequency band allocated to the mobile service on primary basis, exclusively for distress and calling operations.

Amplitude-companded single-sideband modulation

Amplitude-companded single-sideband (ACSSB) is a narrowband modulation method using a single-sideband with a pilot tone, allowing an expander in the receiver to restore the amplitude that was severely compressed by the transmitter. It offers improved effective range over standard SSB modulation while simultaneously retaining backwards compatibility with standard SSB radios. ACSSB also offers reduced bandwidth and improved range for a given power level compared with narrow band FM modulation.

The companding used in ACSSB is a type of dynamic range reduction wherein the difference in amplitude between the louder and softer sounds is reduced prior to transmission. A corresponding expander circuit in the receiver inverts this transformation in order to restore the dynamic range. If a conventional SSB receiver is used to receive ACSSB signals, some distortion may be noticed but generally the signals are quite intelligible. Similar techniques are used in audio noise reduction circuits such as those developed for Dolby.ACSSB is being used by amateur radio operators, air-to-ground phones, as well as mobile-satellite services.

Cambridge University Wireless Society

The Cambridge University Wireless Society (CUWS) is the amateur radio club of the University of Cambridge, England.CUWS is one of the oldest still active radio clubs in the United Kingdom. It was founded on 13 October 1920 and its call sign has since 1932 always been G6UW. The society operates a radio shack outside Cambridge and frequently enters amateur radio contests such as CQWW in both the single-sideband modulation (SSB) and carrier wave (CW) category. The society also holds the call sign M4A for use in certain contests.

Some notable ex-members are Maurice Wilkes and Ernest Rutherford.

Carrier wave

In telecommunications, a carrier wave, carrier signal, or just carrier, is a waveform (usually sinusoidal) that is modulated (modified) with an input signal for the purpose of conveying information. This carrier wave usually has a much higher frequency than the input signal does. The purpose of the carrier is usually either to transmit the information through space as an electromagnetic wave (as in radio communication), or to allow several carriers at different frequencies to share a common physical transmission medium by frequency division multiplexing (as, for example, a cable television system). The term is also used for an unmodulated emission in the absence of any modulating signal.

Collins 207B-1 Transmitter

The Collins 207B-1 was a radio transmitter manufactured in 1951 by Collins Radio Company.

Controlled-envelope single-sideband modulation

CESSB (controlled-envelope single-sideband) is a narrowband modulation method using a single sideband, whose peak envelope level is controlled so that the peak-to-average power ratio of CESSB is much reduced compared to standard SSB modulation

and offers improved effective range over standard SSB modulation while simultaneously retaining backwards compatibility with standard SSB radios.

A drawback of standard SSB modulation is the generation of large envelope overshoots well above the average envelope level for a sinusoidal tone (even when the audio signal is peak-limited). In combination with RF amplifiers with non-linear properties this causes severe distortions of the transmitted audio signal. Therefore, the average RF power level must be reduced in order to accommodate the overshoots.

The standard SSB envelope peaks are due to truncation of the spectrum and nonlinear phase distortion from the approximation errors of the practical implementation of the required Hilbert transform. It was recently shown that suitable overshoot compensation (so-called controlled-envelope SSB, or CESSB) achieves about 3.8 dB of peak reduction for speech transmission. This results in an effective average power increase of about 140%.

Although the generation of the CESSB signal can be integrated into the SSB modulator, it is feasible to separate the generation of the CESSB signal (e.g. in form of an external speech preprocessor) from a conventional SSB radio. This requires that the SSB radio's modulator be linear-phase and have a sufficient bandwidth to pass the CESSB signal. If an otherwise conventional SSB modulator meets these requirements, then the envelope control by the CESSB process is preserved.CESSB is being used experimentally by amateur radio operators and is implemented by some radios in the amateur marketplace. SmartSDR software by Flex Radio Systems implements CESSB.

Donald Duck talk

Donald Duck talk, formally called buccal speech, is an alaryngeal form of vocalization which uses the inner cheek to produce sound rather than the larynx. The speech is most closely associated with the Disney cartoon character Donald Duck whose voice was created by Clarence Nash, who performed it from 1934 to 1984.Nash discovered buccal speech while trying to mimic his pet goat Mary. In his days before Disney, Nash performed in vaudeville shows where he often spoke in his "nervous baby goat" voice. Later when he auditioned at Walt Disney Productions, Walt Disney interpreted Nash's voice as that of a duck, at which point the idea for Donald Duck came about. Buccal speech was also used by voice actor Red Coffey for the character Quacker in MGM cartoons, and by Jimmy Weldon for the character Yakky Doodle in Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

Hilbert transform

In mathematics and in signal processing, the Hilbert transform is a specific linear operator that takes a function, u(t) of a real variable and produces another function of a real variable H(u)(t). This linear operator is given by convolution with the function :

the improper integral being understood in the principal value sense. The Hilbert transform has a particularly simple representation in the frequency domain: it imparts a phase shift of 90° to every Fourier component of a function. For example, the Hilbert transform of , where ω > 0, is .

The Hilbert transform is important in signal processing, where it derives the analytic representation of a real-valued signal u(t). Specifically, the Hilbert transform of u is its harmonic conjugate v, a function of the real variable t such that the complex-valued function u+iv admits an extension to the complex upper half-plane satisfying the Cauchy–Riemann equations. The Hilbert transform was first introduced by David Hilbert in this setting, to solve a special case of the Riemann–Hilbert problem for analytic functions.

In-phase and quadrature components

In electrical engineering, a sinusoid with angle modulation can be decomposed into, or synthesized from, two amplitude-modulated sinusoids that are offset in phase by one-quarter cycle (π/2 radians). All three functions have the same frequency. The amplitude modulated sinusoids are known as in-phase and quadrature components.

In some contexts it is more convenient to refer to only the amplitude modulation (baseband) itself by those terms.

Index of wave articles

This is a list of Wave topics.

John Renshaw Carson

John Renshaw Carson (June 28, 1886 – October 31, 1940) was a noted transmission theorist for early communications systems. He invented single-sideband modulation and developed the Carson bandwidth rule for estimating frequency modulation (FM) bandwidth. In 2013 Carson was inducted into the Electronic Design Hall of Fame for his contributions to communications.

List of amateur radio modes

The following is a list of the modes of radio communication used in the amateur radio hobby.


LowFER (Low-Frequency Experimental Radio) refers to experimental radio communication practiced by hobbyists on frequencies below 300 kHz, a part of the radio spectrum known as low frequency. The practitioners are known as "LowFERs".


In electronics and telecommunications, modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform, called the carrier signal, with a modulating signal that typically contains information to be transmitted. Most radio systems in the 20th century used frequency modulation (FM) or amplitude modulation (AM) for radio broadcast.

A modulator is a device that performs modulation. A demodulator (sometimes detector or demod) is a device that performs demodulation, the inverse of modulation. A modem (from modulator–demodulator) can perform both operations.

The aim of analog modulation is to transfer an analog baseband (or lowpass) signal, for example an audio signal or TV signal, over an analog bandpass channel at a different frequency, for example over a limited radio frequency band or a cable TV network channel. The aim of digital modulation is to transfer a digital bit stream over an analog communication channel, for example over the public switched telephone network (where a bandpass filter limits the frequency range to 300–3400 Hz) or over a limited radio frequency band. Analog and digital modulation facilitate frequency division multiplexing (FDM), where several low pass information signals are transferred simultaneously over the same shared physical medium, using separate passband channels (several different carrier frequencies).

The aim of digital baseband modulation methods, also known as line coding, is to transfer a digital bit stream over a baseband channel, typically a non-filtered copper wire such as a serial bus or a wired local area network.

The aim of pulse modulation methods is to transfer a narrowband analog signal, for example, a phone call over a wideband baseband channel or, in some of the schemes, as a bit stream over another digital transmission system.

In music synthesizers, modulation may be used to synthesize waveforms with an extensive overtone spectrum using a small number of oscillators. In this case, the carrier frequency is typically in the same order or much lower than the modulating waveform (see frequency modulation synthesis or ring modulation synthesis).


In radio communications, a sideband is a band of frequencies higher than or lower than the carrier frequency, containing power as a result of the modulation process. The sidebands carry the information (modulation) transmitted by the signal. The sidebands consist of all the Fourier components of the modulated signal except the carrier. All forms of modulation produce sidebands.

Amplitude modulation of a carrier signal normally results in two mirror-image sidebands. The signal components above the carrier frequency constitute the upper sideband (USB), and those below the carrier frequency constitute the lower sideband (LSB). For example, if a 900 kHz carrier is amplitude modulated by a 1 kHz audio signal, there will be components at 899 kHz and 901 kHz as well as 900 kHz in the generated radio frequency spectrum; so an audio bandwidth of (say) 7 kHz will require a radio spectrum bandwidth of 14 kHz. In conventional AM transmission, as used by broadcast band AM stations, the original audio signal can be recovered ("detected") by either synchronous detector circuits or by simple envelope detectors because the carrier and both sidebands are present. This is sometimes called double sideband amplitude modulation (DSB-AM), but not all variants of DSB are compatible with envelope detectors.

In some forms of AM, the carrier may be reduced, to save power. The term DSB reduced-carrier normally implies enough carrier remains in the transmission to enable a receiver circuit to regenerate a strong carrier or at least synchronise a phase-locked loop but there are forms where the carrier is removed completely, producing double sideband with suppressed carrier (DSB-SC). Suppressed carrier systems require more sophisticated circuits in the receiver and some other method of deducing the original carrier frequency. An example is the stereophonic difference (L-R) information transmitted in stereo FM broadcasting on a 38 kHz subcarrier where a low-power signal at half the 38-kHz carrier frequency is inserted between the monaural signal frequencies (up to 15 kHz) and the bottom of the stereo information sub-carrier (down to 38–15 kHz, i.e. 23 kHz). The receiver locally regenerates the subcarrier by doubling a special 19 kHz pilot tone. In another example, the quadrature modulation used historically for chroma information in PAL television broadcasts, the synchronising signal is a short burst of a few cycles of carrier during the "back porch" part of each scan line when no image is transmitted. But in other DSB-SC systems, the carrier may be regenerated directly from the sidebands by a Costas loop or squaring loop. This is common in digital transmission systems such as BPSK where the signal is continually present.

If part of one sideband and all of the other remain, it is called vestigial sideband, used mostly with television broadcasting, which would otherwise take up an unacceptable amount of bandwidth. Transmission in which only one sideband is transmitted is called single-sideband modulation or SSB. SSB is the predominant voice mode on shortwave radio other than shortwave broadcasting. Since the sidebands are mirror images, which sideband is used is a matter of convention.

In SSB, the carrier is suppressed, significantly reducing the electrical power (by up to 12 dB) without affecting the information in the sideband. This makes for more efficient use of transmitter power and RF bandwidth, but a beat frequency oscillator must be used at the receiver to reconstitute the carrier. If the reconstituted carrier frequency is wrong then the output of the receiver will have the wrong frequencies, but for speech (SSB is not used for music) small frequency errors are no problem for intelligibility. Another way to look at an SSB receiver is as an RF-to-audio frequency transposer: in USB mode, the dial frequency is subtracted from each radio frequency component to produce a corresponding audio component, while in LSB mode each incoming radio frequency component is subtracted from the dial frequency.

Sidebands can also interfere with adjacent channels. The part of the sideband that would overlap the neighboring channel must be suppressed by filters, before or after modulation (often both). In broadcast band frequency modulation (FM), subcarriers above 75 kHz are limited to a small percentage of modulation and are prohibited above 99 kHz altogether to protect the ±75 kHz normal deviation and ±100 kHz channel boundaries. Amateur radio and public service FM transmitters generally utilize ±5 kHz deviation.

Frequency modulation also generates sidebands, the bandwidth consumed depending on the modulation index - often requiring significantly more bandwidth than DSB. Bessel functions can be used to calculate the bandwidth requirements of FM transmissions.

Transmitter Hamburg-Billstedt

The Transmitter Hamburg-Billstedt is a broadcasting facility in Hamburg-Billstedt, established in 1934. It is owned and operated by the Norddeutscher Rundfunk public broadcasting service, but open to competitors, too.

From 1934 to 1949 it used as transmission aerial a wire hung up in a tower of wood. This tower had until 1941 a height of 145 metres. In 1941 its height was reduced to 84.5 metres and in 1949 it was demolished.

In 1940 a second aerial in form of a triangle area aerial was built. This aerial allowing transmitting on a wide frequency range was demolished in the Fifties.

In 1949/50 a 198-metre-high guyed steelframework mast with a cage aerial and a transmission aerial for FM and TV on its top was erected. From this mast, which was partly destroyed by a storm during its erection in December 1949, between 1953 and 1962 the programme of the "Deutschen Langwellensender" (German longwave transmitter) was broadcast.

This programme was transmitted in a special modulation mode, the compatible single sideband modulation, allowing smaller bandwidth and the possibility of reception with conventional AM receivers.

Because this mast was under high voltage the aerials for FM and TV on its top were fed via a Goubau line.

In the first half of the 1960s this aerial mast was demounted and the current installation built. It consists of:

Guyed steel tube mast for FM and TV, built in 1960. This radio mast has a diameter of 2 metres. It was 255 metres high in 1960 and grew to 300 metres in the meantime.

Guyed tubular mast radiator for mediumwave. This mast, which is 184 metres tall, is insulated against ground. It is designed as double feedable fading-reducing aerial and therefore equipped with a separation insulator in a height of 101 metres

Guyed steel tube mast with a height of 120.9 metres and a diameter of 0.7 metres. This mast was built in 1939. It stood until 1963 in Osterloog and was dismounted in this year and rebuilt in Hamburg-Billstedt. It is insulated against ground and used as back-up aerial for mediumwave.

Guyed steel framework mast with a height of 77 metres insulated against ground. This mast built in 1979 is used as reflector mast for the 184-metre-high medium wave transmission mast. Its construction was necessary because of the conditions of the waveplan of Geneva.Since 1967, the University of Hamburg has been using the 304 m-mast as a six-level meteorological measurement platform, with thermometers, hygrometers, and anemometers mounted at various heights up to 280 m above ground. The atmospheric variables are sampled at a high temporal resolution to allow computation of boundary layer turbulent fluxes of heat and momentum. Live data and time series are also made available via the World Wide Web. [1]


USSB might stand for:

United States Satellite Broadcasting

United States Shipping Board

Upper Single-sideband (modulation)

United States Shipping Board

Color systems
Frequencies & Bands

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