Communication: How Radio Works

Radios are an important means of communicating music broadcasting, sporting events, and political information.

In the world today, radio is one of the most important means of communication. It allows people to enjoy music broadcasts, sporting events, and featured news. Radio is one of the most remarkable achievements of the 20th century, and it is not hard to understand why and how.

The way a radio works is by changing other signals into radio waves. These radio waves are not visible to the five senses called electromagnetic waves. They travel at great speeds in air, space and through solid objects. When radio waves reach a radio receiver, it changes them back into original sounds.

Radio stations send information via a transmitter. Sine waves are a form of waves used by radio stations which contain no information. The radio stations place information on sine waves in three ways. These three ways are pulse modulation, amplitude modulation, and frequency modulation. Pulse modulation involves turning on and off the sine wave. When doing this, sound is created and can be manipulated. This creation uses a form of dots, dashes, and phrases which was revolutionary for its time. It started what is known as Morse code. As a result of Morse code, we have telegram communication services all over the world. Amplitude modulation is used to create the visual image for television. In the world of radio, it is AM frequencies which can be heard from up to 1,000 miles on a clear night, but has a slight disadvantage to FM frequencies do to its mono state and poorer wave reception which is why television uses AM instead of FM frequencies. In frequency modulation, wireless technology is a user of this type of sine wave. It is also the audio part of television broadcasting because of the stereophonic signals which can be added to FM rather than AM.



In the world of two way radio communications, public safety officers use the radio to help eliminate crime and catch criminals. They also depend of dispatchers to give and receiver data. In the world of the transportation industry, taxi cabs depend on two way communications to receive instructions on where to go in order to pick up customers. The airline industry is highly affected by two way communications because of concerns for the safety of the crew, passengers, and other airplanes. In the world of personal radio as a hobby, private operators called hams send and receive radio broadcasts from other hams.

Understanding what a radio does would not be complete without the knowledge of what makes it work. The internal parts of the radio are essential in order for it to operate. A radio contains a transmitter, receiver, capacitors, tuner, and a loud speaker. The transmitter takes the message in the form of the sine wave and encodes it. The encoded message is then received by the transceiver and decoded. The decoded message released can be anything from a radio public service announcement, to a radio broadcast. A capacitor is useful because it can store electrical energy. The electrical energy has to be stored because if not, the radio would burn out. To avoid this action, the proper storage capacitors need to be installed so that the radio can operate using the exact amount of energy. The tuner is a device which can adjust the resonant frequency of an antenna to work correctly. Without a tuner, having a station come in clearly on the FM dial would be a pretty hard task. A loud speaker is a device which converts an electrical signal into sound. This involves the usage of magnets which creates sound when an electrical signal is applied to them inside the speaker. For future fun, why not try purchasing a radio set to discover what the inventors must have felt when putting together a radio set for the first time.

© High Speed Ventures 2010