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Delta Modulation

Course: ECE 502 / Digital Communications Section: EC51FA1

Group No.: 6 Date Performed: September 6, 2017
Group Members: Date Submitted: September 6, 2017
Bredonia, Emmanuel S. Mendoza, Robert James P. Instructor:
Eleazar, Princess Joy M. Tabliga, Jaybee Ann A. Engr. Sheila Carmina G. Cagayat
Gonzales, Adrian Carl C.

1. Objective(s):
1. To introduce the basic delta modulator
2. To observe the effects of step size and sampling clock rate change.
3. To be familiarized with granular noise and slope overload and techniques used to correct them.
2. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):
The students shall be able to:
1. Familiarize with Delta Modulation Utilities Module.
2. Describe the message output of the Delta Modulation signal in binary format.
3. Discussion:

The operation of a delta modulator is to periodically sample the input message, to make a
comparison of the current sample with that preceding it, and to output a single bit which indicates the
sign of the difference between the two samples. The output of a delta modulator is a bit stream of
samples, at a relatively high rate the value of each bit being determined according as to whether the
input message sample amplitude has increased or decreased relative to the previous sample. This in
principle would require a sample-and-hold type circuit.

The system is in the form of a feedback loop. The system is a continuous time to discrete time
converter and it is a form of analog to digital converter. The sampler block is clocked. The output from
the sampler is a bipolar signal, in the block diagram being either ±V volts. This is the delta modulated
signal. It is fed back in a feedback loop via an integrator to a summer. The integrator output is a
sawtooth-like waveform and is subtracted from the message, also connected to the summer, and the
difference - an error signal - is the signal appearing at the summer output. The amplifier in the feedback
loop controls the loop gain.
The unwanted products of the modulation process, observed at the receiver, are of two kinds.
These are due to ‘slope overload’, and ‘granularity’. Slope overload occurs when the sawtooth
approximation cannot keep up with the rate-of-change of the input signal in the regions of greatest slope.
To reduce the possibility of slope overload the step size can be increased (for the same sampling rate)
or .increase the sampling rate. Doing this will make the match over the regions of smaller slope be
degraded. The degradation shows up, at the demodulator, as increased quantizing noise, or ‘granularity’.
4. Resources:
TIMS Board
TIMS Modules:
Delta Modulation Utilities, Adder, Buffer Amplifier
Digital Oscilloscope
Patching wires and extension cord

5. Procedure:

1. Set the on-board switches to give an intermediate integrator time constant, SW2A to ON, and
SW2B to OFF, and then plug in the Delta Modulation Utilities. Start with no division of the 100
kHz sample clock and front panel toggle switch up to ‘CLK’.
2. Plug in the delta modulation utilities and adder modules.
3. Set both of the adder gains equal to each other using a sine wave. Apply a signal to one input
only (leaving the other disconnected) and adjust the input gain and output gain to unity. Do the
same for the second input and maintain these amplitudes for the rest of the experiment.
4. The same with the adder gains - set both buffer amplifier gains to about unity using a sine wave
(the connection is in series to create a non-inverting amplifier). Variations will be made later in
the experiment to either one or both of the buffer amplifiers to adjust the step size.

(for Procedures 3 & 4)

5. For the sampler and the sinusoidal message, use the 100 kHz TTL signal from the master
signals module as the clock, and the 2-kHz message to be sampled respectively. The message
(2.083 kHz) is a sub-multiple of the 100-kHz sample clock.
6. For the ‘ext. trig’ signal to the oscilloscope, use the 2-kHz message. The two inputs to the
summer are the signals of immediate interest, shown connected to CH1-A and CH2-A
respectively. Use CH1-B in exploring other signals.
7. Analyze the two inputs to the adder on CH1-A and CH2-A. The input message is for CH1-A, and
the integrator output is for CH2-A. Take note that the integrator waveform is required to
approximate the message. Adjust the gain k to achieve the probable best match in your opinion.

8. Examine and calculate the smallest amplitude step between samples in the integrator output
waveform over a single clock period. This is the quantizing interval, or also known as the step
size. Observe that larger steps occur over more than one clock period and that small steps occur
when the rate of change of the input is small.
9. Examine and confirm that the adder output it is the difference between, rather than the sum of
the two inputs. This is called the quantizing noise. Take note that not all peaks are of the same
height – some are occasionally larger than the others. Use the wideband true rms meter to
calculate the quantizing noise. Change the step size using the gain k to keep the quantizing
error minimal. Measure the peak-to-peak amplitude and rms amplitude.
10. Adjust the gain k, and observe the integrator output (CH2-A) for signs of slope overload and
monitor the adaptive control signal (CH1-B) simultaneously. Since this is a time-sensitive
measurement, make sure your oscilloscope is set up correctly. Record the number of clock
periods elapse, following the onset of slope overload, before this is signaled by the adaptive
control output signal.
11. Re-adjust for ‘moderate’ slope overload. Vary the step size by means of the integrator time
12. The front panel switch of the delta modulation utilities module inserts dividers between the clock
input and the sampler to change the clock rate. Choose an intermediate clock rate, and re-adjust
for ‘moderate’ slope overload. Show that slope overload increases when the clock speed is
halved, or decreases when the clock rate is doubled. Does the step size change when the clock

13. Use CH1-B to check the modulator output - that is from the Sampler. Compare it with the
Integrator output on CH2-A and confirm the relationship between the two waveforms.
14. Observe the relationship between the delta modulator output (CH1-B) and the clock signal (use
15. Set up as for the conditions of Procedure 7 whilst observing the two inputs to the Summer.
16. Set the Audio Oscillator to approximately 2 kHz, and use it for the message (and ext. trig.
signal), as a replacement for the synchronous 2.083 kHz message. Leaving all other variables
constant, change the message frequency. Whilst it is not easy to stabilize the display, it is still
possible to see some consequences, including the onset of slope-overload. Record and
17. Make a synchronous, complex message. Vary its shape, and observe results under different
6. Observation:
As our message of digital signal combined with the signal carrier implies an output waveform that looks
like a discrete signals that follows the form of the signal carrier or the pattern of the signal. By looking at
the block diagram of the circuit, the granular noise can be varying by adjusting the gain "k". The clock
may also vary the output wave depending on its division. Adjusting the frequency of the message, the
amplitude and width of the signal also varies and depends if it decreases or increases.

7. Interpretation:

The graph shows the output in delta modulation wherein the yellow waveform is the original signal. The
color blue is the message coming from the original signal having a saw tooth-like waveform while the
pink one is the delta modulated signal that traces the message as 1 and 0 according to its step size

Increasing the gain 'k' of the amplifier diminishes the effect of slope overload but creates granular noise.
The upper portion of the analog signal, which is somewhat of constant amplitude, is modulated as large
steps sizes instead of just small ones.
Both the output of delta modulated signal and the message of the graph shown above varies when the
clock rate adjusts depending on its division. Decreasing the clock rate by a factor of 2 and 4 produces
large steps.

The amplitude and width of the message changes when the frequency of the analog signal is adjusted. If
the frequency increases, the amplitude, and width decreases. The frequency of the original signal only
changes the width.

8. Conclusion:
Bredonia, Emmanuel S.

Delta modulation can be modeled as a feedback loop circuit that accepts an analog signal of
fixed or variable frequency. The sampler gets specimens from the analog signal at a rate of 100 kHz and
produces a bipolar bit which is the comparison/difference between the current and preceding sample.
These bits are then fed to the amplifier and integrator which turn these samples into a waveform, a saw
tooth one, in which each tooth corresponds to the flat-top steps and then fed back to the adder together
with the original signal.

Changing the values of ‘k’ of the cascaded Buffer amplifiers, which represent the non-inverting
amplifier preceding the integrator, varies the step size of the modulator. Very small step sizes cause the
modulated signal to advance to the analog signal at portions with steep and high slope. To eliminate the
effects of slope overload, the values of 'k' of the buffer amplifiers should be increased to keep up with the
slope of the analog signal.

Increasing the step size too much gives way to granular noise, in which the almost constant
amplitude (the top portion) in the analog signal is represented by huge steps. This will have a huge effect
when the receiver tries to turn the modulated signal back to its original form, wherein the large step sizes
will not produce flat amplitude but one with a rising slope. To minimize granularity, the sampling rate or
the clock rate can be increased. Doing this makes the acquisition of the samples faster, thus making the
step sizes smaller. The solutions for slope overload and granular noise contradict each other. The only
solution in modulating a signal with minimal noise is to find the right value of the step size in a given

Eleazar, Princess Joy M.

The operation of a delta modulator is to periodically sample the input message, to make a
comparison of the current sample with that preceding it, and to output a single bit which indicates the
sign of the difference between the two samples. Delta modulation uses a low pass filter to yield a better
approximation message. Amplitude and frequency are factors that when changed, affects the output for
the delta modulation. However, there exists a source of noise which is called slope overload and
granularity. These two conflicts each other because when slope overload reduce the degradation occurs.
We were able to observe the adaptive delta modulation wherein the step size was automatically
adjusted. The step size which is the primary reason for a slope overload to occur should be observed but
aside from that, the gain should be observed too. The gain or 'K' is also a factor for the existence of a
slope overload.

Gonzales, Adrian Carl C.

Delta modulation works like a feedback circuit as the output is looped back as a new input to the
circuit. The new input is continuously sampled and compared with the previous input to single out an
output that determines the difference between them. These samples are fed to the integrator and are
displayed as saw tooth-like waveforms, in which each spike of the waveform is considered as step size.
Step size depends on the magnitude “K”. Small step sizes affect the modulated signal and as a result,
steep waveforms are produced. This is called slope overload. To avoid this, magnitude “K” should be
increased to produce bigger step sizes, but bigger step sizes yields more granular noise, which
degrades the demodulator and increases the quantizing noise. Since these two are in conflict, it can be
concluded that adjusting the step size to the middle ground where there are minimal granularity and
slope overload is the best solution.

Mendoza, Robert James P.

This experiment is mainly about achieving digital transmission of analog signals using single-bit
PCM code. And by using TTL clock as our basis of sampling pulse we're able to follow the signal input
which is the analog input. Although at some adjustments of factors like amplitude and frequency, the
result output of the delta modulation varies. And I concluded that it can affect the transmitting signal
which may also need the receiver to adjust from its coverter and filter. Looking at the output adaptive
signal it is much easy to figure out that the step size varied automatically depending on the analog signal
and since our first output is the delta modulation which we adjust at the first procedure so they are
closely look alike.

Tabliga, Jaybee Ann A.

Delta modulation is an analog-to-digital converter. It compares the current sample value to

previous sample value in which the result would be an increase or decrease of amplitude. The output of
integrator is a saw tooth like where it has large and small steps. These steps were traced by delta
modulated signal as 1 and 0. Delta modulation uses a low pass filter to yield a better approximation
message. However, there exists a source of noise which is called slope overload and granularity. These
two conflicts each other because when slope overload is reduced, the degradation occurs. For the last
part of this experiment, it requires an audio oscillator. Audio oscillator used to vary the frequency of the
message and its variations affects the amplitude and width of the message.

9. Assessment (Rubric for Laboratory Performance):

10. Assessment Task:

1) Why is it useful to set up the experiment using the 2 kHz signal from the Master Signals module,
as opposed to a signal from an Audio Oscillator, for example?
It is more ideal to set up the signal from the Mater Signals because it is able to produce an exact
value of 2kHz compared to the signal from the audio oscillator wherein one has to manually set
the frequency to 2kHz.

2) What are the system parameters which control the step size (quantization amplitude) for a given
sampling rate?
Based on the experiment conducted, we observed that the system parameters which control the
step size for a given sampling rate are the clock or the sampling rate, frequency of the analog
signal and ‘k’ which is the gain of the non-inverting amplifier.

3) Knowledge of the step size alone is insufficient to make a statement about the possibility of
slope overload. What else needs to be known?
The possibility of a slope overload is not only possible by the existence of step size alone; the
gain (K) can also increases the chance of slope overload when increased.

4) Calculate the peak-to-rms ratio of a constant peak-to-peak amplitude sawtooth waveform.

Vpp(sawtooth waveform) = 4.24V

Vp = Vpp/2 = 4.24/2 = 2.12V

Vrms = Vp / √2 = 2.12/√2 = 1.5V

Vp/Vrms = 2.12V/1.5V = 1.41 V