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GNU Radio Companion - BSPK Pulse shaping + c...

GNU Radio Companion - BSPK Pulse shaping + channel + matched

filter + timing sync
How to convert a digital data stream to a baseband analog signal using the built-in
constellation modulator block, pass the data through a noisy channel, and then recover
the original data stream using the polyphase clock sync block for matched filtering +
timing recovery.

Prepared by Dr. Aaron Scher
Oregon Institute of Technology

Back to Aaron's home page.

(Last updated: Oct 2015)

Download file: BPSK_mod_demod.grc.

Flow Graph:

Description of flow graph (starting from the left and working our way right)

1. A vector sources produces our digital data stream 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, ... (REPEAT). This digital data stream is a
stream of bits (i.e., unpacked bytes with 1 relevant bit per byte).
2. The bits are packed to create packed bytes (each packed byte caries 8 relavent bits).
3. The flow of samples is placed through a throttle block so that the average rate does not exceed 100
kilo-samples per second. When there is no other rate limitting block (like in this simulation), it's good
practice to include a throttle block. I decided somewhat randomly to put it here.
4. The packed bytes are then sent to the constellation modulator block. This block performs the following
The bits are encoded into symbols by recoding binary 0 and 1 to -1 and +1, respectively. So, 1, 0, 1, 1,

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GNU Radio Companion - BSPK Pulse shaping + c...

0,... (REPEAT) has been transformed into +1, -1, +1, +1, -1,... (REPEAT).
The signal is upsampled by the factor sps, which equals the number of samples per symbol.
"Upsampling" is the process of inserting zero-valued samples between original samples. So +1, -1, +1,
+1, -1,... (REPEAT) has been transformed to: +1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, -1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, +1, 0, 0, 0, 0,
0, 0, 0, +1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, -1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,... (REPEAT).
The upsampled signal is passed through a squared root-raised cosine (SRRC) filter. In this way, each
symbol of the message initiates an SRRC pulse that is scaled by the value of the symbol (either 1 or
-1). The peaks of adjacent pulses are sps samples apart. The baud rate (which refers to the number of
symbol changes that occur each second) is equal to samp_rate divided by sps. In the case of BPSK,
each symbol represents one bit, and therefore the baud rate equals the bit rate. So, if our sample rate
is 32 kHz and sps = 8, then our data rate is 4 kb/second. The output of constellation modulator block
has converted our digital data stream into a baseband train of SRRC-shaped pulses scaled by the
symbol values. We can interpret this waveform as a sampled anlog waveform.
5. Our baseband signal is now passed through the channel model block. This models our analog transmission
path. Here we can add noise and a frequency offset to our signal. The channel is modeled as finite-impulse
response linear filter. Through the use of taps, we can shape its frequency response. Note that we are not
actually upconverting our baseband signal with a carrier wave in this simulation. We are dealing with
baseband transmission.
6. Next the signal arrives at the the Polyphase Clock Sync block. The block first passes the signal through a
matched SRRC filter. The block then iteratively estimates the instants at which to sample the resulting
signal (based on the known sps parameter, and filter parameters like loop bandwidth, filter size, initial
phase, and maximum rate deviation). It does this by implementing a particular maximum likelihood timing-
recovering algorithm - the details of which can be found by searching for "Polyphase Clock Sync". In the
end, assuming the block is functioning correctly (and assuming no channel attenuation or gain), it will output
a sequence of numbers that are very close to the actual symbols that were originally sent. So if our original
symbol stream is: +1, -1, +1, +1, -1, ..., then ideally the output of the Polyphase Clock Sync block will be +1,
-1, +1, +1, -1, ... However, due to the block's own imperfections and channel effects (like noise), the output
won't be exactly what we sent, but it should hopefully be something numerically similar, like +1.01+j0.001,
-.99+j0.012, +1.13+j0.00, +.98-j0.12, -1.05-j0.02,... Note that this block downsamples the input signal by a
factor sps. In a sense, this "undoes" the original upsampling performed by the constellation modulator. Time
and constellation sinks are used to monitor the output of this block.
7. The next block extracts the real part of the estimated symbol sequence. Then this data is passed to a
binary slicer block. If the input to the binary slicer is less than 0, then the binary slicer outputs a 0 (unpacked
byte). If the input to the binary slicer is greater than 0, then the binary slicer outputs a 1 (unpacked byte).
We can't plot bytes using a time sink. So I convert the bytes to floating point values using the Chunks to
Symbols block. In this manner, a 0 (unpacked byte) is converted to a 0 (floating point) and a 1 (unpacked
byte) is converted to a 1 (floating point). Finally, a WX GUI Time Sink is used to monitor the output data
sequence. This data sequence is what it's all about! It is the received binary signal (i.e.the output of the
receiver). If all goes well, this received binary signal should equal the original transmitted data sequence,
namely 1, 0, 1, 1, 0,... (REPEAT).


Here are the outputs for a noise voltage equal to 0.1 V (no frequency or phase offsets).

Output of Polyphase Clock Sync (time plot and constellation diagram)

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GNU Radio Companion - BSPK Pulse shaping + c...

Output of binary slicer: Note that we recover our input data sequence! 1, 0, 1, 1, 0 (REPEAT)

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