Analog Communication Introduction - Analog Communication

What is communication? What are parts of communication system?

The word communication is taken from the Latin word commūnicāre, which means “to share”. Communication is the process of exchanging information between two or more individuals. Communications plays an effective tool when we interact with people and their circumstances. It is very important for all beings.
For example, a baby in a cradle, communicates with a cry when she needs her mother. A cow moos loudly when it is in danger. A person communicates with the help of a language. Communication is the bridge to share their thoughts, opinions, etc. Human beings communicate in verbal language where as animals’ non-verbal language.
Communication can be defined as interchange of information, thoughts, opinions through means such as words, actions, signs, speech etc., between two or more individuals.

Parts of a Communication System

Parts of a Communication System

Any system, which provides communication, consists of the three important and basic parts as shown in the following figure. It is a two way process that is sender and a receiver.
  • Sender is the person who sends a message. It could be a transmitting station from where the signal is transmitted.
  • Channel is the medium or bridge through which the message signals travels to reach the destination.
  • Receiver is obviously the person who receives the message. It could be a receiving station where the transmitted signal is being received.

Types of Signals

Exchange of an information by some means such as gestures, sounds, actions, words, speech etc., can be termed as signaling. Hence, a signal can be considered as transmission of data in the form of signals. So, it acts as main source of energy. This signal helps to build a communication between the sender and the receiver.
An electrical impulse or an electromagnetic wave which travels a distance to convey a message, can be termed as a signal in communication systems.
Based on their characteristics, signals are mainly categorized into two types: Analog and Digital. Analog and Digital signals are further classified, as shown in the following figure.
Types of Signals

Analog Signal

It is a continuous time varying signal, which determines a time varying quantity can be termed as an Analog Signal. This signal has a varying feature in regard to time, according to the instantaneous values of the quantity, which represents it.

Example

Let us consider a tap that fills a tank of 100 liters capacity in an hour (6 AM to 7 AM). The portion of filling the tank is varied by the varying time. Which means, after 15 minutes (6:15 AM) the quarter portion of the tank gets filled, whereas at 6:45 AM, 3/4th of the tank is filled.
If we try to plot the varying portions of water in the tank according to the varying time, it would look like the following figure.
Analog Signal
As the result shown in this graph varies (increases) according to time, this time varying quantity can be understood as Analog quantity. The signal which is representing the condition with an inclined line in the figure, is considered as an Analog Signal. The communication based on analog signals and analog values is called as Analog Communication.

Digital Signal

A digital signal is defined as discrete in nature generated by digital modulation. It uses non-continuous or discontinuous values to represent information. This signal consists of individual values, which are denoted separately. They are not based on previous values, as if they are derived at that particular instant of time.

Example

Let us consider a classroom having 20 students. If their attendance in a week is plotted, it would look like the following figure.
Digital Signal
In this figure, the values are stated separately. For instance, the attendance of the class is given on Wednesday is 20 whereas on Saturday is 15. These values are different on different week days, so it can be considered individually and separately or discretely, hence they are called as discrete values.
As the digital values are accepted in the binary digits only that is 1s and 0s. Hence, the signals which represent 1s and 0s are also called as digital signals. The communication based on digital signals and digital values is called as Digital Communication.

Periodic Signal

Periodic signal is a type of analog or digital signal which completes its pattern within period of time. This pattern is repeated over subsequent periods and it is easy to be calculated and assumed.

Example

If we take an example a machinery in an industry, the process that takes place one after the other is a continuous procedure. For example, procuring and grading the raw material, processing the material in batches, packing a load of products one after the other, etc., follows a certain procedure repeatedly.
Such a process whether considered analog or digital, can be graphically represented as follows.
Periodic Signal

Aperiodic Signal

Aperiodic signal is quiet opposite to periodic signal. It is any analog or digital signal that does not repeat its pattern within period of time. This signal has its pattern which is continuous but the pattern is not repeated. It is very difficult to be assumed and calculated.

Example

The daily routine of a person, if considered, consists of various types of work which take different time intervals to perform different tasks. The time interval or the work doesn’t repeat continuously. For example, a person doesn’t brush his teeth continuously right from morning to night, that too with the same time period.
Such a process whether considered analog or digital, can be graphically represented as follows.
Aperiodic Signal
Aperiodic digital Signal
In general, the signals that are used in communication systems are analog in nature, which transmits the information in analog or converted to digital and again transmitted, depending upon the requirement.

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