Course Description & Benefits

Learn Telecommunications by Simulation teaches you the fundamentals of Analog & Digital Telecommunications by actually building the various fundamental waveforms in Mathematics software. This allows you to study their time behavior using a Scope and their frequency behavior using a Spectrum Analyzer just as you would in real life. An inexpensive companion hardware tool the RTL-SDR also allows you to capture real world signals and compare them to your math models.  

  • Understand the difference between Baseband & Modulated signals
  • Learn how wireless signals are created and transmitted
  • Learn the various ways a carrier signal can be modulated: amplitude, frequency, phase & various combinations
  • Understand the structure of modern Telecommunications systems such as AM, FM, Amateur Radio, Marine, Cellular, WiFi, Satellite,

Course Outline

Chapter 1 - Introduction

*Introduction, Brief History of Telecommunications, Important Modern Systems

*Installation of Simulation Software (ScicosLab/Scicos/Modnum & GNU Radio)

*SDR Hardware & Software (SDR#, Gqrx)

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 2 - Baseband Signals Analog & Data

*Analog Signals, Transmission

*Digital Signals, Transmission

*Nyquist Sampling Theorem, PAM, PCM

*Analog/Digital Conversion, Transmission, Digital Benefits

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 3 - Wireless & The Superheterodyne Process (June 20th)

*Why Wireless Transmission? Wavelength Requirements

*Superheterodyne Process & Mixing

*Carrier Wave Modulation types: Amplitude, Frequency, Phase & Combinations

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 4 - Amplitude Modulation AM (June 27th)

*AM Amplitude Modulation Analog

*ASK Amplitude Modulation Digital

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 5 - Frequency Modulation FM (July 4th)

*FM Frequency Modulation Analog

*FSK Frequency Modulation Digital

*GMFSK Gaussian Minimum Frequency Shit Keying

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 6 – Phase Modulation (July 11th)

*PM Phase Modulation Analog

*PSK Phase Modulation Digital

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 7 - QAM/OFDM/CMDA Modulation (July 18th)

*QAM Quadrature Amplitude Modulation

*OFDM Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation

*CDMA Code Division Multiple Access Modulation

*Homework Exercises

Chapter 8 - Propagation (July 25th)

*HF Propagation VOACAP

*VHF/UHF/uW Propagation Splat!

*Homework Exercises


  • Is this course right for me?

    You can get an excellent idea of the teaching and application of this method by looking at the CTEL YouTube Channel & Blog:

  • What background do I need

    Studying the various modulation techniques is essentially different ways of modifying a sine wave. This is why an understanding of Trigonometry is important. Basic calculus like differentiation and integration become important in phase modulation, but is not essential.

  • Do I need to buy hardware?

    It is recommended that you purchase an RTL-SDR. They are very inexpensive ($25) and incredibly useful. You don't have to have one, but it makes visualization very powerful. You can also use an HRF1 or Adalm-Pluto if you have one.

Course Background Requirements & Equipment


*G12/College Trigonometry & Geometry, College Calculus

*Basic programming: Basic, C, or Python (Loops, Math Operations)

*Ability to follow course material & do exercises and assignments



*Windows7/10 or Ubuntu 20.04 Laptop

*Open Source Software

*RTL-SDR Receiver & Up-Converter