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Receivers: From Spark to 16-Qam

COURSE NO: E03-023
COURSE PROVIDER: Edward Gellender, P.E.
Receivers: From Spark to 16-Qam
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course covers the development of radio receivers from the late 1800s to the present, simultaneously in separate dimensions: Time and Frequency.  As communications technology has progressed since the late 1800s, so has the upper frequency limit. The advancement of technology and upper frequency have happened in parallel so organizing this course in chronological order dovetails well with increasing frequencies.While circuitry is not addressed except in a very few cases where it cannot be avoided, there is extensive information to cover the evolution of radio receivers.


In the last few decades, incredible advances in computer technology have led to the ability to digitize received signals for computer processing.  This brings tremendous advantages, as adding software capabilities does not require hardware changes.  For example, a receiver can be configured with a wide selection of filter bandwidths to allow matching the filter to the incoming signal.  Such a system would be unaffordable in hardware. As analog-to-digital conversion becomes possible at ever higher frequencies, the conversion point has been migrating closer and closer to the antenna.


We are now in the era of the software-defined-radio.  Regardless, the physics of the universe still applies, and the techniques developed over the last century are still relevant, even if incorporated into a computer program. George Santayana warned that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.  While he did not have the evolution of communications gear in mind, his rule applies here too.


This 3 PDH online course is intended for electrical or communications engineers, design professionals, and others interested in gaining an understanding of radio receivers.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding from early experiments in what came to be known as wireless
  • Learning about wireless spark transmitters and receivers
  • Learning about CW communication
  • Learning about AM broadcast reception and its evolution to today
  • Learning about HF band shortwave radio and the move to single sideband
  • Learning about FM broadcast reception
  • Learning about VHF radios and repeaters
  • Learning about data radios and modulation techniques
Course Document
In this professional engineering CEU course you will need to review the course document titled, "Receivers: From Spark To 16-QAM".
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Receivers: From Spark to 16-QAM (1.2 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete this course review, you will need to take a multiple choice quiz of twenty (20) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire course document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: