Feedback Controllers - Making Hardware with Firmware. Part 3. Sampled Data Aspects

Steve Maslen September 9, 2017
Some Design and Simulation Considerations for Sampled-Data Controllers

This article will continue to look at some aspects of the controllers and electronics needed to create emulated physical circuits with real-world connectivity and will look at the issues that arise in sampled-data controllers compared to continuous-domain controllers. As such, is not intended as an introduction to sampled-data systems.

It will also document some specific electronic devices and their key...

Feedback Controllers - Making Hardware with Firmware. Part 2. Ideal Model Examples

Steve Maslen August 24, 2017
Developing and Validating Simulation Models

This article will describe models for simulating the systems and controllers for the hardware emulation application described in Part 1 of the series.

The engineering tools used will be the TI TINA Spice Simulator, MATLAB and Simulink.

The examples will be simple and for now, ideal continuous domain constructions.

An Example Arrangement for Simulation

Recall from article 1, the diagrams in Fig 1. showing a circuit on the LHS and a...

Feedback Controllers - Making Hardware with Firmware. Part I. Introduction

Steve Maslen August 22, 2017
Introduction to the topic 

This is the 1st in a series of articles looking at how we can use DSP and Feedback Control Sciences along with some mixed-signal electronics and number-crunching capability (e.g. FPGA), to create arbitrary (within reason) Electrical/Electronic Circuits with real-world connectivity. Of equal importance will be the evaluation of the functionality and performance of a practical design made from modestly-priced state of the art devices.

So, in a sense, this...

Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Zero Crossings

Cedron Dawg July 20, 2017

This is an article that is the last of my digression from trying to give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). It is along the lines of the last two.

In those articles, I presented exact formulas for calculating the frequency of a pure tone signal as instantaneously as possible in the time domain. Although the formulas work for both real and complex signals (something that does not happen with frequency domain formulas), for real signals they...

Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Peaks (Part 2)

Cedron Dawg June 11, 20174 comments

This is an article that is a continuation of a digression from trying to give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). It is recommended that my previous article "Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Peaks (Part 1)"[1] be read first as many sections of this article are directly dependent upon it.

A second family of formulas for calculating the frequency of a single pure tone in a short interval in the time domain is presented. It...

Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Peaks (Part 1)

Cedron Dawg May 12, 2017

This is an article that is a another digression from trying to give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). Although it is not as far off as the last blog article.

A new family of formulas for calculating the frequency of a single pure tone in a short interval in the time domain is presented. They are a generalization of Equation (1) from Rick Lyons' recent blog article titled "Sinusoidal Frequency Estimation Based on Time-Domain Samples"[1]. ...

A Beginner's Guide to OFDM

Qasim Chaudhari May 1, 20173 comments

In the recent past, high data rate wireless communications is often considered synonymous to an Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) system. OFDM is a special case of multi-carrier communication as opposed to a conventional single-carrier system. 

The concepts on which OFDM is based are so simple that almost everyone in the wireless community is a technical expert in this subject. However, I have always felt an absence of a really simple guide on how OFDM works which can...

A Recipe for a Common Logarithm Table

Cedron Dawg April 29, 2017

This is an article that is a digression from trying to give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT).

A method for building a table of Base 10 Logarithms, also known as Common Logarithms, is featured using math that can be done with paper and pencil. The reader is assumed to have some familiarity with logarithm functions. This material has no dependency on the material in my previous blog articles.

If you were ever curious about how...

Sinusoidal Frequency Estimation Based on Time-Domain Samples

Rick Lyons April 20, 201715 comments

The topic of estimating a noise-free real or complex sinusoid's frequency, based on fast Fourier transform (FFT) samples, has been presented in recent blogs here on For completeness, it's worth knowing that simple frequency estimation algorithms exist that do not require FFTs to be performed . Below I present three frequency estimation algorithms that use time-domain samples, and illustrate a very important principle regarding so called "exact"...

Three Bin Exact Frequency Formulas for a Pure Complex Tone in a DFT

Cedron Dawg April 13, 2017

This is an article to hopefully give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving exact formulas for the frequency of a complex tone in a DFT. This time it is three bin versions. Although the problem is similar to the two bin version in my previous blog article "A Two Bin Exact Frequency Formula for a Pure Complex Tone in a DFT"[1], a slightly different approach is taken using linear algebra concepts. Because of an extra degree of freedom...

A Fixed-Point Introduction by Example

Christopher Felton April 25, 201117 comments

The finite-word representation of fractional numbers is known as fixed-point.  Fixed-point is an interpretation of a 2's compliment number usually signed but not limited to sign representation.  It extends our finite-word length from a finite set of integers to a finite set of rational real numbers [1].  A fixed-point representation of a number consists of integer and fractional components.  The bit length is defined...

Understanding the 'Phasing Method' of Single Sideband Demodulation

Rick Lyons August 8, 201217 comments

There are four ways to demodulate a transmitted single sideband (SSB) signal. Those four methods are:

  • synchronous detection,
  • phasing method,
  • Weaver method, and
  • filtering method.

Here we review synchronous detection in preparation for explaining, in detail, how the phasing method works. This blog contains lots of preliminary information, so if you're already familiar with SSB signals you might want to scroll down to the 'SSB DEMODULATION BY SYNCHRONOUS DETECTION'...

A Quadrature Signals Tutorial: Complex, But Not Complicated

Rick Lyons April 12, 201320 comments

Introduction Quadrature signals are based on the notion of complex numbers and perhaps no other topic causes more heartache for newcomers to DSP than these numbers and their strange terminology of j operator, complex, imaginary, real, and orthogonal. If you're a little unsure of the physical meaning of complex numbers and the j = √-1 operator, don't feel bad because you're in good company. Why even Karl Gauss, one the world's greatest mathematicians, called the j operator the "shadow of...

Python scipy.signal IIR Filtering: An Example

Christopher Felton May 19, 2013

In the last posts I reviewed how to use the Python scipy.signal package to design digital infinite impulse response (IIR) filters, specifically, using the iirdesign function (IIR design I and IIR design II ).  In this post I am going to conclude the IIR filter design review with an example.

Previous posts:

Python scipy.signal IIR Filter Design

Christopher Felton May 14, 20124 comments

The following is an introduction on how to design an infinite impulse response (IIR) filters using the Python scipy.signal package.  This post, mainly, covers how to use the scipy.signal package and is not a thorough introduction to IIR filter design.  For complete coverage of IIR filter design and structure see one of the references.

Filter Specification

Before providing some examples lets review the specifications for a filter design.  A filter...

Delay estimation by FFT

Markus Nentwig September 22, 200745 comments
Given x=sig(t) and y=ref(t), returns [c, ref(t+delta), delta)] = fitSignal(y, x);:Estimates and corrects delay and scaling factor between two signals Code snippet

This article relates to the Matlab / Octave code snippet: Delay estimation with subsample resolution It explains the algorithm and the design decisions behind it.


There are many DSP-related problems, where an unknown timing between two signals needs to be determined and corrected, for example, radar, sonar,...

Pulse Shaping in Single-Carrier Communication Systems

Eric Jacobsen April 10, 200833 comments

Some common conceptual hurdles for beginning communications engineers have to do with "Pulse Shaping" or the closely-related, even synonymous, topics of "matched filtering", "Nyquist filtering", "Nyquist pulse", "pulse filtering", "spectral shaping", etc. Some of the confusion comes from the use of terms like "matched filter" which has a broader meaning in the more general field of signal processing or detection theory. Likewise "Raised Cosine" has a different meaning or application in this...

Polyphase filter / Farrows interpolation

Markus Nentwig September 18, 200713 comments


this article is meant to give a quick overview over polyphase filtering and Farrows interpolation.

A good reference with more depth is for example Fred Harris' paper:

The task is as follows: Interpolate a band-limited discrete-time signal at a variable offset between samples.In other words:Delay the signal by a given amount with sub-sample accuracy.Both mean the same.

The picture below shows samples (black) representing...

Sum of Two Equal-Frequency Sinusoids

Rick Lyons September 4, 20142 comments

Some time ago I reviewed the manuscript of a book being considered by the IEEE Press publisher for possible publication. In that manuscript the author presented the following equation:

Being unfamiliar with Eq. (1), and being my paranoid self, I wondered if that equation is indeed correct. Not finding a stock trigonometric identity in my favorite math reference book to verify Eq. (1), I modeled both sides of the equation using software. Sure enough, Eq. (1) is not correct. So then I...

Frequency Dependence in Free Space Propagation

Eric Jacobsen May 14, 20088 comments


It seems to be fairly common knowledge, even among practicing professionals, that the efficiency of propagation of wireless signals is frequency dependent. Generally it is believed that lower frequencies are desirable since pathloss effects will be less than they would be at higher frequencies. As evidence of this, the Friis Transmission Equation[i] is often cited, the general form of which is usually written as:

Pr = Pt Gt Gr ( λ / 4πd )2 (1)

where the...