Q: The SR500 receiver module has a data slicer output. What is it used for?

The whole W&D SRx00 receiver module range (VHF to 900MHz) feature two receiver output pins. One pin is a raw output of demodulated audio. The other output is what we call a data slicer. This outputs TTL level voltages, 0 and 5v in the manner of a Schmidt trigger.

How it works...

The raw demodulated analogue audio is pushed through a comparator circuit that has a reference comparison DC voltage approximately midway between the raw audio voltage peaks. The data slicer output is a fast switching ‘digital’ output, 0v and 5v, depending on the instantaneous analogue audio voltage being compared to the data slicer reference. This 0v and 5v (TTL level) data slicer output allows for easy connection to an input on a user’s external micro-controller chip.

The data slicer is used with over-air Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) transmissions. Companion STx00 transmitter modules feature a TTL level input pin that can connect to a user’s micro-controller. The transmitter module shifts the nominal channel frequency plus and minus a small frequency shift when TTL-level 0s and 1s are input. The data slicer in the receiver module is able to replicate the original TTL data that was input to the transmitter module. The raw analogue output cannot directly interface to a micro-controller as it contains a whole range of voltages between 0v and 5v. The data-slicer ‘cleans’ it up into fast-switching, clean-edged square waves.

Connection note: The data slicer output on W&D SRx00 modules is on pin 4 (labelled DATA). It is an open-collector output and requires external pulling up to a +5v supply. Also note that the data slicer output isinverted when compared to the STx00 transmitter module input. You will need to take this into account when writing your micro-controller code.

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