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A strategy for the RTTY receiver implementation

I recently had some spare time to think about the RTTY receiver/decoder I would like to implement. My inital attempt for recovering the FSK bits from an input FSK sample stream was to perform a DFT with window's length roughly equal to the bit burst time of the transmitter. This approach however seems to be extremely inefficient, as the brute force DFT loop I had was too slow. In addition some sort of periodic synchronization is required, as otherwise a single sample mismatch between the input stream and the DFT window would lead to dis-synchronization and potentially wrongly recovered stream bits.

The FFT-based idea above also seems impractical for real applications where we have burst time mismatch and noise. Instead of going forward in the f-domain, one can easily try to filter out specific frequencies and then try to correlate and compare both for the bit recovery. Here is a picture of my receiver implementation thoughts. Apparently this has been a quite common approach in the old QPSK dial-up modem chips.

Now I have a plan for my spare time in the future... one bright and lucky day:

1. Implement a function with single pole LP and HP filters in series.

2. Implement a power/summation/LPF function with zero cross detection.

3. A self-syncing bit-recovery block function.

4. A look-up table translation function.

5. Test all above with a real FSK stream (recorded from a radio transmission /w noise)

6. Glue the TX and RX functions together in a more functional form.

Come to think of it, all this starts to more and more look like a Lab 0 task of a typical Signals and systems course. Well, bar the fact that I am trying to write this in C to avoid cathing rust.

Date:Tue Oct 05 15:17:23 CEST 2014

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