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(also radio transmitter)

Transmitter definition

A transmitter is an electronic telecommunications device used for transmitting data. Transmitters (also known as radio transmitters) generate radio waves from an antenna and use them to send and receive data. The purpose of radio transmitters is the communication of information over a distance.

Several types of transmitters exist. The most modern communication devices these days have transmitters like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular, and NFC (near-field communication).

How transmitters work

  • A transmitter takes energy from the power supply (the energy source that powers the device) to create energy for broadcasting.
  • It turns the energy from the power source into a radio frequency alternating current. The current changes direction millions of times per second.
  • This rapidly changing current is applied to the antenna (i.e., the conductor), which radiates electromagnetic or radio waves.
  • These waves are received by another antenna connected to a receiver. This antenna reverses the process above to identify the message or data.

Main transmitter components

  • A power source
  • Electronics package (e.g., circuit board)
  • Antenna

Where transmitters are used

  • TV and radio broadcasting stations
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Radars
  • Mobile phones
  • Garage door openers
  • Bluetooth-enabled devices