beat-frequency oscillator meaning

  • [Electronics]
    Abbreviation, BFO. An oscillator used to set up audible beat frequencies with an incoming received signal and installed in the intermediate-frequency (IF) stages of a superheterodyne communications receiver. For single-sideband (SSB) reception, the BFO is set at the frequency of the received suppressed carrier. In continuous-wave (CW) Morse code reception, the BFO is set at a frequency that differs from that of the incoming signal by about 400 to 1000 Hz. The resulting tone has an audio frequency equal to the difference between the BFO frequency and the received signal carrier frequency. For reception of frequency-shiftkeyed (FSK) signals, the BFO is set to such a frequency that the resulting audio beat notes are appropriate for the mark and space inputs of a terminal unit or modem.

    beat-frequency oscillator
    beating 1. Also called
    heterodyning. The combination of signals of different frequencies resulting in sum and difference frequencies.
    2. The fluttering noise heard when two audio tones, very close in frequency and very similar in amplitude, are emitted at the same time.

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