Introductory Communications Systems

The twelve lab exercises presented in this package are intended to accompany an introductory course in communication systems offered at the junior or senior level in an electrical or computer engineering program. The lab exercises use the NI USRP software defined radio platform; no additional laboratory equipment is needed, other than a computer to run LabVIEW Communications and to interface with the USRP. The USRP transceivers are operated in loopback mode with a coaxial cable and attenuator connecting the transmitter to the receiver. Each of the lab projects after the introductory lab includes a prelab assignment, an in-lab exercise, and a lab report. The twelve lab projects should be sufficient to support a one-semester course. For a one-quarter course spanning ten weeks, Labs 3 and 4 can be omitted without compromising continuity.
by Dr. Bruce Black | Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Translated Resources available in Resources Tab

Instructor Resources available. Get Access




  • These labs are intended to accompany and enhance an introductory course in communication systems at the junior or senior level (year 3 or 4) in an electrical or computer engineering program.
  • After completing this course, students will be capable of building a variety of analog and digital communications systems comprising of a complete transmitter and receiver usng LabVIEW Communications and NI USRP software defined radios.
  • With the knowledge built up through this course students will be able to identy common modulation schemes, diagnose impairments and use simple tools such as the Eye Diagram and Bit Error Rate to determine the quality of a communication system.


Level University
Topic Communication Systems
Style Laboratory
Prerequisite Skills Signals & Systems


Related Resources


These labs have related concepts that can expand student experience.

USRP and Software Defined Radio Devices

Enables prototyping of wireless communication systems with LabVIEW-powered radios. Software Defined Radio Devices are tunable universal software radio peripheral (USRP) transceivers for prototyping wireless communication systems. Software Defined Radio Devices offer frequency ranges up to 4.4 GHz...

LabVIEW Communications 2.0 or Earlier

*Only compatible with LabVIEW for Communications 2.0 or earlier* LabVIEW Communications provides a design environment closely integrated with NI software defined radio (SDR) hardware to enable rapid prototyping communications systems. From host-based USRP prototypes to more demanding host- and...


Instructor resources are available. Get access


Log in to submit a comment.
Rob Young
07-18-2018 10:18 PM

I purchased the Intro to Comm Systems teaching bundle with two NI2901 USRPs. None of the .gvi files that come with the lab will run with the NI2901. The device ID control is looking for the NI2920 IP address and is not set up to look for the NI2901 over a USB connection. I've tried to troubleshoot, but can't figure it out. Can someone point me in the right direction to get this working? The tutorials/examples that come with LabVIEW Communications 2.0 work fine. Thanks!

Samer Alabed
12-08-2017 08:24 PM

thank you very much for your prompt response. My question is: can i use any type of usrp in these labs or a specific type. Also, do i need other packages with ni labview or just ni labview. thanks in advance.

Catherine Peacock
12-08-2017 07:59 PM

Hi Samer. The hardware and software required for these labs can be viewed in the "requirements" tab, and the solutions can be downloaded in the "Resources" tab.

Samer Alabed
12-08-2017 07:11 PM

Dear Sir/Madam, Could you please tell me all required hardware and software to implement all 12 labs in "Introductory Communications Systems" and their prices. I need to prepare communication lab in my university, therefore, I should not forget any item in the requestion form. Moreover, How I can get the solution manual for the labs. Sincerely yours, Samer Alabed

Dayna Polstein
11-16-2017 03:00 PM

Hi Brijendra. This resource requires LabVIEW Communications 2.0. If you have technical questions on LabVIEW Communications, the best place to get help is on this forum, which is monitored by NI Applications Engineers:

11-15-2017 12:02 PM

Dear Sir/Mam, I would like to request you that please tell me how we can open protected file in Labview Communication suite software. Actually i am testing experiment. So I want to go in details. Brijendra Kymar Sharma