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The effects of a linear transmission channel on the performance of a correlator receiver for a direct-sequence spreadspectrum system are analyzed and a complete treatment of the influence of a periodic spreading code is carried out. The output data signal is obtained as a function of the channel characteristic and the code sequence employed; this allows maximizing the output signal level and evaluation of the influence of the synchronization error of the local code. The asymptotic value of the correlation loss has also been derived together with the intersymbol inteference power. The general expression of a figure of merit of the effectiveness of the system is also obtained in simple terms of the low-pass equivalent frequency characteristic of a symmetric channel and of the code.