TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

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daveB
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TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by daveB » 09 Apr 2018 23:35

I've been using SDR# with the SharpTV plug in from rtl-sdr.ru for the last three seasons. Catches include Jordan on E3 as well as lots of closer stuff. I've always wished that the pop-up picture window could be larger. I was playing back some recordings from June 2017 from Ch R4 and just by accident I found that if you place the cursor on a corner of the frame you can drag it to whatever size you want (doh!). The picture is fairly low resolution but can be expanded by x2 and give better results.

Incidentally the very latest release,which is supposed to handle NTSC, doesn't seem anywhere near as good as earlier versions. I just don't get synchronisation the earlier version lock onto a whisper of signal. Although the frame lock is never good and the picture drifts at least you can see it.

I wonder how long the OIRT TV channels will stay active?
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

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Chris Howles
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by Chris Howles » 10 Apr 2018 09:37

Hi Dave,

Glad to see there are still a few of us TV-DXers left. I've not gone the SDR route yet (neither TV or FM) as my head can't handle complicated software and IT in general... so I'm still old school with a D100 JVC -CX610 and scanner for audio and vision carriers. I reckon Russia will still have its B1 and OIRT TV for a few years yet as I doubt it has the money to go fully digital. I'm still hoping for something trans atlantic before everything disappears, I had Canada up to A5 on at least 2 occasions in the 80s so I live in hope!
Denon TU-1500RD, Kenwood KT-3080, Rotel RT-955, Icom IC-R7100
Triax FM5, K6STI 5 el (HS Pubs), FM dipole vert, 48- 82MHz dipole horz
D100, Realistic 5" B+W TV, JVC CX-610,
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daveB
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by daveB » 10 Apr 2018 22:16

Hi Chris,
My TV-DX days go all the way back to 1969 when I was a teenager. I was very active until the mid-1970's then dabbled a bit from time to time over the decades. As the TV Sharp plug-in was there I decided to give it a go back in 2015 using the 70 MHz dipole I had put up to the OIRT band and was pleasantly surprised by the results. When signals are strong enough I use the TV/PC monitor - with the best reception being Moldova in full colour.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

tvdxrools
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by tvdxrools » 11 Apr 2018 06:37

i use tvsharp standalone and it works well on pal/ntsc etc and it took over from my d500 for long distance dx as it was in free run and u could manually lock on to the hor/ver sync but sadly there is not enough tv stations left to hold my interest and i aint going to leave the antenna to the w nw incase of a opening over a full season lol , David

daveB
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by daveB » 11 Apr 2018 11:54

David - You are going to have to change your 'handle' to "txdxrooled" then :D

Seriously though I've just got a dipole that is oriented E-W and feeds a separate rtl-dongle. So in theory I could leave it running all the time with the pop up window showing. I use MSuite and Scheduler to change channels every few minutes to cycle through the lower Band I channels.
David
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

tvdxrools
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by tvdxrools » 11 Apr 2018 12:08

with the stuff we have now give me a tardis so i could go back to the 70/80s jeez the dx , David

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Chris Howles
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by Chris Howles » 11 Apr 2018 14:19

tvdxrools wrote:
11 Apr 2018 12:08
with the stuff we have now give me a tardis so i could go back to the 70/80s jeez the dx , David
Amen to that LOL!
Denon TU-1500RD, Kenwood KT-3080, Rotel RT-955, Icom IC-R7100
Triax FM5, K6STI 5 el (HS Pubs), FM dipole vert, 48- 82MHz dipole horz
D100, Realistic 5" B+W TV, JVC CX-610,
RDS Spy

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Chris Howles
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by Chris Howles » 11 Apr 2018 14:33

daveB wrote:
10 Apr 2018 22:16
Hi Chris,
My TV-DX days go all the way back to 1969 when I was a teenager. I was very active until the mid-1970's then dabbled a bit from time to time over the decades. As the TV Sharp plug-in was there I decided to give it a go back in 2015 using the 70 MHz dipole I had put up to the OIRT band and was pleasantly surprised by the results. When signals are strong enough I use the TV/PC monitor - with the best reception being Moldova in full colour.
I started dabbling in TV-DX in the early 80s by just re-tuning my parents TV during tropos. Once I'd started working and I had a bit of money I got a Plustron TVR5D in 1984 and discovered the joys of sp-e. As Gary Smith and Keith Hamer lived 25 mins up the road in Derby I made contact and soon had one of the first D100s and started getting a couple of B1 beams up in my parents loft (they wouldnt let me put one up outside). Gary in particular was a great DXing mentor and with both of us being field TV repair techs had a lot in common and we are still friends to this day. Like you Dave I drifted from the hobby for a while 97 - 2007ish...my location at the time was very DX unfriendly but since moving 4 years ago I'm now on a nice hill with a good run off to the NE thru to SW and have got back into DXing albeit mainly FM but trying to rinse the last drops out of the TV thing before it all finally goes.
Denon TU-1500RD, Kenwood KT-3080, Rotel RT-955, Icom IC-R7100
Triax FM5, K6STI 5 el (HS Pubs), FM dipole vert, 48- 82MHz dipole horz
D100, Realistic 5" B+W TV, JVC CX-610,
RDS Spy

daveB
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by daveB » 12 Apr 2018 11:45

I started dabbling in TV-DX in the early 80s by just re-tuning my parents TV during tropos.
Strangely enough - that is what got me hooked. I read the DX-TV column in a copy of Practical Television and decided to tune around on UHF where I found a very weak signal with sub-titles which meant it had to be foreign! Not bad going for a valve based TV with the aerial pointing in the wrong direction. I must have, by accident, chosen to do it when there was a tropo lift.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

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Chris Howles
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by Chris Howles » 14 Apr 2018 09:04

daveB wrote:
12 Apr 2018 11:45
I read the DX-TV column in a copy of Practical Television and decided to tune around on UHF ...
Ha yes again a similar experience here... in 1982 I started training in TV and video repair at Southgate Tech London, they had back issues of Television magazine in their library going back to the late 60s and reading those columns of Roger Bunney's made me want to get serious about the hobby.
Denon TU-1500RD, Kenwood KT-3080, Rotel RT-955, Icom IC-R7100
Triax FM5, K6STI 5 el (HS Pubs), FM dipole vert, 48- 82MHz dipole horz
D100, Realistic 5" B+W TV, JVC CX-610,
RDS Spy

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 14 Apr 2018 11:36

Please don't get me reminiscing again.

How I loved to tune that big rotary dial on our Baird television. That huge, clunky band changing dial too. It was so exciting back then in the mid 70s. What were all those weak signals? What was all that interference on band 1 in the summer? "That looks like a test card to me, but it won't stabilise." Memories!

I remember an engineer calling to the house one day. He seemed to find even more stations on that television as he tuned in a new transmitter. I remember programming was being switched at Belmont. Anglia was the station we had been used to watching, but it was going to become Yorkshire Television.

Once I found out how to tune that dial, I discovered Tyne Tees Television. Was that "ATV MIdlands" on the test card I could see down in the noise?

One day, my parents had a new aerial fitted on the roof to receive the Waltham transmitter. Wow! Did I have some fun then? New transmitters appeared. All very weak.

I have no idea of the dates, but I remember receiving Border TV and Ulster TV via tropo. I think Scottish TV might have been in there too. Thames/London Weekend appeared during one particular tropo to the south. That's it! I was hooked - and I was still at school! (I think the year would be 1975.)

When I discovered the hobby in more detail, thanks to my dad getting interested in amateur radio and visiting local hams, I found that this hobby was called DXing and it could also be done on other bands! Practical Wireless and Short Wave Magazine led me to the World DX Club and the Medium Wave Circle, where I discovered more about TV DXing.

My dad worked for an electrical retailer called Baskills, in the market place in Mansfield. They sometimes had old TV sets which customers had brought in when they bought new ones. Although it took me ages before I realised how to break that internal UHF 625 / VHF 405 link, I could still see (sort of) all those Es and F2 signals, not having a clue who they were because the test card IDs were obscured behind those wavy dark lines.

David Hamilton is spot on - to have had an SDR back then would have been mind-blowing!

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Chris Howles
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by Chris Howles » 14 Apr 2018 15:19

John Faulkner, Skegness wrote:
14 Apr 2018 11:36
How I loved to tune that big rotary dial on our Baird television.
I've still got the tuning dial from our 1959 Philips 405 only TV that was our main downstairs set until 1976. After upgrading to colour I had it for a few years until it died in in 79. Already being into electronics I stripped it down one summer hols for the parts, everything else went years ago but I always kept the dial as a reminder of my first forays into TV-DX.
Denon TU-1500RD, Kenwood KT-3080, Rotel RT-955, Icom IC-R7100
Triax FM5, K6STI 5 el (HS Pubs), FM dipole vert, 48- 82MHz dipole horz
D100, Realistic 5" B+W TV, JVC CX-610,
RDS Spy

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 14 Apr 2018 18:57

:) Like it!

daveB
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by daveB » 14 Apr 2018 22:42

Although it took me ages before I realised how to break that internal UHF 625 / VHF 405 link
Sounds like a Bush TV161 to me - oh happy days! I actually re-tuned the audio IF to give AM sound on French UHF TV (System L). And I can remember getting two pictures side-by side on VHF from the 819 line French TV on the 405 line setting - it's maybe 45 years ago. And going back a bit further, staying with an aunt in southern Belgium and seeing their multi-standard TV which had to cope with at least three different standards 625 Belgian, 625 Dutch/German, 819 line French - and the clunk of relays as they changed channels and systems.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 15 Apr 2018 12:03

Yes, I had one or two Bush and Murphy TVs. I also had a Baird and a rather posh looking Decca with a Rosewood cabinet, which had a huge screen (for the day - probably about 24 inches.) but it was quite dim. Phillips comes to mind too. I had a few!

Andrew Webster,Wigan
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Re: TV-DXing with SDR# - a "doh" moment

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 16 Apr 2018 16:10

Bush and Murphy TVs where good for dxing but the weak point was the line output transformers in them they used to fail quite often.
I had a 19" Philips 210 and two 19" Thorn 1400 portables the latter having indestructible line transformers the Philips were known to have weak transformers but mine was fine I modified the system switches and also modded them with positive going video for French reception.

We did hear interference on BBC 1 CH 2 (Home Moss PITA) in band 1 on a few occasions but we did use indoor aerials as being on a hill no one had outdoor aerials around here so the signal never got wiped out so no opportunity to tune around for DX signals.
I did have some tropo as I had a TV in my bedroom at 14 that someone gave to me and I repaired it and I had a group B multibeam 48 with and amp strapped to the soil pipe fastened with luggage straps but it never fell off but did move round in high winds but no problem brush handle out the toilet window soon put that right :lol:
I used to see Southern TV from Hannington and Anglia form Belmont until they moved it to Yorkshire on the TVs valved tuner which had very low gain at UHF but valves very good at VHF.

Anyway I still didn't get the bug as I was into other things then when I moved in here in 1980 I was tuning around on my Philips N1500 VCR and picked up a weather forecast from East Germany on a UHF aerial THAT was it bug got me at last then I ordered some band 1 dipoles and made some more band 1 aerials my aerial farm was born then I bought band 3 and UHF aerials.
The TV bands were chocker just like FM band is UHF did have quite a few blank channels until CH 4 started (oh the pain) anyway I managed France used to obliterate UK stations very often Holland was a regular visitor more than it does on FM anyway happy times (goes off to look for a time machine) :lol:

I gave up DXing in 1993 due to band 1 & 3 being blitzed by the PMR station on top of the hill 1 km from here so went into satellite reception but soon become boring anyway I restarted TV dxing in 2009 despite the band still full of crud so I decided to try FM DX and never looked back I have done better than I would have expected with the chocker band here.
Of course I still do band 1 DX using a RTL stick with SDR v2.3 which I find very good as I can see R1 and 6 M Ham band pity we didn't have that in the 80s.

Andy
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

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