Monday, November 17, 2008

Test next Saturday

Next Saturday, I'll be making the treck up to Mt. San Bruno for my first test transmissions at 420-426 MHz with ~50W ERP, commencing at 1:30 PM (these tests will start on the half-hour so they don't run into the 10 minute ID slide beacon from K6BEN/R). It'll probably last a half hour or so, barring equipment problems. I won't be running on 33 cm because I don't yet have an amp.

Once again, to receive, you'll need either a computer tuner like an HD Homerun that can tune 420-426 MHz without help or you'll need a standard ATSC TV or tuner connected to a downconverter like the PC Electronics TVC-4S (tuned to channel #1). If you try tuning it in, please be sure to drop a comment regardless of whether you got anything or not. Part of the purpose of these tests is to see how far it can go.

I'll see if I can borrow a 2M HT to take with me. If I can find one, I'll hang out on WB6OQS/R (146.76(-), PL 151.44).

I won't need any help up on the mountain - I'd rather people help by trying to receive the signal. Even if you can't actually decode it, if you can look for it with a spectrum analyzer, that would help. If you attempt to look for it with an analog TV, you'll just see white noise that's difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish from the noise floor.

Aside from PC Electronics, you can find downconverters at North Country Radio, but theirs is tuned with a potentiometer, rather than a PLL, so I'm not sure if frequency stability would be an issue for an 8VSB tuner.

If you are using an HD Homerun, you can use hdhomerun_config to set /tuner0/channel to 8vsb:423000000. No downconverter necessary.

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