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What standards Convertor?

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crustytv
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I suspect I already know the answer to this but I'm curious as to how many of you use something other than the Aurora. The earlier ones have now passed into the 405 line story/history also becoming collectable items in their own right commanding significant sums. So do you own and do you use one of the earlier standards convertors, if so which one and when did you acquire it.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 6:16 pm
Cathovisor
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A Dinosaur here. I had one of the original Mk. 1 units which I sold many years ago: I now have a customised Mk. 3 which can display any one of four fixed patterns in the absence of video. In my case that's Test Card A, Test Card C, the pre-war tuning signal and the early post-war tuning signal. It's partnered with two L'il Dino modulators; one for London, one for Birmingham. My original Dinosaur dated from their first introduction, more years ago than I wish to remember....

 
Posted : 07/10/2016 6:29 pm
Marc
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Hi Catho,

L'il Dino modulators ? can you enlighten further as I've not heard of these.

I'm actually wanting either a channel 1 or 4 modulator to work with my Aurora but I'm guessing these L'il Dino's are scarce hmm_gif  

Marc.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 7:27 pm
Katie Bush
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marc said
Hi Catho,

L'il Dino modulators ? can you enlighten further as I've not heard of these.

I'm actually wanting either a channel 1 or 4 modulator to work with my Aurora but I'm guessing these L'il Dino's are scarce hmm_gif  

Marc.  

As rocking horse, I'd think, Marc...

The Dinosaur was only made in tiny numbers, and anyone who has one will treasure it like a family heirloom.. The modulators will, I think, be even rarer.. I know a fellow who has a 'Dino' but he's never going to part with it.

There are a few circuit diagrams for system 'A' modulators, and I do believe our own "Duke Nukem" has one on his website "thevalvepage".

 
Posted : 07/10/2016 7:41 pm
Marc
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Hi Marion,

Just as I thought, rare as rare can be !

I knew about the Dinosaur but didn't know there were separate modulators for them.

I have looked at the 405 modulator kit from the 'Early Television Museum'  http://www.earlytelevision.org/405_modulator.html  and wondered how good they were.

Marc.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 7:56 pm
crustytv
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Frank was about to embark on making a System A modulator see here sadly he did not follow us over. Mike was going to do a review of it along with Franks superb test card generator.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 7:59 pm
Marc
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Chris said
Frank was about to embark on making a System A modulator see here sadly he did not follow us over. Mike was going to do a review of it along with Franks superb test card generator.  

I'd been following that thread with interest, fingers crossed Frank re joins us over here.

Marc.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 8:04 pm
crustytv
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marc said
I have looked at the 405 modulator kit from the 'Early Television Museum'  http://www.earlytelevision.org/405_modulator.html  and wondered how good they were.

Marc.  

They are superb.

I currently have one of the ETF modulators, it was upgraded by Trevor ( Murphvy310) to be crystal controlled. I use it for my 405 line Test card Generator.

I bought a second one and built it into an old frequency counter case, I sold it for £10 to Tony a year or so later. http://www.forum.radios-tv.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5653&hilit=405+modulator if you get one you may want to do the crystal mod too.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 8:06 pm
Marc
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I forgot about that one you had Chris, I'll look into sending for one in the next few weeks (find pennys first) and probably look at carrying out the crystal mod too.

Marc.

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Posted : 07/10/2016 8:15 pm
PYE625
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I have a Domino converter that I bought from Malcom Everiss  quite a few years ago, can't remember exactly when, but likely to have been 2003 ish.

It is a good reliable unit although will only supply a signal on CH 1.rsz_img_2318.jpg

To understand the black art of electronics is to understand witchcraft. Andrew.

 
Posted : 07/10/2016 8:16 pm
Katie Bush
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One sad fact about the earliest converters was that most, if not all, of the ones with inbuilt modulators only output on ch1, with some offering ch2 as an optional alternative.. As we, the collectors, began to get more modernised and adventurous with our bands i & iii capable TVs, we needed more channels especially as many of the more modern sets were built with tuners that only catered for the local flavours of BBC and ITA.. In many sets, ch1 and ch2 weren't even available, especially if yours was equipped with a turret tuner that only had the 'biscuit' pairs for your local transmitters.. Thankfully, Daryl Hock came along with the popular Aurora that made vintage TV collecting and restoring a real possibility for most of us at last.

 
Posted : 07/10/2016 8:58 pm
Cathovisor
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Katie_Bush said

As rocking horse, I'd think, Marc...

The Dinosaur was only made in tiny numbers, and anyone who has one will treasure it like a family heirloom.. The modulators will, I think, be even rarer.. I know a fellow who has a 'Dino' but he's never going to part with it.

There are a few circuit diagrams for system 'A' modulators, and I do believe our own "Duke Nukem" has one on his website "thevalvepage".  

About forty Dinosaurs were made: one of the first was built into a 19" 1U rack mount case for professional use. Some were actually sold as kits and there were options in the earlier models to keep the cost down too - the earlier models had a separate interpolator board which could be plugged in at a later date when funds allowed.

The prevalence of the Looser design of modulator meant that the Dinosaur was offered without one, but "Li'l Dino" could be bought stand-alone or built in to the converter when ordered. The vast majority of them were channel 1, but needless to say channel 4 versions were made - I think one channel 5 was built too. We forget that some enterprising souls had 405-line video tapes and material on VHS in 405 lines - I'm one of those.

For those who've not seen a "Li'l Dino", here he is. It's a board about 10cm square and if you're thinking "there's not much on that board" - well, that's because it's all underneath! All hand-soldered SMD.

Lil_Dino.jpg

 
Posted : 07/10/2016 11:03 pm
colourmaster
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Hi

I have two aurora's in use but my favourite is my David Boynes mk1 converter which David kindly gave me many years ago after he built his next version . It doesn't have interpolation but the pictures are very good .

Regards .

Gary

 
Posted : 08/10/2016 12:23 pm
Cathovisor
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Thinking of modulators always had me wondering how nice it would be if someone could design/build a multi-channel, vestigial sideband modulator for System A. One that covered channels 2-13. As ever, the shaping filter would be the hard bit.

So... so far, a Dinosaur, a Domino, Mr Boynes's Mk. 1... anyone with a Pineapple or the Darius analogue converter? Anyone with BBC CO6/501 and CO6/509?

 
Posted : 08/10/2016 12:29 pm
hamid_1
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I met someone on the UKVRRR forum who used a Linux PC as a standards converter. With the right graphics card and software settings, it's possible to generate 405-line video on a PC. You can then add a TV tuner or video capture card to the PC and convert from 625 line TV sources, or play DVDs, YouTube videos etc. into the 405 line TV (a modulator is also required).

I thought about trying to build something like that myself, or sourcing an older converter secondhand such as a Pineapple or Domino instead of buying a new Aurora. But I soon dismissed the thought, after considering the amount of time it would take to acquire and set up a PC with the right hardware, then build a modulator and test it all.

I saw a Domino 405 converter with channel 2 modulator sold for £110 at the BVWS auction (item 241)  http://www.bvws.org.uk/auctions/results.php/2011-08-14-wootton-bassett-special

That wasn't much cheaper than an Aurora at the time, and since the Domino is less versatile, I caved in and bought an Aurora. I admire those who have made their own standards converters, though.

 
Posted : 08/10/2016 3:00 pm
Katie Bush
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hamid_1 said
I met someone on the UKVRRR forum who used a Linux PC as a standards converter. With the right graphics card and software settings, it's possible to generate 405-line video on a PC.

I wonder, would that have been Kat Manton? Or another of the FOTH team?

I gathered some years ago that Kat Manton was well on her way to perfecting a PC based converter, but then the whole thing seemed to slide off the radar scope, so to speak.

For those who haven't heard of the FOTH project, it stands for the "Fools On The Hill" - so called after the original BBC pioneers of television before WW2.. As I understand it, the BBC radio people thought television would never catch on, so anyone going 'up the hill' to Alexandra Palace had to be a complete fool, hence the Fools On The Hill.. As for the project itself, I believe its sole purpose in life was to bring affordable standards conversion to the likes of you and me...

Anyone care to expand on that?

 
Posted : 09/10/2016 8:40 pm
Cathovisor
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Pretty much it, and of course it also borrowed from the Jack Rosenthal play of the same name transmitted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of BBC TV in 1986.

 
Posted : 09/10/2016 9:00 pm
Katie Bush
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for that.. I knew of the play, or as I had thought, film but not realised the title.

 
Posted : 09/10/2016 9:15 pm
Marc
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Cathovisor said
Pretty much it, and of course it also borrowed from the Jack Rosenthal play of the same name transmitted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of BBC TV in 1986.  

I've got that somewhere on DVD, must dig it out of the library ready for next months 80th anniversary.

Marc.

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Posted : 09/10/2016 9:22 pm
Cathovisor
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Having watched it recently, I wouldn't bother. Not one of Mr. Rosenthal's best efforts.

 
Posted : 10/10/2016 12:24 pm
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