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TopTapper
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:16 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 147 Location: London, UK
@andyfras Good idea - the meter is not guilty as charged; toppy remote batteries are at 1.264 and the TV's 1.38v. Hmmm, so why can't I read U20 - or any of a few other motherboard caps I tried? I'm measuring from chassis or PSU ground to the exposed metallic surface on top of the capacitor (which I assume to be the 'tab').
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andyfras
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:19 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 3004 Location: Fleet, Hampshire (Hannington)
U20 is the regulator chip on the mainboard, just under the left edge of the card reader. It has 2 legs and a wide tab.

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TopTapper
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:49 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 147 Location: London, UK
@andyfras Ah, hell's bells, a major component identification fail - no wonder I wasn't getting a reading! I'm now seeing U20's wide tab at a steady 1.49v.
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alan_m
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:39 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 17 Oct 2006 Posts: 3123 Location: Southchurch Village, Southend-on-Sea
Possibly a complete irrelevant setting but:

The 5800 has a third aerial input/output where the decoded output from the Toppy is modulated onto an (unused) channel on to the attached aerial lead.

The modulation RF channel is set-up in the Toppy menu.

Is it by any chance set to Channel 28? If so change it to a higher channel number.

Do you have an old VCR under your TV and it's connected via an aerial lead?
It too will have a modulator that is capable of outputting on Channel 28 - again it will be a user configuration, possibly a crude knob adjustment or screwdriver slot on the back panel.

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TopTapper
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:10 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 147 Location: London, UK
@alan_m: Thanks for the ideas. The RF In/Out connections haven't been used and Systems Settings, AV Output, RF Channel was set to 31 at DSO.

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alan_m
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 17 Oct 2006 Posts: 3123 Location: Southchurch Village, Southend-on-Sea
[quote="TopTapper"]
Code:
  Min:Average:Max%               T1 Levels     T1 Quality    T2 Levels     T2 Quality
  COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  86: 92:100 |   0: 41:100 | 100:100:100 |   0: 95:100
  COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  56: 56: 56 |   0: 79:100 |  62: 62: 62 |   0: 79:100
  COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  55: 55: 55 |   0: 51:100 |  55: 55: 56 |   0: 34:100
  COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  70: 70: 71 |   0: 80:100 |  69: 70: 71 |   0: 48:100 


That's suggests that it's not too much signal causing the problem although you had to bring the signal down by x10+ to get the Toppy to report less than 100% An attenuator of, say, 10dB may still be advisable.

Possible the next thing to check is sources of local interference
Neraby DECT phone base stations (although these tend to take out one statellite band rather than TV bands)
Any power supply built into a mains power plug. These can start going faulty and spew out all sorts of interference in the RF bands.
Nearby computers
etc.

As a test, turn off anything electrical in the room exept the Toppy and TV.

Quote:

it looks like my multimeter only does >2V DC. The packaging states "DC: 2V - 600V". Previously, I assumed the 2V band was 0-2V, not 2+. It seems like a mighty whacky place to start, Maplin "Precison Gold" PG 010.


The top end of the bottom range is 2V - that's zero to 2V.

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TopTapper
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:19 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 147 Location: London, UK
I've tried turning all sockets in all rooms (bar toppy & tv) but it didn't seem to make a marked difference to the problematic COM6 quality. The sole TV also looks innocent (being switched off during the COM6 scans).

I'll keep looking though, thanks. It may be time to see how the backup toppy fares (a new facelift 5800, which hasn't been powered up).
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TopTapper
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 5:17 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 147 Location: London, UK
I've rearranged the internal wiring:
Code:

Aerial -> Triplexer
            | -> FM -> tuner
            | -> DAB [terminator]
            | -> TV -> Attenuator (0-20db) -> 4-way splitter
                                                | -> T1
                                                | -> T2
                                                | [terminator]
                                                | [terminator]
If the radio reception didn't work out, I was going to add an FM+DAB aerial and diplexer outside but borrowing the TV aerial feed seems to work fine as-is.

Back to the Toppy, this pattern looks typical for the Black Panther with consistently problematic COM6 (attenuator set mid-to-high):
Code:
   Min:Average:Max%               T1 Levels     T1 Quality    T2 Levels     T2 Quality
09 Black Panther
   PSB1 BBC ONE on RF Ch 23    |  65: 65: 66 | 100:100:100 |  66: 66: 67 | 100:100:100
   PSB2 ITV1 on RF Ch 26       |  70: 70: 71 | 100:100:100 |  71: 71: 72 | 100:100:100
   COM4 ITV3 on RF Ch 25       |  70: 70: 72 | 100:100:100 |  70: 70: 71 | 100:100:100
   COM5 Pick TV on RF Ch 22    |  65: 65: 66 | 100:100:100 |  65: 66: 67 | 100:100:100
   COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  70: 70: 71 |   0: 97:100 |  71: 71: 73 |   0: 82:100


A few minutes later, using the Black Panther's cabling on the new 5800 FaceLift (attenuator as above):

Code:
   Min:Average:Max%               T1 Levels     T1 Quality    T2 Levels     T2 Quality
10 5800 FaceLift
   PSB1 BBC ONE on RF Ch 23    |  81: 81: 82 | 100:100:100 |  67: 67: 67 | 100:100:100
   PSB2 ITV1 on RF Ch 26       |  92: 92: 93 | 100:100:100 |  76: 76: 76 | 100:100:100
   COM4 ITV3 on RF Ch 25       |  92: 92: 93 | 100:100:100 |  76: 76: 77 | 100:100:100
   COM5 Dave on RF Ch 22       |  78: 78: 78 | 100:100:100 |  66: 66: 66 | 100:100:100
   COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  92: 92: 92 |  99: 99:100 |  77: 77: 77 |  98: 99:100
11 T1/T2 feeds swapped
   PSB1 BBC ONE on RF Ch 23    |  80: 80: 80 | 100:100:100 |  67: 67: 68 | 100:100:100
   PSB2 ITV1 on RF Ch 26       |  93: 93: 93 | 100:100:100 |  77: 77: 77 | 100:100:100
   COM4 ITV3 on RF Ch 25       |  92: 92: 92 | 100:100:100 |  78: 78: 78 | 100:100:100
   COM5 Dave on RF Ch 22       |  80: 80: 80 | 100:100:100 |  66: 66: 67 | 100:100:100
   COM6 Yesterday on RF Ch 28  |  90: 91: 92 |  98: 99:100 |  76: 76: 76 |  99: 99:100


So, the new 5800 shows higher signal strength and good quality (without tweaking the attenuator). That's a first for COM6 post-DSO. It's odd that T1 strength is that much higher than T2 - the Black Panther only shows a marginal difference between tuners.

I'm still not sure what to make of the result but I'm going to keep using the Black Panther unless there's visible loss of viewing quality ... or a disk wipe!

Thanks for all the help and suggestions - much appreciated.

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andyfras
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:14 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 3004 Location: Fleet, Hampshire (Hannington)
There are 2 different types of tuner used in Toppies; the results suggest that the Black Panther has the older one.

It would be worth feeding the aerial into tuner 2 of the facelift Toppy with the loop into tuner 1; that might even up the signal levels (it did for me).

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Channel Organiser : Tap Commander : USB Accelerator : HDD Info : PCControl : Signal Monitor : MyInfo
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TopTapper
Posted: Sat May 05, 2012 8:14 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Jan 2006 Posts: 147 Location: London, UK
@andyfras Yes, the BP was acquired on 28/01/06 @ 299 (and a wave2 psu repair is probably worth thinking about). I'll try balancing the feeds when the backup is needed - I hadn't thought of that, thanks.
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