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Television Standards Converters, Modulators etc Standards converters, modulators anything else for providing signals to vintage televisions.

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Old 25th Sep 2011, 3:12 pm   #41
Red Studio
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Just got the TVOnics MFR-200. Got it working with a set top aerial and an old portable (with no SCART). Didn't expect to get much from the set top aerial but seem to have most of the available channels. It's a tiny little box and so light that the cables hold it up in the air. It should have a double sided sticky pad to hold it down but that was missing from mine. Been running a couple of weeks now - so far so good.
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Old 24th Oct 2011, 1:04 pm   #42
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

One of my MFR200s seemed to suffer a modulator failure recently. RF passthrough continued to work, the front LEDs still behaved normally, and it would still respond to the remote control, but the modulator wouldn't transmit anything on any channel.

It turned out that the power supply was at fault, dropping to around 3V on load. So if you suddenly lose all modulated output, check the PSU first.

The original PSU is rated at 5.3V 1A, but a standard 5V 1A switched-mode PSU from CPC seems to work OK.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 9:53 am   #43
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Perhaps I should have made it clear that the faulty PSU didn't actually damage the modulator, it just prevented it from transmitting anything, while the RF passthrough of analogue UHF channels was unaffected.

With the replacement PSU, the modulator is working fine again.

Roy
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 1:41 pm   #44
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamid_1 View Post
Another box that deserves a mention is the Thomson DTI2300 Top Up TV box. It does have a modulator but it's switched off by default. You will need a TV with SCART or an external modulator to set it up initially, and again if you factory reset it.
I have one of those and they are excellent.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 5:33 pm   #45
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Looking at the picture of the rear of the MFR200, back in post #2, i'm confused about the connections. I assume that the modulated output comes from the OUT co-ax connector. If so, why are there two extra sockets? ( power supply in and another with a wire connected to it ? )

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Old 25th Oct 2011, 5:54 pm   #46
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

AV out lead, I assume. These are usually a 4-contact 3.5mm connector.



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Old 25th Oct 2011, 5:59 pm   #47
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

It's either AV out, or a socket for an optional remote "extender" (for use in situations where the box is hidden away out of range of the remote control).

I forget which is which - there is another socket on the front as well. I've never attempted to use either of these options.

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Old 25th Oct 2011, 8:48 pm   #48
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

thanks for the explanation.

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Old 28th Oct 2011, 1:39 pm   #49
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamid_1 View Post
Another box that deserves a mention is the Thomson DTI2300 Top Up TV box. It does have a modulator but it's switched off by default. You will need a TV with SCART or an external modulator to set it up initially, and again if you factory reset it.
My Thomson box was given to me not working as the main reservoir cap (worth checking) had blown it's top off and the fuse blown.

Replacing the cap (10uf 400v) and fuse brought it back to life and it still works ok although i only use it for testing purposes.

Andy
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Old 27th Feb 2012, 12:06 am   #50
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

I bought a Ferguson F01SDBE from Comet today as it was the only one available from the local high street stores that has a modulator (necessary for the elderly Philips set that we have in our kitchen). A pity I didn't find this thread first.

While it works fine via the SCART, I can only endorse Tasman 1966's comments: the modulator [in this part of Essex anyway] is virtually unusable.

The problem is that, according to the manual, the modulator output is at a fixed frequency of 503.25 +- 1 MHz, ie approximately Channel 25 [502.25MHz Vision and 509.25MHz sound frequencies]. Unfortunately in this area, Channel 25 is now occupied by a digital multiplex at 506MHz. Co-channel interference is very apparent on all our analogue sets. The 25 year old Philips that I had bought it for, exhibits severe patterning on vision and no sound at all, a 15 year old Ferguson (Thompson) manages a clear picture, but very low hissy sound, while a Schneider (= Philips: a tri-standard GB PAL/ European PAL/ SECAM portable acquired from a relation in France) manages a good picture but quiet and disorted sound with noticable vision-related modulation hum on contrasty pictures and when reproducing the radio. It works much better if you don't fit the link between the RF out and the modulator in that the manual says must be fitted!

A definite no-no if Channel 25 is used in your area. Back to the shop it goes: I will try an Icecrypt T5000 as that seems to be the only other one that is readily available. I do still have a modulator that I bought in Jessops years ago for my camcorder that I could use but I don't want a jungle of boxes and wires.

On the other hand, no complaints about operation via the Scart. Set up was automatic and flawless, and the manual scan settings provide information on signal strength, frequencies, modulation type etc.

Re radioredcat's experience, my son's 20 supermarket STB bought over 3 years ago failed for the same reason after 6 months' use. Since replacing the capacitor and fuse it has worked flawlessly ever since.

Last edited by emeritus; 27th Feb 2012 at 12:10 am. Reason: typo correction
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 2:05 am   #51
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

The Icecrypt worked fine. The modulator is set to Channel 38 by default but is easily changeable . I retuned to Ch 39 as my channel 5 is on Channel 37 and there was some sight patterning. You get "Tetris" and 2 other games as well! I stuck it to the side of the TV using self-adhesive "Velcro" from Maplin.

"Null points" for Comet customer service. When I emailed them to inform them that the Ferguson was unusable in modulator mode, I got what is presumably a stock reply that, as I had opened the package and used it, I couldn't return it. That is not what I understand the law to be, but as it was about as cheap a box as you can get, works OK in SCART mode, and I need some more boxes for some other SCART-fitted TVs that don't need a modulator, it wasn't worth the hassle [or petrol] of going back to the branch I had bought it from to demand a refund.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 8:32 am   #52
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

The Goodmans GDR-11 is supplied by the DSO help scheme when a box with modulator is needed. I understand that the commercially available box is the same as used in the scheme but the remote is different

http://www.comet.co.uk/p/Freeview-&-...paign=products

It has a fully tunable modulator. The example we had last Tuesday at BBC London 94.9 was unfortunately dead on arrival but I can't imagine that's common.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 12:40 pm   #53
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Hello,

I have a Ferguson F01SDBE and you can change the output channel on it to any channel between Ch 21 and Ch 68.

Press 'Menu' on the remote, then scroll down to 'Setup' and press 'OK', then scroll down to 'Tv Setup' and press 'OK', then scroll down to 'UHF Channel' and use the < or > keys to change the channel, then press 'Menu' (not 'OK') on the remote again to change the channel.

Yours, Richard
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 2:53 pm   #54
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

According to other threads where the Ferguson has been discussed, you must have one of the original models. The design was changed last year without changing the model number. The current product has a fixed output channel.

The "TV SET UP" menu now only offers "Television type" [ = 4:3 or 16:9]; "Widescreen" [ only active in 4:3 mode = Letterbox, Center Cutout or Full Frame] ; and "Standard" [= SCART options CVBS or RGB].

Last edited by emeritus; 6th Mar 2012 at 3:12 pm.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 3:08 pm   #55
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

See posts #25 and #29 of the following thread for Ferguson design change.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...t=70065&page=2
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 10:33 pm   #56
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Since my earlier post, the Panasonic TU-CT30 that I had been using took a turn for the worse. When I tried to re-tune in order to get channel 5+1 it crashed. It didn't like the multiplex that contained 5+1, Quest and all the new 'connect' services that don't do anything on normal Freeview boxes. I tried a factory reset but it just got stuck in an endless loop of scanning and crashing. The only way I got out of it was to unplug the aerial before it attempted to scan that multiplex, then plug it in after. It's not actually possible to see when to do this unless you use a SCART connection because the modulator is turned off during scanning. Afterwards it stores the remaining found channels in random order. These two problems make the box almost unusable.
Panasonic have informed me that this is due to out-of-date software in my box. If it had received the v0.41 software update broadcast in 2009, it would work correctly. Unfortunately this update will never be broadcast again. Lesson: if you find one of these secondhand and it has 0.38 or earlier, forget it.
My Goodmans GDR10 still worked fine. With this in mind, I visited a Sunday market at a West London tube station which shall remain nameless. Some of the traders there are a little less than honest. I picked up another GDR10 with the helpscheme universal remote control for 4 pounds. A bargain - until I got it home and it didn't work. I wasn't really surprised. The box powered up but produced no RF output on channel 68, just snow with a hum bar. I popped open the cover and immediately noticed a 470uF 10v "Chang" capacitor that was bulging. I replaced it with a 470uF 16v for good measure and it worked! Not sure for how long - the box is full of Chang capacitors. A sticker on the bottom says Tested 09/11 so it didn't last very long at all. I wonder if that was why Jeffrey's box didn't work too.
My 'new' GDR10 had some extra features. When I did a new channel installation it picked up all channels from London Crystal Palace and the BBC channels from Oxford (I'm halfway between both cities). It then asked me to choose which region I preferred - "Oxon & Bucks" or "London." Choosing the former placed BBC ONE Oxford at channel 1; the latter gave BBC ONE London the number one spot. It remembers your preference. This could be invaluable for those who pick up multiple TV regions. Another new option in the menu enables you to turn off the annoying re-tune messages.
I downloaded the instruction manual for the Goodmans GDR11 and the software seems identical to the 'new' GDR10 I got. I think they are both basically the same box. If you are looking for a new Freeview box with a modulator, it's worth considering. The menu and remote control is very easy to use - excellent on a black and white TV as there is plenty of contrast and it doesn't rely on the coloured remote control buttons for navigation. The stereo headphone socket is nice too. Only minor negative, the TV guide only shows one channel at a time and is a little slow to fill up.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 3:13 am   #57
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

I'm guessing boxes with a modulator are going to become very scarce, if that's not the case already. The VCR idea is a good one, I'm thinking that if space is an issue it should be easy to remove the RF unit from a scrap VCR and utilise that as a modulator, along with a suitable supply. I was going to do this a few years ago for an old portable set I had in the kitchen but instead opted to throw the set away. If I ever pick up an old set (like the G8 i'm looking for) I may revisit this idea.

I think Maplin used to sell modulators, though at their prices It's probably not worth it.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 1:47 pm   #58
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Maplin currently have their universal modulator in their sale at 19.99, not much cheaper than the cost of a modulator-fitted STB that has a tuneable output, but it does have manual brightness adjustment.

It's the same price as my local Comet is selling their fixed modulator frequency Ferguson whose modulator is unusable in the Crystal Palace area at present [and will remain so unless the present digital multiplex on Channel 25 gets moved after the analogue switchoff].
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 4:23 pm   #59
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Hi
The Alba/Goodmans STBs that came from the help sceme have a modulator and quite a nice menu. Many in this area are dying now after a couple of years so you can get them in car boot sales and so on - as usual it's a ten minute repair with a bulging cap.
Glyn
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 6:44 pm   #60
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Default Re: Freeview box with a modulator

Slightly OT but would an rf modulator from an early 90s Sony camcorder be any good for this purpose? Im sure it would only need a 5v dc supply as it has video and audio connections.
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