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Old 27th Jan 2021, 5:37 pm   #21
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

With a pantry transmitter, you just have one channel accessible from the radio. If you want to tune around and explore other stations, the tuning control is in you pantry, on whatever is feeding audio to the little transmitter.

With the DAB converter, you can tune around and explore on the set itself. I think this will feel rather different to an observer than would having to nip off to another room to change the station.

On the other hand, one pantry transmitter could be used by a variety of sets, do each set in a display could be powered up in turn and demonstrated.

The German DAB converter is very clever, but it has fundamental differences with a pantry transmitter. The strengths and weaknesses don't directly compare.

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Old 28th Jan 2021, 2:21 pm   #22
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

I think there is no 'one fits all' solution. Pantry transmitters are of course perfect for collectors who want to be able to use multiple radios.

Where a set has a PU socket, a lot of my customers like little Bluetooth receivers connected to it.

I4CY's FM to AM converter is great as well.

This DAB conversion provides another option and does allow you to continue to 'tune' your set.

What matters most is the ability to keep our wonderful old sets working, rather than becoming expensive ornaments!
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 2:40 pm   #23
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

I think there is room (or reason) for both a pantry transmitter and a dedicated 'DAB' valve radio. With the pantry transmitter you have to effectively power and run three pieces of equipment, but on the plus side it can be transmitted to any number of sets. With the plug in DAB device you have a stand alone, 'switch on and off' set that makes it independent of anything else. I like the sound of it (pun optional) but I'll wait for reports. If it's good I'll probably get one.

Edit: Just notice David has said something very similar.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 7:09 pm   #24
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
With a pantry transmitter, you just have one channel accessible from the radio. If you want to tune around and explore other stations, the tuning control is in you pantry, on whatever is feeding audio to the little transmitter.

With the DAB converter, you can tune around and explore on the set itself. I think this will feel rather different to an observer than would having to nip off to another room to change the station.

On the other hand, one pantry transmitter could be used by a variety of sets, do each set in a display could be powered up in turn and demonstrated.

The German DAB converter is very clever, but it has fundamental differences with a pantry transmitter. The strengths and weaknesses don't directly compare.

David
Thanks for reading my post and and for you response David.

I can quite appreciate the 'tactile' appeal to some, of being able to tune DAB station by using the tuning knob on the radio and that's a point well made, but in terms of the range of listenable content, a 'pantry transmitter' can have inputs from DAB,FM, MP3 player, smartphone or whatever, so in that regard, a pantry transmitter has greater functionality. I have a mini-mod and FM/AM converter which sit alongside whichever radio I have in use, and they each perform really well. If I were minded to want to listen to DAB on an old set, I'd probably do so via a Bluetooth module, albeit that would use only the Audio stage of the radio - not the RF/IF stages, either via a changeover switch, or if present, a gram socket.

As I said earlier, I'm not detracting in any way from the technical ingenuity of the 'proper' DAB device, and I understand the fascination and admiration that members have expressed.

That said, I suspect that anyone other than ourselves, who may only a passing interest in seeing an old radio lit up with music coming from the speaker, will be unconcerned about the technicalities - just the functionality. Forum members who have visited National Trust premises may have often seen 1930/40s radios emitting music of same vintage as the radio, which is coming from an MP3 player concealed inside an otherwise empty cabinet. Rather ironic given the the NT is dedicated to restoration and conservation, but I guess it overcomes any safety issues that might otherwise arise.

I'm always a little dispirited that when we have visitors (pre lockdown), they rarely remark or express any interest in the Ekco A22 that I restored, but are fascinated by the little 4-tube nixie clock I made that sits alongside it. Mostly, they seem more impressed with the KB FB10 'Toasters' that were scrappers which I've restored and sprayed in bright non-original colours, which they refer to as 'cute, dinky, funky or cool'.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 7:21 pm   #25
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

The radio I currently intend to modify is an HMV 1252 FM tuner. The front end is rubbish, but the IF and demodulator work fine.

The owner, also had a lovely MW / LW / VHF Cossor table model that I restored for him, and it has a PU socket. He intends to connect this HMV unit to that in order to add DAB to an already great radio. Good idea.

As I have eluded to already, different solutions for different situations.

Can't wait to actually get my hands on one of these modules though and see how it performs in practice. There are a lot of DAB multiplexes in my area and it will be interesting to see how the spacing of all those stations works out!

Last edited by agardiner; 28th Jan 2021 at 7:22 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old 30th Jan 2021, 5:25 pm   #26
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

Exactly how 'plug and play' is this device? does anyone know? Looking at the photos there appears to be wires going in all directions. Is it simply a case of removing a valve and replacing it with the DAB plug in unit and leaving the trailing module hanging around in the back of the set?
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Old 1st Feb 2021, 2:24 pm   #27
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

It appears that I won't be trying it after all in this particular set.

Although the mixer tube is what is replaced, it seems that the unit is really intended for AM sets. The FM version has a shield which sits over the FM mixer and detects the oscillator frequency. The output however is then post the IF and detector stages, so audio output only. Still allows tuning normally though but pointless in this particular tuner.

The AM version remains exciting though as that does actually produce an IF output. Oh well - another set will no doubt require it at some point!
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Old 1st Feb 2021, 2:32 pm   #28
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

Call me slow, why do you want an IF output?
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Old 1st Feb 2021, 2:40 pm   #29
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

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Call me slow, why do you want an IF output?
Only because the particular tuner it was planned for consists of RF, IF and Demod valves, and then provides an output for an external amp. So in this case the whole set would be redudant!
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Old 1st Feb 2021, 5:23 pm   #30
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

Hi to all,

Via reading this thread, i contacted HSE in Germany to get more info about the DAB+ converter.

I received the text in the document added here (Word docx format).
Seems indeed to pertain to operation with AM radios and not those with FM circuitry.

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File Type: doc HSE Germany - DAB+ Module for Tube Radios.doc (11.0 KB, 146 views)
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Old 1st Feb 2021, 5:37 pm   #31
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

Great additional information. Thanks for posting.
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Old 30th Mar 2021, 11:47 am   #32
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

So - finally hoping to order one of these to try. Will be to convert a Bush DAC90. Will report on progress and how well it works once done!
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 5:08 pm   #33
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

DAB conversion module on order!

DAC90 all restored and ready for the module. Can't wait to try it and will obviously report back here.

Checked with the engineer who is building the unit; the number of stations is limited to 100, and will be confined to the MW band, so the band switch will presumably be unused.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 3:24 pm   #34
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

Very clever idea.
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Old 17th Apr 2021, 4:06 pm   #35
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

It's very clever but personally I would never fit a DAB or Bluetooth unit to an old radio, not even for a paying customer. It's just "wrong".... says the guy who on the other hand would have no qualms about replacing every resistor and capacitor with modern ones!

I've not seen the term "pantry transmitter" before now but that would be the way I'd do it.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 2:07 pm   #36
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

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It's very clever but personally I would never fit a DAB or Bluetooth unit to an old radio, not even for a paying customer. It's just "wrong".... says the guy who on the other hand would have no qualms about replacing every resistor and capacitor with modern ones!

I've not seen the term "pantry transmitter" before now but that would be the way I'd do it.
Fair enough, but back in the day it was of course standard practice to fit additional tuners to TVs so that they could receive the new ITV service. To me, this is not really any different as the rest of the set is retained in its original form, you are just adding a tuner for a 'current' band.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 3:57 pm   #37
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

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Originally Posted by agardiner View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez1234 View Post
It's very clever but personally I would never fit a DAB or Bluetooth unit to an old radio, not even for a paying customer. It's just "wrong".... says the guy who on the other hand would have no qualms about replacing every resistor and capacitor with modern ones!

I've not seen the term "pantry transmitter" before now but that would be the way I'd do it.
Fair enough, but back in the day it was of course standard practice to fit additional tuners to TVs so that they could receive the new ITV service. To me, this is not really any different as the rest of the set is retained in its original form, you are just adding a tuner for a 'current' band.
Indeed, it's non-invasive and it allows a vintage set's use to be expanded and enjoyed. What could possibly be wrong with that?!! Well, a purist's view maybe?
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 4:24 pm   #38
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

"Do what you like, it's you radio after all", I would probably draw the line at cutting a hole in the tuning scale for an LCD but maybe not replacing it (the scale) with an e-ink one. Now there is a thought.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 9:36 pm   #39
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

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DAB conversion module on order!
I look forward to your findings with great interest.
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Old 5th May 2021, 12:25 pm   #40
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Default Re: 'Proper' DAB conversion for valve radios

It has arrived!

I will install and try it out over the weekend, and wright up a review next week.
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