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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 17th Feb 2012, 11:43 pm   #1
brianc
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Default Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Gerry has asked me to let members know that he will be getting some more Auroras in the near future. Contact him via his website to get pricing and reserve one.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 12:32 am   #2
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Gerry has 5 Auroras left. These are available at 199.00 each including special delivery. Please contact him at Crowthorne Tubes should you want one.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 8:32 am   #3
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

That's a very good price indeed.

To anyone who's been pondering the purchase of one of these excellent units, but hasn't yet got around to it, I'd say now is the time to do it.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 10:19 am   #4
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

I have just bought one from Gerry. It is the new version with channel selection via a minature switch on the back. No need to go inside box. I am amazed how small it is. It arrived yesterday and is working fine. Two Tv's I have had for over 25 years in the loft are now producing moving pictures on Ch2!
Apart from going to the USA to get one Gerry is the best bet.
I am now going to feed the baseband output into a VCR and record some old stuff on 405 lines. Then build a modulator so I can have two channels going at once!
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 1:12 pm   #5
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

I have made this thread "sticky" as updates on a reliable UK supplier of the only standards converter now commercially available is useful info that shouldn't be lost down the page.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 6:28 pm   #6
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

I to have just bought an Aurora from Gerry. Am amazed at the perfomance from its built in testcard through to any signal I have put in it. The best 200 I have spent in years. Thank you Gerry.

Regards Dave
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 8:45 pm   #7
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

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Am amazed at the perfomance from its built in testcard through to any signal I have put in it.
You can rely on the Aurora's performance exceeding that of any TV. Darryl's design has few if any compromises that affect picture quality. That this is possible at an affordable price is partly due to the capabilities of some of the chips but most importantly to Darryl's skill as an engineer.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 8:47 pm   #8
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Do these ever go wrong? I'd like a spare one but as I have never heard of one breaking down it seems hard to justify.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 8:51 pm   #9
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Basically they don't go wrong. I can't remember all the problems (there haven't been many) but one was DOA due to a badly soldered pin on the FPGA. Another had a faulty F socket. There may have been 1 or 2 others.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 9:16 pm   #10
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Mine works perfectly .
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 7:37 pm   #11
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

It is true that Gerry at Crowthorne Tubes is now the official place to go for Aurora converters in the UK. We're working through the pains of all the paperwork, and you can still obtain them directly from the Aurora website, but this looks like it will be the best solution for people in the UK. No more unknown customs fees or handling charges.

The only confirmed failures I can think of with these converters after 6 years and more than 500 units shipped are the two Jeff mentioned. One was an intermittent short inside the F connector. The person who had this converter did a wonderful job dissecting the connector and finding a sliver of metal from when it was manufactured inside the connector. The other was an unsoldered pin that was intermittent on the FPGA.
I think twice over the years I sent out the wrong model, but caught the error right away and shipped out the correct unit.
There was an initial intermittent failure on a WC-01 due to an unsoldered part, and one of the original Multi-Standard units got a blown video output when 180V from a valve amplifier got into it

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Old 19th Mar 2012, 7:54 pm   #12
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

This is good news for UK customers. Presumably this is also good for the whole of the EU unless you have made any other arrangements.

Darryl, could you put the relevant info on your website.

There has been one Aurora reported as dead which turned out to be user error. The user will not be named in order to protect the guilty party even though he doesn't deserve it I also have dim memories of somebody else talking to me a few years ago about a faulty unit. Can't remember who it was and they haven't followed it up so I'm guessing that turned out not to be a real fault.

That F connector fault was astounding. About as unlikely a fault as you could imagine.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 9:18 pm   #13
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Well, all i can say is Thank You.

David GM8JET
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 9:23 pm   #14
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

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Originally Posted by ppppenguin View Post
This is good news for UK customers. Presumably this is also good for the whole of the EU unless you have made any other arrangements.

Darryl, could you put the relevant info on your website.
No other arrangements have been made for the EU, so Gerry is the guy for them as well. I'm not sure how easy it is to send from the UK to the EU, but it has to be easier and lower cost than for me to send directly to the EU.

Links have been added to my website alerting UK and EU customers. Hopefully this makes it easier and cheaper for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppppenguin View Post
There has been one Aurora reported as dead which turned out to be user error. The user will not be named in order to protect the guilty party even though he doesn't deserve it I also have dim memories of somebody else talking to me a few years ago about a faulty unit. Can't remember who it was and they haven't followed it up so I'm guessing that turned out not to be a real fault.

That F connector fault was astounding. About as unlikely a fault as you could imagine.
I remember the one a few years ago that had a reported problem but was never returned so I'm not sure what the status of that one became.

The intermittent F connector was an amazing fault. The owner took it upon himself to diagnose the problem and did a fantastic job disassembling the connector and photographing the metal sliver. A tiny curl of metal that would periodically touch the center conductor!

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Old 19th Mar 2012, 9:29 pm   #15
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

There is no extra VAT, duty etc payable when sending stuff within the EU. The UK is in the EU, despite quite a few people wanting us to leave. The only extra cost compared to sending to the UK is postage.

If both seller and buyer are registered for VAT there is a procedure for handling this correctly. I don't think Crowthorne is registered and I can't imagine many Aurora buyers are either. A VAT registered EU buyer getting an Aurora for use in his business might be better off ordering direct from Darryl as he can then reclaim the VAT but there's no guarantee that he will ultimately end up paying less than from Crowthorne.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 9:47 pm   #16
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Good information Jeff. Thanks.

When I posted I was thinking continental Europe but typing EU. I have updated the web site to be a bit more clear.

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Old 19th Mar 2012, 10:51 pm   #17
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Hi.
The old multistandard converter is also a magic piece of kit with all the different outputs. I have had mine from around 2004/5 and it has been 100% fine. I borrowed the lead from Jeffrey a couple of years ago and did an upgrade and that's all.
Darryl's products are 100%
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 10:25 am   #18
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

I have two of these miracle converters. 100% reliable. Only one major problem...They are so small and easily lost! If it falls from it's usual home on the shelf in my museum, you have to follow the co-ax lead back to the F connector to find it. Seriously they really are fantastic producing a signal so clean that you forget that 405 is no longer with us in the true sense. It can be a very strange experience working on a 405 line receiver over an extended period. You completely forget that the signal is in fact arriving via the Aurora. A fantastic bit of kit and a lot cheaper than the 50.000 which I believe was the total price of the original converters installed at the transmitters. [Jeffrey you may know the original costs]
I believe the Aurora would have found a very good home at Crystal Palace had it been available in 1969. Regards, John.
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 10:40 am   #19
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

I have no idea about the original cost of the CO6/501 and CO6/509 converters. The analogue CO6/501 was state of art when it was designed in the early 1960s. It must have cost a good many 1000 then, heaven knows what at today's prices. The digital CO6/509 was also close to state of art in the 1970s but remember that DICE came very soon after. Probably not as expensive in real terms as the CO6/501.

It would be intresting to know what problems they had at Pye when they built the CO6/501 for ITV. Transferring BBC designs into commercial production has a reputation for not being easy.

An unmodified Aurora could have been inserted in the broadcast chain. Direct comparison should show that the Aurora is better than the CO6/501 and possibly very slightly worse than the CO6/509. In practice with colour inputs the Aurora would outperform the CO6/509 because the Aurora has a comb filter to separate the luminance. In all other respects, reliabilty, size, power consumption, the Aurora wins hands down.
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 1:01 pm   #20
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Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

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a lot cheaper than the 50.000 which I believe was the total price of the original converters installed at the transmitters.
My Domino - bought before the Aurora came out - was twice the price at 400. It doesn't, however, suffer the problem of John's Aurora of getting lost down the back of the sofa!
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