The Portsdown 2018 DATV system has been designed to provide an easy way to “get on air” with Digital ATV at a relatively low cost, covering all of the commonly used modes, thus enabling it to be used not only on ATV repeaters but also for RB-TV Dx working.
The filter modulator card and DATVExpress card described on these pages are no longer available and new builders should follow the Portsdown 2020 build instructions here.
At end of 2018 the decision was taken not to get any more FM boards assembled as demand had dropped significantly and as we had to buy a minimum quantity of 60 we risked losing a lot of members money - all this was posted on the forum back in November and in CQ-TV 262 https://forum.batc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=5760.
Please note there is NO intention to discontinue support of the 2018 system. Portsdown 2020 is recommended for all new builds but if you would still like an F-M board, we suggest you post on the wanted section of the forum - https://forum.batc.org.uk/viewforum.php?f=14 - or blank PCBs for home construction are still available here - BATC shop item 10. Once a stable installation has been built, Portsdown 2018 works reliably - no trouble nor reboots like the later SDRs - so is excellent for local DATV and shack tests.
Portsdown 2018 User guide
This user guide is in a number of sections which cover detailed descriptions for hardware and software, how to build and configure the system, some advanced features and an FAQ.
G4KLB's Portsdown 2018 was the example that many new builders copied when the project started but the case shown is too small to comfortably fit in the modules in the system.
This old index page covers most of the Portsdown 2018 features: The Portsdown Transmitter index
- Transmitter specifications Frequency range, MER and Output Levels to be expected on each band.
Building the system
- Portsdown hardware Detailed description of the Portsdown hardware and a shopping list of what you need to buy and where to buy it.
- Assembling your Portsdown How to put all the hardware together - you need to read this!
- Portsdown Displays Advice on what display to use with your Portsdown transmitter.
The software has recently undergone a major update. If you are building a new system, or upgrading one built since March 2018, please refer to the Portsdown 2018 Stretch software guide. The original Portsdown (Jessie) software has also been upgraded to Portsdown 2018 standard.
- Portsdown 2018/2019 Stretch Software The latest and greatest software for the Portsdown and how to get a programmed SD card.
- Portsdown Jessie Software Detailed description of the older Portsdown software.
- Software capabilities and issues An up to date list is available here
- Updating your Portsdown Software How to update your Portsdown software to the latest version, with suggestions for troubleshooting updates.
Configuring and controlling the system
The Portsdown software is now pre-configured to use the Waveshare touchscreen. If you are using this screen, no initial set-up is required.
For advanced set-up, or if you do not have a Waveshare touchscreen, See this guide: Initial setup 2019
You can control the Portsdown transmitter in one of 2 modes: by the use of the touchscreen or through the console using a second computer.
- Touchscreen mode How to use your Portsdown transmitter using the Touchscreen LCD only
- Console mode Use this mode to configure your Portsdown and change pre-set configs (such as SR and Freq) used in touch screen buttons.
- Changing system setup How to change Portsdown transmitter settings when in Touchscreen mode
- QPSKRF or Ugly mode Notes on this special test mode and the limitations when using it
- Setting up the WiFi How to set up the WiFi on the RPi3 Portsdown Transmitter
The Portsdown is not just a DATV transmitter but has several advanced features which are or may be available in the future:
- Lean DVB receiver How to use the integrated RTL SDR based monitoring receiver - this is NOT the Portsdown receiver
- Streaming to the BATC Streamer How to use your Portsdown transmitter as a standalone streamer
- Controlling a DATVExpress How to use a Portsdown as a user interface for DATV Express
- Use With a DTX-1 How to use your Portsdown transmitter to transmit RB-TV with a DTX-1
- Feeding Video to Portsdown from vMix How to use vMix with your Portsdown transmitter
- Analog Video Output How to use your Portsdown as an Analog PAL Video Source
- Still Capture from Composite Video Input How to capture still images from a Composite Video input.
- Hardware-only Transmit Switching How to use the Portsdown without a Touchscreen or computer.
- Portsdown Signal Generator
- Calibrating the TouchScreen Alignment
- FreqShow Displaying the received frequency spectrum
- How to Use Webcams with the Portsdown
- An Integrated RTL-FM Audio Receiver
There is a Portsdown area on the BATC forum where the BATC core team and wider ATV community will answer your questions and posting results of the latest builds and on air tests. https://forum.batc.org.uk/viewforum.php?f=103
Note that the BATC core team do not regularly visit Facebook pages - time is just too short to monitor everything and it's not easy to follow threads on Facebook. If you need a question answered please post on the BATC forums first.
Filters and driver amplifiers are not part of the Portsdown project but VERY important
The Portsdown user's community including a map showing where user locations
An index of all Portsdown pages
You may also find this index of TLAs useful when reading the manual!
Portsdown transmitter FAQ
And of course we need an FAQ page for those people who don't read the manual!