Portsdown 2018

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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.

KLB portsdown (1).JPG

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

System specification

Building the system

Portsdown Software

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.

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

Advanced features

The Portsdown is not just a DATV transmitter but has several advanced features which are or may be available in the future:

On line support / social media

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.

Additional information

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!