As of February 2017 the Sharp and Samsung NIMs are no longer available and the MiniTiouner project will use a NIM from Serit (FTS-4335) which covers from 143.75MHz right through to 2450 MHz without the need for any upconverters.
The first prototype was shown at CAT16 by Jean-Pierre F6DZP - you can watch a video of his presentation on the BATC Youtube channel.
Why should I buy a Serit tuner?
- You should buy one if you already have MiniTiouner hardware and you want to be able to receive 146 MHz and 70cms without building an upconverter.
- You should buy one if you already have MiniTiouner hardware and want to experiment with the higher DVB-S2 modes such as 32APSK which the Sharp NIM cannot demodulate.
- You should buy one if you have not yet built a MiniTiouner receiver as the previous Sharp tuner is no longer available.
If none of the above apply, you don't need one!
2 versions of the Serit NIM!
Just to confuse the issue there are now 2 versions of the Serit NIM! Both types work with the new Version 2 MiniTiouner PCB and adapter card for the Version 1 PCB.
The only difference between the FTS-4335, which was sold in the BATC shop before before April 2017, and the FTS-4334 sold after May 2017 is the addition of an amplifier or booster stage before the tuner.
The units can be identified by the model number, which is printed on the opposite end of the unit to the F type connectors.
Serit FTS-4335 (sold before April 2017)
To overcome the lack of the booster, an additional satellite line amp can be used in front of the tuner.
Serit FTS4334 (sold after May 2017)
Picture to follow as soon as the units arrive from China.
The FTS-4334 unit has a built in booster and will not require an external line amplifier.
MiniTiouner Version 2 main board
The Serit tuner has a different pin out to the original Sharp unit and as of April 2017 a version 2 main PCB has been designed to directly take the Serit tuner - see this page for details -any new constructors should use this version 2 new board.
Serit adapter card
The Serit tuner has a different pin out to the original Sharp unit and Brian G4EWJ has designed a PCB to enable it to be plugged in to the original Version 1 MiniTiouner PCB.
You only require the adaptor PCB if you are upgrading a MiniTiouner version 1 hardware to use the Serit tuner.
The adapter card build instructions, Parts List, Schematic and silkscreen print are in this zip file. NOTE - the kit referred to in the documentation is no longer available:
Filters and pre-amps
The wide band coverage makes building a receiver for 146 or 437 much easier, although you will need a pre-amp followed by lots of filtering for each band, just like the Sharp did.
To use the FTS4335 NIM with the MiniTiouner, you will need to run Ver 0.6d or later versions of the excellent MiniTioune software. This is available for download from the Viva DATV forum here and will work with Sharp, Eardatek or Serit NIMs. You need to register on the Viva DATV forum before being able to download.
The Serit FTS4335 NIM is capable of receiving more than one signal simultaneously; however the BATC hardware and software can only receive one signal at a time. There is provision for a socket on the converter PCB to connect to the second receive output of the FTS4335V for experimentation. F6DZP's dual receive software is still under development and may be available for testing. See his web site at: http://www.vivadatv.org
Even though only one transmission can be received at any time with this converter PCB, it is possible to select which of the two antenna sockets is used, allowing one of two antennas / converters to be connected.
If you want to attempt to hardwire the Serit tuner, the pin differences between Sharp and Serit are as follows:
This picture from the http://www.vivadatv.org/ site shows the interconnection:
Data sheet of Serit 4335 NIM (without on board LNA)
Datasheet of Serit 4334L NIM (with onboard LNA)