Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Discussion about this major DATV Project. See also https://wiki.batc.tv/The_Portsdown_Transmitter
G8GKQ
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Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby G8GKQ » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:05 pm

The latest Software for the Portsdown Transmitter is version 201711031 (the version is the issue date with an added 0-9 serial) and can be found here: https://github.com/BritishAmateurTelevisionClub/rpidatv. This software supports the following:

Hardware

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, with or without a 3.5 inch diagonal Waveshare touchscreen. Alternatively, the TX can be controlled over the network from another computer. The use of a keyboard and monitor connected directly to the Pi is not supported.

The Pi will control an ADF4351 Synthesizer with a 10 or 25 MHz Reference Oscillator, and can accept video input from an EasyCap type USB capture device and from a Pi Camera.

Currently the Pi will output a dirty (ugly) QPSK signal on 437 MHz for testing, send I and Q signals to the Portsdown Filter/modulator board, and control a DATV Express in DVB-S mode.

For use as a basic DVB-S H264 LeanDVB signal monitor, an RTL-SDR is required.

Modes

In IQ output mode, the Pi will transmit MPEG-2 or H264 from the RPi Camera, the EasyCap or the on-board test card at up to 4 MS/s.

In DATV Express mode, it will transmit MPEG-2 or H264 picures from the RPi Camera, the EasyCap or the on-board test card at 125 KS/s - 4 MS/s

In "ugly mode" it will encode from these sources reliably at 125KS/s and sometimes at 333KS/s.

In streaming mode, it will send pictures from the RPi Camera or EasyCap to the BATC Streamer, or to any other compatible streamer.

With an added RTL-SDR, the included LeanDVB receiver will display strong DVB-S H264 signals of up to 1000 KS/s.

A signal Generator function can be selected from Menu 3 of the Touchscreen.

Future Enhancements

I have a very long list of things to get working properly. Here are the highlights:

  • Display transmitted image on the LCD in all modes
  • Add sound channel to H264 video modes
And so it goes on... (but the list is getting shorter!!)

Your comments welcome

Dave, G8GKQ

Version 201612310 Introduced a blank background behind the receive display, which in now part of the core capability.
Version 201701020 introduced automatic selection of EasyCap input and TV standard.
Version 201701080 introduced installation of Waveshare Touchscreen drivers during install, disabled the screensaver and added a screen logo at next boot.
Version 201701190 Added stability improvements allowing 4MS SR, increasing reliability and reducing lock-ups. It also adjusted the touchscreen display to be centered in the screen
Version 201701230 Added an Advanced Setup Menu. The fallback IP address was disabled, and the update script made more resilient to internet connection problems.
Version 201701270 Added the ability to set the reference frequency and power for the ADF4351. It also corrected the selection of Carrier and Carrier Null modes, improved band switching and added menu items for future enhancements.
Version 201701280 Bug fix for new ADF4351 functionality introduced in 201701270
Version 201702020 New version of pi-sdn for button-initiated shutdown without error messages. Install and update improvements to allow easier testing and subsequent fielding of development versions.
Version 201702060 Introduced basic support for the DATV Express modulator board
Version 201702090 Introduced support for updated DATV express_server software. PTT capability and full SR range.
Version 201702100 Completed the DATV Express capability, including Port switching, and tidied the switching between touchscreen and console.
Version 201702110 Bugfix for DATV Express
Version 201702190 Enabled streaming modes, lip-sync for MPEG-2 and switchable viewfinder.
Version 201703060 Added the capability to adjust the frequency and SR for the touch screen presets.
Version 201704030 Enabled IPTSIN mode and the transmission of contest numbers without a camera.
Version 201704050 Update package lists before upgrade (bugfix for 201704030)
Version 201704080 German Menus. Waveshare B display support and TonTec selection bug fix
Version 201704160 Revised boot-up procedure, Display IP Address on splash screen. Update new build Jessie baseline.
Version 201705200 Enabled the Pi Cam auto-shutter and improved the Shutdown button functionality.
Version 201705301 Added a second Touchscreen menu with a shutdown button and enabled Contest mode operation from the touchscreen
Version 201706301 Adds a number of menu options and the ability to run beta software using a recompiled version of ffmpeg.
Version 201707120 Adds a PAL composite video output mode from the RPi and corrected the test card sizes.
Version 201707222 Adds the ability to transmit MPEG-2 and stream from an EasyCap. Video and sound switching is provided.
Version 201707311 Adds an Info screen on Menu 3, and sound pass-through in "Vid Out" mode.
Version 201708150 Adds dedicated repeater streaming modes and video still capture.
Version 201710081 Adds RTL-SDR functionality and keyed transmit.
Version 201710280 Added the basic signal generator
Version 201711031 Adds the touchscreen calibration.

Last updated 7 November 2017. DGC

cashy666
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby cashy666 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:19 pm

Hi Guys,
how do I copy the Batc SD card..as someone who is technology challenged I'm struggling, don't really want to use it without a backup...
would also like to say thanks for all the work you are doing on this...this project has got my interest back after 10 years....

regards
Dave
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby M0SKM » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:32 pm

Hi,
My preferred method is to use Win32 Disk Imager; a free download.

Insert the SD card into your reader and browse for the SD drive letter.

Enter a filename of your choice in the Image File window and click on read, this will save the image to your PC.

Use the same software to write a copy.

73 Steve
Last edited by M0SKM on Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cashy666
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby cashy666 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:18 pm

Hi Steve,
thanks for the reply...I have tried that, but the BATC card is not an img file so would not copy. I have tried a straight copy but the copy does not run

regards
Dave

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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby M0SKM » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:37 pm

Hi Dave,

Appreciate the card doesn't contain an image, the Imager software creates an img from the files on the SD card.

Have a read on the Disk Imager website.


"Description

This program is designed to write a raw disk image to a removable device or backup a removable device to a raw image file".

Steve

G8GKQ
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby G8GKQ » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Dave

Steve is absolutely right, however, there are a few possible problems.

The image file created by Win32 disk imager will be 16 GB in size. So first of all you need enough disk space for this, but more importantly your file system needs to be able to support files this large. It needs to be an NTFS file system (look in properties of the drive you are going to use for backup). Once you have the disk image, you can compress it useing 7Zip, Winzip or something similar, and it may come down to 3 GB or so.

You cannot copy the card directly as it has a mix of file systems on it.

I suggest you use the card without backing it up. It is probably easier to rebuild the card than to make a copy!

If all else fails, you can put the card back in the post to me with an SAE and I'll rebuild it for you.

Best of luck

Dave, G8GKQ

cashy666
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby cashy666 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:41 pm

Hi Steve/Dave,

thank you for the information. I now see where I am going wrong. I think ill just try it and hope for the best.

thanks again for your help

regards

Dave
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g0mjw
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby g0mjw » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:54 pm

You could copy it with a disk imager - worth learning how with win32disk imager, or even the PI itself, but once you have learned, you don't really need the backup any more as you have know how to create it from a downloaded file. Restoring from a back up will only give you the version you had at the time you created it and this is likely to be a fast moving project with features added, bugs fixed and new hardware support so the backup becomes out of date, will need updates applying and that's possible going to be trouble long term. I think it would be good to have the image file hosted somewhere and kept up to date, so people can download it as needed.

Mike

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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby G8GKQ » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:38 pm

New Software Release

I've just issued a new release 201701270 that has some major improvements to the console menu system. I have also corrected the (previously reversed) selection of the carrier and "carrier null" test modes, and made sure that the band switching is activated on boot-up. There are also a number of new menu entries ready for future enhancements.

The major new feature is the ability to set the Reference Oscillator frequency for the ADF4351. The default is set to 25 MHz, but you can change it in Advanced Setup, ADF4351 Ref Freq, to 10 MHz or even set it to the exact reference frequency (for eaxample 10000374 Hz) if your reference is slightly off frequency. You can also set the ADF4351 power output independently for each band. The range 0-3 refers to the definition in the manufacturer's datasheet http://www.analog.com/media/en/technical-documentation/data-sheets/ADF4351.pdf.

You can upgrade from the System setup menu, or do a new install. I think that you will find it worth the effort of upgrading to this new version.

Dave
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Re: Transmitter Software Capabilities and Issues

Postby G3UEQ » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:11 pm

Dave (G8GKQ)

I have just got my RPI +SD card , Waveshare and PI cam working nicely. However, as I mentioned in a PI2/PI3 section, if I use PI Cam H264, I can switch TX to RX on touch screen no problem. If I enable test cards, it goes to TX OK, but will not return to RX. I do not have an RTL dongle plugged in, pictures across shack from PI Cam to my Minitioune are good. Is this a possible bug or perhaps considering the processing going on use a PI3?

BTW, it is running latest software and a 2.5A PSU!

Andy G3UEQ


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