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P. C. Electronics
Tel: (626) 447-4565 m-th 8am-5:30pm pst (UTC - 8)
The Leaders in Amateur Television Equipment Since 1965
Ham Radio with Vision

Low Cost ATV Start Up

WA6RMC ham shack
Start simple, build your ATV operation and one day it may look like WA8RMC's ham shack.
TV set
Your TV set
Receive directly on cable channels 57 thru 60.
OAL 5L-70cm antenna
Old Antenna Lab

5 element beam. Great for home or portable.
or make a Ground Plane
Videolynx Z70A
Z70A Transmitter
4 channel 50-100 mW
or single channel without audio, 434, $99
CG35A color camera
Mini Color Camera

or your camcorder

The least cost way to just try out Amateur Television - ATV - with a neighborhood ham, ham club demo, public service events and R/C transmitting live action color video a half mile or more line of sight, is to buy a Videolynx 434 50 mW transmitter module for $99 from us and connect it to your camcorder or any camera with a video output, 9V alkaline battery and 70cm antenna - receive it on cable channel 59. If you want sound and able to select any of the 4 standard 70cm ATV frequencies, then the Videolynx Z70A at $149 is for you. For higher power and greater DX see the transmitting section below. Click on the photos of some of the neat applications:

Husky 4 in pouch
Portable ATV Pouch
Put the 434 or Z70A transmitter in a belt pouch along with the camera and batteries to send video back to a mobile command post, aid station, etc., at public service events.

ATV hat cam
ATV Hat Cam
Let others see what you see by making a hat cam with the 434 or Z70A transmitter module and CG-35A camera.

See pages 9-11 to 9-13 in the ARRL Operating Manual 10th edition.

Put a 434 transmitter in an R/C car, aircraft, boat or robot to get a remote view and better control.

Balloon ATV
Balloon ATV
See the earth live from 80,000 ft like this view with a VM-70X transmitter module in a high altitude balloon.

Televise Ham Club Meetings
live or from a recording simplex or to a local repeater for those who couldn't make it with the TX70-5s transmitter.
The 434 or Z70A modules are great for demonstrating ATV at a ham club.

Plug and Play 70cm ATV Base Station ATV base station block diagram

TVC-4G downconverter

High sensitivity for receiving ATV - connects between your 70cm antenna and TV set on channel 3.
4W+ 70cm Transmitter

4 channels with sound.
TX ATV to a local repeater, EOC, or direct to local hams
OAL 5L-70cm antenna
Old Antenna Lab

5 element, end mounted, 31" boom and 50 Ohms. Great for home or portable.
CB36icr camera
Color Camera

560 line resolution Sony CCD pickup device day/night.

Receiving ATV
Connect your TV to an outside 70cm antenna with the same polarity as used by your areas ATVers. It does not get any cheaper than this to check out the ATV action. The 75/50 Ohm miss match is negligible and we stock a F to N adaptor. Set your digital or old analog TV tuner to cable channel 57, 58, 59 or 60 depending on what frequency is used in your area - cable channels are on different frequencies than the old analog over the air broadcast channels. Cable channel 60 is 439.25 MHz and each channel is spaced by 6 MHz. The TV tuner should lock on, even if off a MHz. Have a local ATVer transmit a picture to you while you talk back on two meters - usually 144.34 or 146.43 simplex. You will hear them on the sound subcarrier coming out of your TV speaker. Antennas are the key, so good coax and mounted as high as possible to get line of sight will work best. You can build an antenna or buy one like in the antenna section below.

TVC-4S Packaged Downconverter - ready to go.......$149

Front view with ATV channel knob,
power on toggle switch and LED.
Built in a rugged Hammond 1590C diecast aluminum enclosure - 3.7 x 4.7 x 2.2 in.

Rear view with N antenna jack, F output jack
to TV and DC power jack.

Channel 3 receiver with A/V outputs

Want to check out ATV in your area but don't have a cable ready TV (cable ch 57-60) or need to be right on frequency and with more sensitivity? If you are not ready to transmit yet, then this downconverter is for you. The TVC-4S downconverts the 5 standard USA ATV frequencies - 421.25, 426.25, 427.25, 434.0 and 439.25 MHz - in the 420 to 450 MHz ham band down to your TV receiver on ch 3 or 4 - what goes in at 70cm, comes out on the TV channel. The frequency is locked to a crystal referenced synthesizer for accuracy and no temperature drift. 70cm Analog ATV will be around for a long time due to the high cost and complexity of transmitting DTV and the fact that new TV's must also have analog cable tuners in them per FCC Rule 15.118(b). However, this downconverter will work for both analog or digital ATV - which ever mode goes in, comes out at the downconverted channel.

The rear of the downconverter has a N connector 50 Ohm antenna input and 75 Ohm F to the TV set. A DC power jack is used with the supplied 12Vdc wallplug power supply, or you can make a cable for portable battery or mobile operation. We stock a variety of 70cm antennas - download our catalogue page 3 on this downconverter, antennas and ch 3 receiver. The frequency is selected by a rotary switch tuning knob on the front.

This ready to go downconverter contains the sensitive TVCX-4S board with a low noise HJ-FET (less than .4 dB noise figure device) preamp and GaAsfet mixer stage in a die cast aluminum box with 120vac to 12Vdc wall plug power supply. You can run it on external +11 to 14 Vdc at 120 ma by your own DC power cable with a 2.1 x 5.5 DC power plug - Radio Shack 274-1569 - to connect to a battery or other supply. We also have the TVC-9S 33cm band downconverter for $159 and TVC-12S 23cm band version for $159.

Downconverters by definition, change one frequency down to another frequency. What ever signal or no signal goes in at that one frequency, comes out at the lower frequency. There is no signal processing or detection done or remodulation on to a carrier. Your TV is the receiver which does all the signal processing and detection. Our downconverters provide a lower noise figure preamp stage and mixer than can be found in a TV tuner which results in greater DX and less snow in weaker signals.

If you want video and line audio (A/V) outputs to drive a monitor, computer, camcorder, etc., that have this kind of input, add the Rch3 channel 3 receiver...$89. Infact, if you want both types of output, you can put a splitter - Radio Shack 15-1234 or 15-1235 - on the 70 or 33cm downconverter output and drive a TV or TV's as well as a monitor through the Rch3. The Rch3 receiver has a F jack ch 3 input, RCA jack A/V outputs and comes with wallplug AC power supply. Download the Rch3 app note to add squelch, S-meter or external 12Vdc power for portable or mobile applications.

It is best to select a TV that does not go to blue screen or automatic shut off when there is a snowy picture or no signal present. You dont want the TV to shut off while monitoring a local ATV repeater, searching for DX or aligning your beam. Some TV's require reprogramming the active channel memory so that you can use the open channel 3 or 4 in your area. The best way to do this is to connect the TV to your Cable TV service, then push the channel program button in the CATV mode. This should set the TV up to select most all VHF channels (catv and over the air channels 2-13 are the same frequency) even when no signal is present as is the case when connected to the downconverter and no one is on the air at that instant. New TV's will contain an analog NTSC cable channel tuner in addition to digital channels per FCC Rule 15.118(b) to accomodate all cable TV systems, but it is a good idea to keep your old analog only TV's for ATV work rather than trash them when you buy a new digital TV.

A net can greatly benefit getting ATVers by video to show and tell rather than trying to describe something by voice only - "Pictures are worth a thousand words." With ATV you can have full duplex audio - while one transmits and talks on the ATV sound subcarrier, everyone else can watch and listen on their cable ready TV set (cable ch 58, 59, 60) or TV with our downconverter, and at the same time talk back on a two meter FM voice frequency (better interaction and eliminates the long winded). How about setting ATV up at your ham club and transmitting the meeting live or by tape later to those members who cannot attend. The possibilities are endless - see our ATV application notes web pages.

Transmitting ATV
Very few multimode UHF transmitters and transceivers support the broad band ATV mode. Most all ATVers use transmitters specifically made for video. Sending video is easy by plugging in your camcorder, video camera, digital camera, VCR, or any device with Video outputs that can output on an A/V cable and be normally seen in a video mointor, VCR or TV sets A/V inputs. Most camera mic's are amplified and output line audio which can be plugged into the ATV transmitters line audio input. Any Technician class licensed Radio Amateur can transmit live action black and white or color video along with audio in the 70cm and above bands to other hams simplex or through ATV repeaters.

TX70-5s >4W, 4 standard channel 70cm ATV Transmitter...........$499
        4 Watts can get you over 15 miles snow free line of sight using small OAL 5L-70cm beams at each end.

TX70-5s transmitter This transmitter comes ready to plug in your 70cm antenna, 12-14 Vdc @ 2A, video camera with or without line audio or optional separate dynamic mic and get on the air right away. The unit contains antenna and DC power T/R relays to turn your TV or downconverter off while in transmit - connecting cables included. The transmitter uses the adjustable 0-5W pep 4 channel 70cm Videolynx VM-70X ATV Transmitter module. The channel selector shows 5 channels, however, channel one is not used in the transmitter but corresponds to the same numbered channels as the TVC-4s downconverter - Ch 2= 426.25, 3=427.25, 4=434.0, 5=439.25 MHz. Sound subcarrier has automatic gain control limiter. Manual

VM-70X ATV Transmitter As an alternative, you can build your own transmitter from the modules. Download and see our application note which contains a parts list and sources (about $360), Hammond 1590D die cast aluminum chassis drill template, wiring schematic and more information. Basically you will be drilling the enclosure, mounting the modules, connectors, switches, etd., and doing the interconnect wiring. We stock all the Videolynx 70cm ATV transmitter modules: the 50mW 434, 50mW 4 ch w/audio Z70A for hat cams, R/C, and demo applications for up to a half mile line of sight, and the 0-5W VM-70X as shown in the photo on the left for home stations, portable at public service events, balloons and rockets. You can even operate the VM-70X as it comes out of the box at 1/2 Watt out by soldering RCA jack to pig tail A/V cables and 11 to 13.8 Vdc power wires to the solder pads. The RF out SMA jack goes to the antenna - we have SMA to N jack adaptor. Download our VM-70X Quick Start page. If you want to adjust up the power, the module will need to be connected to a heat sink or fan as shown in this application note download.

More Power - If you start out with the 50-100 mW 434 or Z70A transmitter module, for higher power you can add a Downeast Microwave 7025PA 35 Watt linear amplifier or build your own using one of our PA5 boards and a RA30H4047M module from RF Parts. The TX70-5s/VM-70X can be adjusted down to drive the Mirage D26N, D1010 or D100 ATV versions to over 50 Watts within their linear range.

Over the years we have gone back and forth between having available a transceiver or a transmitter that would pair up with a downconverter. The demand has always been about 50-50. So now we will go back to Transmitter plus downconverter. The advantage of using a separate downconverter is that you dont have to get a downconverter to use at the receive end of a public service event as you might if you only owned a transceiver. Also some areas may only operate through a crossband repeater and very little simplex. Separate units also offer a lower entry cost to 70cm ATV since a cable ready TV can be used initially to receive.

You might still be able to obtain one of our TC series 1, 10 or 20 Watt Transceivers on eBay, On Line Swapmeet or other used ham gear internet web sites. If you do, and it does not come with a manual, email us requesting one giving model number and any revision letter or date etched on the exciter board inside - always include your call letters when emailing us. If the transmitter or transceiver needs realignment or you need trouble shooting advice, contact us. Any of the older transmitters or transceivers may be repaired by us - assuming we have the parts - for $80 plus parts cost. See our repair policy.

70cm Antennas
DX running 1 Watt, 100 ft Belden 9913 or Times LMR400 coax can be snow free up to 30 miles if line of sight using the Directive Systems DSFO-25ATV antennas at both ends and over 150 miles with 40 Watts from an amp. They are one of the best designed (specifications) high gain (16 dBd - $229) and broadband beams for ATV. 40 Watts is plenty for most all line of sight applications. The hard part, however, is getting line of sight between the two antennas given the curvature of the earth, trees, buildings, etc. Non-line of sight cannot easily be predicted, but how strong a signal is on 2 meter simplex is a good indication that you might have a path - See ATV DX and ATV DX Records.

Note that even with home made ground planes at each end the snow free DX is 9 miles if running 40 Watts. If antenna size is limited for what ever reason, we also have the The Olde Antenna Lab 5 element 5L-70cm beam ($85) as shown at right that gives 8 dBd on a 31 inch boom, and 10 element 10L-70cm which gives 11 dBd on a 62 inch boom. Either beam will give you more than 25 miles even running 5 Watt with the Videolynx VM-70X transmitter module snow free line of sight ATV which is great for portable or just hitting the local ATV repeater. Also see Homebrew Antennas.

Video Cameras
If you have a camcorder (digital or analog) with an A/V cable, you can plug it into the ATV transmitter to send the video and sound. Video out is usually a yellow RCA phono plug which goes into the transmitter video jack. Your camcorder may have two audio plugs if stereo - connect the red right audio out plug into the transmitter line audio jack. However, it may be preferable to use a video camera like those below which will run continuously and dedicate it to the station if your camcorder has a battery saver which shuts it off if not recording after 5-10 minutes.

CC36icr Low Cost High Resolution 560 line Color Camera....$199

CB36icr camera The CC36icr Day/Night color camera is perfect for the ham shack, but also good for mobile or portable ATV at public service events at night or dimly lit areas. High 560 line resolution using a 1/3 inch Sony CCD - 811(H) x 508(V) picture elements, Star-light .001 lux, AGC built in, 60 dB S/N ratio, switchable back light compensation, automatic white balance, automatic electronic shutter and optional auto iris control. 6mm adjustable focus CS mount lens supplied as well as a 12Vdc @ 500 ma / 110 VAC wall plug power supply (camera draws 150 ma and can run on external +9 to +14 Vdc - Make your own DC power cable with a 2.1 x 5.5 DC power plug to connect to a battery or other supply - Radio Shack 274-1569. Camera is 5 x 2 x 2 inches and weighs 13 oz. NTSC 1 volt peak to peak composite video out BNC connector and RCA jack line audio.

CG35A Mini Color Camera....$89

CG35A color cameraFor R/C applications or a low cost alternative even for home stations, we suggest the CG35A mini color camera. Sony 1/4" CCD, 1 lux, AGC, auto white balance, 420 line resolution and built in mic with line audio output. Size is about 1.45" square, weighs just 2oz. and runs on +8.3 to +14.0 Vdc at 90 mA. It comes with 3.6mm lens and 12V wallplug power supply. For portable or R/C applications, make your own DC power cable with a 2.1 x 5.5 DC power plug - Radio Shack 274-1569 - for connecting to a battery (goes for >3 hrs on a 9V alkaline) or other supply.
CG-35-SL 520 line, Star-light .001 lux Sony 1/3" CCD video only version......$119

SLDVR High Resolution 540 line Color Camera with Digital Video Recorder....$299

SLDVR cameraThis small 4x2x2.25", 9oz, .001 lux color camera is perfect for emergency communications ATV from difficult sites where you can record significant events inside buildings or other locations where you dont have a good RF path back to the EOC or van, and then play them back when you move to a good RF location to transmit. Requires +10 to 14 Vdc at 250 mA. Records 8 hours of high quality video with the included 4GB SD card - up gradeable to 32GB. Nice to have a full direct recording to review later after transmitting video from balloons, rockets, R/C or at public service events. Single push on/ push off button on the back to manually record or use included remote control. Can be programmed to record on a time schedule or by motion detection. Comes with 4.0mm wide angle C/S mount lens and has many features.

Any FCC Licensed Technician Class or higher Amateur Radio operator can transmit live action color video and sound to other hams that looks and sounds just like analog cable TV with our time proven equipment.

If you are in the USA and not a licensed Radio Amateur, see What Is Ham Radio and Getting a Ham License on our Application Notes page and join the fun. Our products are sold to licensed Radio Amateurs verified in the Callbook or FCC data base, and for legal applications in the USA. Outside the USA, the country laws and licensing may be different.

You don't need a computer or any interface box like SSTV or Digital TV; This is live full motion color video like you are used to with analog cable TV. Dont trash your old analog tuner only TV's - use them to receive ATV directly. New cable ready digital TV's are required by FCC Rule 15.118(b) to have analog NTSC cable channel tuners in them also. So analog ATV will be around for a long time.

See the updated and expanded ATV section in the 2010-12 ARRL Handbook For Radio Communications
Twice the pages including digital ATV and many fun applications starting on page 32.9.
Also see the ATV section in the ARRL Operating Manual 9th and 10th editions.

Hams, download the catalogue pdf files.
Email us - - with your call letters if you have any questions not covered in this web site.

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