'60s AM Radio DX

FM Logs




The D100 Analog TV Tuner

This is the D100 external TV Tuner made by HS Publications (Gary Smith) in the UK. This unit is extremely, and I mean extremely, sensitive and is a great help for viewing 2-hop and very weak TV video. It can be used for VHF or UHF while its newer brother, the D500, is strictly for lowband VHF. Since this is the more complicated product, I'll deal with this. After reading this material, D500 users should have no trouble using theirs.

1. Upper left dial is a selector switch. (I) stands for lowband, band 1 (in our case, ch2-6). (III) stands for band 3, Hi-VHF (in our case, ch 7-13). And (U) stands for UHF.

2. Upper right black dial is un-needed. It's for sound spacing for different countries. Ignore it.

3. Lower left black dial is RF gain. Keep it maxed, fully CW.

4. Lower right black dial is IF gain. Keep it maxed, fully cw. You might have to turn it down when receiving very strong signals.

There's a switch between the two lower black knobs. Ignore it. I think it has something to do with scanning, but nowadays there is nothing to scan. Forget about it.

The two large knobs are the tuning knobs. The left knob is for VHF (both low and high). The right is for UHF tuning. When tuning VHF the UHF knob acts as fine tuning. The reverse is also true.

Let's just concern ourselves with VHF tuning, and just lowband VHF tuning. At first glance there are just too many numbers on that left knob to make much sense. But we can do it.

The pointer on our D100 is set to 3. That is E3, folks. And E3 is the same as our channel 2. OK? Next downward, you will see an R1, a 2 and a zero. The 2 is channel E2, which, at the time of this writing, is pretty much empty across western Europe. Our channel 3 is just between R2 and 4. Our channel 4 is at the 4 position at the top. Our channel 5 is at the number nine. And finally, our channel 6 is at 11½. It all makes perfect sense, considering this is an European product made for various systems other than ours.

All that is left is the red power indicator and the two toggle switches beneath the left tuning knob. The two switches set in the lower position give you the narrowest bandwidth. Flip either one of them up and you go into a wider bandwidth. Flip both of them up and you'll go into wide bandwidth, similar to that available on almost all analog televisions. Since narrow bandwidth will most times cause video to come in without color, there might be a time you'd want them both up. But for real DX, both should be down. What you see with the switches down you will NOT see with intermediate bandwidth or wide bandwidth. I guarantee it. Your Dansai TV made in the Burp Republic won't see it either.

Things you really ought to know about the D100/D500.

1. The D100 does not run on 110VAC. It runs on 240VAC. That means you need a step up transformer (110-to 240) to make it work. eBay has them.

2. Connectors are different. F connectors will not work. You need an adapter to connect your antenna coax and you need another one to connect to your TV or TV card. Radio Shack has them(or had, not sure) . Check the parts bins at Radio Shack.

3. The D100 has separate UHF and VHF inputs. The VHF input is the top input. The D100s output to UHF. Mine puts out signals on a handful of UHF channels, the strongest being Ch31. I've used this with both analog tuning and digital tuning televisions. It works with either. Just make sure your television does not have weak video muting (or sound muting, for that matter.) I had another D100 once that sent an output to a channel in the 60s, so be aware that your channel may be different from mine.

4. The D100 also has an audio out cable where you can send TV audio to a receiver or an amp. I never used it and the D100 I have (the one in the photo above) has the cable chopped down anyway.

I imagine the D500 is much, much easier to use than the D100, and it costs less.

D100s are on the verge of being obsolete now due to the lack of analog television, so if you find one, hope this helps you get it set up.

©2012 M. Bugaj

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