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  #1  
Old 06-03-2018, 06:40 PM
mbates14 mbates14 is offline
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Signal sources?

What are you guys using for signal sources these days?

For awhile I heard the Blonder Tongue modulators were all the rage. I have one but it needs some repair work. both video and audio modulator lights are stuck on. They are also getting alot more scarce, and the price is going up. But anyways, they need a composite input which brings me to my next point:

My sat box was just changed out so I lost my coax ability, and even RCA jacks. its HDMI only, and it seems that everything is HDMI only anymore. This also killed my ability to use my 25" magnavox CRT thats in my bedroom which has been faithful to me. Now its just snow.

Amazon reveals a few HDMI to RF/Coax but they are bloody expensive! There is a ton of cheap chinese HDMI to Composite boxes, but the reviews are mixed, so it makes me a bit leery on what works and what doesn't, and then you would still need a modulator that plays nice with old sets as well as modern "ish" ones.

I would like some direction/opinion from you guys.

Last edited by mbates14; 06-03-2018 at 06:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2018, 07:30 PM
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decojoe67 decojoe67 is offline
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I connect a centralized older VHS/DVD player to whatever set I want to use at the time. I have no care to watch present day TV on them, so I rely on a library of classic shows and movies I've compiled over many years. Those are the most fun to watch on a vintage TV in my opinion. I gave up on the modulator idea years ago. There was just too much "get this one" "don't get that one" advice associated with them. Too much money to take a chance on.

Last edited by decojoe67; 06-05-2018 at 07:02 AM. Reason: type-o
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2018, 07:45 PM
mbates14 mbates14 is offline
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Well, I only have I love lucy and Bewitched on DVDs.

My entire classic collection is digital on my PC. But I do watch regular TV from time to time. So I am trying to take that into account.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:36 PM
EdKozk2 EdKozk2 is offline
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I use an over the air (OTA) I built 4 years ago with set top converter boxes. They show up at garage sales quite often. The newer boxes scan faster. I live where we can receive signals from 3 cities, about 50 to 60 miles away. The same antenna signal is used for our three flat screens and vintage analog sets. I use a signal amp with 0.5 db splitters to the various sets. The signal amp is in the basement, not on the antenna.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2018, 08:40 PM
fixmeplease fixmeplease is offline
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I use a Blonder Tongue with a ROKU and a digital converter box hooked to it with a splitter box. A DVD/VHS combo I can quickly plug into the splitter box if I want to. Some older roku's have the RCA plugs on them. No HDMI needed with my setup.

I havent got to carried away with the antenna length on my Blonder Tongue. I just have rabbit ears on it. In did try all the channels up to 13 on my most used tv and use the channel that seemed the best, which is 12.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:53 AM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this topic, bit you can't do any better than a Raspberry Pi in my opinion. No DRM bullshit to deal with, onboard hardware accelerated H264 decoding is provided by default, hardware accelerated decoding of MPEG2 video can be unlocked for a dollar or two, the colorburst can be turned on and off to eliminate chroma dots, and it is extremely customizable by default. You have an unparalleled choice in software.

Just feed the analog video output to a modulator and you're all set.

The only area I fault the RPi is with the analog audio out. The onboard DAC sucks. Replace it with a cheap USB soundcard, or better yet, use a Hi-Fi Berry HAT DAC. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:47 AM
mbates14 mbates14 is offline
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I have a pile of raspberry Pis as I use them for development in my day job, but not for video. Not sure about the Chroma though, I am unaware. Also I havent seen a composite jack on them since the first model or two, So unless its hidden in the 3.5MM jack I dont see composite?

But then I need the modulator. Any modulator that anyone can recommend?

Also Digital converter boxes are out of the question. I live in the mountains of WNC now, and you cant get any stations except for MAYBE 1 with an amplified directional antenna. Also you can only get a couple radio stations both on FM and AM. Crazy.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:12 AM
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Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Look for a used blonder tongue AM40 series (or AM60 if you want to transmit) modulator on eBay...Some need new lytics, but they are among the best performing and can be repaired/maintained easily and kept in service indefinitely.
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2018, 12:14 PM
Tony F Tony F is offline
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I use a Cloud Media "Popcorn hour" A-500. It comes minus the Harddrive. Currently have a 6TB installed. I copy all the old shows (plus any new shows and movies, as well as photos and music) to the drive. The picture quality is the best on the market.
https://www.cloudmedia.com/?product=a-500
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2018, 12:54 PM
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Zsuttle Zsuttle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
Look for a used blonder tongue AM40 series (or AM60 if you want to transmit) modulator on eBay...Some need new lytics, but they are among the best performing and can be repaired/maintained easily and kept in service indefinitely.
I'll second this. I've been using a Blonder Tongue AM-60 which was used at a university for years. I'll second the recapping as well, after thousands of hours mine could use a little refurb but otherwise works well for something that stays on 24/7. The rackmount capability means I don't have to take up shelf or bench space, and I just use a pair of rabbit ears. A DVD player provides all the classics I need to watch anyway. If you can't get up to change the DVD how can you be expected to adjust the picture
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:21 PM
mbates14 mbates14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
Look for a used blonder tongue AM40 series (or AM60 if you want to transmit) modulator on eBay...Some need new lytics, but they are among the best performing and can be repaired/maintained easily and kept in service indefinitely.
as "I think" I mentioned in my first post, I have one already but both overmod LED lights are stuck on and doesnt work so I need to service it somehow. I dont have the schematics so it might be a bit difficult. I believe the one I own is a AM60-450 set for Channel 43. But I need to get it between 2 through 12 somehow as all of my sets are VHF only. Plus again, repair iit.

Last edited by mbates14; 06-04-2018 at 02:26 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2018, 06:03 PM
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Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbates14 View Post
as "I think" I mentioned in my first post, I have one already but both overmod LED lights are stuck on and doesnt work so I need to service it somehow. I dont have the schematics so it might be a bit difficult. I believe the one I own is a AM60-450 set for Channel 43. But I need to get it between 2 through 12 somehow as all of my sets are VHF only. Plus again, repair iit.
Just change the lytics, the values are printed right on each part so no need for a schematic(just remember/mark polarity of original relative to board).

Most have a settings card built into the front cover for what dip switch setting for what channel. It can also be found online.
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2018, 07:49 PM
mbates14 mbates14 is offline
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okie dokie, I will po pit apart and see what I can find.
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2018, 08:18 PM
fixmeplease fixmeplease is offline
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On the very bottom of this links page it gives a little info on it. https://antiqueradio.org/HomeTVTransmitter.htm
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2018, 12:51 AM
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Phil Nelson Phil Nelson is offline
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Yah, I wrote that article. My B-T modulator has run happily 24/7 for several years since I replaced its power-supply electrolytics. The article also includes the chart for setting the channel DIP switches on that model.

I also made a tuned antenna for transmitting throughout the house, although if Iím receiving in the same room, some TVs donít need any antenna at all.

Once you have the modulator running, you can plug in any source with a video and audio output. At various times, I use a DVD player, cable TV box, iPhone with A/V adapter, whatever.

Since you already own one, itís worth spending a few bucks to get it working.

Regards,

Phil Nelson
Philís Old Radios
https://antiqueradiorg/index.html
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