DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

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G4NZV
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:35 pm

DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

Post by G4NZV » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:12 pm

Main objective of these tests is to gain experience of a Portsdown4 Narrowband DVB-T transmission on 146.5MHz over a 17.5Km path and to undertake on-air testing of a homebrew GNU NBTV demodulator and a Knucker. The outcome was video and audio transmissions were received in both directions.

G4NZV Transmit setup: C920 camera + Portsdown4 + Pluto (Fitted with high stability TCXO) + Driver amp + Band Pass Filter + Power Amplifier (5W) + 9 element horizontal yagi
G4NZV Receive setup: 9 element yagi + Pre-amp + Band Pass Filter + HackRFOne + Raspberry Pi4 + GRC DVBT NB software demodulator + VLC + HDMI monitor

DVB-T setup on Portsdown4: DVB-T + 146.5MHz + Bandwidth 333KHz + FEC 2/3 + Guard band 1/32 + Mode 2K + Pluto Power 0

Lessons Identified:
- Software demodulator needs to be tuned to within +/-0.5% of the centre carrier frequency for successful demodulation.
- Occasionally a centre spike was observed on the received spectrum which was used to tune the receiver to the exact frequency of the transmission (in this case 146.497400MHz).
- During reception interference across the band appeared, however demodulation continued. This shows the resilience of OFDM to an interfering comb of frequencies. (see attached images).
- Coding and decoding delays total around 3 seconds which makes for an enjoyable QSO.
- The video is much smoother and the demodulator lock time is almost instant if tuned to the centre of the transmission.
- Lip sync is excellent.
- There is a tendency for VLC to lose lock and need restarting even though the demodulator looks as if it is working.
- Rapidly changing images (e.g. swinging the camera around the shack) can cause problems with the system, it was not possible to determine if that was caused on transmit, receive or both.
- The received SNR was 12dB (about the same level as the interference). When shack testing with no interference the demodulator remains locked with an SNR of 8dB.

Inspiration for the software DVB-T demodulator came from: HB9DUG, F4FDW, github gr-dvbt

Thank you to G4FRE for giving up his Sunday afternoon.

Steve G4NZV
Attachments
DVB-T sw demod of G4FRE 2021-03-28 15-14-48.png
DVB-T sw demod of G4FRE 2021-03-28 15-14-48.png (356.94 KiB) Viewed 2294 times
DVB-T G4FRE-2.PNG
DVB-T G4FRE-2.PNG (714.59 KiB) Viewed 2294 times
DVBT G4FRE-1.PNG
DVBT G4FRE-1.PNG (763.96 KiB) Viewed 2294 times
GNU GRC DVB-T demod.png
GNU GRC DVB-T demod.png (227.57 KiB) Viewed 2294 times

radiogareth
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:46 am

Re: DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

Post by radiogareth » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:30 am

Looks very promising - any likelihood of it supporting other good SDRs (like RSP-1) or even a lowly RTL dongle?
Gareth

HB9DUG
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:46 pm

Re: DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

Post by HB9DUG » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:07 pm

I have done a few SDR's : LimeSDR, Adalm-Pluto, RTL dongles and Ettus B200. You will find the graphes on the http://home.swissatv.ch web site.

73 de michel, hb9dug

G4NZV
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:35 pm

Re: DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

Post by G4NZV » Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:37 am

It is worth mentioning that PiSDR package has recently been updated. This release is the first 64-bits image of PiSDR. This enables the software to use modern vector instructions (NEON) that help programs run faster. Some programs will run up to 60% faster than the 32-bits version! It contains many amateur radio related programs including SDRangel, GNU3.9.5 & VLC which is ideally suited to run NBDATV DVB-T RX software on a Pi4 using a RTL, HackRF, Pluto are the only SDR receivers I have tried which work. There are other SDR radios available in the package.

It is easy to install on a new SD card. Use https://www.balena.io/etcher/ to flash the .img.xz file into a MicroSD Card which needs to be 8GB or bigger. The image is ~2GB can be found here https://github.com/luigifcruz/pisdr-ima ... s/tag/v6.1

Place the SD card in your Pi4 and answer all the questions on location etc. after downloading any updates and rebooting open a terminal window CTRL-ALT-T and type volk_profile on the terminal to optimize GNU Radio to run faster on your system.

The GNU radio icon is on the desktop after a minute or so it will run.

Its worth mentioning that the whole install process takes a couple of hours so if it gives the impression of having stopped installing it probably hasn't!

PS For Windows users I also use GNU3.9.5 in a Radioconda environment. It can be downloaded as a package for Windows 10 https://wiki.gnuradio.org/index.php?title=InstallingGR

73 Steve G4NZV

radiogareth
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:46 am

Re: DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

Post by radiogareth » Sun Feb 20, 2022 5:00 pm

Looks promising, I have installed the Win64 version on my desktop and have GQRX running with a RTL820. I can see my DATV spectrum in e.g. WBFM
...which now leave me wondering..... How can I decode it??
Loosely familiar with SDRAngel...any pointers??
Thanks
Gareth

G4NZV
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:35 pm

Re: DVB-T Narrow Band Testing between G4NZV & G4FRE

Post by G4NZV » Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:13 pm

I am making assumptions about the hardware available however here goes for some options to decode some reduced bandwidth DATV signals.

To decode DVBT or DVBS using a RTL820 and a windows 10 PC. For DVBS use SDRangel (there is an option in the menu for DVBS2 however I have found it extremely unreliable). Two screenshots show how to setup SDRangel to decode DVBS using a RTL dongle. SDRangel can be downloaded from: https://github.com/f4exb/sdrangel/releases

To decode DVBS2 reliably a minituner is required along with the minituner software or a Ryde receiver or Portsdown 4.

To decode reduced DVBT a knucker and a Ryde receiver will work except at a bandwidth of 125KHz. An alternative is to use GNU radio version 3.9.5 and Radioconda on a windows 10 PC. Incidentally GNU3.9.5 can also be installed with the PiSDR package on a Pi4.(see my previous post to install and setup). I am happy to share the gnu .grc and python .py files for use DVBT with a RTL820 plus how to use. (Just waiting for guidance from Dave G8GKQ on where to place them on BATC for download.) I have attached a screenshot of DVBT being decoded. VLC is used to display live video and audio.

I am sure there are many other alternatives however these work for me.

73 Steve G4NZV
Attachments
Screenshot DVBT 250KHz RTL.PNG
Screenshot DVBT 250KHz RTL.PNG (40.63 KiB) Viewed 1343 times
Screenshot DVBS 333KS QPSK H265 video RTL.PNG
Screenshot DVBS 333KS QPSK H265 video RTL.PNG (348.17 KiB) Viewed 1343 times
Screenshot DVBS 333KS QPSK H265 settings RTL.PNG
Screenshot DVBS 333KS QPSK H265 settings RTL.PNG (228.22 KiB) Viewed 1343 times

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