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00000000000000000000000000000000000000000 TV
T

Use it to rebroadcast video signals

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throughout your house.

BY MARC SPIWAK

One of the most useful gadgets a video enthusiast can have is a low-power TV Transmitter. Such a
device can transmit a signal from a VCR to any TV in a home or backyard. Imagine the convenience of
being able to sit by the pool watching your favorite movie on a portable with a tape or laserdisc playing
indoors. You could even retransmit cable TV for your own private viewing. Videotapes can be dubbed from
one VCR to another without a cable connecting the two machines together. When connected to a video
camera, a TV transmitter can be used in surveillance for monitoring a particular location.
The main problem a video enthusiast has in obtaining a TV transmitter is that a commercial units are
expensive. However, we have some good news! You can build the TV Transmitter described here for less

POPtronixTV Transmitter www.poptronix.com1
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00000000000000000000000000000000

than $30 in one evening! The easiest way to do that is to order the kit that‚s available from the source
given in the Parts List (a custom case for the kit is also available). Nevertheless, we present enough
information here to build the TV Transmitter from scratch.
The TV Transmitter combines line-level audio and video signals, and transmits the resulting signal up to
300 feet. The circuit can be powered from a 9-volt battery. It is suggested that a 12-volt DC supply during
be used during the alignment procedure. This would insure maximum transmission range and best
possible picture. Aligning the TV Transmitter requires no special equipment whatsoever, and it is a very
simple procedure. The Transmitter's output can be tuned to be received on any TV channel from 2 to 6.
The range of channels is wide enough so that the unit will not interfere with other TV viewers who are
nearby. To comply with FCC rules, it is mandatory the nearby TV viewers are not disturbed by the
transmission. If your activities interfere with the reception from a licensed station, regardless of the
reason, you must shut down your unit.

Circuit Description
Figure 1 is the schematic diagram of the TV Transmitter circuit. Video signals input at jack J1
are first terminated by resistor R6 and coupled through capacitor C1 to clamping-diode D1. The
clamping forces the sync pulses to a fixed DC level to reduce blooming effects. Potentiometer R3
is used to set the gain of the video signal; its effect is similar to that of the contrast control on a
TV set. Bias-control R7 can be used to adjust the black level of the picture so that some level of
signal is transmitted, even for a totally dark picture. That way, a TV receiver can maintain proper
sync. As we'll get to later, potentiometers R3 and R7 are cross adjusted for the best all-around
performance.
RF-transformer T1 and its internal capacitor form the tank circuit of a Hartley oscillator that's tuned to
4.5 megahertz. Audio signals input at J2 are coupled to the base of Q3 via C2 and R4: the audio signal
modulates the base signal of Q3 to form an audio subcarrier that‚s 4.5-megahertz higher than the video-
carrier frequency. The FM modulated subcarrier is applied to the modulator section through C5 and R9.
Resistor R9 adjusts the level of the subcarrier with respect to the video signal.
Transistors Q1 and Q2 amplitude modulate the video and audio signals onto an RF-carrier signal. The
operating frequency is set by coil L4, which is 3.5 turns of 24- gauge enameled wire on a form containing a
standard ferrite slug.
Fig. 1. The schematic shows how easy it is to hook up the TV Transmitter to other equipment. There is a video-input
jack, J1; an audio-input jack, J2; and an external- antenna jack, J3. You could eliminate the latter because the unit
works fine with just an installed telescoping antenna.

2POPtronixTV Transmitter www.poptronix.com
That coil is part of a Colpitts tank circuit also containing C7 and C9. The tank circuit forms Q4's feedback
network, so Q4 oscillates at the set frequency
The RF output from the oscillator section is amplified by Q5 and Q6, whose supply voltage comes from
the modulator section. Antenna matching and low-pass filtering is performed by C12, C13, and L1. Resistor
R12 is optional; it is added to help match the output signal to any kind of antenna. (More on that in a
moment.)

Construction
Before we go on, while it is certainly possible to build the unit from scratch. However, unless you are an
experienced builder and an accomplished parts scrounger, it is strongly recommended that you purchase
the complete kit, or, at the very least, the component kit from the source mentioned in the Parts List.
While most of the parts are readily available, some can be a real headache to obtain.
The 4.5-MHz RF transformer (T1) used in the kit is an OEM Toko part that is not available via traditional
sources. While just about any 4.5-MHz RF transformer that is similar to the one described in the article
(internal capacitor, tapped secondary) can be used, such units are hard to obtain from hobbyist-friendly
sources. If you are determined to go that route, your best bet is to contact Toko directly (1250 Feehanville
Dr.. Mt, Prospect, IL 60056; Tel. 708-297-0070) to obtain the location of your nearest full-line distributor.
Also, coil L4 is a custom unit. It can, however, be home made using the parameters given earlier.
The Transmitter should be built on a PC board for best performance. You can make a board from the
foil pattern provided in Fig. 2, or use the one that’s included with the kit.
Parts are installed on the board as shown in the parts-placement diagram [see Fig. 3). Pay careful
attention to the orientation of the transistors, electrolytic capacitors. and the diode. If resistor R12 (not
included in the kit) is used, it must be tack- soldered on the solder side of the board between the antenna
output and ground. That resistor should be installed if
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0

you intend This case allows easy access to the circuit board
to use
for alignment
purposes.
h ) that is
anything other o e shown in
than the built- in u Fig. 3 is the
whip to provide t s same as
proper matching l w the one
between the i i that comes
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circuit. e c an SPST
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e t 1 can use
Fig. 2.

replacement. an mounts to the foil pattern
any kind of toggle you can use thisA te diagram board with a single
switch as a simple whip nn machine screw: The to make
a your own
PC boardTransmitter.
for the TV

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292031393938 00000001273 63 00000000000000
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00000000000 00 656368000004300000000
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600010000000 40000007064 04 most applications. The
battery holder can be
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B1
mounted in a th and by lifting the top off, still be
*SEE TEXT
case. The case e aligned. That also protects the
available from bo underside of the board against
When the Ramsey tto shorts during alignment. You
board is finished, Electronics m should inspect the solder side of
it must be allows the board hal the board carefully before
to be mounted in f, mounting it in the case.

Alignment
TV must VC picture on the TV
To align the TV have an R screen: if you do,
Transmitter, you'll indoor to readjust L4 for
need a TV antenna jac the best picture;
receiver and a connecte ks if you don't, check
source of video d directly J1 the board for any
such as a VCR or to it; an an bad connections.
camcorder. You'll outdoor d Next, adjust R3
also need a non- antenna J2 for the best
metallic tool to or cable (re picture brightness
adjust coil L4 and won't spe and R7 for the
transformer T1. A work. ctiv best overall
fresh 9-volt Make ely picture. You
battery can be sure both ) of might have to
used for potentio the make another
alignment, but if meters Tra minor adjustment
you find it is are in ns to L4 after R3 and
difficult to align, mid- mit R7 are set.
try doing it with a position ter, Finally, adjust T1
12volt supply. and apply ANT1 Then with a non-
Note that during power to se metallic tool for
alignment and the t the best sounding
testing, we found Transmitt a audio. That‚s all
that the unit er. Adjust vi there is to it. The
operated much L4 with a d whip antenna
better from 12 nonmetall e should be fine for
volts. If you find ic tool o most in-home
the same to be until the ta use. If you need
true, it is a simple TV screen p more range, an
matter to add an goes e external antenna
external power blank. to can be connected
jack to the Then pl to J3 (remember
unit and wire it to fine- a to install R12).
the appropriate adjust L4 y. But always keep
points on the PC for the Y in mind that it is
board. "most- o your
Tune a blank" u responsibility to
TV receiver picture. sh make sure that
to an Conne o your operation
unused ct the ul does not interfere
channel video and d with your
between 2 audio se neighbor's TV
and 6. The outputs e viewing.
from a a
you use this parts- R1 st be tack-soldered on the solder
Fig. 3. Building the placement 2 side of the board between the
project is easy if diagram. Resistor mu antenna output and ground.
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4POPtronixTV 4a464946000 70 043c0000080c625452430
Transmitter
www.poptronix.com
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00000000000 40
430000043c0000080c 00000000000 c0
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00000011637 00
0000436f7079726967 07274000001 00
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006465736300000000 01840000006 46
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49454336313936362d
322e31000000000000 0001f000000 36
000000000012735247 014626b7074 80
422049454336313936
00000204000 00 Copyright © 1997, POPtronix
362d322e3100000000 Inc.
000000000000000000 00014725859 00 All rights reserved.
000000000000000000
0000000000 5a000002180 43 As a service
00000146758 00 to readers,
POPtronix,
595a0000022 00 Inc.
publishes
c0000001462 00 available
58595a00000 00 plans or
information
24000000014 c7 relating to
newsworthy
646d6e64000 25 products,
techniques
00254000000 45 and
70646d64640 24 scientific
and
00002c40000 30 technologic
al
00887675656 00 developme
40000034c00 00 nts.
Because of
00008676696 43 possible
v a tioning of
a l a reader-built
r s n projects
i y based upon
a a or from
n n r plans or
c d e information
e s published
s w p online.
o o
i r n Since some
n k s of the
m i equipment
t a b and
h n i circuitry
e s l described in
h i POPtronix,
q i t Inc. Project
u p y Articles
a may relate
l u f to or be
i s o covered by
t e r U.S.
y d patents, we
t disclaim
a b h any liability
n y e for the
d infringemen
r s t of such
c e a patents by
o a f the making,
n d e using, or
d e selling of
i r a any such
t s n equipment
i , d or circuitry,
o and suggest
n w p that anyone
e r interested
o o in such
f d p projects
i e consult a
m s r patent
a c attorney.
t l f
e a u
r i n POPtronixTV Transmitter
i m c
www.poptronix.com5