Watching VK3RTV1 and VK3RTV2 using Mythbuntu Linux

This page details my experimentation with the local Amateur Radio broadcasts.

It discusses Watching VK3RTV1 and VK3RTV2 using Mythbuntu Linux.


The Melbourne Digital Amateur Television repeater is called VK3RTV.
http://www.vk3rtv.com/
The VK3RTV official website contains live streaming of the repeater.

The repeater is configured with 2 multiplexed DVB-T digital television channels being VK3RTV1 and VK3RTV2.

The ATV repeater uses the frequency of 446.5 MHz which is not a standard Australian channel. As a result many digital tuners may not support this frequency. Many tuners skip from channel 12 to channel 27 and may not have manual tuning. VK3RTV transmits at 446.5 which is around channel 16.

Here are the transponder details for VK3RTV here in Melbourne, Australia. Included in my Melbourne_Transponders_File.

Transponder settings for VK3RTV

Use the scan command, when VK3RTV is on-air, to collect the channel information for use in tuning Mythbuntu.

The following data was generated by issuing this scan command.

scan Melbourne_Transponders_File > channels.conf

Scan report for VK3RTV

channels.conf for VK3RTV

The following screencast shows how to configure Mythbuntu to receive VK3RTV1 and VK3RTV2. I tune all freeview channels as I use the channels.conf file with the channels from all 7 Melbourne transponders.

UPDATE: After installing Mythbuntu 12.04 the built-in frequency search may be used to tune VK3RTV. A copy of channels.conf is no longer required. I will prepare another screencast showing how to use the frequency search feature to easily tune VK3RTV1 and VK3RTV2.

Configuring Mythbuntu for reception of VK3RTV

I purchased a Leadtek Winfast DTV Dongle Gold USB TV Tuner from mwave.com.au for $40.

The Leadtek Winfast DTV Dongle Gold USB TV Tuner box comes with Windows software but this is unable to tune the frequency of VK3RTV. However, using Mythbuntu Linux, the WinFast DTV Dongle can successfully decode VK3RTV1 and VK3RTV2.

Leadtek Winfast DTV Dongle Gold USB TV Tuner

Leadtek Winfast DTV Dongle Gold USB TV Tuner

The signal strength of the ATV repeater is very low and not all the DVB-T receivers will lock on the repeater. I have tried a few other DVB-T dongles without success.

I connected a RG-6 coaxial cable from my antenna splitter to the Winfast DVT Dongle.

Within MythTV RTV1 and RTV2 do not have a logical channel numbers, as shown in the above screencast, I manually enter 350 and 351 to match my set top box.

Here are a number of screenshots of local amateur television stations as received via the VK3RTV repeater using Mythbuntu Linux.

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3RTV Repeater Test Card

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3RTV Repeater Signal Strength

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3DQ

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3KHB

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3WWW

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3KQ

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3BFG

ASRock ION 3D Screenshot

VK3ATV

Further details about my installation of Mythbuntu may be found on my ASRock Demonstration page.