MiniTiouner-Express Now Available


The DATV-Express group has completed a new DATV DVB-S/S2 receiver design now available for sale. Named the “Minitiouner-Express”, it is completely assembled, tested and contained in a small aluminum enclosure about the size of a 2 stack of playing cards. It is designed to operate with the excellent free MiniTioune software by Jean Pierre Courjaud F6DZP.

It is available at the web site through PayPal for USD$75 plus shipping, ($7 USA, $24 to EU including VAT and $35 to all other countries).

This unit connects between an antenna(s) and a PC computer USB2/3 port using a Windows 7, 8 or 10 operating system. It will receive DVB-S/S2 144MHz to 2420MHz digital television signals with symbol rates between 100K and 10M symbols/sec when used with the free MiniTioune software available from Jean-Pierre’s web site. In operation, the computer monitor will display the received video and graphic quadrature constellation, show the level and quality of the incoming signal and display the FEC data.

It has two “F” female RF inputs to receive up to two simultaneous independent signals viewed one at a time using soft keys in the MiniTioune software. The resultant video and diagnostics are then shown on the computer monitor display. There are provisions to source a DC voltage on either or both RF connectors to power a preamplifier at the antenna. Since the MiniTiouner-Express itself will operate from a +8 to +24VDC source, the preamp voltage requirements dictate the MiniTiouner-Express supply voltage.

The user must provide both a USB cable and DC power source. The DC requirements are 12VDC @ ~300Ma without DC preamplifier power. If preamp power is not needed, the addition of 2 small added jumpers on the PCB allows it to be powered directly from a computer USB3 port. That eliminates the need for a separate power supply.

The enclosure’s aluminum cover protects the internals from damage but is not rated for outdoor use. The RF input sensitivity is about -95dBm at FEC=7/8 or -100 dBm at FEC=1/2 which is better than the best set top box I’ve tested. The MiniTiouner-Express has an internal preamplifier but because of its wide bandwidth, it has a rather poor noise figure. Therefore, a bandpass filter and preamp is recommended. If a Down East Microwave preamplifier is used, the 1288MHz threshold signal level will go down to about -105dBm at FEC=1/2.

The excellent Tutioune software was created by Jean Pierre Courjaud, F6DZP in France. (The name Tutioune” comes from the French  meaning “You tune”). It is used to receive the HamVideo DATV in the International Space Station but is also widely utilized by Hams all over the world as an excellent DVB-S and DVB-S2 diagnostic utility so digital ATV signals can be measured precisely. We congratulate Jean Pierre for his excellent software contribution and to the advancement of DATV DVB-S/S2 pioneering. He has worked hard in recent years to create the Minitiouner and Minitiouner Pro circuit boards for which this design is based. Without his work, it would have been very difficult to achieve.

Art Towslee, WA8RMC