main site header
Back to HOME (main index) page

Amateur Television (ATV)

      Kent Television Group

      G4AYT was a founder member and Hon. Treasurer of the Kent Television Group. One of the aims of the KTG was to provide an ATV repeater, GB3KT (Isle of Sheppey), on 23cm. In recent times funds dictated that this service has had to close. To that end, GB3KT was taken off the air on Monday 25th. April 2011. The equipment, main rack and antenna, was moved to the QTH of Dave, M0LNE, after being cleaned and stored for a while at Brian's, G6PKS, QTH. At Dave's a fault was found with one co-ax top connector which was rectified.

      Early 2014 Dick, G4UPE, kindly offered to take the repeater at his QTH near Lenham, Kent (JO01IF). The antenna was installed and the equipment housed in the dry.

      Latest: Mid June 2017 the KTG analogue repeater was sadly closed down. The KTG has no money left and no formal members, so is effectively disbanded. If anyone feels they have a claim on any remaining equipment etc., please contact G6PKS or G4AYT as soon as possible.

      A replacement mains transformer was fitted to the transmitter along with a new bridge rectifier. The original repeater RX and pre-amp were replaced by a new more sensitive and stable RX, using a Mobicomm module. The repeater became operational from the Lenham site on 09.04.14. The original KTG website is no longer available. The repeater logic had failed. G6PKS had constructed new, more basic, logic which was controlling the repeater. A very low level MCW callsign was being transmitted on the sound sub carrier every fifteen minutes or so.

      Enquires indicated that 23cm TV repeater applications are only being considered for digtal output, as the KTG repeater was analogue output, we could not apply for an NoV. An application by G8YTZ for a digital TV repeater in Kent (at Stelling Minnis) has been approved and the NoV issued. The repeater should have been 'on air' by the end of the summer 2015, but to date we are unaware of any progress. Input was to be on 1260MHz and dual output 1302MHz using DVBS-2 at 13dBW ERP.

      Current Status: Closed down.

      Repeater Input = 1249MHz Analogue (FM)     Repeater Output = 1310MHz Analogue (FM)

      The repeater was seen by: G0FKS, G0NCE, G3OXH, G4AYT, G4HTZ, G4IBH, G4MOM, G6EXU, G6PKS, G8GHH, G8NAV, G8NXQ, at their home QTH. Eight of these stations also successfully accessed the repeater. PE1LJY reported the repeater has been seen in Holland by the repeater PI6ZDM (The Hague), which receives on a slot antenna. Other callsigns seen on the repeater: 29th. July 2014 PA9RON, just north of Amsterdam, 18th. September 2014 PE1IDY and PA3BJC, 31st. October 2014 PA3GCM, PA1MB and PA3KTV, 29th. November 2014 PE1NKT. The website dxspot.tv shows reception by PE1ASH on 29th. August 2015 and PE1NKT on 2nd. November 2015. Early June 2016 G4MOM reported excellent reception at his QTH and PE1ASH e-mailed to say he was seeing the repeater almost daily. During the evening of 9th. June 2016 PE1ASH, PE1EZU and PE1NKT were all seen with good signals into the repeater. 17th. August 2016 around 2100 an unidentified Fench speaking station was seen for a brief period.

      Thanks to Dave, M0LNE, for looking after GB3KT for over a year and thanks to Dick, G4UPE, for the last few years.

      The Group has had a digital TV modulator kindly donated by G8ADM, our grateful thanks. G6PKS has built amplifiers to increase the 1mW output to a useful level. However, with G8YTZs digital ATV plans having come to nothing and general lack of interest, we will see how things develop. We would seriously consider teaming up with G8YTZ and 'going digital' at our site if the motivation was there. Give us your views on the matter (June 2017 - no views received).

          Repeater Reception at G6PKS            G4AYT via Repeater at G6PKS                           Repeater Reception at G4MOM with quad loop yagi

      ABOVE: The left two captures from G6PKS show excellent reception of the repeater at Brian's QTH. The right two photographs, taken by G4MOM, give an idea of just how good reception is at Alan's QTH in Woodham Ferrers with his quad loop yagi on a temporary pole. BELOW: More captures of the repeater from G6PKS, the left two of the late Keith, G3OXH, and the right two show Alan, G4MOM, accessing the repeater.

      BELOW: Photographs of the repeater off air at G4AYT's QTH in Whitstable.

      GB3KT was received near Paris on one occasion during 2010, when 'KT was on the IOS, probably it's best ever DX, (G6PKS has the details: e-mail G6PKS )

      KTG member Dave, M0LNE, in Newington, Kent, has approaching 100W to 4 X 67 element yagis, but cannot access or see the repeater at the new site! On the 13th. July 2011 activity night, a new station was copied in Whitstable; Ken, G0FKS, from Essex. Ken (not a KTG member) runs 12W but has low deviation (about half of what it should be), resulting in coloured noise on an otherwise strong signal. Activity night 27th. July 2011, M0LNE had successful full ATV exchanges with G0FKS, and maybe more surprisingly, G3OXH (off the side of Keith's beam!). Dick, G4BBW, Dover, is operational on 23cm DATV and has plans to get going on 70cm. Due to a poor RF QTH Dick is mainly active portable. KTG Activity takes place on Wednesday evenings, using 144.750MHz and 432.750MHz for talkback, from around 2000 local time - although activity is currently at an all time low. There is an occasional ATV net at lunchtime on Wednesdays, also on 144.750MHz, mainly to the north and east of London.

      M0LNE is also operational on 13cm ATV and his signal can be seen by G6PKS. G4AYT can positively identify Dave's syncs using a dish in the loft (the same dish used to check out GB3CZ, but looking through a cavity wall)!

      An archive page for GB3KT can be found HERE.

      Other TV Repeaters Covering Kent

      GB3EN, Enfield, on 23cm is receivable in parts of north west Kent. Also on 23cm is GB3VX, Eastbourne, with a good signal in much of Kent on and to the south of the North Downs. At the same site as GB3VX is GB3XV, a 10GHz ATV repeater, but coverage into Kent is unknown.

      On 13cm there is GB3CZ (2432MHz), Clacton-on-Sea, which is good copy in much of Kent on and to the north of the North Downs. However, this 'repeater' is currently in beacon mode without an active receiver, although this may change when interest and finances allow. Unfortunately the 'output' is in a part of the band used by numerous low power devices and suffers severe QRM at many locations as a result. A temporary antenna (80cm dish with double diamond feed), without pre-amp and using RG213 cable was set up at G4AYT to check reception, as ever, interference was degrading the signal. See pictures below.

      An application for a digital TV repeater at Stelling Minnis in Kent has been made by ex KTG member G8YTZ and has been approved - but there has been no progress of which we are aware. It has not been possible to contact G8YTZ since his NoV was approved.

      G4AYT Link

      G4AYT has a duplex ATV link to Brian, G6PKS, in nearby Herne Bay, transmitting on 2328MHz in the 13cm band and receiving G6PKS on 23cm. The loss of major ATV protagonists, G8SUY (Herne Bay), in October 2009, and more recently G6GHP (Margate), in September 2011, will inevitably result in a curtailing of much activity. Both Andy and Ron were part of the original link system and will be sorely missed.

                 Who remembers the 'OKB Beacon'?                    The late Andy G8SUY (left) BATC 2004                      Testcard, Activity Night 17.08.11

        G6PKS in his spacious 'shack' (Photo:G6PKS)                 Ken, G0FKS, Activity Night 13.07.11                   Dave's testcard, Activity Night 17.08.11

                Activity Night Reception at G4AYT                        The dish used to check GB3CZ reception                 GB3CZ (13cm) Reception in Whitstable

          "Off Air" on the North Downs Nr. Wye, Kent               Brian's Testcard, Activity Night 18.01.12         Dave, M0LNE, Newington, Activity Night 17.08.11

            Used to be a regular - But not seen recently                 The late Ron G6GHP, Margate, 25.05.11         G6PKS Link Antennas, 13cm RX and 10GHz TX

      23cm FM ATV Equipment at G4AYT

     ATV Receivers: Top tunes just 23cm band, bottom complete satellite IF band.               ATV Transmitters: Top G8SUY 2W design, bottom Aztex 1.5W.

      Links Line (Click on the button, description below)

                        

      CH73 = A TV website for radio amateurs, mainly in Dutch, but carries some fascinating material, continuous with short gaps between programs.

      BATC = British Amateur Television Club.

      LIGHTNING = How close is that lightning? Lightning plot for UK/near Europe fast updates.

      EKRS = East Kent Radio Society website, the 'local' radio club for Whitstable and Herne Bay.

      70cm ATV

      Most analogue ATV (with AM modulation) that was on 70cm has moved to higher frequencies in Kent (with FM modulation), although several stations retain the capability. G6PKS and G4AYT both have analogue TXs operational on the band and would be happy to attempt a QSO with anyone interested. The band does have advantages such as a better range, particularly useful during contests. G6GHP used the band successfully with digital ATV, a mode which is increasing in popularity on 70cm, 23cm and even some VHF bands. G4BBW is also experimenting with digital RX, TX to follow.

                     Photograph 1                                           Photograph 2                                        Photograph 3                                        Photograph 4

      Analogue 70cm ATV was almost always monochrome due to the restricted bandwidth available and sound was on a separate channel (usually 2m). Off screen photographs 1 and 2 were kindly sent in by Nick, G4IMO. At the time they were taken, Nick, G4IMO, was at Canewdon and the late Andy, G8SUY, was at Teynham near Sittingbourne. Photograph 3 shows the old Spectrum Computer generated testcard used by G4AYT. Photograph 4 is of Nick, G4ZXI, on air operating the Maidstone Club station G8TRF on 70cm ATV at a Transport Show, Kent County Showground, Detling, during the 1980s.

 

ATV 144.750MHz          ATV 432.750MHz