Testing the Thor Petit HDMI RF MODULATOR - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-12-2019, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Testing the Thor Petit HDMI RF MODULATOR

In the PVI VeCOAX MicroMod thread, WDB123 mentioned the new Thor Petit HDMI RF Modulator.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdtv-technical/1656321-pvi-vecoax-micromod-experiences-7.html#post58609642

modulator:
https://thorbroadcast.com/product/pe...modulator.html
manual:
https://thorbroadcast.com/upload/fil...-modulator.pdf







It looked like it would be suitable for two applications I have in mind, so I decided to test it, since it is currently on sale at 40% off.

When it came, I turned it on and it booted up. I was able to set it to ATSC 8VSB channel 3 output with the buttons on the front panel, but I couldn't make a network connection to the modulator with my computer. I got the message that the Local Area Connection doesn't have a valid IP configuration.



The manual says
Quote:
Notice: Please make sure your computer is in the same IP range as the modulator is.
Well, I really didn't understand what that meant, so I called Thor support and got some excellent help from Stan who showed me how to set the network adapter in my HP laptop.



It turns out that the IP address had to be a Private address also in Class C.
https://geek-university.com/ccna/private-ip-addresses/

https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/i/ip.htm

When I typed 192.168.1.10 in my browser and pressed Enter, I was in the menu after entering default username and password.

In the menu, I saw where I should be able change the Virtual channel number if there was a conflict, but I left it at the default 2.1 for the channel 3 RF output.

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If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 10-14-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-12-2019, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Using the Thor Modulator to Add a Channel

This is what the output of the modulator looks like on my SDR dongle with spectrum analyzer software that I finally figured out how to assemble with a lot of help from Pete Higgins.
Inexpensive Software Defined Radio Spectrum Analyzer < $10.00
https://www.highdefforum.com/local-h...r-10-00-a.html
You have to login to see all images on Pete's thread.



One of the applications I have in mind for the Thor Modulator is to add an HD channel to an existing list of OTA channels. This is often necessary when you have a second antenna in a different direction.

A less expensive way would be with an A/B switch or a separate tuner with its output connected to an HDMI input of the TV. But a separate tuner connected to the Thor modulator makes it possible to have all channels combined on one coax. For my test, I added RF 33 converted to RF channel 3, using a Channel Master 7004 converter box. This shows the RF channel 3 picture with the Sony (32") Diagnostics Screen. Note the 2.1 virtual channel and SNR of 34 dB:



The only problem I see with the picture quality is with the digital photo of the screen which shows scanning artifacts. It's in all of my photos of TV screens to a greater or lesser extent. Since I don't see the artifacts when I look directly at the screen, I attribute it to the interaction between the TV screen pixels and the camera digital sensor.



This channel 3 picture has the channel 33 INFO from the 7004:

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If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 10-17-2019 at 07:13 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-12-2019, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Using the Thor Modulator to Generate an HD Test Signal on VHF-Low

The second application I have in mind is to try to simulate a VHF-Low channel to see how strong it needs to be to have an SNR greater than 15 dB above the local electrical noise level. Repack has forced some channels to move down to VHF-Low, making it difficult to receive channels that were previously easy to receive.

I don't have a VHF-Low channel in this area, but I previously made some noise measurements and estimated how strong a VHF-Low signal would need to be for reception. I live in a retirement home, and the noise varies from about -10 to -28 dBmV (-59 to -77 dBm) on channel 3, which means that the signal must be at least + 5 to -13 dBmV (-44 to -62 dBm):



The Thor Modulator now makes it possible for me to generate a low power HD digital test signal on channel 3, or any other channel I want, but I already had two folded dipole antennas cut for that channel. The output of the modulator was adjusted to +5 dBmV for the transmitting antenna with 30 dB of external attenuation (20 dB + 10 dB fixed attenuators):



The signal from the receiving antenna (which picked up the test signal AND the ambient noise) for the TV was -10 dBmV (-59 dBm) for an SNR of 15 dB that showed pixelation at the Digital Cliff. Obviously, when I increased the strength of the test signal, the SNR increased and the uncorrected errors dropped to zero for a perfect picture, but I wanted to find the Dropout point. Since the level of the noise is constantly changing, the signal must be strong enough to tolerate the highest noise level for reliable reception.



It was necessary to increase the signal strength to the TV to -8 dBmV (-57 dBm) to make the reception more reliable, because the noise level is very high on VHF-Low at my location:



I used external attenuation, 20 dB fixed + 0-10 adjustable step attenuator on the output of the modulator:



The Thor modulator performs well, the support is excellent, and the price is very reasonable. I could have bought the modulator from another dealer, a similar one on eBay, or from overseas, but good support is very important to me. No, they didn't give it to me, I paid for it when I ordered it, which gave me the freedom to make an unbiased evaluation.
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If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 10-17-2019 at 07:03 AM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-13-2019, 08:00 AM
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Great work and thanks for sharing it all!!
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-13-2019, 12:46 PM
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Good evaluation! HDHomeRun had a dual input tuner years ago(HDHR-US) that could use 2 antennas but it is long obsolete. Needing two antenna inputs is a common problem but no affordable consumer product to address it.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-14-2019, 01:21 PM
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Nice review.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-14-2019, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny antenna View Post
Good evaluation! HDHomeRun had a dual input tuner years ago(HDHR-US) that could use 2 antennas but it is long obsolete. Needing two antenna inputs is a common problem but no affordable consumer product to address it.
I wish Silicon Dust would make a new model with dual antenna inputs, I can use multiple HDHomerun devices but it would be nice to have an all in one unit.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-23-2019, 09:39 AM
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Unhappy same issue

Petit did not work on all televisions and the network connection software is defective. now I know that is cheap and you get what you pay for.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-23-2019, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Dixons View Post
Petit did not work on all televisions and the network connection software is defective. now I know that is cheap and you get what you pay for.
It works fine on my Sony TVs, but I did have a problem with the network connection until Stan of Thor support showed me how.

If you are having problems with your Thor Petit Modulator, you should call their support; it has a 5-year warranty. You owe it to them, other users, and yourself to have the problem resolved. If you are still not satisfied, return it, Joshua.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 10-23-2019 at 03:56 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-06-2019, 09:36 AM
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Thanks, rabbit73 for the post! I've been looking at this product for 4 or 5 months. Only found one short review.

I've been using a 2 channel ChannelPlus modulator (stereo, composite/SVHS) for over 20 years to modulate a front door camera and a backyard camera onto my local tvs. I just recently upgraded 1 camera from 480p to 1080p. I'm using a TVI-HD to HDMI converter which works well. I need two of these, another TVI-HD converter and a HDMI audio signal
inserter to upgrade everything to 1080p with front door audio.

Again thanks for posting this review.
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-06-2019, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-Houston View Post
Thanks, rabbit73 for the post! I've been looking at this product for 4 or 5 months. Only found one short review.

I've been using a 2 channel ChannelPlus modulator (stereo, composite/SVHS) for over 20 years to modulate a front door camera and a backyard camera onto my local tvs. I just recently upgraded 1 camera from 480p to 1080p. I'm using a TVI-HD to HDMI converter which works well. I need two of these, another TVI-HD converter and a HDMI audio signal
inserter to upgrade everything to 1080p with front door audio.

Again thanks for posting this review.
Thanks for the report. I'm glad you found my review helpful.

That sounds like a good solution for HD. Hope it works well for you.

I had been using TV tuners for reception and wondered if my SiliconDust HDHR4-2US Connect Duo tuner would recognize the Thor RF signal. It didn't at first, but I realized I had made a connection error that involved my computer for viewing and then it was OK. This proved to me that the Thor could add a channel to an existing coax that carried RF channels not just for TV tuners but also for HDHR tuners.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 11-06-2019 at 11:25 AM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-14-2019, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Dixons View Post
Petit did not work on all televisions and the network connection software is defective. now I know that is cheap and you get what you pay for.
Joshua, what's your serial number on that unit?
Did you buy from Thor? Did you call their Tech Support?
This looks like a very bitter competitor doing some dishonest slander...
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post #13 of 13 Old 12-02-2019, 03:23 PM
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I'm considering this, but not at their $570 'list' price on their web site. rabbit73 pointed me to Amazon that has it for $285.
That vs the one with the 'Silica Tek' name shipped from China on eBay for $237.

.
.
Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??

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