The MiniTiouner USB receiver uses free to download DVB-S receive and analysis software called "Minitioune" written by F6DZP. The Software is hosted on the VivaDATV forum. You need to register and be given a log-in to download the software - once registered, the files are located here: Minitioune v0.6d download
The latest (28 February 2017) version of MiniTioune is V0.6d and is the version you will need if you have built a MiniTiouner Version 2 board with a Serit tuner (or a Serit tuner on a version 1 board with adapter card).
Download the zip file and extract to a folder under your root or c:\ directory. You should have the following files (except the G8GTZ video file!) in your directory:
Once you have unzipped the main download you need to follow these easy steps to get up and running:
- Download and install the D2XX drivers 2.12.24 found at http://ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm. There's a link in the right column for a setup executable.
- Download and install LAVfilters CODECs from here http://www.videohelp.com/software/LAV-Filters
- Look in the Minitiouner folder that you've just copied to C:\ for the small program "Install_usrc_ax_winXP" and run this to install the link with the decoder.
- Plug in your MiniTiouner hardware and let the USB drivers install.
- Run the MiniTiouner test program - "CheckMiniTiouneDriverAndFilters_V0_3a.exe" - it should pass on all sections.
There is a readme file contained in the download which you should read. For a very comprehensive guide on the software installation, see the paper written by W6HHC - http://www.w6ze.org/DATV/InstallingMiniTiouner_onWin10.pdf
Connecting the hardware
The MiniTiouner hardware is connected to the PC via USB2 mini cable.
It is absolutely essential you use a high quality cable or the program will frequently freeze and crash with no warning - the recommended cable is a Lindy Cromo Lindy cable USB 2.0 type A/mini-B 1m long. https://www.lindy.co.uk/cables-adapters-c1/usb-c449/1m-cromo-usb-2-0-type-a-to-mini-b-cable-p6866
Running MiniTioune for the first time
The Minitioune software is very comprehensive DVB-S receive and diagnostic software but can be a little overwhelming when you first run it!
If you have completed the installation and tested your system by running the test program, you now need to arrange a test signal which can be one of the following:
- A satellite signal from your domestic satellite dish.
- A local DATV signal from Portsdown (Ugly mode is fine) or any other DATV transmitter - a short piece of wire in the tuner input socket will probably pick up enough signal but be careful - there maybe DC volts on the socket.
- An off air DATV signal from your local repeater or "buddy down the road" (did I really write that!) - make sure you have a filter and line amplifier between your pre-amp and tuner input but be careful - there maybe DC volts on the input socket and most filters are DC short circuit.
Whichever source you use, you will need to know the following:
- Signal frequency - you will need to know L band signal frequency coming out of the LNB or direct amatuer band frequency - eg 1255MHz or 1563 MHz
- DVB mode - DVB-S or DVB-S2
- The Symbol Rate or SR - this will probably be listed as MegaSymbols - eg 2Ms or 27Ms - you will need to convert this to kS - eg 2000 or 27000
- The FEC rate - this will be written in the form 1/2 or 5/6
Start the program and you should see the please wait message - Sharp tuner = 10 seconds and a Serit = 20 seconds. If you get the USB error message then you hardware is not connected.
and then the following screen:
If you see the more complex expert mode below - simply click the top of the "expert" switch in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
Navigate your mouse to the top left corner of the screen and set the following parameters to match your test signal:
- Symbol rate (SR) - type the symbol rate directly in to the top left green box. (Note this should be the SR in kilosymbols in the following form - 00250 for 250kS, 02000 for 2Ms,or 27000 for 27Ms.
- FEC - tick the box to match the FEC of the transmission you are wanting to rx.
- DVB mode - tick the correct mode box. Currently all DATV signals are currently DVB-S and most domestic satellite signals are DVB-S2 but if you are unsure, tick auto.
- Low SR - if you are trying to receive a signal greater than 1Msymbol or 1000ksymbol untick the low SR box.
- Frequency - type directly in to the top right green box. (Note this should be the L band frequency in the following form - 01255000 for 1255MHz. if it is not the correct format the box will be greyed out).
If you are using a Serit tuner, which covers 144 - 2550 MHz without any upconverters, make sure you have no offset in the white box under the frequency box. If there is a a number present simply enter "00000000" to overwrite it. If you are using a Sharp tuner with an upconverter you will need to enter the L band frequency in the green box or the receive frequency in the green box plus LO offset in the white box.
The 3 "lights" at the bottom left of the screen should now turn green, the meters should indicate signal level and MER, you should see dots in the 4 quadrants of the constellation window and the Verberti error bar graph should go green.
If this has happened but there is no video displayed in the center window, navigate to the top right of the screen and click the "Auto PID" button - the video should now appear!
Setting up MiniTioune for normal use
You can edit the miniTioune.ini file in the download directory to configure various options to be set when you start the program.:
- The preset buttons for Frequency (with LNB / converter offsets), symbol rates and PID (see below)
- FEC selected on startup
- DVB mode on start up
- DC volts on tuner output
- Your call sign and station details for the web monitoring facility (see below)
To edit the file, first save a copy of the file on to your desktop - this is so you can always go back when you mess up (and you almost certainly will)! Then double click the file and it should open in wordpad.
More to follow.....