jdaSignalMonitor

Download Link

PURPOSE

This TAP is intended to allow users to monitor signal levels and signal qualities for each of the muxes for each of the 2 tuners. It should operate satisfactorily on all Toppy HD TAP-capable twin-tuner terrestrial models. It was ported from the TAP for the SD Topfields and originally written by EMJB and posted to the UK Topfield Forum.

jdaSignalMonitor1.jpg

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BASIC USE

The sequence for use is as follows:

  1. Download the latest version from Signal Monitor Download.
  2. Using an FTP transfer program or USB, transfer "jdaSignalMonitor.tap" into (or a subdirectory of) “/ProgramFiles” on the Toppy. Do not load into “AutoStart”.
  3. It’s best to install a copy of FireBird’s “Firmware.dat” in one of the following locations:
    • /ProgramFiles/Settings/
    • /ProgramFiles/
  4. Ensure no recording is in progress or due to start shortly. (Recording appears to take priority over this TAP, but operation is not guaranteed and results will only be obtained for one tuner which may not be the one selected, and you will get a warning message whenever it is trying to user the other tuner & can't).
  5. It is not necessary to stop other TAPs, but note that all but TMSRemote will be suspended while Signal Monitor is running.
  6. Load Signal Monitor by pressing Archive, navigating to where “jdaSignalMonitor.tap” was copied, and pressing "OK". A brief message will indicate that Signal Monitor is starting.
  7. Sit back and watch the results appear in the default mode of monitoring all muxes present in your channel lists, on both tuners. The TAP looks through your TV & radio channel lists, and makes a measurement on the first channel it finds on each new mux (up to a maximum of 15). See below for notes on the measurement & display order. Having completed a set of measurements on one tuner, they are then repeated on the other.
  8. For the mux & tuner combinations that have been measured, the last minimum, average, and maximum levels over the last relevant measurement interval are displayed as above. Note that the RF channel numbers will depend on your local transmitter. The number of lines appearing (and size of the text) will depend on how many Muxes are present – Australian users will usually have at most 5. The font is reduced when the number of muxes increases to the point where they will not fit in the space available.
  9. The sound is inhibited while the TAP is running, and restored on closure.
  10. If any of the channels are transmitting in 4:3, the aspect ratio may keep changing, in which case de-select "Auto" on your TV if you find it irritating. The Zero key on the Toppy will not work while this TAP is running.
  11. Press "Exit" at any time to close the TAP.

ALTERNATIVE CHANNEL LABELLING

Four presentations are available for the channel labels, as follows:

  • LCN & RF (a.k.a. Tx) Channel number
  • LCN & Channel name
  • Mux I.D. and RF Channel number
  • Mux I.D. and Channel name

The initial presentation will be the first of the above and the other selected by repeated presses of the “>|” (Next) key. The availability of the last two presentations is, however, dependent on the all the mux names having been defined. For example:

jdaSignalMonitor-alt.jpg

DISPLAY ORDER

The order in which muxes are measured and appear on the display and log file is governed by the following rules:

  • If all muxes include one or more numeric characters, they are sorted in increasing value of the first such character in the names ignoring the letters (e.g. PSB1, PSB2, COM4, COM5, and lastly COM6).
  • Otherwise they are sorted in normal alphanumeric order, numbers preceding letters (e.g. 1, 2, A, B, C, and lastly D).

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

  1. When not paused (see below), pressing "1" restricts the measurements to tuner 1, and "2" to measurements on tuner 2. "3" returns to measurements on both tuners. Any change resets the data on all Mux/channel combinations.
  2. After pressing the "Info" button:
    • The current level & quality are displayed for the tuner/Mux combination being measured.
    • The number of samples used in the averaging is displayed with some other software diagnostic info.
      A second press of “Info” removes these indications.
  3. Pressing the “Red key” toggles the size of the text used to display the channel identity, signal level and quality data. This can be used if the channel name is truncated, use of a non-native font leads to lost characters, or if your TV does not display the whole picture.
  4. The settling time after channel changes can be altered with the V+ & V- buttons. The measurement duration can be changed with the « & » buttons.
  5. Pressing the "Pause" button will stop the movement round the channels & tuners, and brings up a continuously updated display of the current level & quality measurement thus:
    jdaSignalMonitor2.jpg

    While paused, the Up/Down arrows will step back/forward one Mux, changing tuner when appropriate if you were in 2 tuner mode when paused. Pressing "Pause" again returns to normal operation. This mode is intended for use when trying out different signal sources etc. so that any large impact can be immediately recognised.
  6. Pressing the "Record" button generates a "SignalMonitor Results.txt" file in “/ProgramFiles/Settings/jdaSignalMonitor” which records the current values & settings approximately as the TAP display, but adds the date & time the record was made thus:
jdaSignalMonitor v0.2 Results

Measured on 4/5/2016 at 8:44
Data format: T1 Levels, T1 Quality, T2 Levels, T2 Quality, all as Min:Average:Max %

2 ABC on TP Idx 7                     |  94: 94: 94 |  96: 97: 98 |  92: 92: 94 |  94: 95: 96
9 Nine Network Austra on TP Idx 2     |  94: 94: 94 |  88: 97:100 |  94: 94: 94 |  94: 97:100
3 SBS on TP Idx 1                     |  94: 94: 94 |  94: 99:100 |  94: 94: 94 |  95: 98:100
7 Seven Network on TP Idx 0           |  94: 94: 94 |  94: 97:100 |  94: 94: 94 |  92: 96:100
1 TEN Sydney on TP Idx 6              |  94: 94: 94 | 100:100:100 |  94: 94: 94 | 100:100:100

Settle time: 1500 milliseconds - Sample time: 5 seconds

This can transferred back to a PC using an FTP Client and viewed with a text editor such as WordPad, and thence pasted into Topfield forum posts if required.

WARNINGS ETC

You use this entirely at your own risk!!!
If it crashes, or the Toppy is set to standby while the TAP is running, it will leave the Toppy volume set to zero. If closed normally, the TAP should set the volume & (TV or radio) channel to those before the TAP is run.

FEEDBACK

Please use Topfield Forum TAP Post to report any bugs or suggestions for improvements.

VERSION HISTORY

V0.2:
Add ">|" on main screen to reflect the "Next" key on HD version to toggle channel names
V0.1:
First version for HD public use – converted from EMJB’s version for the SD.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

(For HD Version) Thanks to EMJB for making his source available.
(For SD Version) Many thanks to simonc, bdb & LordCake for help with my problems, Firebird for functions to access Toppy Channel number and control tuner selection, simonc for recording code, to those who generated the Compiler set up guide on the Berlios site, and to sl8 whose "timemon" TAP code was the starting point in my attempts to produce this TAP (though very little has survived untouched, it is a great help to a TAP newbie like me to be able to gradually modify something that works rather than start from a clean sheet).

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