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Satelite Workshop

This is the third in a series of articles which will help you to save money on repairs and installation.

Last month I mentioned several problems which you had probably experienced with the Pace receivers. This month I'll concentrate on Amstrad receivers.

The SRD510 and later models such as SRD540/545/550 all suffer from a problem. The plug which connects the power supply outputs to the main board is unreliable. The result is intermittent faults which can cause the LEDs to flash or the remote control handset to be ignored or a sqealing noise from the power supply. You can prove that the connector is at fault simply by watching the decoder messages move about the TV screen when you tap the receiver.

A temporary fix is to spray the power supply white connector with WD-40 (mains unplugged!) and work it up and down several times. The workshop cure is to solder a short wire between the little metal box on the power supply board and the test pin labelled "0v" on the card reader board. IMPORTANT! You *must* then adjust the 5 volt supply by turning the adjuster RV600 anticlockwise. Connect a voltmeter between the tuner earth braid and the power supply connector, third pin from the front. Set RV600 until the voltmeter reads 4.95 volts. Take great care since high voltages are present.

Another problem is that the audio disappears when the user selects "MAC" instead of "PAL" in the menu. This is a global setting and affects ALL channels. Simply reselect "PAL" and press exit. You might need to press Standby twice before the sound will return. This is a nice one to do at home, rather than in the customer's house!

If you need to connect a D2Mac decoder to this model, you will have to modify a standard Scart to Scart lead. Label one plug cover "receiver end" and remove it.
Pull out connector number 12 and discard it. Pull out connector number 19 and push it back into position 12. The video coming out of the Scart lead is now Mac deemphasised and can be used with most D2Mac decoders. Select "Mac" in the setup menu of the D2Mac decoder but DO NOT select "Mac" in the Amstrad menu!

An SRD510 can be modified to operate a Global ADX "plus" automatically: inside the receiver, locate the big microcontroller IC in the centre of the main board. Counting anticlockwise from the notch, connect pins 4 and 20 together. Solder fine insulated wire between them or paint a line between them with the silver paint sold for repairing windscreen heaters. Take care not to short circuit any other pins!

The menu will now include an option for "dish A/B" as in the SRD520. Plug the ADX "plus" connector into pin 14 of the Decoder Scart socket of the SRD510. (If it is already being used by a decoder you will have to remove pin 14 inside the Scart plug and push the ADX connector into that position). By selecting and storing dish "A" or "B" in each channel menu you can set the ADX to work as each channel is selected. An added bonus is that the "SIS" button now works, too!