Datasheet confusion.

Last blog I told that I was a litte bit disappoint about the waves on the textronic scoop of the signal comming from the TV-Tuner. It looks not very close to a original composite-video signal. Whats happening.

On that moment I think about the datasheet. On the computer I search on the web and I look at a datasheet: But what saw my eye on page 15, a different tabel with I could remember from the datasheet I used in the past:


When I take a look at the “original” datasheet witch I use all the time I see this difference:


We talk here about 2 TV-Tuners, the FL1216 MK2 and the FL1216MP MK2. Now is my question: “Is there a (real) difference between this 2 TV-Tuners OR are the both TV-Tuners the same”

Only 1 evening to GO !! Lets test.

Study on Video Signals

Last week I bring a visit to a friend of my who have a Textronic 2225 Scoop. I want to study the signals of the composite video so I borrow this scoop. With this scoop it is posssible to look to these signal’s they told me. So I start trying to do this.


First I start with a camcorder with have a composite-video output. I connect it to a monitor and to the scoop.


From the camcorder I get a very nice picture, you see the horizontal line sync, followed by the color-burst and then the line-info. This looks very good, this mean that I can get and read information with this scoop.

After the camcorder I connect the TV-Tuner to the scoop. This picture was a little bit bad.


You can see that the horizontal line sync followed by the color-burst is very bad. When we take a closer look to this we can see it.


When I see this I am not very happy. When I see this I think there are some glitch on the line. The question is what to do to fix it. OR are there are some setting’s in the TV-Tuner with I can make better. I go to read the datasheet of the FL1216 and hope I get some ideas how to get a better picture and program this in the Arduino Nano. Still 1 more dag to go.

Next monday, Yes, after the retrochallenge, I have a meeting with a couple guy’s from a local hackerspace called “B+ Westland” and they visit my place. So during this meeting we can discus about the “problem” I have.

This local Hackerspace have also a website, Dutch only:









First “picture” on the screen.

This weekend I connected a working game computer, the Conic TV-Tennis game, to my converter and see what’s happening. When I tuned the frequency on a Television I found a good picture on 178 Mhz. So I tuned around this frequency with my own build tuner to look for a good picture, but I only found a very fuzzy picture.

ConicYou see a sort of stripe which is the ball of the game. It isn’t a very good picture, but it’s a start. It is the first picture I get from the game computer.

So I started testing another game, the Radotin. On my Television I found the frequency of 55 Mhz, but on my Tuner I found nothing that I recognize. So I asked myself, what am I doing wrong ??

I studied the datasheet of the FL1216 and I looked at the setting of the steps I make to go through the frequency. I used steps of 50 kHz. I have some questions about these setting, so I tried to use some other settings. I start trying to use steps of 31,25 kHz, the slow-scan. Now I found nearby the frequency of 49,04 Mhz a reasonably recognizable picture of a nice game.


It is not very good, but it is reasonably recognizable as a game to play. When I study the results of the last experiments I think about the output signal of the FL1216 TV-Tuner. Are the levels Ok or are they wrong. When I connect the output of the FL1216 to a beamer with a RF-input I get a lot of time’s a kind off -out of Sync- error. What does this mean, I’m not a RF-mechanic and I don’t have a real scoop to control this kind of signals. I think there are 2 possibilities, OR the RF-level is to high, OR the RF-level is to low. The first possibilitie is easy to test, use an attenuator to bring the RF-level down. So I connected a potmeter at the output of the FL1216 to bring the signal down, but NO result. The next possibilitie is to use an amplifier, but I don’t have a RF-amplifier at my workshop.

My next goal is to check the RF-signal or find an adjustable RF-amplifier. So I’m going to search for a good scoop and a good adjustable RF-amplifier.



Finding a good working old (Game)Computer.

Last week a search at the attick to find some nice and working old style computers. I know I have some stuff like the NewBrain, Commandore-64, ZX-Timex, Oric-1, and some TV-Tennis Game console’s like the Tokyo, Radotin, Conic and the Videopac-G7000.


But the question is, are they working ?? So I connect them to my Tuner-device and start to scan. And I scan and I scan. But I see nothing. So I am a little disappoint about this result. Dit I read the datasheet wrong ? Or is my hardware not working.  Or are my game console’s and computers not working. So I travel to the local secondhand/charity shop to buy an oldschool Television.

To my surprise I get from some system’s an very clear signal on the television. So my first conclusion is that a couple of my gamecomputers and computers are working fine. The bad news is that my build TV-Tuner works NOT good.

So my next queation is: “What am I doing wrong ??”


Controlling the FL1216

Last day’s I work on the Retrochallenge 2016/01 project to try to understand the FL1216 TV-Tuner. Last blog I told that I have a anwser from both I2C devices on the I2C-bus. Now I study the datasheet’s of the FL1216 and slowly I think I understand the working of it.

To set the FL1216 to a specific frequency you must send the following byte’s:

Adres_byte, Dividerbyte_1, Dividerbyte_2, Control_byte, Band_Byte

These byte’s have the following meaning:

  • The Adres_byte have I set on &HC0 by put the pin 15 to GND
  • De Dividerbyte_1 and Dividerbyte_2 I calculate from the datasheet by N = 20 *  {fRF + 38.9} In this formule fRF is the picture frequentie and the 38.9 is the IF carrier. The result N is a 14-bit value which we store/split direct in two byte’s, the Dividerbyte_1 and Dividerbyte_2
  • Control_byte. Here we set some stuff like scan speed and scan step.
  • Band_Byte. We set the three differend band’s: Lowband, Midband and Highband.

Also you can read some information back from the FL1216. The most importend information is the status of the PLL-Lockbit. Also the power on reset bit can you read.

In my program for the Arduino-Nano I make a calculation for the necessary divider-byte’s, control and bandbyte and then I read the Status_byte back. The result is the following screen.


The first time I read the Status_byte back from the FL1216 I see the Power on Reset bit is set, so this is Oke. After a couple reading’s (time) I see the PLL Lockbit is set. This is also correct. When I set the Tuner on the next Frequency the PLL is very fast locked. this is also good because a wait a couple of mSec after a Frequency setting before I read the Status_byte back and the step’s are very little. When you move to a very different frequency the tuner need time to Lock the PLL. This I have also tested.

Conclusion for this time:

I can talk with the Philips FL1216 TV-Tuner. And it looks working as I expect.  Next step is connect a good working RetroComputer with UHF output or a Game-console with a VHF-UHF output to this tuner and let me surprise.





Setup the Menu.

#retrochallenge My hardware is working. Last week I build and test the hardware. So the next step is making a kind of Menu for the system. How to control the TV-Tuner in a simple way and how “connect” the found setting’s for a Computer or Game-console in the Arduino-Nano for a later use.

Also I am working how to control the TV-Tuner. There are some question’s for me. I am not understanding the datasheet very clearly. RF- and TV-signal’s are not my commen field of knowledge, so I must learn a lot about it. And after this I must to introduce this in my program.

A long way to go and almost 1 1/2 week is gone !!

“Hello RC2016/01”

@Retrochallenge  After building and the control of the hardware I write a couple line’s code to display “RC2016/01” on the LCD.


Next project is the way to make a Menu. How to control on a easy way with one pres-button and one turn-button the program to choose a computer or game-console.

On the background I work also on studie the datasheet’s of the FI1216. How is it realy working. How to choose or find the right setting for an computer or game-console. On this moment I have not found the right solution, but there are some weeks to go.

Let’s GO !!