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Sunday, 18 December 2016

Vintage Instruments and Tools: SCHWAIGER SAP 100 / SPG 101 / SSI 028


I would like to present you with a series of loose blog entries showing some of my vintage test instruments and tools.

I start with the Schwaiger SAP 100 "Satellite System Test Set". I own one complete set and then a second SPG 101 unit. Both were purchased second hand some years ago at eBay for little money.

The core of the set is the SPG 101 unit, which is a neat little device: it is fed by just one single 9V battery and has an ON/OFF switch. What it does is simple: it emits a test pattern composed of a grid at exactly 11.288 MHz. Point it at an LNB and you can receive this fake analogue transponder with any analogue receiver or field meter.

The goal is to test if the LNB is working properly or not. Clever!

Picture 1: The test set comes in a small case.

Picture 2: Inside the case is the SPG 101 ("satellite testing generator"), the SSI 028 ("satellite voltage indicator"), two cables, adapters and the 9V battery

Picture 3: The SPG 101 front view

Picture 4: The SPG 101 rear view with specs and picture of the test pattern

Picture 5: The SSI 102 "satellite voltage indicator", which allows to see if voltage is present and which polarity/band is currently selected

Picture 6: Page one of the included English instructions

Picture 7: Page twoof the included English instructions

Picture 8: Test setup with the SPG 101 facing the LNB. The LNB will pickup the test signal from distances of up to 5 metres! Here I am using the Deviser S7200 TV Signal Analyzer, which is fully digital, so it cannot show the test pattern...

Picture 9: Which is why I grabbed my good friend, the Satlook Digital Color

Picture 10: The test signal is at 11.287 MHz (+/- 1 MHz is perfectly acceptable!)

Picture 11: The Satlook Digital Color has a build-in analog receiver, so it can show the test pattern - a simple grid

Picture 12: Inside view of the SPG 101

The main components of the SPG 101 are these two IC's:

  • ZNA234E: This IC is a pattern generator. It can be used to produce crosshatch, dot and greyscale test patterns. Datasheet HERE.
  • HFC4011B: This IC is a Quad 2 Input NAND Gate. Datasheet HERE.
Interestingly, this device should be easily hackable to circumvent the ZNA234E and feed a direct input of composite video, thus transforming it into a video upconverter/modulator.


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