Block Converter Technical Notes

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The term Block Converter applies to fixed conversion sub-systems usually used for frequency translation from (to) L-band to (from) SHF (C, X, Ku and DBS bands). The single LO used in this translation has fixed frequency and has usually a frequency value below the SHF output (input) band. In some cases the LO frequency value may be above the SHF output (input) band.

Novella's Block Converters may be built inside the frequency converters, or located outside the main L-band converter chassis. In this case the L-band interconnect cable will carry L-band and, in many models 10MHz reference, alarm signaling and DC power provided by the converter chassis.

External Block Converters may be assembled in their own 1U 19" chassis, with or without independent PSU and/or 10MHz reference.

Or they may be assembled inside polycarbonate IP65 boxes, aluminium lightweight boxes to IP65 rating, or aluminium heavy duty ruggedised military type boxes to IP67. The size of these boxes is typically 220x145x55mm but smaller sizes are possible by further mechanical integration of components. The more standard sizes (around 220x145x55mm) are usually set by mechanical constraints and/or availability of third party standard size polycarbonate and aluminium boxes.

Novella also manufactures a variety of multiple C and Ku-band Block Downconverters in 1U 19" chassis, mainly for use in monitoring downlink stations where the monitoring devices are L-band demodulators or TV receivers. These units may be configured with redundant mains supply, including dual mains input connector.

Novella also modifies and re-engineers commercially available C and Ku-band LNBs (Low Noise Block converters) to take external 10MHz references, to improve overall phase-noise performance or to reduce the overall gain. Gain reduction of LNBs is often quite important as the usually very high gain of LNBs, in the region of 60dB to 65dB, is not compatible with the gain of large antennas and the aggregate power received from Ku-band DBS satellites, with EIRPs of 52dBW per 40MHz transponder. Novella has the required expertise and equipment to perform the modifications required in these circumstances.