Digital TV Converter Hack

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About: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kipkayvideos/ Thanks for checking out my Instructables!

Intro: Digital TV Converter Hack

Learn how to mod/hack a DTV box to run on battery power! Now that the digital TV conversion is right around the corner, no one has put any thought into what happens to your old analog portable TV's since ALL of the DTV boxes are AC powered. What about camping? What about emergencies when you want to watch news/weather alerts and have NO power? Here's the solution.


Step 1: What You Need...

Step 2: Make the Connection...

Remove the 5 small screws that hold the case top cover on.
There is a 5-pin connector located between the power supply and the main board. Directly next to the connector on the power supply you will see two small jumpers. This is where to make the solder connections for the Positive (+) and Negative (-) wires. Use a multimeter to confirm this location with the unit plugged in and you should get a reading of 12VDC. I attached two wires (red (+) and black (-) about 4 inches long.

Step 3: Make the External Connectors

Using the barrier strip, mount it to the back of the case using two screws and nuts. I had to cut away the lower portion of the barrier strip to make room for mounting it vertically. Drill one more small hole to feed the red and black wires through. Attach the 12V Car Power Adapter and the new red and black wires to two of the barrier strip screws, one on top and one on the bottom with the barrier in between to protect the contacts.

Step 4: Finished!

Close up the case and plug in your new battery powered DTV box into a cigarette lighter or hook up the 12 volt battery to the remaining barrier strip screws. Make your A/V or Coax connections, hook up your antenna and you now have DTV for your portable TV's!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable.!

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    80 Discussions

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    jompon2547

    10 months ago

    can i use other converter box?

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    ali6359

    2 years ago

    my converter box mesures 5v. i put a usb cable to it i am able to power it using my laptop, a usb charger brick or a portable battery charger.

    1 reply
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    ali6359

    Reply 2 years ago

    this was in 2009.

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    Stickerbush

    3 years ago

    Very cool....just finished up a couple boxes I had stashed away..nifty little hack! kudos

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    crfive_0

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome. Somebody PLEASE help me find an Instructable doing this exact same thing but to a LCD Computer Monitor??? I desperately need to run a monitor off 12v efficiently and i dont want to use a power inverter, Just like this tutorial, it would be pointless to turn DC to AC just so the component would then turn AC back to DC to run itself... HELP!

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    3of5abadfart

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    You can also use the antenna out and hook it to the external antenna, I have done that with a portable TV from '85. Worked better than I thought it would.

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    static

    8 years ago on Introduction

     I just pop the hood on a Digital Stream DTX 900 converter sold by Radio Shack.  This was purchase early on before analog pass through was mandated, I doubt this unit is still sold, and my discovery may not hold true with current Digital Stream Products YMMV. To my dismay the silk screen on the circuit board reads as follows. GND 5.5V GND3.3V GND. I well I do have a 75 W. inverter to use though that's overkill for a 7 W. load. Back to the drawing board on this project.

    2 replies
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    Computothoughtstatic

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Mine is the same. I can get an inverter for under 10 dollars. I might go that way. an lm3940, 7805, plus parts could fit on a board that could go inside to replace the existing ps board.

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    staticComputothought

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes; if the regulators can dissipate the heat that is an option to consider, that hadn't dawned on me at all. While the heat is wasteful, it may be less wasteful than using an off the shelf inverter to power the box. Where battery operation is inferred here, wasted power is a consideration.