Domesday Duplicator Hardware (2_2)

This board revision has been superseded by the revision 3_0 PCB.  Please see the Domesday Duplicator Hardware (3_0) page for more details.


Electronics design and schematics

RF Front-end

The RF front-end design can be seen in the following schematic diagram:

Domesday Duplicator 2_2 Front-end schematic

The RF front-end takes the raw RF output from the laserdisc player, decouples the DC offset and then applies a DC offset of 2.5V required for the ADC (note that the offset is provided by the ADC's reference signal generator (REFT and REFB)). A high-bandwidth OPA690 single-rail opamp is then used to add gain to the RF signal to ensure the amplitude of the RF is suitable for the 2V peak-to-peak range of the ADC. The OPA690 was chosen due to the high bandwidth and single-rail supply (allowing the Domesday Duplicator to be powered using only the 5V VBUS supply from the USB host).

For the Sony LDP-1500P laserdisc player R5 is set at 1K2 and R4 at 220R. This provides a gain of 6.45 suitable for the maximum peak RF signal of 300mV.

For the Pioneer LD-V43000D laserdisc player R5 is set at 1K and R4 at 270R. This provides a gain of 4.70 suitable for the maximum peak RF signal of 400mV.

Please note that the gain of the RF stage will be different for the various laserdisc models. There is no standard for the amplitude of the RF output from a player and, due to calibration, the RF gain may vary from player to player even of the same model. If in doubt, choose the values for 400mV signals as this provides a safer range for most players. Peak RF output to the ADC stage should not exceed 1800mV in normal operation for a good ADC result.

Measurement of the RF stage shows a consistent gain across a frequency range of 60KHz to 20MHz; signals above and below this range are attenuated by the circuitry. Given the expected frequency span of the laserdisc RF signal, the frequency response is more than adequate for the application.

The output from the RF front-end is passed through a simple RC low-pass filter with a cut-off frequency of approximately 15.4 MHz. This LPF acts as an anti-alias filter for the ADC stage (added to board revision 1_5 and above).

Modifying the RF front-end gain

For other laserdisc players it may be necessary to modify the gain of the RF front-end. The gain is set by two resistors R5 and R4. The rules for resistor selection are provided by the OPA690 datasheet:

R5 and R4 should be greater than 200 Ohms and less than 1500 Ohms.

The parallel combination of R5 and R4 should be less than 300 Ohms ( (R4 * R5) / (R4 + R5) = parallel combination resistance). So, (220 * 1200) / (220 + 1200) = 185.92 Ohms in the configuration shown by the schematic.

The overall gain is given by 1+(R5 / R4), so 1+(1200 / 220) = 6.45 in the configuration shown by the schematic.

The recommended method for measuring the peak-to-peak output of a player is to connect the player to the duplicator board and measure the RF peak-to-peak signal strength at pin 3 of the OPA690 IC to ensure that the impedance is correct for the application.  It is recommended that, before performing measurement, the LaserDisc player's RF output is calibrated according to the appropriate service manual instructions.

10-bit ADC

The 10-bit ADC stage schematic can be seen in the following diagram:

Domesday Duplicator 2_2 ADC schematic

The ADC is a Texas Instruments ADS825 capable of 40 million samples per second (MSPS) at 10-bit resolution and provides a 10-bit parallel output. The ADC data generated by the ADS825 is an unsigned binary offset with 0 representing the lowest possible amplitude, 1023 as the maximum possible amplitude and 512 representing the centre point (DC offset of 0V) of the signal.

The expected signal from the laserdisc player is shown in the following diagram taken from the Philips VP415 service manual (note that this is for a PAL specific player):

VP415 Frequency range diagram

Based on the highest expected Nyquist frequency of 8 MHz the ADC must perform at least 16 MSPS in order to correctly sample the RF signal. Due to this the Domesday Duplicator uses a sampling rate of 35.46895 MSPS (8 x PAL FSC) to ensure accurate sampling of the signal. By using 8x FSC the loss of accuracy in the ADC due to 'windowing' is reduced.  Note that for NTSC, the sampling rate requirement is 3.57954 MSPS and the Duplicator uses a sampling rate of 28.63632 MSPS.

Two line buffering ICs (74LVTH541) are used to buffer the output from the ADC towards the FPGA stage. These line buffers reduce the capacitive loading of the databus and effectively isolate the ADC from digital noise that can cause high-frequency interference in the analogue stages of the ADC. The design also provides power conditioning to ensure a smooth feed of both 5Vs and 3.3V to the ADC and RF front-end.


Due to the unpredictable performance of a USB 3 interface an FPGA is used to act as a FIFO buffer between the ADC and the USB hardware. Although a modern PC can handle many times the bandwidth required by the application the bandwidth is not guaranteed (since a general purpose PC is not a real-time system, other system activities can cause the available bandwidth to vary).

The FPGA is provided by a DE0-Nano. The DE0-Nano is a low-cost FPGA development board from Terasic containing an Intel (Altera) Cyclone IV FPGA. The interconnection between the Domesday Duplicator and the FPGA development board is shown in the following schematic diagram:

Domesday Duplicator 2_2 FPGA connection schematic

The FPGA uses a PLL function to provide a sampling clock to the ADC. Data from the ADC is collected by the FPGA into a 10-bit wide FIFO buffer. The FIFO buffer supports separate input and output clocking. The interface between the FPGA and the USB 3.0 interface is clocked at 80MHz. This dual-clock implementation allows the USB 3.0 to 'catch up' with the ADC data collection in the event of temporary loss of bandwidth.

In addition the FPGA changes the 10-bit unsigned FIFO output to scaled 16-bit signed data before passing the data to the USB 3.0 interface via a 16-bit databus. In addition to the databus the FPGA provides several additional control signals used to provide flow-control of the data between the FPGA and the USB 3.0 interface.

The data bandwidth from the FPGA to the USB 3.0 interface is shown below.  Note that the 'peak rate' is the theoretical maximum transfer rate between the FPGA and FX3:

  • PAL - 35.46895 MSPS @ 16-bit = 568 Mbits/sec (71 MBytes per second)
  • NTSC - 28.63632 MSPS @ 16-bit = 458 Mbits/sec (57.25 MBytes per second)
  • Peak rate - 80 MSPS @ 16-bit = 1280 MBits/sec (160 MBytes per second)

The design provides a full 32-bit data bus between the FPGA and the FX3 and 13 control lines. Currently only 16-bits of the data bus is used by the software (additional data bus and control signals are provided by the board to support future expansion).

USB 3.0 interface

The USB 3.0 interface between the FPGA and the host PC is provided by a Cypress SuperSpeed Explorer development board. This board provides a Cypress FX3 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 peripheral controller. USB 3 is required due to the data bandwidth requirement of the Domesday Duplicator (USB 2.0 only provides a realistic bandwidth of around 280Mbits/sec which is too low for the application). The FX3 provides a state-machine model (called GPIF II) that handles the transfer of data from the databus to the USB 3.0 interface and can run at a maximum of 100MHz (100 million words of 32-bit data per second). For the Domesday Duplicator, the FX3 is configured to use a 16-bit databus and the synchronous data clock is provided by the FPGA (at 80MHz).

The following schematic shows the interconnection to the FX3 board:

Domesday Duplicator 2_2 FX3 connection schematic

Bill of materials (BoM)

The Domesday Duplicator revision 2_2 PCB uses the following components:

Ref Qnty Value Footprint Vendor Article number
C2, C9, C15, C19, C21, C8, C17, C23, C28 9 2.2uF Tant EIA-3216-18 RS Components 648-0660
C4, C11 2 10uF Elec 4mm x 5.7mm Distrelec 167-310-21
C1, C3, C5, C6, C7, C10, C12, C13, C14, C16, C18, C20, C22, C24, C25, C27 16 100nF 0805 Distrelec 300-65-839
C26 1 220pF (1%) 0805 Distrelec 300-66-258
J1 1 DE0-Nano_GPIO0 Pin Header Straight 2x20 Pitch 2.54mm (female) RS Components 674-2369
J2 1 DE0-Nano_GPIO1 Pin Header Straight 2x20 Pitch 2.54mm (female) RS Components 674-2369
J3 1 GPIFII_J7 Pin Header Straight 2x20 Pitch 2.54mm Distrelec 143-83-934
J4 1 GPIFII_J6 Pin Header Straight 2x20 Pitch 2.54mm Distrelec 143-83-934
J5 1 BNC_Rosenberger BNC Socket - Rosenberger 51K204-400A5 Distrelec 146-44-967
L1 1 100uH Bourns SRN8040 Series SMD RS Components 743-5197
R1 1 100R (1%) 0805 Distrelec 300-56-716
R2, R3, R5, R8 4 1K2 (1%) 0805 Distrelec 300-56-729
R4 1 220R (1%) 0805 Distrelec 300-56-759
R6 1 47R (1%) 0805 Distrelec 300-56-808
R7 1 1K (1%) 0805 Distrelec 300-56-717
R9 1 0R 0805 Not fitted NA
U1 1 LM1117-3.3 SOT-223 Distrelec 300-19-198
U2 1 ADS825E SSOP-28 5.3x10.2mm Pitch 0.65mm RS Components 662-0082
U3, U4 2 74LVTH541_PWR TSSOP-20 4.4x6.5mm Pitch 0.65mm RS Components 662-9187
U5 1 OPA690ID SOIC-8 3.9x4.9mm Pitch 1.27mm RS Components 620-0082

Note that R9 is used for compatibility with the revision 2_0 PCBs.  If R9 is fitted and R7 and R8 are omitted, the RF front-end is equivalent to the previous version.

PCB Assembly

Step 1: Mount the active components on the top-side of the board. Note the orientation of the integrated circuits; pin 1 is highlighted with a red dot:

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 1

Step 2: Mount the 16x 100nF 0805 capacitors on the top-side of the board along with C26 (220pF shown in red):

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 2

Step 3: Mount the 9x 2.2uf Tantalum capacitors on the top-side of the board. Note that these capacitors are polarized (the positive side is shown by the orange stripe on the component and a '+' symbol on the PCB). These must be orientated correctly:

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 3

Step 4: Mount the 8x 0805 resistors on the top-side of the board. Ensure the resistor values are correct according to the BoM (as they are all different values). The resistors should be as follows:

  • R1 – 100R
  • R2, R3, R5 and R8 – 1K2
  • R4 – 220R
  • R6 – 47R
  • R7 - 1K

Note that R4 and R5 control the RF gain and may be different for your laserdisc player. See the section “Modifying the front-end RF gain” above for details.

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 4

Step 5: 2x Electrolytic capacitors and inductor coil are fitted as shown below. Note that the capacitors are polarized and must be fitted the correct way round.

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 5

Step 6: Mount the header pins (male on the top-side and and female underside). Pin 3 of the male headers must be removed to allow insertion into the Cypress FX3 board which is keyed (it's easiest to do this before soldering the header onto the board):

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 6

Step 7: Mount the BNC connector on the top-side of the board.

Domesday Duplicator Assembly Step 7

Step 8: Insert the Domesday Duplicator into DE0-Nano FPGA development board being careful to correctly align the header pins. The board is orientated with the USB programming connector on the same side as the duplicator’s BNC connector.

Step 9: Insert Cypress FX3 Superspeed development board onto Domesday Duplicator being careful to align the pins correctly. Note that pin 3 on either header is keyed and the FX3 board will only insert with the USB 3 connector to the rear of the duplicator:

Completed Domesday Duplicator

Step 10: You will now need to program both the FPGA and FX3. Please see the software guide for details.

RF Cables

The Domesday Duplicator is designed to work with a 50 Ohm impedance source (such as the RF output from a Pioneer LD-V4300D LaserDisc player).  The BNC connector on the duplicator is rated for 50 Ohms and a 50 Ohm BNC cable should be used to connect the player to the board.  To prevent unwanted noise this cable should be as short as practically possible (i.e. 1m).

The duplicator's RF input is 100 Ohms (set by the series resistor on the input).  This is to prevent the duplicator interfering with the composite output of the player (when both the duplicator and the standard composite video output are used at the same time).

Note that the input is not video, therefore 75 Ohm video cables should not be used.

Performance testing

RF Front-end

RF amplification

The following graph shows a plot of gain (in dB) against the input frequency measured from the input to the Domesday Duplicator and the input to the ADC after the amplification stage:

DdD Gain vs Frequency Board 2_2

The data used to generate the graph (which includes frequency (MHz), peak-to-peak input (V), peak-to-peak output (V), gain (dB), phase and delay (ns) can be downloaded (in Microsoft Excel format) using the following link:

DdD 2_2_1 frequency and phase response data

The target gain (set by R4 and R5) on the Duplicator board used for the testing was x4.70 (13.44 dB).


The following oscilloscope trace shows the measured noise of 66mV peak-to-peak (2500mV +- 33mV) on the ADC input (powered from USB3):

Noise measurement Board 2_2

Taking an average input level of 1.6V (1600mV) this represents a signal-to-noise ratio of 24.2mV:1mV (or 30.30mV:1mV at the maximum ADC signal of 2000mV).  Power-rail noise in this test (from the USB3 supply) was measured at 59mV.

DC offset

Due to the design of the duplicator a DC-offset must be applied to the incoming RF signal before the opamp stage of the RF front-end.  This is necessary as the opamp operates in a range of 0V-5V requiring the offset to be as close to 2.5Vs as possible (in order to provide the maximum range and sensitivity of the ADC).  The ADC also requires the same DC offset on the not IN pin when acting in a single-ended configuration.  This set-up provides efficient use of external components however, since the DC offset is generated separately for the opamp and ADC there is slight variance in the offset that can cause the sampled signal to be slightly shifted (due to the accuracy of the resistors used).  To compensate for the majority of the DC offset variance the revision 2_2 board contains two additional resistors (R7 and R8) that provide the reference offset to the ADC.  These resistors must be matched with the DC offset of the opamp output - therefore an asymmetrical voltage divider is used (i.e. the values of R7 and R8 are not the same).  The level of variance in the DC offset will vary slightly from board-to-board (due to the 1% tolerance of the resistors).  The following data shows a typical variance of a board:

  • Voltage at ADC IN pin: 2.480V
  • Voltage at ADC !IN pin: 2.509V
  • Total variance: -0.029V (-29mV)