The Venerable CA3306.

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The Venerable CA3306.

Postby Steve Anderson » Mon May 01, 2023 4:19 pm

The venerable CA3306 may soon be a thing of the past. It's a 6-bit analogue-to-digital converter that can sample at up to 15MHz with a simple parallel data output. It has been used often for converting 525/625 to NBTV, SSTV or whenever FSTV needs converting to another format. It's now considered obsolete and not so easy to obtain these days. A pair can be cascaded to get a 7-bit output.

It appeared in Peter Smith's 625 to NBTV 30/32-line converter, CQ-TV 189, year 2000, and also in the NBTVA newsletter around the same time, Vol. 25 No. 3. There are more modern replacements, and generally of at least 8-bits, but they're either expensive and/or in SMD packaging and possibly static sensitive. The CA3306 is in a 18-pin DIL package - easy for us lot.

I've got a few items on my 'NBTV TO DO' list, an update of Peter's converter is one of them. I did make a start on this in 2013, but something must have interrupted me. This has floated to near the top of the list as I'm going to need a source of NBTV soon...quite urgently in fact.

The reason for this posting is a local supplier has around 60 CA3306's in stock, I imagine that once gone, that will be it! They're made by either Harris, RCA or Intersil, though it's pot-luck whichever you get, they should all be the same functionally anyway. Cost? Thai Baht (THB)102.00 each inc. local VAT, =GBP2.37, US$2.98. A 'centralised distribution point' in the UK would make sense and reduce postal costs from Thailand to the UK.

Those interested in getting a few let me know and we'll try and organise things. Anyone care to act as the 'centralised distribution point' in the UK? I will test all before shipping.

As an aside, there was an 8-bit version, the CA3308, but no luck with finding a supplier of those...

Datasheets that I have for the CA3306 attached...

...also one for the CA3308 for interests sake, be sure not to mix them up, the type numbers CA3306 and CA3308 look very similar at a quick glance...

Cricklewood Electronics in the UK list the CA3306, but "Not available at present. Please check at later date." I doubt they ever will be available now...and no price mentioned either...

It appears that the LM1881 FSTV sync-separator is going the same way, it has been replaced by a version that can also handle HDTV. Time to stock up on those while you can...

Steve A.

CA3306_Harris.pdf
(146.79 KiB) Downloaded 232 times


CA3306_Intersil.pdf
(352.14 KiB) Downloaded 194 times


CA3308-RCA.pdf
(194.73 KiB) Downloaded 199 times
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Steve Anderson
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Re: The Venerable CA3306.

Postby Dave Moll » Mon May 01, 2023 5:42 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:...also one for the CA3308 for interests sake, be sure not to mix them up, the type numbers CA3306 and CA3308 look very similar at a quick glance...


Just remember that the final digits are the number of bits.
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Re: The Venerable CA3306.

Postby Steve Anderson » Wed May 03, 2023 4:17 pm

...a follow on...

The replacement for the LM1881 is the LMH1980 from TI and others. It on paper appears to be a better device all-round for standard 525/625 and also handles various HD formats. Downsides - it is more expensive, though not outrageously so. BUT, it's in a SMD package of 10 pins with a 0.5mm pitch! As good as useless to us!

Steve A.

LMH1980 TI.pdf
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