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>>> 'One For All' IR repeater experience? <<<

 
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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-03-2004 03:55 AM
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Heedyheed
Member

Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

'One For All' IR repeater experience?

Does anyone have any experience of using the 'One For All' IR repeater /
remote control extender (about £35 from Argos)?

My original IR repeater refused to drive the TiVo so I bought a 'One For
All' from Argos a couple of weeks ago. It drives the TiVo OK - no
complaints on that score, but I think that it might be upsetting my NTL Pace
4000 digital box. Every few hours the NTL box displays a message saying
'Please press the guide button on your remote control to use the programme guide'.

Originally I thought the NTL box might be mis-interpreting commands from the TiVo to change channel, so I powered the TiVo down for a couple of days. The problem with the NTL box remained - it's very irritating to find that a much-wanted recording is completely obscured by a big pink message box!

Eventually I switched off the IR repeater receiver - and the fault seems to
have disappeared. I need to do a bit more testing, but it looks like the
'One For All' might be putting out IR 'noise' that the NTL box tries to
interpret as a command.

I saw a post here about turning down the sensitivity of the 'One For All'
unit, but mine doesn't have any externally accessible adjustment pots.
Maybe they're on the inside, but I'm reluctant to open it up and risk
throwing away Argos' 16-day money-back return.

Is anyone using the 'One For All' with a Pace 4000 box? Alternatively, does
anyone have any other suggestions for an IR repeater that works with the TiVo and the Pace 4000?

Thanks,

Mike

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pahunt is offline Old Post 02-03-2004 03:59 AM
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pahunt
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Somerset, England
Posts: 1526

There is a hole in the back of the units with a screw inside that allows you to adjust the sensitivity but you'll need a small screwdriver to get at it though.

__________________
Paul

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-03-2004 04:28 AM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

Paul,

In that case I think there must have been a design change since you bought yours. Mine is labelled SV1000, but the box refers to SV1000-20-C27. No small hole on the back of either of them. On the transmitter there's only the power socket. On the receiver there's just the power socket and a jack output labelled 'IR out' which can be used with a small IR emitter inside a cabinet, etc.

Any more ideas? Maybe I'll open them up anyway...

Mike

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iankb is offline Old Post 02-03-2004 04:36 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

On the back of my (now unused) SV1000 Receiver, there is a power socket in the middle, an IR-out socket on the right and, in a corresponding position on the left, a hole with a small screwed potentiometer behind.

If you are suffering from IR interference, you should see a dim red bulb glowing on the front of the receiver. The idea of the screw is that you should turn it until the red light just goes out.

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Ian.

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-03-2004 04:52 AM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

The swines have obviously changed the design then! Absolutely no hole on the back of the receiver to the left of the power socket... Not on my unit anyway...

I'm even more tempted now to open it up and see if there's a pot inside.

Mike

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-03-2004 05:12 AM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

Had a peek inside. There's no pot to adjust the sensitivity. The only adjustable component in there is a tiny inductor - just a single turn of wire - with a ferrite core. That'll be to tweak the frequency of the receiver. If I muck about with that I'm more likely to introduce more noise than fix it

Looks like it will have to go back. Anyone using any other IR repeaters with a TiVo / NTL Pace 4000 combination.

Mike

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-04-2004 04:23 AM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

Before I finally gave up, I thought I'd have a quick look at the output of the receiver to see if any noise was visible. I hung a scope on the 'IR out' socket that's normally used to drive a small IR emitter inside a cabinet, etc.

I was expecting to see some sort of asynchronous bit stream as is often used for data over a low-speed serial link, i.e. two start bits, a string of data bits followed by a stop bit and, in particular, no signal in the absence of any IR input to the transmitter from a remote control.

What I saw was more like a clock pulse with a 60 micro-second period. I could see that it was 'modulated' when I used the remote, but with a continuously running clock it's not possible to 'see' any noise that might be present.

Is this normal behaviour for an IR repeater that claims to be RC5 compatible? The unit works OK but my NTL box seems to occasionally detect rubbish codes that upset it.

Thanks,

Mike

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iankb is offline Old Post 02-04-2004 05:01 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

If you have a digital camera (still or movie) with a digital viewfinder, then view the front of the receiver unit with this. If IR is being transmitted, then you should see the IR bulb as a greyish-white disc.

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Ian.

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simon1 is offline Old Post 02-04-2004 08:06 AM
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simon1
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Posts: 46

I've had a right carry on with these OFA extenders recently. I already have 3x transmitters in each tv room + 1x receiver in the loft. I've added a tv to another room and naturally wanted another OFA transmitter.

I bought a brand new set from some guy on ebay. I discovered it wouldn't work with my existing OFA receivers/transmitter (a couple of years old). I put this down to OFA changing the frequency. The new ones operate on 433mhz, whilst my old ones might be 427mhz.

I noted that this new set didn't have the adjustment screw and used different voltage AC adapters.

Tried Argos and got what looked like the same as my old ones. ie: had adjustment screw and same voltage adapters. Hovever, I was disapointed to find they still wouldn't work when I got home (must have still been a different frequency to my old ones).

Ended up buying another OFA set from ebay, after seller agreed to email pics of the units - which appeared to be of the old version I needed.

Worked perfectly.


Summary

1st version (SV1000/05) - adjustment screw/12volt/427mhz
2nd version (SV1000/0?) - adjustment screw/12volt/433mhz
3rd version (SV1000/0?) - no adjustment screw/18volt/433mhz

Try another branch of Argos and you'll probably get 2nd version (with adjustment screw) instead of what appears to be the 3rd version you currently have.

__________________
2 x Tivos (both 6023 version) 160Gb Seagate (8mb cache) Hdd upgrade - installed in loft with RF distribution for whole house + RGB scart for bedroom and lounge.

Sony 32DX100 Idtv
Sony STR-DB790 Amp
Sony RDR-GX3 Dvd Recorder (soon to be Sony RDR-HX900)

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-06-2004 02:42 AM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

Thanks to iankb and simon1 for your advice. I think I've solved it It looks like the transmitter was too close to a source of electrical noise (another TV). Since moving the transmitter a few inches further away from the TV, the problem has completely disappeared. The NTL box used to object every couple of hours, but I've seen no problem for three days so I think it's fixed.

Just in case anyone else is looking for an IR repeater for the same sort of set-up as mine, the 'One For All' SV1000 from Argos (around £35) is RC5 compatible and will work with the TiVo and with the Pace 4001N and 4001NC used in some areas by NTL. It won't necessarily work with the 4000N or 4000T because the remote normally supplied with these models requires an IRDA compatible repeater. I say 'necessarily' because the 4000N and 4000T are themselves RC5 and IRDA compatible, so they could work if used in conjunction with an RC5 compatible remote.

I tried iankb's idea of using a digital camera to view the IR output. Nice idea Ian - I hadn't realised they could see infra-red. Anyway, I found that the leds on the receiver were on all the time, even though no IR was being spat at the transmitter. This sort-of ties in with the continuous 60 microsecond clock that I had seen on the scope. I've come to the conclusion that the reason for the continuous signal used in these units is that it avoids the need to incorporate a squelch circuit in the receiver.

In the absence of a continuous bit-stream and a squelch circuit, the receiver would 'hear' loads of RF noise from adjacent channels around its 433MHz frequency and would send this out as IR noise. That would cause problems for the kit it was supposed to be controlling. It seems that the cheap and simple solution adopted by the 'One For All' manufacturer is to stream 'blanks' at the receiver in order to give it a signal to look at and to stop it responding to the noise that it would otherwise receive.

Mike

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iankb is offline Old Post 02-06-2004 02:54 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

The external aerial of my AirNet card causes similar IR interference if I let it get too close to the DC power supply wiring of my Philips Video Sender. I presume it's exacerbated because the spare length of wiring is tied up in loops.

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Ian.

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programx is offline Old Post 02-06-2004 04:12 AM
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programx
TiVo Tamer

Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 97

My One 4 All goes balistic when the TV has a bright white/red picture on it, so I think it doesn't limit itself to just IR frequencies. This may be obvious, it is merely an observation!

I find it odd that your inteference coincided exactly with the key sequences for an NTL cable box!

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-07-2004 02:55 AM
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Heedyheed
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Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

quote:
Originally posted by programx
... I find it odd that your inteference coincided exactly with the key sequences for an NTL cable box!


Ah, it's the monkeys/Shakespeare thing isn't it. The laws of probability say that if you have a bunch of monkeys with typewriters (I suppose they'd be PCs running Microsoft Word these days) and give them long enough they'll eventually randomly type a sequence of letters that just happens to be the whole works of Shakespeare.

When the IR repeater translates noise into IR it's eventually (in my case every few hours) going to put out a sequence of bits that happens to match one of the codes that the box understands. I expect that the codes aren't that long which increases the likelihood of it happening fairly regularly.

Fortunately it's still working without a glitch so it's even more certain now that it was the RF emitted by the TV that was causing the original problem.

Mike

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mikefgrant is offline Old Post 02-07-2004 09:46 PM
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mikefgrant
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Since I got a One-for-all remote extender, I have found that my Pace DTVA freeview adapter which is dedicated to TIVO (in a darkened area inside the cabinet with the TIVO) has powered off several times. I can't be sure that it is the remote extender at fault, as I have a second DTVA, so the "TIVO DTVA" might simply be picking up a stray remote signal. I'll keep an eye on it and see if there is a corellation with the remote extender being used.

__________________
DTT + NTL Analogue (40+80 G TIVO)
DTT using PACE STB with channel line-up matching SKY.

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 02-07-2004 10:37 PM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

quote:
Originally posted by mikefgrant
......I'll keep an eye on it and see if there is a corellation with the remote extender being used.


If it's caused by noise the problem may have nothing to do with the remote extender actually being used. Having it powered on would be enough. I didn't manage to eliminate all the other possibilities until I left the extenders powered off for a couple of days and observed that the problem disappeard at the same time.

It can be darned inconvenient having to march through into another room because the IR extenders are switched-off, but it was the only way I managed to get to the bottom of the problem.

Mike

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benlast is offline Old Post 06-12-2004 01:22 PM
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benlast
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The digital camera trick is extremely useful. Over the last week or so, we've been having channel-change problems by the ton (and the wife has not been happy); a check of the one-for-all showed that it was flickering nearly all the time, no matter where in the house it was. I suspect a neighbour with some new device that spits out RF (we're all wi-fi here, but have had no problems until recently). Our unit also has a screwdriver-adjustable pot, but a peek inside shows that it's for frequency (and only on the receiver, which is a bit pointless).

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Steve_K is offline Old Post 06-19-2004 09:23 PM
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Steve_K
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The One for All web site support section http://www.oneforall-int.com has a lot of information on this issue and others. There are actually three version of the One for All extender. The SV1000 the SV1000-/05 and the latest SV-1000 JC02. They are not very compatible with each other and one persons extender experience won't alweays match someone else's.

Apparently the identifying code is on the bottom label of the (RF)Transmitter IE the IR receiver.

In their FAQ section they actually say they can't control a Pace Digital Cable as it uses IRDa. Given the success of others in this topic I think what they may mean is it may or may not operate it - do you feel lucky? There are some other more expensive extenders on the web that claim to be intelligent and able to fix this.

The official distributor at http://www.dalepakdirect.com/sub-ca...tegory=extender gives an overview of the compatibility situation and I'd guess the message is buy now if you want to add to older systems.

steve

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Paul Stimpson is offline Old Post 06-20-2004 06:56 PM
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Paul Stimpson
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve_K
In their FAQ section they actually say they can't control a Pace Digital Cable as it uses IRDa. Given the success of others in this topic I think what they may mean is it may or may not operate it - do you feel lucky?


I think things have changed with the NTL 4000 since that was written. I thought I was going to need an IRDA dongle for my TiVo and bought one but the TiVo controls the NTL box fine without so it's still sitting in the box at home.

Maybe sombody who knows can clarify whether the 4000 speaks IRDA and conventional remote code or whether it's purely conventional now.

Cheers,
Paul.

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Heedyheed is offline Old Post 06-21-2004 05:31 PM
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Heedyheed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 46

quote:

.....Maybe sombody who knows can clarify whether the 4000 speaks IRDA and conventional remote code or whether it's purely conventional now.



I think it depends which model in the 4000 range you're talking about...

The 'One For All' SV1000 is RC5 compatible and will work with the TiVo and with the Pace 4001N and 4001NC used in some areas by NTL. It won't necessarily work with the 4000N or 4000T because the remote normally supplied with these models requires an IRDA compatible repeater. I say 'necessarily' because the 4000N and 4000T are themselves RC5 and IRDA compatible, so they could work if used in conjunction with an RC5 compatible remote.

Mike

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