Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 35 - AVS Forum
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post #1021 of 1146 Old 09-09-2009, 01:29 PM
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Both the +/- sub channels and the PSIP can cause the Zinwell to get flaky. Anything that changes the channel order in the Zinwell's "brain" can cause it to change the station displays on the timers.
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post #1022 of 1146 Old 09-09-2009, 01:39 PM
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I have my sleep timer on a button of my learning remote, so I can access it with a single keystroke. I programmed it with the hidden code from my CM7000, which is the number 9, same as for the universal code.

I seem to remember that a timer starting up does not count as a keypad stroke. And if that's the case, it means setting your sleep timer 3 minutes later means you'll get 3 minutes of the last program before it shuts off, assuming you haven't touched any keys in that 2 hour period.
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post #1023 of 1146 Old 09-09-2009, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo60640 View Post

Seems the zinwell zat-970 is discontinued! See savinglots.com/lotprod.asp?item=ZAT970


I wonder if Zinwell fixed the bugs in latest batch of ZATs at Amazon.

Still zero cost and free shipping with coupon.
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post #1024 of 1146 Old 09-10-2009, 01:50 PM
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Yeah I'm going have to memorize those station call letters. I've been renaming them but the way the Zinwells lose their Favorites memory, I can just see the next Program Timer error coming...

The manual states a remote button press is required to interrupt the Sleep Timer (but what about the buttons on the box?). The Sleep Timer is started upon power up (i.e. Program Timer start) so I can't finagle Sleep Timer start times. All the code writers had to do was prioritize the Program Timer over the Sleep Timer (interrupt cycle ORed with the remote button push, etc.). What we really want is a VCR-like timer with start and stop times in the program menu. Asking for too much, just have to think like Spock. The trick is to set the Sleep Timer to overlap all combined recording periods or set to shut off before the next timer program starts.

I wonder if Zinwell is redoing a bunch of factory failures to ship to Amazon? They do stack up if it ain't 6-sigma. Hard to imagine anyone footing the bill for another production run that late but maybe there were still a lot of coupons to go.

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post #1025 of 1146 Old 09-16-2009, 02:23 PM
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May occur on other frequencies around that channel as well but they don't broadcast them here for me to test it. Here is a portion of an email I sent to 'them' describing the problem (minus specific questions at the end):

"All three (3) of my ZAT-970As with serial number type 0920 that I purchased from Amazon.com have the following problem:

RF Channel 11 (201 MHz) will not maintain frequency lock. When first tuned it is good, Signal Intensity and Signal Quality bars 100% and picture good.
After about 15 minutes the picture starts pixelating and the Signal Intensity bar drops to about 94% (Signal Quality bar stays at 100%).
If the channel is re-tuned to RF Channel 11 again the problem goes away until the next ~15 minutes.

The problem does not occur on the only other VHF stations I have near this channel, RF Channel 8 (183 MHz) and RF Channel 9 (189 MHz).

The problem is NOT with the TV station. I have a ZAT-970A with serial number type 0914 that I purchased from Solid Signal that does NOT exhibit this problem. NOR does it occur with a ZAT-950A, two Channel Master CM-7000s, and an Artec T3AP-LL that I have tested."

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post #1026 of 1146 Old 10-22-2009, 12:12 PM
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[I performed this on a few 970As and my lone 950A]

It seemed that Group 1 was always the one to get corrupted (and of course THE favorite) so I replicated it to my last group (then I can just arrow left once from All Channel).

I put ONE main channel (not a sub) in Group 1 to keep Group 1 active (i.e. otherwise the problem may move to Group 2). I picked a channel I don't normally use (in my case a VHF alternate to CBS-UHF here).

So far so good as it hasn't corrupted any of my settings. It still jumps from a Group to All Channel on a couple of stations on occasion the first time I tune to one of those stations after power-up.

I've had problems with an upper-numbered deleted sub reappearing (-4 of 4). I tried Skip but it would still jump to it sometimes when tuning to the main or other subs. So I just left it in the All Channel list as a non-Fav to prevent the jumping. I didn't try Lock (?). Skip has worked on a pair of lower-numbered subs I couldn't keep deleted though (-1 and -2 of 4).

Please try it if interested and provide some feedback. I may try renaming my Favs again if this looks to work. I got tired of my renaming getting wiped out, very cumbersome to do.

NOTE: Keep track of any channels that cause jumping as I suspect those are the ones that might screw up timer channel settings.

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post #1027 of 1146 Old 11-08-2009, 01:04 PM
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Try placing your Favorite in the All Channel category when leaving the box for timer programming. I suspect the Group jumping corrupts the settings (see the above Favorites Group work-around); I observed that my boxes always jump to All Channel.

Favorite = FAV = TV Channel List

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post #1028 of 1146 Old 11-13-2009, 06:35 AM
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Has anyone else had a problem with their 970A or 950A not retaining the previous channel? I find that the remote (or unit) will not return to the previous channel, when I use the recall button. This happens on all three of my units and especially with the local strong stations.
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post #1029 of 1146 Old 11-13-2009, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Has anyone else had a problem with their 970A or 950A not retaining the previous channel?

I don't think so but one box is just used for my VCR and the other is in my bedroom so I don't Recall a lot. I'll try it out more.

See if it's jumping from out of a group to All Channel, the group will show in the display box that pops up when you tune to another channel.

My CM has been giving me problems with that function lately but my batteries* may be getting weak or I'm wearing the button out. *Some codes take more battery power than others (ex: 1111 vs 0001).

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post #1030 of 1146 Old 11-14-2009, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Has anyone else had a problem with their 970A or 950A not retaining the previous channel?

I couldn't get a 0920 or two 0940s to exhibit the problem. I tried a variety of combinations (strong vs weak and Group vs All Channel). I thought one did it on a channel I have labeled as "Skip" but when I tried to replicate it it worked fine. Two of the boxes get excellent reception while the third is on rabbit ears.

My older boxes including my 950A are back in their product boxes while I burn an Artec T3A Pro and these 0940 newbies in.

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post #1031 of 1146 Old 11-19-2009, 08:39 AM
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I've had a 970A for quite a while. Although it has problems occasionally re picture breaking up, signal loss, etc. on certain channels, ,that is not what I'm concerned about now. A couple of times, including a few days ago, when I've had two items programmed, one on one channel at 8 pm, and another on a different channel for 9 pm, the 8 pm one worked just fine at 8 pm, and then 5 minutes later, at 8:05 pm it switched to the 9 pm channel. Luckily, I was right there, caught it doing that, and tuned back to the 8 pm channel. When I looked later, it had turned the 9 pm timer to off, but I had definitely programmed it correctly. Makes it risky to trust that it can do more than one item in a row.
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post #1032 of 1146 Old 11-19-2009, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
…picture breaking up, signal loss, etc.

These are associated with your antenna setup or location, not the Zinwell.

I've not heard of the Zinwell changing times.

The Zinwells do have a problem with maintaining "Timer' settings (most of the time it changes the channel to record to the last station in the list). There hasn't been a definitive answer as to what the problem is. There is a couple of theories that it has to do with "Favorites" (I don't use them and still get the problem) or the "Station List" changes (that's where I notice problems).
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post #1033 of 1146 Old 11-19-2009, 10:07 AM
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I wonder if related to the issue with stations sending bad time info? (DST?). Is that what you mean by "Station List" changes?

As far as I can tell, a Favorites problem occurs the instant the channel is tuned, not 5 minutes later.

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post #1034 of 1146 Old 11-19-2009, 10:43 AM
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I'd forgot about the "Station Time" issues. That may very well be what happened.

Until all stations get their PSIP to use the same "Time Servers" and don't have some sort of time delay in their system, the only true way to use "Timers" is though the "Manual" setting.
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post #1035 of 1146 Old 11-19-2009, 02:23 PM
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One of the stations here sends out the wrong time, so my 950a's clock has to be set in the manual position if I want the box to change channels accurately (of course this is relatively speaking). Anyway, yes the clock setting on the Zinwell has become corrupt before just like it has with the timers.
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post #1036 of 1146 Old 11-25-2009, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I've not heard of the Zinwell changing times.

The Zinwells do have a problem with maintaining "Timer' settings (most of the time it changes the channel to record to the last station in the list). There hasn't been a definitive answer as to what the problem is. There is a couple of theories that it has to do with "Favorites" (I don't use them and still get the problem) or the "Station List" changes (that's where I notice problems).

I actually came back here today to see if anyone had found a cure for the timer problem as it struck again yesterday.

I agree with your assessment. I think it may have something to do with the tuner not finding a station previously entered and just blanking out the timers at that point. I wonder if I should turn off every channel my wife doesn't watch just to limit the chance of that happening.

I had a horrible problem with the unit changing time until I gave up on using the signals and started setting the time manually.
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post #1037 of 1146 Old 11-25-2009, 09:32 AM
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There is a FCC mandate that the stations use the correct time in their PSIP, but when I contacted them (awhile back), they didn't seem to know about it or even care.
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post #1038 of 1146 Old 12-21-2009, 12:30 PM
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On the corrupted timers problem, does anyone leave their unit on all the time?

I'm wondering if one never powered down would the timers still get messed up?

Just grasping at straws here.
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post #1039 of 1146 Old 12-21-2009, 10:41 PM
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I cannot speak for the 970a, but my 950a is never turned off. Yet, the timers become corrupt whenever it feels like it. It definitely happens when the channel lineup changes. Others times, it is probably just due to buggy firmware which will probably never be fixed by Zinwell .
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post #1040 of 1146 Old 12-22-2009, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WackyPacks View Post

I cannot speak for the 970a, but my 950a is never turned off. Yet, the timers become corrupt whenever it feels like it. It definitely happens when the channel lineup changes. Others times, it is probably just due to buggy firmware which will probably never be fixed by Zinwell .

I guess I'll just have to keep checking it regularly so I don't get multiple hours of V-me instead of CSI.
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post #1041 of 1146 Old 12-23-2009, 08:25 PM
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Mine are also "ON" most of the time and the times I find corrupt "Timers," is when the Channel Line-Up changes.
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post #1042 of 1146 Old 12-30-2009, 12:18 PM
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I seem to recall somebody else trying this, but could not find any reference to the post.

Anyway after another round of corrupt timers, I noticed that program #8 was still okay even though #1 to #6 were now wrong. It was an oversight that slot #7 was not used. So as a test, I left timer slot #1 off and just used slots 2-8. It might have been luck but when the channel lineup changed yesterday, the timers were still set correctly. As a side note, there are no favorites set & the clock is set manually on my 950a.
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post #1043 of 1146 Old 12-30-2009, 12:52 PM
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I've only lost timers when I did a full scan. It retained all timer info except for channel, which reverts the the one I was on at the time of scan.
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post #1044 of 1146 Old 12-30-2009, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WackyPacks View Post

Leaving 1st timer slot off
I seem to recall somebody else trying this, but could not find any reference to the post.

I did a write-up on a Favorites Group problem work-around (#1026) using that concept. I also suggested placing the Favorite in the All Channel category when leaving the box for timer programming (#1027). I suspect the Favorites problem may be intertwined with the timer problem but I haven't done a lot of timer programming; I need to get out of the house more often.

Did you have any Favorites set before?

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post #1045 of 1146 Old 12-30-2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Did you have any Favorites set before?

No favorites have been set for months now. Though I did use a Zenith 901's favorites, Zinwell's implementation of this feature is so poorly done that I do not even bother.
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post #1046 of 1146 Old 12-30-2009, 11:32 PM
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The Zat has the best Favorites feature IMO, and I really miss it when I'm using the CM7000 or Zenith.

I use 5 favorites:

1 is every channel except Spanish, sermons, and shopping
2 is my dot 2s and LPs
4 is Big 4 networks - perfect for 11:00 o'clock news surfing
5 is Big 5 networks (including PBS) - for prime time surfing
8 is Big 5 plus the secondary stations - also handy to check signal strengths when I tweak antenna position

The extended EPG (early version Zat) fits on a single screen for my Favorites 2-8. I rarely lose my favorite settings, but I'd happily reset them for the advantages of having this flexibility.
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post #1047 of 1146 Old 12-31-2009, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WackyPacks View Post

No favorites have been set for months now. Though I did use a Zenith 901's favorites, Zinwell's implementation of this feature is so poorly done that I do not even bother.

Good, then you have no Favorites jumping to worry about although I have had one or two troublesome channels that jump when first tuned after power-up. No Favorites is probably the way to go for a Zinwell used strictly for tuning a VCR.

I agree with TalkingRat, I really like the Favorites feature, that is when it works propery. I've had much better luck since performing #1026. My CM Favorites stinks, requires so many button pushes and gives no preview that I might as well just tune the station or up/down surf it. My Artecs (T3A Pro and LL) don't have it; I'm not familiar with the Zenith but I'm a little surprised they have it since the Artecs are sort of Zenith clones, even some of the menus look the same per these threads.

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post #1048 of 1146 Old 12-31-2009, 08:25 AM
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Floydage, I haven't used the Zenith for awhile, but IIRC the Favorites is essentially a shorter selection list, nothing more. It's faster just to enter the channel number, or partial number, or to channel up, since Zenith has a fast response and doesn't insist on tuning every channel on the way up the way others do.
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post #1049 of 1146 Old 12-31-2009, 12:26 PM
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Sounds like the CM FAV. The Zinwells are fast too like you described. My Artecs are unbearably slow and won't let me skip on the up/down (i.e. the Zenith clone bit - hmmmm?).

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post #1050 of 1146 Old 01-28-2010, 10:28 PM
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OK, now I've got that problem with timers changing channels on me, and it's a new problem. I have the original version Zat. It's only happening with one station, every timer I've set has been replaced with the next good channel up. What has changed is that in between the intended channel and the one it jumps to, a weak LP I lost when it cut power about 6 months ago has been combine back, in and out, for the last week. So either my timer issues occurred when this new station adds/drops out of reception, or I may have done a couple scans and forgot about checking my timers afterward. At first I thought I must not have it well masked, since I have a CM7000 running along side it. But I've been very careful about blocking signals, so I suspect this new weak channel may be the problem.
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