Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 39 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Baselworld is only a few weeks away. Getting the latest news is easy, Click Here for info on how to join the Watchuseek.com newsletter list. Follow our team for updates featuring event coverage, new product unveilings, watch industry news & more!


Forum Jump: 
 5Likes
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-10-2014, 12:48 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCoyoteSurvives View Post

Nothing seems to work to fix the channel 3.1 sound problem. What's weird, is that this problem started about the same time as the iView problem, perhaps a bit earlier, but did not previously occur for the years I've had the Zinwell. And it doesn't happen to any other tuner I have, on the same antenna or a different one.

That would appear to point to some kind of weird interaction, via close proximity to each other or through the cables (I'm assuming the iView doesn't have an aux. IR transmitter). An experiment might be to try some other recorder one night and make sure the iView is unplugged.

Back to the iView remote, see if there's anything in the menu system for setting a different remote code. I've seen this on higher-end VCRs and HDD/DVDRs. I have one of each. Would like to do that to my Toshiba HDD&DVDR as I also have a Toshiba DVDR, but I like to power the HDD off (the pig's hard-drive and fan stay on in standby) which makes it lose remote memory. I also use two ChannelMaster converter boxes for these two recorders because of s-video so using them at the same time is fun (fortunately they're in different cabinets).

My Zinwell has the same problem you have due to my ChannelMasters so I put a piece of black electrical tape over the lens with a tiny hole over the power LED; that hole also allows me to use the remote on the Zinwell if I get real close. Mr.Z doesn't get used much anymore as it's for the VCR or if I want to timer record to the DVDR when I'm away.

Floydage is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-10-2014, 02:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
RayGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,725
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 511 Post(s)
Liked: 372
I had a similar problem and was able to resolve it by doing a reset, running the channel scan with the antenna unplugged (this is the only way to get rid of all the previous info), then re-connecting the antenna and doing a complete re-scan again.
RayGuy is online now  
Old 04-10-2014, 03:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post

running the channel scan with the antenna unplugged (this is the only way to get rid of all the previous info)

Ah, I see. Properly designed they shouldn't require that but...

I bet there's a more thorough reset as a switch on the circuit board, or more likely via factory software programming.

Floydage is offline  
Old 04-16-2014, 06:51 AM
Newbie
 
ElCoyoteSurvives's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post

I had a similar problem and was able to resolve it by doing a reset, running the channel scan with the antenna unplugged (this is the only way to get rid of all the previous info), then re-connecting the antenna and doing a complete re-scan again.

OK, I tried this. Unplug antenna. Load Factory Default. Select English and Central time zone. Channel scan started, found none. Power off. Plug in antenna. Power on. Select English and Central time zone. Channel scan started, found most of my channels.

Channel 3.1 has audio, and the audio has persisted for a couple of hours now. I think it is fixed. Thanks to you guys for looking at this and for your advice.
ElCoyoteSurvives is offline  
Old 04-26-2014, 06:06 PM
Newbie
 
barleycharley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

I also do not get the sound from one channel.   Is your's channel 15.   I get the sound from all the channels on the zinwell zat-97a except the channel 15, its the COZI network.  Let me know. thanks.

barleycharley is offline  
Old 04-27-2014, 09:27 AM
Newbie
 
ElCoyoteSurvives's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by barleycharley View Post

I also do not get the sound from one channel.   Is your's channel 15.   I get the sound from all the channels on the zinwell zat-97a except the channel 15, its the COZI network.  Let me know. thanks.

I don't know where you are, so I don't know your channel 15 or COZI. I'm in Madison WI. I had the audio problem with local CBS-affiliate channel 3.1 (not 3.2 or 3.3, interestingly). It looks like I solved my problem by doing a factory default setting AFTER disconnecting the antenna, then another factory default setting after re-connecting the antenna.
ElCoyoteSurvives is offline  
Old 02-17-2015, 08:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
seatacboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

Product Features
· Terrestrial 8-VSB demodulation
· ATSC 18 video formats decoding
· ATSC HDTV complaint MPEG2 MP@ML/ MP@HL decoder
· Compatible with HDTV, EDTV and SDTV displays
· User-selectable CH3/CH4 NTSC RF output
· ATSC AC3 audio decoding
· Modern design with user-friendly OSD interface.
· Aspect Ratio 16:9/ 4:3
· Multilingual support
· Automatic and manual channel scan
· Closed Caption, V-Chip and EAS (Emergency Alert System) Support
· Support Advances Rating (Rating Region Table downloadable)
· Software upgrade



Operation 120VAC, 60Hz, 8W max.
Standby <1W
Dimensions 175 x 135 x 33 mm
Weight 0.98lb.
External power adaptor
I acquired one of these cheap at a thrift store minus its remote control. Using the Zinwell code on a Philips universal remote doesn't quite unlock all of the functionality. Can someone recommend a specific u-remote which completely controls the Zinwell ZAT-970A?
seatacboy is offline  
Old 02-18-2015, 11:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post
I acquired one of these cheap at a thrift store minus its remote control. Using the Zinwell code on a Philips universal remote doesn't quite unlock all of the functionality. Can someone recommend a specific u-remote which completely controls the Zinwell ZAT-970A?
It's been awhile since I had it programmed for a Zinwell but I thought my Philips SRP1003/27 did pretty well (of course there may be a newer version out by now). And if I recall correctly, all of those Zinwell remote functions are available via the menu system (I know, cumbersome).

Floydage is offline  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
seatacboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post
It's been awhile since I had it programmed for a Zinwell but I thought my Philips SRP1003/27 did pretty well (of course there may be a newer version out by now). And if I recall correctly, all of those Zinwell remote functions are available via the menu system (I know, cumbersome).
I will have to see which Philips remote I have and whether there's a better code. You are correct that, unlike some other CECBs, there is a back-door way to manage some of the Zinwell functions from the front of the box. The last time I used the Zinwell, the PQ seemed to be very, very good. I'm intrigued to try it out again with our secondary CRT - which is mainly used by my wife to watch SD subchannels such as Create, ION Life, ThisTV and CoziTV.

Amazon still sells brand-new converter boxes designated as the Zinwell ZAT-970A. However, even though the Amazon product looks visually identical, product reviews indicate that it's not identical with the Zinwell CECB sold during the 2008-2009 TV Converter Box program.
seatacboy is offline  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:34 PM
Member
 
Mitchman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post
I acquired one of these cheap at a thrift store minus its remote control. Using the Zinwell code on a Philips universal remote doesn't quite unlock all of the functionality. Can someone recommend a specific u-remote which completely controls the Zinwell ZAT-970A?
Search this thread for info on the Dollar Tree Remote.
Mitchman is offline  
Old 02-23-2015, 09:35 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post
I will have to see which Philips remote I have and whether there's a better code. You are correct that, unlike some other CECBs, there is a back-door way to manage some of the Zinwell functions from the front of the box. The last time I used the Zinwell, the PQ seemed to be very, very good. I'm intrigued to try it out again with our secondary CRT - which is mainly used by my wife to watch SD subchannels such as Create, ION Life, ThisTV and CoziTV.

Amazon still sells brand-new converter boxes designated as the Zinwell ZAT-970A. However, even though the Amazon product looks visually identical, product reviews indicate that it's not identical with the Zinwell CECB sold during the 2008-2009 TV Converter Box program.
There's no menu button on the front of the box (unless there's some weird button push combo that works); I was referring to using a u-remote's menu button (though could be called something else like system, etc.).

Yes the PQ rated in the top-tier section of Consumer Reports CECB review. Of course sub-channels it may not matter much ; well maybe if they are showing something with decent PQ but motion typically sucks with those low data rates.

Yeah be careful buying the 'new' Zinwells. I don't know from experience but at one time they did show a different pic for them, it looked more boxy like a Channel Master. The description and manual didn't list the timer/recorder helper and favorites functions anymore. Menu stuff shown in the manual looked completely different too. I'm thinking it got transferred or sold to that ZinnetUSA distributor or even outright sold to someone else. Download the most recent manual before buying one.

Floydage is offline  
Old 08-29-2015, 05:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
seatacboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 27
A month ago, acquired the genuine ZAT-4502 remote and can fully utilize this converter box on the last non-HD television connected in our house. The Zinwell ZAT 970A is a good product. One thing I am curious about: how can I manually add a channel might have been missed during the channel scan?
Floydage likes this.
seatacboy is offline  
Old 08-30-2015, 01:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post
A month ago, acquired the genuine ZAT-4502 remote and can fully utilize this converter box on the last non-HD television connected in our house. The Zinwell ZAT 970A is a good product. One thing I am curious about: how can I manually add a channel might have been missed during the channel scan?
Congrats!

Main Menu>Installation>Manual Scan>Scan Mode (By Channel or By Frequency)>pick it>Search

As you can tell you need to know the channel info before starting.

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:42 AM
Member
 
jvvh5897's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 22
One of these new ZAT-970A b was brought to me for testing the other day. It has the processor under a heat sink, a Broadcom tuner decoder chip (I think) BCM3520KQ. MXIC 25L3206E 4 meg flash and what looks like a RAM chip.
User interface was just about the same as the RCA DTA800--looks the same and most of the menus are the same.
Channel scan only allowed a re-scan, no channel add.
The power saver could shutdown after 4 or 8 hours, or after the current show was over, or no power saver mode. There is an undocumented power saver mode to shut the box off if more than 15 minutes of no signal happened--no shut off of that in menu and defeating the saver mode does not shut off the no signal shutdown.
No obvious button presses on the front get you any hidden menus.
There is an RS232 TTL type of interface on the inside that can be used w' standard rs232 port of PC with a little circuit like used in the RCA DTA800--same settings 115.2 8N1. Console menu gives you some of the old RCA box options and some new:


Console Menu:
4) Download and update signed image
5) Download and update software in flash
6) Toggle TASKINFO periodic display
8) Print system status...
9) Enter FM deviation factor...
11) Reboot
21) Erase second image
22) Invoke debug stub
91) Set deinterlacer output affinity
92) Set HD H_SCL Coefficient Index
93) Set SD H_SCL Coefficient Index
94) Set HD V_SCL Coefficient Index
95) Set SD V_SCL Coefficient Index
96) Set AVL configuration
97) NXP_TDA182I4_DupReg
98) NXP_TDA182I4_SetScanfreqForTest (Mhz)
99) Power,Channel up/down
110) Enable AVL
120) Get Power Level from NXP TDA182I4
140) Enable time debug
170)lDisplayOffsetValue
180)Set Test Scan Freq
190),0)Line,LoRo,1)Line,Auto,2)Line,LtRt,3)Rf,LoRo ,4)Rf,Auto,5)Rf,LtRt


The download commands don't seem to do anything on the serial line. I used the two center pins for RX and TX, but there are 4 pins and maybe one of the others is used for other downloads or comms.


Remote is NEC1 protocol.
Power button on front can't be bridged to give auto-on as the button must be pressed and released to get box on.
Sensitivity seemed a little better than the older RCA box, but not by much. Rejection of adjacent channels seemed a little better.
There is lots of talk about timers in the start of this thread--that feature seems missing.
I suspect that the ALI chip seen in the photo posted of the inside of the box is not the one used in the newer version--I would think it is Broadcom chipset based on the on-screen menu and console menu.
jvvh5897 is offline  
Old 09-12-2015, 02:36 PM
Member
 
tripelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Newer ZAT-970 in White Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvvh5897 View Post
One of these new ZAT-970A b was brought to me for testing the other day..
A while back, looked at one of the ZAT-970s in a white box .

The tuner was labeled DARQ59-6R-E:

Inside the shield was:

S3W - 3 lead Transistor, maybe BFG31R

R25- 3 lead Transistor, low noise VHF/UHF

R25-3 lead Transistor, low noise VHF/UHF

TDA6509ATT, Phillips PLL, 3-band Mixer Oscillator

CS5797 32 lead

A77000 2QN2 16 lead

Sanyo Semicon Device LA77000V
Monolithic Linear IC VHF Band RF Modulator USA, CH-3,4

3234 8 lead


==== Other components outside Tuner shield ======


25L1606E
8 lead, 8-pin serial BIOS chip

27.000 MHz xtal

*Large 104 pin device, covered in heatsink) maybe demodulator, 26 pins per side (4 sides)

Hynix H5DU2562GTR-E3C, 256 Mb DDR

---------------------------

* Without removing the heat sink, Guessed the large device, might be Realtek RTD2885S (demodulator)

=======================

Did a bit of bench testing:

The tuner, having apparently three separate bands (VHF-Lo, VHF-Hi, and UHF) rejected FM and cross-band signals better than the ZAT-950 and the ZAT-970 (both version with Microtune wideband tuner). You all probably know that later versions of the ZAT-970 used the Microtune wideband tuner, whereas the earlier 970s used the Sanyo tuner.

Was hoping the demodulator in the white box 970 might have improved over the very good Auvitek unit (apparently used in all the early versions). But, have not been able to make a direct comparison in a difficult multipath scenario.

Seems to be no relationship of this particular ZAT-970 to earlier versions ZAT-950 or ZAT-970s
tripelo is online now  
Old 09-12-2015, 07:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Greek to me. Does it actually have a b? I saw one on Amazon, downloaded the manual and noticed no more goodies like Favorites, timer, etc. The first time I saw one on Amazon it was in a completely different rectangular box kinda like a ChannelMaster (but maybe not metal); later I saw it in the original style box, assuming the pic was correct... Me thinks it was sold off to Zinnet the distributor, I suspect cost-reduced and probably cheapened (or at least the software) but glad to read the tuner fared well.

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-13-2015, 04:23 AM
Member
 
tripelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 12
ZAT 970A in White Case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post
Greek to me. Does it actually have a b? ... The first time I saw one on Amazon it was in a completely different rectangular box kinda like a ChannelMaster (but maybe not metal)...
Not sure what you and jvvh5897 are referring to as "b" ?

Yes the case is metal kinda like the CM-7000. Images below:







Quote:
... Me thinks it was sold off to Zinnet the distributor, I suspect cost-reduced and probably cheapened (or at least the software)...
Could be. Although the hardware and chassis doesn't seem to be cheaper.

Quote:
...but glad to read the tuner fared well...
Don't think the tuner is as good as the Sanyo, but could be better in some respects than the Microtune (tuner-on-a-chip). The Microtune has very little RF selectivity.

Can't say how good the demodulator is.

In far fringe situations, the demodulator/equalizer may be quite important. The demodulator/equalizer mitigates the effects of multipath. In most cases, a preamplifier can compensate for tuner noise figure (sensitivity).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ZAT970 White Front.jpg
Views:	246
Size:	38.3 KB
ID:	938402   Click image for larger version

Name:	ZAT970 White Rear.jpg
Views:	216
Size:	34.9 KB
ID:	938410   Click image for larger version

Name:	ZAT870 uncover tuner & components.jpg
Views:	237
Size:	81.8 KB
ID:	938418  
tripelo is online now  
Old 09-13-2015, 12:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Looks good and sturdy, built-in power supply too vs. the ol' wall-wart - thanks for the pics. Software looks to be the cutback; does require lots of man-hour resources (heck the previous Zinwells had their software bugs on the 'extras' so it doesn't surprise me they cut some fat). Funny they can call it the same model when it's obviously different, sounds a little fishy from a marketing 'taking advantage' standpoint. I guess jvvh threw in the b to clarify a difference.

Yeah I wish I had more 950s than 970s (i.e. Sanyo). I also experience a weird line noise problem with the 970s but not on my lone 950 (I think they're all As but I'm being lazy). The A/V goes off in the weeds if say I flip the switch on a fan (on/off or speed) on the same line; not a major issue as it clears up with a simple channel retune.

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-14-2015, 07:41 AM
Member
 
tripelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 12
ZAT 970A in White Case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post
... Software looks to be the cutback;...
Below is a camera shot of the setup screen.

Perhaps you or someone, have seen a screen similar to this on another brand of converter.




Quote:
I also experience a weird line noise problem with the 970s but not on my lone 950 (I think they're all As but I'm being lazy). .
Haven't encountered a line noise problem with a regular 970 or 950.

Quote:
...The A/V goes off in the weeds if say I flip the switch on a fan (on/off or speed) on the same line; not a major issue as it clears up with a simple channel retune.
On the regular 950 or 970, occasionally the audio loses synchronization with the video, usually happens on a channel that is experiencing momentary fade or severe multipath. Have seen this happen on a few other brands of converters.

As you note, changing channels then return cures the anomaly.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Software Info 970A-n.jpg
Views:	213
Size:	99.7 KB
ID:	939786  
tripelo is online now  
Old 09-14-2015, 10:42 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Unfamiliar screen to me. My other boxes are ChannelMasters and Artecs, and though it's been a long time since I set up my mom's RCAs. My friend had a Zenith, seemed like it was similar to an Artec (which from my view appear to be a Zenith clone sans built-in power supply). Might try other boxes that use the same main processor. I noticed the Software Version doesn't contain the numbers 970 like my originals (also has the A after the numbers).

Try plugging a fan into the same outlet as a regular 970A (I don't think I was using a power strip; actually different outlets but on the same circuit breaker). My 950A glitches with fan toggling but recovers whereas my 970As don't, and I have quite a few 970As; but it could be the lots I have as I don't think they were real far apart in mfg date.

I don't recall having an RF induced A/V synch problem that didn't resolve itself without a retune.

This 'different' 970A needs its own new thread IMO. Gonna be confusing.

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-17-2015, 11:44 AM
Member
 
jvvh5897's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 22
The little b in the model number came out of the serial port as part of boot messages. You get stuff like:
SHMOO VER 1.12
AOV_BOARD = ACB614
1G DDR
MODEL = Zinwell
Remote = ZRC-4502
V-CHIP threshlod rating level
DISABLE TRANSPARENT OSD
Jul 26 2013,15:36:49
Calculated MIPS = 375756620Hz:

The case on these new ones look like the old plastic case ones that you see in pics in this thread. White with a top that comes off. You have to open it up to see what you have IMO. Oh, the power is from a 5V wall wart--that should differ.

I went ahead and dumped the flash contents by removing it from the mother board and reading it with SPIPGM. You see "Broadcom" in there. Code is MIPS32. Boot looks tiny vs the RCA one, all but a little code is in the gz compressed mainsw,about 1.6 Meg compressed, about 3.7 meg un-packed. Some of the boot gets moved to RAM for execution. The mainsw ends up at 80016000 after un-pack. Lots of what I learned with the RCA was of use, some was not. Seems parts of the serial menu that seem active are really not--like the #4 load that was of such use in my RCA tests. I've figured out how to add it though. About 2/3 of the flash is unused and in the upper half of the 4Meg there is only one 4K block used for the channel list.

I'm not sure that there is really much under the heatsink, the BCM3520 chip seems to be doing everything. The heatsink might be covering an interface chip--maybe FPGA type of thing. Some of the routines that would use processor registers now seem to be using memory mapped IO. But I could be missing something as the old RCA sw was about half the size of this box's.

Last edited by jvvh5897; 09-17-2015 at 11:51 AM.
jvvh5897 is offline  
Old 09-18-2015, 11:05 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
So that's where the little b came from. SHMOO

Sounds like there's two versions of new ones like I saw on Amazon over recent years, both with reduced features. Maybe the metal box one is to incorporate the built-in power supply. jvvh, does your old-style plastic case b model's PCB look like the main board in tripelo's metal case [later/potential b] model above?

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-19-2015, 12:48 PM
Member
 
jvvh5897's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Not even close to the metal case one. Pretty close to the plastic case though--front buttons and IR/LED in about the same places; back panel stuff in about the same places, major chips in about the same places and even lots of traces on the board look like similar layout--just a major chip or two are different and the tuner is lots smaller. Board has a couple of analog chips on the underside--might be part of the power supply but hard to say.


I did find a couple of features. If you hold down all three front buttons for a couple of seconds you get a message out the serial port that the backup is getting set to default settings--might be the same feature as you can get on the main menu to go to default settings though. If you are in default settings then if you hold down just the ch+ button then on power up the box will try to upload an upgrade via serial port using xmodem. Size is limited to 3 meg when the upgrade is un-packed and to 2 meg in compressed state--you have to load the compressed state. I've been able to compress the first 3 megs of the dump I got using minigzip and the box liked it just fine. You might be able to load just the mainsw, but I have not tried that (I see a test in code for the header on the mainsw and address that looks like it might load it to the right place). The sw has gzlib version number of 1.2.3 and I have used that for minigzip, but I don't see much diff with older versions. I can't compress the mainsw to the same level with 1.2.3 as you see in the dumped code even if I use the max compression level--so they might use a higher level version of gzlib there.


The code looks like it supports 3 or 4 different tuners--anyway there are 4 tables of frequencies that seem to span the OTA bands. Lots of remote controls are potentially supported too--change the right byte and it would support that remote in place of the standard one programmed in.
jvvh5897 is offline  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:52 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
Interesting. Your b appears to be a simple cost-reduction whereas the metal dude is mostly revamped, makes me wonder the release timing of those two. Maybe the metal dude is a complete sell-off to another firm or even a knock-off of sorts.

You appear to have the power to bring the features back.

Or could need to separately control the bands and sub-bands of a tuner. Or both.

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-20-2015, 01:51 PM
Member
 
jvvh5897's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 22
My goal is just to get the box to power up completely when power is applied, and to defeat the no signal turn off.
That should make the box usable for the reason it was bought.


So, far I have made mods to replace a few strings (customized the user interface a little to point to translator assoc web page), got the serial port to dump flash and RAM, got into the Debug screen (kind of interesting--you have vendor info, tuner status, decoder status and some sort of custom freq search), changed the time it takes to get no signal shutdown (haven't defeated it yet but now I know where to do some other mods). Still some work to do.


Here is a pic inside the box. The wires are the serial port interface I'm using--kind of cobbled together.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	GEDC0248.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	74.1 KB
ID:	953034  
Floydage likes this.
jvvh5897 is offline  
Old 09-20-2015, 03:49 PM
AVS Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvvh5897 View Post
My goal is just to get the box to power up completely when power is applied, and to defeat the no signal turn off.
That should make the box usable for the reason it was bought.


So, far I have made mods to replace a few strings (customized the user interface a little to point to translator assoc web page), got the serial port to dump flash and RAM, got into the Debug screen (kind of interesting--you have vendor info, tuner status, decoder status and some sort of custom freq search), changed the time it takes to get no signal shutdown (haven't defeated it yet but now I know where to do some other mods). Still some work to do.


Here is a pic inside the box. The wires are the serial port interface I'm using--kind of cobbled together.
I just stumbled across this post and have not yet backtracked to see what related considerations you have, but the Tivax and AccessHD (which are not HD) boxes all use Zoran processors and all retain their power up status and tuned channel number (edit) through power interruptions. I've used hundreds of each in multiple dwelling unit headends, and the failure rates of the AccessHD boxes is much higher than the Tivax boxes, which surprises me because the power supplies of the AccessHD boxes are external wallwarts.

Before I discovered those two readily obtainable products, I was using the Channel Master CM7000s, and while they held up fairly well, they were more expensive and harder to locate for replacement purchases.

I haven't had reason to test them for no-signal turnoff.

Last edited by AntAltMike; 09-21-2015 at 04:42 PM.
AntAltMike is online now  
Old 09-20-2015, 04:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
AntAltMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 3,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked: 55
Here is an archived Wikipedia Comparison of CECB Units page that they deleted back on August 13, 2011 that may be of some use to you.

http://web.archive.org/web/201102260..._of_CECB_units
Floydage likes this.
AntAltMike is online now  
Old 09-21-2015, 12:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Floydage's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,848
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 64
I hate no-signal turn-off (or in my case stop recording and then possibly turn off). I've been burned on DVDR [attempted] recordings since it's typical of those devices. Makes me actually miss VCRs . That would really get ugly for me since I drive the recorders with converter boxes (ChannelMaster for s-video but switch to a Zinwell for a rare timer recording); don't recall any up until now that had that 'feature.' In my case I have to be sure to set the Zinwell to turn on in advance of the DVDR; then I have to be careful in selecting the sleep timer setting since the settings are in increments of 1 hour (again with missing the VCRs!).

Ah the Wiki CECB page, brings back memories! Thanks Mike, I will save that one.

Floydage is offline  
Old 09-22-2015, 09:58 AM
Member
 
jvvh5897's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Got the last two needed mods--now boots up when plugged in to a normal state and does not shut down if no-signal condition last 15 minutes or more. Time to put it in the shack and see how it does.
Floydage likes this.
jvvh5897 is offline  
Old 10-04-2015, 12:19 PM
Member
 
jvvh5897's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 22
So far, pretty good results from the box. It holds the weak signal we get from the ch 7 station a little better, and has only frozen once dealing with all the ups and downs of the signal and though the video was frozen the audio was still playing, so not all that bad a freeze. I have a timer that powers down the box once a day and that got the box running normal again. Pretty good box hack from what I can tell.


The box has to deal with the signal seen in : Long path signal record
Floydage likes this.
jvvh5897 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
 
taboola here
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off