169Time Technical Issues and Bugs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-14-2002, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I've created this thread to be distinctly separate from the "status" thread. It is not for discussion of the current 169Time company status or version status, but rather the discussion of pure technical support issues associated with the currently shipping product.

I've been having the following problems with my 169Time-modified DTC100:

- RANDOM RESTART: at least once or twice a week, in the middle of an operation, my DTC100 will go black and restart itself. It then boots up into the initial DTC100 setup menu. This does not happen completely at random (i.e. during record or playback), but always with the execution of some function in an onscreen menu, or a direct remote function.

Examples: Switching from RF Line Input A to Input B. Switching from DTV to Line In. Switching from HDTV output to S-Video output. Going to the antenna strength screen in the onscreen menus.

It is non-consistent -- i.e. 90% of the time performing any of these functions will not cause a reset -- but every so often one of them will. It is ALWAYS at the exact moment of executing one of the listed functions that the unit restarts.

Has anyone else out there experienced this? Is it a problem related to the 169Time modification, or is my DTC100 defective? Note that the DTC100 was purchased brand new from 169Time with the mod preinstalled.

- NO PLAYBACK WITH DIRECTV SELECTED: This befuddled me for a few days, but I finally realized you cannot play back a D-VHS tape through the DTC100 if you are currently watching DirecTV. I knew, of course, that you cannot record DirecTV -- but I assumed you could still play back a recorded tape regardless of what was being displayed.

Is this normal? If so, I'm surprised I haven't seen it mentioned here before. This should definitely be included with some form of instructions (it would be nice if ANY instructions were included with the product).

- RANDOM LACK OF PLAYBACK: Occasionally, even when the proper RF line is selected (not DirecTV), and playback is engaged -- the image freezes (like normal, just prior to playback), but playback never begins. If the tape is stopped, and playback is engaged again, everything is fine.

Does anyone else experience these issues on a regular basis?

Note that I am running version 1.4.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can comment.

DC
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-14-2002, 07:50 AM
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One difference between 169 and a PC vendor is that with the PC vendor, you can download the updated drivers or firmware and install them yourself for free. In fact, most of the rest of the companies in the "electronics age" support earlier versions of firmware and will upgrade for free (within a reasonable time of purchase) if there are known issues with older firmware.

The way I understand it, with their current "support" system, all 169 time has to do is release a new version of firmware and anyone who has bought a unit previously will get no support.

It certainly DOES make sense to comment on issues with previous firmware versions. Doesn't Richard know which bugs he fixed? Most bugs don't fix themselves. Certainly, one software change can fix several bugs, even ones the programmer wasn't aware of; but, you can't expect people to keep upgrading their firmware without knowing what issues have been resolved.

Mark
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-14-2002, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Dave,

I cannot, at present, upgrade to version 1.5.

I cannot do without my receiver for a couple of weeks at the moment (it is my only DirecTV receiver), and I cannot, at the moment, purchase nor install the bypass board.

I wanted to try to determine if other owners had experienced these problems, and whether it was the 169Time mod or my DTC100. A simple acknowledgment of one or more of these specific issues would have answered it for me (and helped me determine whether I truly needed to send my unit in or not).

If others (including you) who own (or owned) version 1.4 of the mod just chimed in and said "Nope, I used version 1.4 for a few months and never saw what you're describing" - or - "Yup, I saw these same problems in 1.4 but they're fixed in the 1.5 upgrade" - or - "Yup, I had these same problems and there still there in 1.5" .....etc..... it would give me the answer I'm looking for.

To say "I won't answer your question until you upgrade to the latest version" is not a great answer.

Lastly, on the 169Time website it says clearly that upgrades are non-mandatory, indicating that technical support should be available for 1.4 (esp. considering it's only been superseded in the past month).

If you truly represent 169Time, then you should support this. I shouldn't have to upgrade (as you state) before you will comment.

Dave, I'm not "trying to say there are issues", or "point out shortcomings" or criticize 169Time or their product -- I'm looking for some help here.

Please don't become such a cheerleader for 169Time that you think there's some shame in acknowledging a specific bug in a (very recent) version of the product.

DC

P.S. - You couldn't have picked a worse analogy in your argument; Just about EVERY computer vendor -- hardware or software -- provides support for previous versions for a reasonable length of time. Microsoft is still supporting Windows 2000 and NT4 -- even though they have been superseded (by several years) by Windows XP. Compaq, Dell, IBM et al. continue to provide tech support for hardware that was current two years ago (much less a product that was the "latest and greatest" just over a month ago, like ver. 1.4 of the 169Time mod).
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-14-2002, 02:16 PM
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DC,

With rev. 1.4 and the JVC deck I experienced all the same problems you noted except for the Random Restart. This may be due to your settings on the DTC-100.

Make sure you have VCR set to code 000 and that aquire off air guides are also set to off.

The good news is that 1.5 seems to have fixed the major issues.

Good Luck, Don
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-14-2002, 07:46 PM
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Hi All,
I have one question, what type of memory chips are used in the 169 mod. If they are ROM, then the chips must be replaced for the firmware to be replace.

They should had been based on Flash memory and then a simple serial RS232 interface to a computer could be used for upgrade. Thus you guys could download the firmware.

These are tech. issues that should had been resolved in the design of the mod.

This is the main reason I choose not to invest my money into this mod. My solution will be the Promise Module when its release this summer. The Promise Module like Mits Intergated TVswill contain a memory slot that will allow firmware upgrades.

Bruce.in.Triangle NC
Firewire is alive and kicking!
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-14-2002, 07:54 PM
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The reason for the design the way it is was totally intended. Not too hard to figure out if it was your business.

dave
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-15-2002, 02:32 AM
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The problem with the unit resetting can be resolved. It only happenes on some older DTC-100. If you would like this problem fixed you would have to send the unit in for a firmware update on the 169time unit and a small wiring/resistor change on the DTC-100.

Jeff
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-15-2002, 02:45 AM
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DC:

Thanks for detailing your problem with the restarts because it's a problem I've lived with for months. At first I thought it was a problem with my DTC-100 and not the 169Time mod, but after reading your post I can confirm that my unit also has the same problem with resetting itself a couple of times a week after hitting some function on the remote.The restarts aren't so common that they've screwed up a recording, but at this rate I'm sure that's only a matter of time.

Up to this point I hadn't heard anyone else with the mod complain about the restarting problem so I assumed it was just my particular DTC-100. Because of this I contacted Richard and Dave to set up a swap of my mod to a different DTC-100. But based on what you've described and what I've experienced it sounds as if it may be some unknown bug.

I was one of the earliest to take delivery of the mod and I'm not sure which firware version I have. But I guess I better try to get the latest firmware first before doing anything else to see if it cures it. Thanks again for the info DC.

Dave, you've never heard of restarting problems with the HDVR mod in either the 1.4 or the 1.5 firmware?

Mike
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-15-2002, 10:52 AM
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The restarting problem has nothing to do with the firmware. It has to do with the wiring to the main board in the DTC-100. Some Older DTC-100's need a slight change in the wiring.

Jeff
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-15-2002, 11:19 AM
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Jeff, I am not aware of this wiring change need. What is it?

dave
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-16-2002, 02:24 AM
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It's a change in a pair of the bypass circuit wires.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-16-2002, 06:35 AM
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I will ask Richard about this.

dave
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-16-2002, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much Don, Mike and Jeff.

This is exactly the kind of reply (and help) I was looking for. Looks like the 1.5 firmware, plus the resistor change on the DTC100 is what I need to clean up all of these problems.

Jeff, are you authorized to do warranty upgrades for 169Time? (i.e. if I bought the year of free upgrades, do you do them on behalf of 169Time for free? -- Or are you just a dealer for new purchases?). I'm on the east coast, so you're a lot closer to me.

Thanks,

DC
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-16-2002, 01:50 PM
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Only Richard can do firmware changes.

Dont make any changes to your wiring. Richard has written Jeff about his comments here and I am waiting for him to write us an update.

dave
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-16-2002, 02:54 PM
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Richard is having me do some testing on this wiring change. It is not an official update from 169time. Please do not do any changes to any wiring. Any official changes or updates must come from Richard or 169time themself.

I just want people to know that it is a known problem on a very few units and it is being dealt with.

Sorry for the confusion.

Jeff
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-16-2002, 03:12 PM
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Thanks Jeff

This is also why I will only post proven fixes, etc that I and Richard have verified on the other thread. We dont want to confuse folks.

dave
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