Best Way Foward For Dial Up Users? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-17-2015, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Best Way Foward For Dial Up Users?

Hi All,
Apologies if this has been asked before by someone else. I have two Panasonic PV-HS Showstoppers w/lifetime subscriptions. Of course they are dial up via POTS and I am a novice computer user. My question is, now that the mother ship is not transmitting channel guides any more, there a way to get an updated channel guide [for dialup users] & if so which/what is the easiest & least expensive way for a rookie to go? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

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post #2 of 26 Old 08-17-2015, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PV-HS2000 View Post
Hi All,
Apologies if this has been asked before by someone else. I have two Panasonic PV-HS Showstoppers w/lifetime subscriptions. Of course they are dial up via POTS and I am a novice computer user. My question is, now that the mother ship is not transmitting channel guides any more, there a way to get an updated channel guide [for dialup users] & if so which/what is the easiest & least expensive way for a rookie to go? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
Vote in this poll and express an interest in paying for dial-up support:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/27-rep...port-laho.html

The easiest way for you might be to simply replace your exisitng Show Stopper with a networkable 4xxx or 5xxx ReplayTV, and subscribe to PercData. The second easist would be to run WiRNS and subscribe to Schedules Direct.

You probably don't want to deal with setting up a modem with a line simulator to answer your ShowStopper's call.. as described in this thread:
http://www.planetreplay.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=14654
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post #3 of 26 Old 08-17-2015, 04:37 PM
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By far the easiest solution as dstoffa suggests is to replace them. Sad, but true.
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post #4 of 26 Old 08-17-2015, 08:10 PM
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By far the easiest solution as dstoffa suggests is to replace them. Sad, but true.
I wish someone would sell a simple device to replace the computer, modem, and line simulator in a freesco system, but there's probably too little demand.

Ebay lists a 4080 for $25 (shown with upside-down picture).

BTW, my first Replay (a 2020, the one I still have) cost about $700 in late 1999.
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-18-2015, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Replacing 2000 w/4xxx or 5xxxx

The easiest way for you might be to simply replace your existing Show Stopper with a networkable 4xxx or 5xxx


I have considered this, if on goes this route is/are there any costs to get the channel guide, I paid for lifetime way back when I would sure like to keep it especially if I have to buy new used units. Although I do like the networking ability record on one watch on another.

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Originally Posted by Reden View Post
By far the easiest solution as dstoffa suggests is to replace them. Sad, but true.

You can of course do manual recordings, singles no repeats.
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-18-2015, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mlloyd View Post
I wish someone would sell a simple device to replace the computer, modem, and line simulator in a freesco system, but there's probably too little demand.


I would buy one!

BTW, my first Replay (a 2020, the one I still have) cost about $700 in late 1999.
I liked my 2000 so much I got another one within a month of the first purchase paid approx. $500.00 at after 2000 Xmas sale. The only problem I have ever had were dead HDDs [on my 5th between the 2 units] and the IR issue w/a Comcast DTA [Pretty sure the Robman fixed that problem]. I still love the concept of these DVRs and not willing to give up just yet. The do make nice door stops BTW.

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post #8 of 26 Old 08-18-2015, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PV-HS2000 View Post
I have considered this, if on goes this route is/are there any costs to get the channel guide, I paid for lifetime way back when I would sure like to keep it especially if I have to buy new used units. Although I do like the networking ability record on one watch on another.
The problem is, without DNNA providing guide data, there's no way to take advantage of your lifetime subscription. Even if you were to install the Freesco solution, which Robert Eden painstakingly documented here: http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/ReplayTV-FREESCO, you'd still have to get guide data from somewhere. So, whether you stick with your 2K using Freesco or get one of the newer networked Replays, you'll still be in the same boat. The Freesco solution to your 2K simply gives it networking capabilities, more like a newer Replay (although, no room-to-room or anything like that). At the end of the day, you need guide data from somewhere. You can use WiRNS to provide guide data that you have to get from somewhere, or you can subscribe to LaHo. Either way, you'll likely have to pay for a subscription to guide data...

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post #9 of 26 Old 08-18-2015, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Henry. I do understand that I will need to get a guide from somewhere somehow & therein lies [some] of the confusion. Perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree, but I was considering this site: http://www.percdata.com/faq/setup_rtv3000 & saw this:
OLD Setup Instructions for Dialup ReplayTV Units


2000/3000/Showstopper


Note: The PercData dialup is no longer available.

Is PercData LaHo? Because I am a SUCH a noob & so confused w/all the possible "alternatives" available I decided to post here for help, hopefully I am not the only one out there who is looking for guidance & this post/thread will help them as well. And yes, it does look as if I will need to start paying someone/service to get an updated CG, I am just looking for the least expensive and easiest way for a greenhorn to accomplish it. Even if that means "upgrading" to 4xxx or 5xxxx units I am still going to have to configure those units to update which will bring me to ask the same questions.


I agree w/mlloyd: "I wish someone would sell a simple device to replace the computer, modem, and line simulator in a freesco system, but there's probably too little demand" ..... I would definitely buy 2 if it would solve my issues!

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post #10 of 26 Old 08-18-2015, 04:32 PM
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PercData is the service that LaHo uses, so not quite the same thing, but very related. PercData is a guide service, like Schedules Direct, and LaHo is the RNS service that supplies your Replay with guide data...


I suppose it's nice that you started a new thread for people to see. There are actually quite a few around. The most current one is buried inside a different topic here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/27-rep...l#post36069074. And, there are topics dedicated to this subject on Planet Replay as well...


Henry
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-19-2015, 01:45 PM
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It would be great if someone could offer a service where users would purchase a dialup guide update service for the Showstoppers and Replay 2000/3000 series (which I'll generically refer to as Showstoppers) like the one previously provided by DNNA, but, for a number of technical and economic reasons, I really don't think that is practical. However, with remote assistance from someone familiar with setting up WiRNS and FreeSCO and maybe some help with hardware, I think just about anyone can put together a system in their home to update the Showstopper guides.

Hardware needed:

1) Phone simulator. Viking DLE-200B seems to be readily available for about $120.
2) Computer with modem. Windows XP operating system or later probably required. The computer may be an older laptop computer with built in or PCMCIA card modem and connected to your internet service. Since you will be granting remote assistance to a stranger, all personal information, especially any stored passwords, should be purged from that computer first.
3) If you can’t run telephone wiring from the Showstopper to the line simulator and computer, you may need a wireless phone jack system, such as GE InstaJack, which may run you another $120.
4) Telephone cords with modular jacks.

Note that the line simulator may show up on ebay for less than $120 and the same goes for the wireless jack system.

Your first step would be to plug together the Showstopper, line simulator, modem, and, if needed, wireless jack. Just about everyone knows someone who, if needed, can help out here. That person should be able to use the Showstopper’s 243-Zones feature to do a net connect and use Hyper Terminal to get the modem to answer, thus confirming that the hardware is connected properly and working.

Having put that in place, it would be time to grant remote assistance to one of us familiar with setting up WiRNS and FreeSCO. Following software installation, the final steps require that someone locally control the Showstopper with its remote control and look for various screens, followed by a populated guide. The person granted remote assistance could talk to the user by phone and guide them through the process.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-19-2015, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
It would be great if someone could offer a service where users would purchase a dialup guide update service for the Showstoppers and Replay 2000/3000 series (which I'll generically refer to as Showstoppers) like the one previously provided by DNNA, but, for a number of technical and economic reasons, I really don't think that is practical. However, with remote assistance from someone familiar with setting up WiRNS and FreeSCO and maybe some help with hardware, I think just about anyone can put together a system in their home to update the Showstopper guides.

Hardware needed:

1) Phone simulator. Viking DLE-200B seems to be readily available for about $120.
2) Computer with modem. Windows XP operating system or later probably required. The computer may be an older laptop computer with built in or PCMCIA card modem and connected to your internet service. Since you will be granting remote assistance to a stranger, all personal information, especially any stored passwords, should be purged from that computer first.
3) If you can’t run telephone wiring from the Showstopper to the line simulator and computer, you may need a wireless phone jack system, such as GE InstaJack, which may run you another $120.
4) Telephone cords with modular jacks.

Note that the line simulator may show up on ebay for less than $120 and the same goes for the wireless jack system.

Your first step would be to plug together the Showstopper, line simulator, modem, and, if needed, wireless jack. Just about everyone knows someone who, if needed, can help out here. That person should be able to use the Showstopper’s 243-Zones feature to do a net connect and use Hyper Terminal to get the modem to answer, thus confirming that the hardware is connected properly and working.

Having put that in place, it would be time to grant remote assistance to one of us familiar with setting up WiRNS and FreeSCO. Following software installation, the final steps require that someone locally control the Showstopper with its remote control and look for various screens, followed by a populated guide. The person granted remote assistance could talk to the user by phone and guide them through the process.
Since I had an older computer with floppy drive and RS232 ports, and a RS232 modem I used freesco 0.3.2 directly. No Windows. No VM. It works well and there was no problem getting a timer to start and stop it. Since I had the computer and modem, the only thing I had to buy was the phone simulator (the same model you mentioned). Setup was easy. I just had to follow the instructions.

One thing missing in the instructions was custom DNS, but since I had already fixed my network (as in other posts here), it worked.

The 2020 isn't dialing in every night, which seems to be because it has too many things to record.

I did have difficulty silencing the modem speaker. Changing the init string in freesco didn't work (it tried several like ATZL0, ATZM0, AT&F0L0, and AT&F1M0, etc...) and nothing worked. What I finally did was use another system to set NVRAM (ATL0, ATM0, AT&W0).

BTW, I just have one of these Replays, but I would think that only one freesco would be needed for multiple Replays.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-19-2015, 03:46 PM
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You can buy Replay 5040's on ebay at this moment for about $50-$100 (some cheaper).
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-20-2015, 11:00 AM
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For those considering purchase of a Replay 5040 and other model with an ethernet port, please be aware that these units do not have internal support for wi-fi. If you can't run a cable to your router, you may be able to use a wireless hub at your Replay to provide a data connection to a wireless router and over the internet to LaHo.

If you keep your dialup Replay, you can use a wireless phone jack arrangement as needed to connect your Replay to a phone simulator (or directly connected modem) located elsewhere in your home.

For Mark, yes, you can connect more than one dialup Replay to the phone simulator. I have 4 of them and they work well. However, the outgoing calls from the Replays must not overlap. When I first set up WiRNS, the outgoing calls were scheduled closely enough that a machine could try to connect while the one before it was already connected. Henry modified WiRNS to space the scheduled outgoing calls 16 minutes apart and give the user the option to increase that if needed.

I am glad that you found a way to silence the modem speaker, Mark. My external modem has a thumb wheel volume control that I didn't even notice at first. I was going to take it apart to disconnect the speaker, but didn't need to. Just set the volume control to minimum and the speaker is quiet.

As for your setup, Mark, are you running WiRNS on another computer or subscribing to LaHo? If you have WiRNS running on another computer, I don't see the advantage of using a second computer to run the FreeSCO machine. For other users considering the dedicated computer running FreeSCO, it uses a command line version of Linux as its operating system. Mark uses fairly generic hardware for the modem and ethernet port. Other people may have to locate Linux software drivers. The nice thing about VMware is that it takes care of the drivers for you.

As for an inexperienced computer user getting help, I don't think the helper needs to have previous experience setting up WiRNS and FreeSCO. The instructions here are quite good: http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/ReplayTV-FREESCO It would be better to have someone do the software installation in your home instead of doing it by remote access.
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-20-2015, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
For those considering purchase of a Replay 5040 and other model with an ethernet port, please be aware that these units do not have internal support for wi-fi. If you can't run a cable to your router, you may be able to use a wireless hub at your Replay to provide a data connection to a wireless router and over the internet to LaHo.

If you keep your dialup Replay, you can use a wireless phone jack arrangement as needed to connect your Replay to a phone simulator (or directly connected modem) located elsewhere in your home.

For Mark, yes, you can connect more than one dialup Replay to the phone simulator. I have 4 of them and they work well. However, the outgoing calls from the Replays must not overlap. When I first set up WiRNS, the outgoing calls were scheduled closely enough that a machine could try to connect while the one before it was already connected. Henry modified WiRNS to space the scheduled outgoing calls 16 minutes apart and give the user the option to increase that if needed.

I am glad that you found a way to silence the modem speaker, Mark. My external modem has a thumb wheel volume control that I didn't even notice at first. I was going to take it apart to disconnect the speaker, but didn't need to. Just set the volume control to minimum and the speaker is quiet.

As for your setup, Mark, are you running WiRNS on another computer or subscribing to LaHo? If you have WiRNS running on another computer, I don't see the advantage of using a second computer to run the FreeSCO machine. For other users considering the dedicated computer running FreeSCO, it uses a command line version of Linux as its operating system. Mark uses fairly generic hardware for the modem and ethernet port. Other people may have to locate Linux software drivers. The nice thing about VMware is that it takes care of the drivers for you.

As for an inexperienced computer user getting help, I don't think the helper needs to have previous experience setting up WiRNS and FreeSCO. The instructions here are quite good: http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/ReplayTV-FREESCO It would be better to have someone do the software installation in your home instead of doing it by remote access.
I have had WiRNS3 on a computer using Windows 7 for 4 years. They (it and the 2020) are in different rooms, for different reasons. I already have ethernet to both rooms, but would have to run an additional cable for the 2020 - freesco connection.

Also, I already had this old hardware (Pentium-133 PC with no hard drive* and RS232 modem) that isn't being used elsewhere. Otherwise I probably would be using a VM. I may want to do that instead of the dedicated hardware (USB - serial on netbook) but this is simpler, and more likely to work.

* - I think the built-in IDE controller works, but it WILL NOT boot with a drive larger than 8.4GB. The only suitable (small) drive I have doesn't work on it. I haven't yet tried an add-on IDE card.

BTW, I did once to try freesco on some different VM software, VirtualBox. The modem connection would work but there seemed to be no way to get freesco to recognize the ethernet adapter.
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-21-2015, 07:50 AM
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Mark, since you have put together something that works well, you probably aren't too interested in changing it ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it"). If the older computer "goes south" or you just decide you have too much clutter, there are wireless phone jacks for sale on ebay and elsewhere that will provide a virtual phone line between the two rooms. Some ebay sellers have the base station or extension for sale separately, but I recommend purchasing a compatible pair from the same seller.

If both rooms have phone jacks, you can check if there is a unused pair for a second phone line, yellow and black wires, which could be used to make a connection between the two rooms. Also, some users have reported the phone jacks wired with 3 pairs.

The ethernet cable typically has 4 pairs but only 2 are used. So, as another option, one unused pair could be used to provide a telephone circuit between the 2 rooms.

I am recommending the Viking DLE-200B phone line simulator because it is readily available and you have had good luck with it. It don't think the 28,800 bps top baud rate is much of a limitation. It may take a few minutes longer to update the guide but I don't see a need to speed things up, especially if you have only one Replay and do the guide updates late at night.

For myself, I bought a used Lineman Phone Line Simulator from an ebay seller based on price, but I am a retired electrical engineer and was willing to spend extra time getting it to work, if necessary. For those who are up to a challenge, there may be less expensive line simulators available on ebay and elsewhere. The Lineman actually has more features than the Viking DLE-200B, but they are overkill for this application.
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-21-2015, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
Mark, since you have put together something that works well, you probably aren't too interested in changing it ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it"). If the older computer "goes south" or you just decide you have too much clutter, there are wireless phone jacks for sale on ebay and elsewhere that will provide a virtual phone line between the two rooms. Some ebay sellers have the base station or extension for sale separately, but I recommend purchasing a compatible pair from the same seller.

If both rooms have phone jacks, you can check if there is a unused pair for a second phone line, yellow and black wires, which could be used to make a connection between the two rooms. Also, some users have reported the phone jacks wired with 3 pairs.

The ethernet cable typically has 4 pairs but only 2 are used. So, as another option, one unused pair could be used to provide a telephone circuit between the 2 rooms.

I am recommending the Viking DLE-200B phone line simulator because it is readily available and you have had good luck with it. It don't think the 28,800 bps top baud rate is much of a limitation. It may take a few minutes longer to update the guide but I don't see a need to speed things up, especially if you have only one Replay and do the guide updates late at night.

For myself, I bought a used Lineman Phone Line Simulator from an ebay seller based on price, but I am a retired electrical engineer and was willing to spend extra time getting it to work, if necessary. For those who are up to a challenge, there may be less expensive line simulators available on ebay and elsewhere. The Lineman actually has more features than the Viking DLE-200B, but they are overkill for this application.
The last time I used wireless phone jacks (that plug into electric outlets), they worked poorly (dialtone sounded strange and I never got a connection). I think it has a lot to do with the wiring. Since I don't live in the same place, they might be OK here. BTW, I'm pretty sure both of these rooms are on the same side of the electric service.

I grew up in a house with 3 pairs of wires between the phone jacks. They were blue, green, and orange (I forget which was used for phone, maybe blue). They looked like the pairs in ethernet cables, but without the brown pair. The house I'm in now had just 3 WIRES (red, green, yellow).

I have heard of interferance problems with using wires in the ethernet cable for phone.
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-21-2015, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for your input on wireless phone jacks. I did some research and didn't find much information on the wireless technology used. I know that a lot of these were used to support the DirecTV and Dish Networks satellite receivers, as well as Tivo DVRs, those with internal phone modems. Depending on the wireless technology used and the amount of RF interference in the area, these could work quite well or very poorly. So, reluctantly, I really can not recommend them to users in general. I suppose the satellite TV installers have experience with them and might have recommendations.

There is a Danish Company RTX manufacturing a wireless phone jack using the DECT technology also used in many cordless phones. Unfortunately, they only have 230 VAC models with European style plugs.

At one company where I worked, I believe an ethernet cable was used for our office desk phones, but we didn't put data on the same cable. Each office had a set of data jacks which connected to a patch panel in an equipment room. One jack was used for a standard analog telephone. If my recall is correct, the standard modular phone plug fit into the ethernet jack.
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-21-2015, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks for your input on wireless phone jacks. I did some research and didn't find much information on the wireless technology used. I know that a lot of these were used to support the DirecTV and Dish Networks satellite receivers, as well as Tivo DVRs, those with internal phone modems. Depending on the wireless technology used and the amount of RF interference in the area, these could work quite well or very poorly. So, reluctantly, I really can not recommend them to users in general. I suppose the satellite TV installers have experience with them and might have recommendations.

There is a Danish Company RTX manufacturing a wireless phone jack using the DECT technology also used in many cordless phones. Unfortunately, they only have 230 VAC models with European style plugs.

At one company where I worked, I believe an ethernet cable was used for our office desk phones, but we didn't put data on the same cable. Each office had a set of data jacks which connected to a patch panel in an equipment room. One jack was used for a standard analog telephone. If my recall is correct, the standard modular phone plug fit into the ethernet jack.
A phone plug (6P4C) will fit into an ethernet jack (8P8C). The shape of the connector centers it, phone pins 1-6 are connected to ethernet pins 2-7. Since the phone may only be using the center pins (3-4), they will be connected to pins 4-5 on the ethernet jack. The way ethernet is wired means the phoneline will not directly connect to any wires carrying ethernet data.

Phoneline should not be in the same cable, probably because of the higher voltage used for the phone ring. However the Replay-Freesco setup is not a normal phone line, and there should never be ring voltage in the first segment (Replay to phonesim).

As to possible problems with powerline phone jacks, I suppose the same problems affect "wireless" (plug-in not radio) intercoms. The ones of those I tried here worked, but not really well.

Also, I forgot about the phone jack I added (with 4-conductor wire) in the room with the WiRNS machine. It runs just outside the room with the 2020. I don't use this jack anymore and it shouldn't be too hard to divert the wire inside.
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-22-2015, 01:00 PM
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I found some user manuals for wireless phone jacks and read that some are designed for voice only, some for data only, and some both. Maybe all, except the RTX units that use DECT technology, send signals through the AC electrical wiring. The user manuals acknowledge that the units may not work well if base and extension units are too far apart and fluorescent lamps may affect their performance. RCA manufactures a satellite receiver with a telephone jack and acknowledges that it's wireless phone jacks may be limited to 9600 baud. I haven't found information on the radio signals used, but am inclined to believe that they use carrier frequencies below the low end of the extended AM broadcast band. I assume that the modulation is analog, probably AM.

There are a number of ebay sellers offering pairs of wireless phone jacks, base and extension, for $20-30 including shipping. If you have extreme difficulty running a pair of wires from your dialup Replay(s) to the computer and modem, it might be worth a try. Be sure to select a pair suitable for data. If you have the guides update late at night when CFLs and other electrical noise sources are off, the wireless phone jacks might work well. However, be sure to verify that your home is not pre-wired for a second phone line that you can use just for your Replays without interfering with your primary line. Most common from what I've found is a cable to the jacks with four wires, red, green, yellow and black. The red and green are the primary line and yellow and black the spare. In some cases the yellow and black connect to a small, plug in transformer, previously used to power the dial lamp on a Princess phone, but never removed. Check out the wiring carefully for continuity and absence of the low voltage AC. As Mark reports, some homes are pre-wired for 3 phone lines and a different color code is used. At the entry junction box, usually located outdoors, isolate this second phone line from the telephone company pair.
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post #21 of 26 Old 08-22-2015, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
I found some user manuals for wireless phone jacks and read that some are designed for voice only, some for data only, and some both. Maybe all, except the RTX units that use DECT technology, send signals through the AC electrical wiring. The user manuals acknowledge that the units may not work well if base and extension units are too far apart and fluorescent lamps may affect their performance. RCA manufactures a satellite receiver with a telephone jack and acknowledges that it's wireless phone jacks may be limited to 9600 baud. I haven't found information on the radio signals used, but am inclined to believe that they use carrier frequencies below the low end of the extended AM broadcast band. I assume that the modulation is analog, probably AM.

There are a number of ebay sellers offering pairs of wireless phone jacks, base and extension, for $20-30 including shipping. If you have extreme difficulty running a pair of wires from your dialup Replay(s) to the computer and modem, it might be worth a try. Be sure to select a pair suitable for data. If you have the guides update late at night when CFLs and other electrical noise sources are off, the wireless phone jacks might work well. However, be sure to verify that your home is not pre-wired for a second phone line that you can use just for your Replays without interfering with your primary line. Most common from what I've found is a cable to the jacks with four wires, red, green, yellow and black. The red and green are the primary line and yellow and black the spare. In some cases the yellow and black connect to a small, plug in transformer, previously used to power the dial lamp on a Princess phone, but never removed. Check out the wiring carefully for continuity and absence of the low voltage AC. As Mark reports, some homes are pre-wired for 3 phone lines and a different color code is used. At the entry junction box, usually located outdoors, isolate this second phone line from the telephone company pair.
I've also seen 6-wire cable with the usual colors for 4 wires plus white and blue. The (6P6C) connectors for this are the same size as the (6P4C) connecctors for standard phone wire and fit standard jacks. I've seen this cable for sale at Lowe's.
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post #22 of 26 Old 08-29-2015, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Magic jack vs chat chord

So I decided to go this way w/my 2K SS http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/ReplayTV-FREESCO. My question is if I go the magic jack way vs.the chat-cord way do I need to subscribe to magic jack or is it just used to providepower to the laptop to 2K phone line connection?

Jack of All, master of NONE
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post #23 of 26 Old 08-29-2015, 11:15 PM
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It doesn't look like it actually uses the MagicJack service, it just uses the hardware to emulate a phone line when connecting to your PC's modem.
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post #24 of 26 Old 09-15-2015, 08:59 AM
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Yes, actually you don't want the Magicjack service, because it will put tones on the line.


Standard phone lines have DC, which the telecom engineers call "talk battery", supplied through a series impedance from the phone company equipment. When you connect a modem to a modem, there is no source of “talk battery.”Some modems require the "talk battery" and some can operate without it. The modem inside the ReplayTV does not require “talk battery.” Modems with a telephone line interface using a transformer and relay typically do not require “talk battery,” Modems with an electronic interface, such as those in PCMCIA cards and many internal modems for desk and laptop computers, do, because the electronic interface depends on the “talk battery” for power. When you connect two modems back to back, there is no source of "talk battery."


Under "Make sure your modem is compatible with your Replay", paragraph 8, one method of providing "talk battery" is to connect a 9 volt battery in series with a 330 to 1000 ohm resistor. You would obtain a T adaptor like the one in the picture and a phone jack. (Most T adaptors have the plug molded into the plastic, instead of the short cord shown in the picture. That is fine.) Connect one modem to one jack of the T adaptor, the other modem to the other jack, and insert the plug into the phone jack. Connect the 9 volt battery in series with the resistor to the red and green wires of the phone jack for testing.

The battery will get depleted fairly quickly. The suggestion is to plug the T adaptor into a Magicjack or Chatcord as a source of talk battery. You would not sign up for the phone service and, hopefully, the Magicjack or Chatcord would then not put tones on the line. However, I suggest completing the procedure with a battery and obtaining a phone simulator, also known as a telephone line emulator, for the long term.

A suitable line emulator is the Viking DLE-200B, which is available on ebay and has been found to work well. It will provide “talk battery.” Once you receive your line emulator, test it using two telephones plugged into the jacks, using one telephone to call the other. Make sure that the second phone rings, the line is quiet and conversation can take place. Repeat the “Make sure your modem is compatible with your ReplayTV” section, but wait for the text RING before typing ATA.


(Some ebay sellers have the DLE-200B without its AC adaptor. If you can obtain the AC adaptor from a separate source or improvise your own AC source, this can be a good buy.)


In the virtual machine, you will need to edit mgetty. Log on as root, password root, type the command line“edit pkg/sbin/mgetty”, change the line PHONESIM=n to PHONESIM=y and the change the line beginning with DELAY2 to DELAY2=600. Save the file (Alt-s). Reboot the virtual machine (command line “reboot”).

Why use a line emulator? If your PC modem has a relay, you may find the clicks annoying and the relay may eventually wear out. However, more importantly, you will likely have frequent failures. The modem tries to answer every 30 seconds or so. If the ReplayTV attempts connect after the modem has already answered, the modem may not finish synchronizing and sending the connect message before the virtual machine sends it a message to disconnect. The call will be lost, a message is left on your ReplayTV and the schedule update is delayed until the next day.


Note that the fastest modems typically connect at 33,600 bps in the back to back arrangement, even if they are called 56K modems. The modems used by internet service providers send at rates exceeding 33,600 but, while consumer modems receive at the higher rates, they are typically limited to a send rate of 33,600.
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-15-2015, 10:42 AM
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Yes, actually you don't want the Magicjack service, because it will put tones on the line.


Standard phone lines have DC, which the telecom engineers call "talk battery", supplied through a series impedance from the phone company equipment. When you connect a modem to a modem, there is no source of “talk battery.”Some modems require the "talk battery" and some can operate without it. The modem inside the ReplayTV does not require “talk battery.” Modems with a telephone line interface using a transformer and relay typically do not require “talk battery,” Modems with an electronic interface, such as those in PCMCIA cards and many internal modems for desk and laptop computers, do, because the electronic interface depends on the “talk battery” for power. When you connect two modems back to back, there is no source of "talk battery."


Under "Make sure your modem is compatible with your Replay", paragraph 8, one method of providing "talk battery" is to connect a 9 volt battery in series with a 330 to 1000 ohm resistor. You would obtain a T adaptor like the one in the picture and a phone jack. (Most T adaptors have the plug molded into the plastic, instead of the short cord shown in the picture. That is fine.) Connect one modem to one jack of the T adaptor, the other modem to the other jack, and insert the plug into the phone jack. Connect the 9 volt battery in series with the resistor to the red and green wires of the phone jack for testing.

The battery will get depleted fairly quickly. The suggestion is to plug the T adaptor into a Magicjack or Chatcord as a source of talk battery. You would not sign up for the phone service and, hopefully, the Magicjack or Chatcord would then not put tones on the line. However, I suggest completing the procedure with a battery and obtaining a phone simulator, also known as a telephone line emulator, for the long term.

A suitable line emulator is the Viking DLE-200B, which is available on ebay and has been found to work well. It will provide “talk battery.” Once you receive your line emulator, test it using two telephones plugged into the jacks, using one telephone to call the other. Make sure that the second phone rings, the line is quiet and conversation can take place. Repeat the “Make sure your modem is compatible with your ReplayTV” section, but wait for the text RING before typing ATA.


(Some ebay sellers have the DLE-200B without its AC adaptor. If you can obtain the AC adaptor from a separate source or improvise your own AC source, this can be a good buy.)


In the virtual machine, you will need to edit mgetty. Log on as root, password root, type the command line“edit pkg/sbin/mgetty”, change the line PHONESIM=n to PHONESIM=y and the change the line beginning with DELAY2 to DELAY2=600. Save the file (Alt-s). Reboot the virtual machine (command line “reboot”).

Why use a line emulator? If your PC modem has a relay, you may find the clicks annoying and the relay may eventually wear out. However, more importantly, you will likely have frequent failures. The modem tries to answer every 30 seconds or so. If the ReplayTV attempts connect after the modem has already answered, the modem may not finish synchronizing and sending the connect message before the virtual machine sends it a message to disconnect. The call will be lost, a message is left on your ReplayTV and the schedule update is delayed until the next day.


Note that the fastest modems typically connect at 33,600 bps in the back to back arrangement, even if they are called 56K modems. The modems used by internet service providers send at rates exceeding 33,600 but, while consumer modems receive at the higher rates, they are typically limited to a send rate of 33,600.
The mgetty I got defaulted to PHONESIM=y, so I never had to edit it. I think it was an older version.

I seem to remember that a 56K downstream connection required there to be no ADC in the phone line. That is, the sending modem had to have a digital interface.
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post #26 of 26 Old 09-17-2015, 08:34 AM
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The DLC-200B is specified to support a maximum data rate of 28.8 kbps, to be compared to a maximum rate of 33.6 kbps using a typical consumer 56K modem with 33.6 kbps maximum data rate and either a direct connection or wider bandwidth line emulator. For the typical user with one ReplayTV machine, the approx. 17% increase in connect time is not a problem.

DNNA contracted with one or more ISPs (internet service providers) with modems presumably capable of sending at V.90 53.3 kbps, as limited by the FCC or V.92's 56K. In my own experience, when I used a 56K modem to connect to the internet via an ISP, the full 53.3 was never achieved and the reported rate fell somewhere between 33.6 and 53.3. I assume that was true for the ReplayTV machines.

In practice, analog telephone connections are nearly universally encoded into digital format and transmitted over 64 kbps channels. One bit in 48 may be allocated to a control channel, reducing the portion for encoded analog to about 62.7 kbps, which is a theoretical upper limit under all circumstances. In practice, the analog signal is filtered to provide a fairly flat frequency response from 300-3000 Hz but rolling off below and above. The filtering further reduces the theoretical upper limit.

To achieve higher bit rates, as noted by Mark, the ISPs may have the phone company's digital signal connected to their equipment, bypassing analog filtering and providing a "4-wire" interface at one end. Supposedly, 56K downstream can be ideally achieved in this arrangement under the V.92 standard.
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