The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 657 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #19681 of 19720 Old 05-14-2019, 05:35 PM
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Why not?
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post #19682 of 19720 Old 05-14-2019, 05:36 PM
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Why not?

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post #19683 of 19720 Old 05-14-2019, 05:46 PM
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Every few months, I take a peek at this thread (I guess that is what it is called), to see what is going on. Gets me to thinking ( a rarity for me) about going down to the basement and bringing up my retired and sickly PAL, and do some surgery on it. But, reality sets in, and actually I am too lazy to perform any surgery on it.

This must be an old persons thing. Every now and again, I surf Ebay, looking for my old TI99/4A computer. I see some of them and start to go gaga over them, as I recall playing Parsec for hours on end. Of, course I did some programming on it, just to make the little wifey think it actually had a use (little did she know that it was just a toy for me).

Anyway, realty finally settles in, and I realize that I would never use that PAL, even if I did repair it...........

So, I was wondering if people still actually use it.
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post #19684 of 19720 Old 05-14-2019, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by clarkss12 View Post
Why are people still using this DVR??
It has a much better fast forward/reverse and slow motion than the newer DVR+, so I use the DTVPalDVR for sports and movies.

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post #19685 of 19720 Old 05-15-2019, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by clarkss12 View Post
Why are people still using this DVR??
I have had 2 of these DTVPal DVRs in use for 10+ years now with no hard drive or capacitor replacements required. My main living-room unit was purchased directly from Dish back in December 2008 when they had their "introductory" special for $250 and it has had daily use since then and still works just fine. I haven't done anything to it other than updating the firmware from the factory original F201 to the latest/newest F208.

Based on my personal experience I believe that these units were pretty well manufactured (considering their price point) for me to have a unit in daily use for 10+ years with no hardware repairs required. Also there is still interest in these units as I just recently sold one of the two brand-new units that I have listed in the AVS Forum classifieds.
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post #19686 of 19720 Old 05-15-2019, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by trp2525 View Post
I have had 2 of these DTVPal DVRs in use for 10+ years now with no hard drive or capacitor replacements required. My main living-room unit was purchased directly from Dish back in December 2008 when they had their "introductory" special for $250 and it has had daily use since then and still works just fine. I haven't done anything to it other than updating the firmware from the factory original F201 to the latest/newest F208.

Based on my personal experience I believe that these units were pretty well manufactured (considering their price point) for me to have a unit in daily use for 10+ years with no hardware repairs required. Also there is still interest in these units as I just recently sold one of the two brand-new units that I have listed in the AVS Forum classifieds.
That is amazing, thanks for the input.
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post #19687 of 19720 Old 05-15-2019, 08:00 AM
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There are a lot of features this old DVR lacks (like a nice long program guide, since TVGoS's demise), and for that reason I have and use other DVRs (mostly DVR+; an AirTV BB a little bit, although the BB will probably get more use next year when my Spectrum deal runs out, since I'll probably switch to Sling). But I still find myself coming back to the Pal for a few things:

  • I have a Roku hooked to an ATSC modulator so that I can time-shift streaming content, and it's more convenient to use the DTVPal than the iView to time-shift my "Roku channel" since it's always active. With the iView, you have to start time-shifting manually by hitting Pause.
  • It's a very convenient "backup" DVR. I set both the DTVPal and the DVR+ to record some shows I don't want to miss. The Pal records by time-of-day, while the DVR+ records according to its Internet guide; so one recording or the other will probably work even if something goes wrong (e.g., DST foul-up on the Pal, schedule change, CM lets the DVR+ guide get out-of-date, etc.)
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post #19688 of 19720 Old 05-15-2019, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkss12 View Post
Every few months, I take a peek at this thread (I guess that is what it is called), to see what is going on. Gets me to thinking ( a rarity for me) about going down to the basement and bringing up my retired and sickly PAL, and do some surgery on it. But, reality sets in, and actually I am too lazy to perform any surgery on it.

Anyway, I realize that I would never use that PAL, even if I did repair it...........
I suppose you could repair it, then list it on eBay. Turn it from something just wasting space into a little cash.

If the bad part is the HDD, you could even take the opportunity to upgrade it. 1 TB HDDs are pretty cheap these days.

Even if you can't repair it, it might still be worth a few bucks for spare parts.
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post #19689 of 19720 Old 05-15-2019, 01:44 PM
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Since I am a retired industrial electrician, I have lots of time on my hands. I guess it would be a good inexpensive project, to get it working again. I purchased it when it was a pre-order. As I recall, They replaced my original box, but don't remember why.

HD was just coming to broadcast TV, and only a few of the NFL games were even broadcast in 1080i or 720p. My cable provider wanted $10 extra a month to add the HD channels, which I felt should have been included in my existing package. Anyway, I installed an antenna onto my roof, purchased this DVR, for a total cost of about $400. All that just to save $10 a month, but it was the principle of it. I had just gotten my rear projection Toshiba 65" HD TV.

After my PAL died, I used a $30 Android stick, slapped OpenELEC onto it, and used TVheadend as my networked DVR. This of course, system still needed one of the HDHomeRun networked OTA tuners. Since then, I have moved to Emby DVR, still using the HDHomeRun OTA networked tuners.

I have multiple clients on different TV's that share the networked DVR.

So, even if I got the PAL DVR working again, I doubt if I would ever use it.
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post #19690 of 19720 Old 05-19-2019, 10:49 AM
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I have found this forum very helpful after replacing capacitors in mine about 2 years ago. It worked great until today when there was no TV signla. The menu worked and the recorded videos worked.
I unplugged and plugged it back in and it worked....until I got a temperature warning saying it was hot and could be damaged.
So I shut it off and took it apart and it was HOT. The fan was not turning.

Is there a way to check the fan before replacing it?
I checked the voltage on the pins and it registered at .02 volts. I would think it should be 12v.
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post #19691 of 19720 Old 05-19-2019, 01:03 PM
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You would test the fan by unplugging and removing it, then applying external power. A 9 Volt battery would work.
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post #19692 of 19720 Old 05-19-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ed_in_tx View Post
You would test the fan by unplugging and removing it, then applying external power. A 9 Volt battery would work.
good tip.
And it works on a 9v so it looks like i have problem.
The fan plug pins aren't providing 12v I guess.
I wonder where else I could tap 12v to run the fan?
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post #19693 of 19720 Old 05-19-2019, 06:05 PM
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Well I think I figured it out after some probing around with a volt meter.
It seems the ground post on the plug is not grounding.
Reading across the posts gave me .02 volts. Not good.
Reading from the red post to ground was 12 v. Good.
grounding the fan to the hard drive cover fixed it.
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post #19694 of 19720 Old 05-19-2019, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan93 View Post
Well I think I figured it out after some probing around with a volt meter.
It seems the ground post on the plug is not grounding.
Reading across the posts gave me .02 volts. Not good.
Reading from the red post to ground was 12 v. Good.
grounding the fan to the hard drive cover fixed it.
I would say good troubleshooting, but the fix... I would re-solder the two pin connector on PCB
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post #19695 of 19720 Old 05-20-2019, 08:23 AM
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Have not studied the fan control circuit, but it could be that the fan always has 12V on one pin, and the circuit that controls it pulls the neg side low to turn it on.
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post #19696 of 19720 Old 05-20-2019, 12:12 PM
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Yes; if that's the case, grounding the fan will cause it to run constantly.

Probably doesn't hurt anything though, except shortening the remaining life of the fan (and producing some noise).

Of course, it could also be that the control circuit itself has died, in which case the only feasible fix is to bypass it (thus causing the fan to run constantly).
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post #19697 of 19720 Old 05-20-2019, 02:04 PM
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Looking at a board I have here there's a transistor Q34 next to the fan plug, an On Semiconductor BCP56T1. This is probably what handles the current of the fan. If you can, you might test that, no power to the unit of course! If that's good and solder connections look good probably more serious. I've attached a diagram and image of this transistor.
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post #19698 of 19720 Old 05-24-2019, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Yes; if that's the case, grounding the fan will cause it to run constantly.

Probably doesn't hurt anything though, except shortening the remaining life of the fan (and producing some noise).

Of course, it could also be that the control circuit itself has died, in which case the only feasible fix is to bypass it (thus causing the fan to run constantly).
You are correct! which is why I am back, I didn't realize this until I plugged it in afterwards and realized the fan was running before I turned it on and thought "oh damn".

The issue here is that the + fan plug pin has 12v on it when you plug it in and turn it on, but the - fan plug pin is not showing 0 resistance to ground. Is the fan supposed to turn on as soon as you turn the unit on or does it only come on when it starts to heat up?

Also when you first plug the unit it, the fan runs for a few seconds but then stops , like a test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_in_tx View Post
Looking at a board I have here there's a transistor Q34 next to the fan plug, an On Semiconductor BCP56T1. This is probably what handles the current of the fan. If you can, you might test that, no power to the unit of course! If that's good and solder connections look good probably more serious. I've attached a diagram and image of this transistor.
Thanks for that diagram. And I used to know transistors but have since forgotten their functionality. How could I test that?

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Originally Posted by P Smith View Post
I would say good troubleshooting, but the fix... I would re-solder the two pin connector on PCB
Thanks, I'll try that too

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post #19699 of 19720 Old 05-25-2019, 09:59 AM
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SOLVED:
I put the wires back on the plug, plugged it in and turned it on. The fan was not running.
I ran it all night turned on with the cover off and when I checked it today, the fan was running. So it looks like it is activated by a heat sensor or something.
I think the initial problem may have been that the fan on the unit was blocked by some DVDs in the console (where it is enclosed with a glass dor) and it overheated.
I realize the closed compartment is not good but don't have much alternatives.
From now on I will just try to run it with more space and no obstructions to the fan.
At least nothing was broke or burned out.
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post #19700 of 19720 Old 05-26-2019, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan93 View Post
Thanks for that diagram. And I used to know transistors but have since forgotten their functionality. How could I test that?
In case you need to test a transistor in the future here's a YouTube video that gets to the point and explains how. (Some videos drag on for 8 to 10 minutes!)


Basically like testing two diodes with a common connection at the "base".


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Originally Posted by alan93 View Post
SOLVED:
I put the wires back on the plug, plugged it in and turned it on. The fan was not running.
I ran it all night turned on with the cover off and when I checked it today, the fan was running. So it looks like it is activated by a heat sensor or something.
I think the initial problem may have been that the fan on the unit was blocked by some DVDs in the console (where it is enclosed with a glass dor) and it overheated.
I realize the closed compartment is not good but don't have much alternatives.
From now on I will just try to run it with more space and no obstructions to the fan.
At least nothing was broke or burned out.
Glad you figured it out. Yeah, they definitely need to ventilate properly, and they do incorporate an active fan control circuit.
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post #19701 of 19720 Old 06-08-2019, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkss12 View Post
Why are people still using this DVR??
Because OTA still rules in my house and the DTVPal - I have three of them - works wonderfully on a dumb TV. I don't do any wireless and don't have a cell phone either. Not because I'm a fossil - I am active in the FLOSS community - but because I like my privacy. So at 77 I should be good until I won't need them anymore.
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post #19702 of 19720 Old 06-11-2019, 08:03 PM
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Because OTA still rules in my house and the DTVPal - I have three of them - works wonderfully on a dumb TV. I don't do any wireless and don't have a cell phone either. Not because I'm a fossil - I am active in the FLOSS community - but because I like my privacy. So at 77 I should be good until I won't need them anymore.
I still have one from 2008 plus two more I got for backups when they were going out the
door when Sears was getting rid of them.
Aside from crappy PSIP info ( thanks Rovi ) I'm happy with it. I just discovered that even with clock shift, I can add start and end times from
the menu.
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post #19703 of 19720 Old 06-20-2019, 03:48 PM
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Repacking day here in D/FW (actually it's tomorrow, but a few stations have already moved). My DTVPal auto-added KXTX/39 on its new frequency, RF 36, but weirdly it added it as 36-1 instead of 39-1. If I tune to 36-1 it "corrects" itself to 39-1, but if I go directly to 39-1 or 39-2, those are still "listening" on the old frequency and don't work.

So I deleted all three and rescanned RF 36 manually. All good now.
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post #19704 of 19720 Old 06-21-2019, 11:01 PM
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Some changes here in Austin also. I have re-scanned several times from the menu and the tuner isn't finding the new locations for KEYE (RF 34) or KNVA (RF 23). I got the new frequencies from the Austin forum. Maybe I need to unplug to find them. I tried deleting the old KNVA in hopes that a rescan would find the new one but zippo. Any suggestions?

*edit* How do you rescan by RF #? I've looked all over the menu and can't find where to do that. BTW, unplugging didn't work either.

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post #19705 of 19720 Old 06-22-2019, 05:16 AM
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I have re-scanned several times from the menu and the tuner isn't finding the new locations for KEYE (RF 34) or KNVA (RF 23). I tried deleting the old KNVA in hopes that a rescan would find the new one but zippo. Any suggestions?
Repacking was a bit of a mess here in DFW and it wouldn't surprise me if it was a mess in Austin too. Some stations here still haven't moved; some LPTV stations just went off the air until their new transmitter is ready.

So if Austin was like DFW, you might try rescanning on their old frequencies in case they haven't moved yet. If that doesn't work, you may just have to be patient.
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How do you rescan by RF #? I've looked all over the menu and can't find where to do that. BTW, unplugging didn't work either.
Menu-3-2-2-[enter password if system locked]-3, then enter the RF channel, move down, then move left or right so "Scan:" reads "Started". When the scan is complete it will revert to "Stopped" and show you what it found, if anything.
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post #19706 of 19720 Old 06-22-2019, 09:29 AM
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Repacking was a bit of a mess here in DFW and it wouldn't surprise me if it was a mess in Austin too. Some stations here still haven't moved; some LPTV stations just went off the air until their new transmitter is ready.
Supposedly everything is up and running. DTVPal just isn't finding them.

Quote:
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So if Austin was like DFW, you might try rescanning on their old frequencies in case they haven't moved yet. If that doesn't work, you may just have to be patient.Menu-3-2-2-[enter password if system locked]-3, then enter the RF channel, move down, then move left or right so "Scan:" reads "Started". When the scan is complete it will revert to "Stopped" and show you what it found, if anything.
It was already dead before I tried to rescan. That is exactly where I tried to change it . . . several times. Still not found. This sucks.
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post #19707 of 19720 Old 06-22-2019, 09:45 AM
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I tuned to KFWD 52.2 "Biz TV" last evening to see if they had fixed their audio levels and aspect ratio problems and my 'Pal immediately did a reboot. Weird. No other issues since. Audio levels and aspect ratios are even more screwed up than before Biz TV moved from 55. I had thought they would have broadcast engineers at an established station like KFWD who would pay attention to the details.
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post #19708 of 19720 Old 06-22-2019, 11:18 AM
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Supposedly everything is up and running. DTVPal just isn't finding them.

It was already dead before I tried to rescan. That is exactly where I tried to change it . . . several times. Still not found. This sucks.
Make sure you can get the missing stations with another TV or tuner. If you can, you may need to do a full rescan (Menu-3-2-1-[enter password if system locked]-1) with your DTVPal. That's happened to me a couple of times.
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post #19709 of 19720 Old 06-22-2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Make sure you can get the missing stations with another TV or tuner. If you can, you may need to do a full rescan (Menu-3-2-1-[enter password if system locked]-1) with your DTVPal. That's happened to me a couple of times.
THANK YOU! A full rescan found the missing channels. I ran it without first checking on another device because I really, REALLY don't like messing with hardware. It also pulled in more program data than I have been getting. Hope it continues to do that. It's nice to have the Pal fully functional again.
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post #19710 of 19720 Old 06-23-2019, 10:18 AM
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Yeah, I don't know what causes it, but every once in a while a DTVPal can get into a "mood" where it refuses to add channels, either automatically or via the 3-2-2-3 menu option. At least, it's happened to me a couple of times, and the only fix I could find was a full rescan.

I usually save the full rescan for the last resort, because it's annoying having to answer all those setup questions again, and because it clears out all your recording timers. But sometimes it seems to be the only thing that works.
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