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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All--


Reaching out for help here. I've had my MX-800 for awhile now, and absolutely love it, all but for one thing.... it has a very difficult time controlling my RCA DirecTV receiver (model DRD486RH) Full Info Here


My theory is that it may have something to do with the fact that the RCA remote I am learning from is an RF/IR combination remote, and the MX-800 isn't learning clearly from it.... however, I use another cheaper learning remote from my TV and it works flawlessly... Just to make sure, I disabled the RF option in the menu of my DTV receiver, but it didn't seem to help.


So, to see if it was related to learning from the RF/IR remote, I did all learning from the TV remote (which is IR only), and I still have the same problems with the reception from my MX-800... it only catches about 85% of the key presses, and bombs out on any of the macros I use for favorites (which is the most annoying thing).


All of my components are inside a wooden cabinet, so I'm relying on the RF from the MX-800 to be redistributed from the emitter I have in the cabinet. It works flawlessly with all other components, just not with this one, does anyone have any advice, anything I might have missed. If so, I would absolutely welcome your advice! Oh... one last thing, I also tried switching the emitter and the channel that goes to the RCA to see if that might be the problem, no luck there either.


Thanks in advance!
 

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There are a few things you could try. First, there's the possibility that the IR blaster of the base station is causing the problem if it's on. If you haven't already done so, try turning it off in MXEditor.


Second, set the MX-800 for IR only on the Sat receiver, open the cabinet and see if the remote works reliably just with IR direct from the remote. If it does, reset it for RF only then remove the IR emitter from its current position and try some different location away from the IR eye of the Sat receiver to potentially find a better position for it.


Finally, if it is a learning problem, try one of the other RCA satellite models in the MXEditor IR database and see if that helps.
 

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It might be the type of emitter cable you're using,and the fact the RCA uses a higher frequency, check this thread at remote central. Had problems myself with my UTV's,which use the same IR code as standard RCA sats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike, Edmund, thanks for your suggestions. I've done some more testing, and now have even more questions. ;)


Unfortunately, the IR-Blaster was already off, so that wasn't my problem (darn). Next plan was to use IR only on the MX-800, and... it worked flawlessly when pointed directly at the eye on the RCA receiver.


So, the problem is isolated to be between the IR translation to RF, and retransmission back along the IR emitter, as it works just fine when not using IR.


Edmund, I think you're on to something with your suggestion, but even after reading your post and the one on remotecentral.com, I'm not sure what I need to do to fix my problem....


Your post mentions that it may be the type of emitter cable I'm using, but the post on remotecentral makes it look like I need to actually buy an IR repeater (in addition to the repeater that came with the MX-800.... ugh...)


I'm not sure... since the MX-800 remote can output the required IR frequency with no problem, is the problem in the RF receiver, or in the emitter plugged into the receiver. (you know which answer I'm hoping for...) :)


By getting a different emitter, will I solve my problem, or do I have to lay down another ~$100 on top of my $500 remote to make this work? If it's an emitter, can you tell me which emitters have the frequency response I need.


Is there a cheaper way to do this than adding an IR repeater.


Again, guys, thanks for the help, I'm constantly amazed at how fast one can find people with the answers on this board!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One other tidbit to help figure this out....


When the Sat output is set to both IR and RF, and I point the MX-800 directly at the receiver, it has the same problems as when I am on RF only and the cabinet door is closed.


The only perfect, clear reception seems to come when I am on IR only and communicating line of sight with the eye on the receiver.


Is there some way the RF from the RF emitter is interfering with the IR codes sent directly from the remote? Why would this be...?


Thanks again...
 

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IR emitter, blaster, or repeater, it's all the same. All you need to replace is the wire coming from the MX-800's basestation. For me, I didn't need to purchase a new one, the one that is shipped with Dtivo's worked for me. In that old thread from RC, they mention the xantech emitter cable that should work. I have that thread bookmarked,and have used it half-dozen times or so to help others having the same problem.
 

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Originally posted by myrison


Quote:
Is there some way the RF from the RF emitter is interfering with the IR codes sent directly from the remote? Why would this be...?


Thanks again...
Well. it's the IR from RF basestation interfering, and the answer is YES. With IR eye on the end of the cable inches away from the IR pickup sensor, bombarding it with IR signal, preventing other IR signals from getting through. Very common with UEI RF remotes, personally haven't tried HTM RF remote yet.:)
 

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The MX-800's IR emitters send out a very strong signal. With some components you need to experiment with a position away from the IR eye of the component you're trying to control. Try moving the emitter to different locations and see if that does the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guys,


Many thanks for the help, I just ordered a pair of Xantech IR emitters to arrive late this week. I will try them out and let you know, but from Edmund's posts, it sounds like he's been through this before, so I'm feeling pretty good about my chances for correcting this problem.


Thanks again!


PS: Mike, I did try what you mentioned above about moving the emitter, and it didn't seem to make any difference, so I'm hoping it's the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again for the reminder, I had just put my computer up for the night when I remembered that I still needed the plug... came back here, and of course, you guys were one step ahead of me. :)


I was reading this post ...

Quote:
If you do use a longer IR emitter with the adapter, make sure you get a mono adapter (Radio Shack Part No. 274-327C, not available online). The ones mentioned above are stereo adapters.
...and noticed that a stereo adapter was first suggested, and then a mono wire was suggested for longer cable runs.


Should I get the mono for a shorter cable run as well, since I have my choice now and have to get one anyway? What effect does this have on a 10' max cable run?


Also, will mono/stereo have any effect on the results I hope to achieve in getting my RCA DirecTV receiver to respond to my RF signals repeated through my new emitter(s)?


Thanks one more time.


Jason
 

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You need the mono plug regardless of the run length. The base station doesn't use a stereo plug. Also, try one of the other emitters first to see if it's the emitter that's the problem. As Edmund mentioned, the Xantech emitters will work fine with the adapter plug.
 

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I had similar problems with the MX-800 and my Sony HD200 satellite receiver. I found that inserting 0.1 to 0.2 sec delays between commands to the receiver solved the problem. This was particularly an issue with FAV channel macros where one of the digits was omitted/dropped without the delay. Just one more thing to try..... good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well guys.... I'm closer. After nearly pulling all of my hair out last night messing with this setup, I finally got it mostly done around midnight.


My first problem was that the adapter plug from Radio Shack is just a little too big to allow it to be completely inserted into the control box for the MX-800. This only took me about an hour of head-scratching to figure out! :rolleyes:


So.... I got out my Swiss Army and cut about 1/4" of the plastic away from the plug, which finally allowed it to go in all the way.... Next problem was that the new emitter worked gloriously with the door to the cabinet open, but as soon as I closed it, the signal died almost completely (this was on RF mode only on the remote). This baffled me for another hour at least, until I realized that the IR was bouncing all over the place once the door was closed, and apparently not bouncing where it needed to.


So.... to make a long story a little longer, I moved the cable box all the way to the back of the cabinet, and let the IR bounce of the door only when closed. So, oddly enough, it doesn't work at all with the door open, but works almost perfectly when it is closed.


Turns out, this was a lot of my problem from the beginning. I was doing all of my testing with the door open (though in my defense, it's somewhat difficult to test different placements with the door closed! ;) ), and then as soon as I closed it everything changed... which, as it turns out, was only partially due to the emitter! :confused:


So, with the new emitter in place and the bouncing IR finally aligned where it needed to be, the DirecTV box is now finally under my complete control. Mwa-haha. :)


Anyway, that is one major hurdle to be over. Thanks for all of your help. If anyone else runs into this same problem in the future, I believe I should be able to now offer an incredible number of different suggestions, as I've tried them all! :D
 

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Hi,


I am the Product Evangelist for Home Theater Master. I had and have a lot to do with the development of the MX-600/700/800/3000 remote controls, the editing software, and the instruction manuals.


The installation of thousands of RF remote controls has gone flawlessly for the majority of installers. I get one to two calls a day from professional installers stumped as you have been with a combination of problems that gives the symptom of intermittent/buggy operation no matter what you do.


This thread was called to our attention by one of the forum writers, and I am going to describe how I have helped professionals troubleshoot a mix of problems in a methodical way.


The three steps for troubleshooting are:


1) Does the MX-800 work the system with the MRF-200 Base Station UNPLUGGED with all the devices set to IR line of sight operation (from the Program Menu, Step 9 RF Control)?


If learned codes are not working line of sight, try learning disconnected from the PC (see Stand Alone Learning in the manual) or the pre-programmed code sets in the database (many users ignore the generic code sets, try them).


Once ALL of your commands and macros work perfectly line of sight it is time to move to step 2.


Don't skip step 1, you will lose all of your hair in clumps, I guarantee it.


2) Plug in the power supply to the MRF-200 base station. DO NOT plug it into a surge suppressor strip with other A/V components. DO NOT plug in any FLASHERS.


From the Program Menu, select step #9 RF Control and set each device to RF Only operation, then select a specific flasher output for the most troublesome 6 devices. If you are planning to use the front blaster for some of your components, leave those devices set to all. Save the file and download to the MX-800.


Turn on all of your A/V components. Observe the MRF-200 base station, not the A/V components. Press a button with a command not a macro. Hold it down. The right hand status LED of the base station should stay lit while you press it. Release the button, the LED should immediately go out. If it stays lit or flickers, move the base station farther away from the components. Typically, 3 feet away is fine. The flasher cables are ten feet long for this reason. In some extreme cases, if the base station has to be moved farther away, you can extend the cables with any 24 gauge or better two conductor wire later. Concentrate on getting the status

LED to light with a press and go out with a release even if you have to move the base station outside the cabinet/closet with the gear.


Once this is working correctly, go on to step 3.


3) Hook up one emitter to the base station (extend the wire if necessary). Make sure you plug it into the correct jack for the component you are going to test. First test that with the emitter wire stretched out and connected, there is still clean RF. If the emitter is acting as an antenna to increase RF interference, go back to step 2 and repeat the positioning until RF is clean.


Now, test commands for that particular component while moving the flasher to different test positions.Start with the flasher about 3' away from the front panel.


When a position gives 10 out of 10 commands good operation, note the spot and repeat the process with the same emitter (plugged into the correct jack) untill you have noted the correct front panel spot for flashers on each component.


Route all of the flasher cables to the base station, labeling the plugs for the correct jack#.


Reconnect and test.


The key elements are:


A) You must have reliable RF, before you test Flasher Positioning.


B) Engaging the IR routing of a device to a specific flasher eliminates the possibility of IR saturation from too many flashers doing the same thing. When operation is buggy, engage IR routing.


C) Even when only one flasher is outputting IR, the flasher can over power or saturate a component's front panel sensor. Sometimes, the flasher has to be mounted an inch or more away from the front panel IR sensor.


Anyone is welcome to call for more info, or step by step help.


Best Regards,


-Eric


Eric Johnson



Phone 1-800-247-7001
 
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