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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:44 pm
Posts: 530
Comcast is getting ready to go all digital in my area, so I am trying to prepare. I have a Motorola DCT2224 box which I set up recently to control directly from the serial port. I am using one USB to Serial converter for this.

I am also going to need a second digital to analog converter, and I presume comcast will provide me with a basic one which has no serial port so I will need an IR blaster for this. I was going to just set up my homemade serial IR Blaster on another USB to Serial converter through the LinHES setup, but it does not give an option to select the devices created by the USB to Serial converter. For example:

When I plugin the first converter, it is installed as /dev/ttyUSB0
The 2nd converter is installed as /dev/ttyUSB1

But when I go into the menu:
Service Menu > LinHES Configuration > Remotes
The options are:
/dev/ttyS0
/dev/ttyS1
/dev/ttyS2
/dev/ttyS3

My motherboard (ASUS M2NPV-VM) has 2 serial port headers but I am not using them because I don't have the brackets. Is there a script I can modify to allow /dev/ttyUSB* as an option in this menu? I would look on flyspray but it has been down and appears to be in the middle of a transition.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:57 pm
Posts: 90
I had a similar setup and it worked great. However, when I could no longer use the direct serial connection and had to go the irblaster route, I was never able to get it to work with the USB adapter. The USB adaptor worked great for direct serial, but not for irblaster. In fact, I had people here tell me to forget it.

I gave in and changed to a motherboard that has a serial port and I use my irblaster to control my Directv box. It works, but not nearly as good as the direct serial on the old motorola cable box. Some motherboards that do not have an external serial port still have the header on the motherboard and you can buy the connector to fit. I even tried an add on serial card and had no luck with that.

I tried HD Cable before switching to satellite and I was hoping to get the firewire channel change going, but never had any luck with it. After I saw how little HD programing the cable company had, I changed to satellite.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:44 pm
Posts: 530
Thanks :D ... I could have spent a while chasing my tail on that one. I guess I'll have to locate an ASUS serial port header.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:20 am
Posts: 389
grg3 wrote:
I had a similar setup and it worked great. However, when I could no longer use the direct serial connection and had to go the irblaster route, I was never able to get it to work with the USB adapter. The USB adaptor worked great for direct serial, but not for irblaster. In fact, I had people here tell me to forget it.

I gave in and changed to a motherboard that has a serial port and I use my irblaster to control my Directv box. It works, but not nearly as good as the direct serial on the old motorola cable box. Some motherboards that do not have an external serial port still have the header on the motherboard and you can buy the connector to fit. I even tried an add on serial card and had no luck with that.

I tried HD Cable before switching to satellite and I was hoping to get the firewire channel change going, but never had any luck with it. After I saw how little HD programing the cable company had, I changed to satellite.

Grg3,

If you have a DirecTV box, then you should seriously consider serial channel changing. Just buy two USB dongles and put a null modem serial cable between them (total cost is about $35). Connect one to your computer and the other to the DirecTV box. After you do this, you need to reboot the DirecTV box so it will see the USB serial dongle.

Use this channel changing script:
http://www.pdp8.net/directv/directv.shtml

You will probably want to edit the defaults. Newer DirecTV receivers use a bit rate of 115200 ($baudrate = "115200") and the box type should be set to H20 ($box_type = "H20"). I also set the default serial port ($serport) so I don't have the send the script a bunch of options. When you plug in the USB serial dongle, the device it's mapped to will appear on the console and in your system log file.

Also, see the MythTV wiki:
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Controlling_ ... _or_Serial

The Sabrent USB serial dongles are cheap and work great:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6812156008


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:17 am 
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Posts: 530
Part of my motivation for sticking with cable was that I was able to view analog cable on my PVR-500 without having to jump through hoops. Now that Comcast is going to pull the plug on analog and encrypt basically everything but local cable, that incentive is gone and I am starting to consider Satellite.

Which US Satellite provider (DirecTV or Dish Network) typically is "easier" to configure on the PVR?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:20 am
Posts: 389
DirecTV boxes have serial control while Dish would be an IR blaster. You have complete output control of the DirecTV boxes (can select different resolution combos, native, etc...). I don't know about Dish.


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