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Problem with remote controlled switchbox.

 
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JWBDolphins



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:18 pm    Post subject: Problem with remote controlled switchbox. Reply with quote

I'm not sure if this is the place for this question, but web searches haven't found any answers - and I think the knowledge base here can help me.

I bought a radioshack 15-1987 switchbox (the 6 input switchbox that can learn commands from a remote, and then you can use the remote to change the inputs). But it is acting flaky, and am wondering if anyone has had experience with this good or bad. My next step actually is to tear my system apart again, and either try to exchange it, or instead buy the newer 4-input switchbox (the 6 input box has been discontinued by RS).

I am using a 15-2117 remote with the IR extender box, and I know that this can sometimes cause intereference with IR devices. But none of my other equipment is having a problem caused by the 2117 extender - and when I unplug it, the switchbox is still flaky.

By flaky - I mean, sometimes it works fine, and other times it does not respond. With the 2117 plugged in, occasionally the switchbox will just turn off.

I loaded the Home 0167 X10 control in my remote, and assigned a few of the actual home automation codes to be used by the switchbox as the learned codes (I only use the X10 light/appliance portion of X10). But I also tried the switchbox with VCR 0035 codes for keys 1-6 also, and the switchbox still works intermittently.

Questions are: Has anyone used either the 4 or 6 input R/C switchboxes from RS (or any other you would recommend) and had similiar problems? If so - do you have any tricks I can use with remote codes, etc to fix these? Or - might I truly have a broken box?

Thanks!
John
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18563
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well first off, I wouldn't recommend using the HOME/0167 "X10" code as your base for teaching the switchbox because it's a very hard to learn signal. The VCR/0135 code is a better choice (it uses the Panasonic Old protocol) but if you want an even better choice you could use something like TV/0156 which uses the NEC1 protocol, which is the most standard protocol there is.

Anyway, the idea of the switchbox learning signals is that it is supposed to respond to buttons that you regularly use. For example, you might program it to switch to the VCR input when you press the POWER or PLAY buttons in VCR mode.

If the RS box is really a re-badged RCA box, you might find that that the first 4 inputs respond to certain RCA signals without you needing to do any learning. If you want to try this, first you should kill the power to the unit for a few minutes to wipe out any signals you've already learned. Then program the VCR button of your 15-2117 to VCR/0060 and test EFC 227. To test an EFC first press the SETUP button (which is the green P button on the 15-2117) and then type in the 3 digit code. Hold the last digit for a few seconds to simulate holding the original remote button (which the RCA box requires). Does this select the VCR input? If it does, you can program keymoves using advanced code 227 with the following setup codes to select the first four inputs:


SAT/0392 (selects SAT)
DVD/0522 (selects DVD)
VCR/0202 (selects LD)
VCR/0060 (selects VCR)

If you'd like a discrete off code, it's EFC 219 from TV/0047

Good luck.
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JWBDolphins



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rob!

Hopefully doing these will help me determine if the switch itself is bad or not. I don't think it is a rebranded RCA model, but I'll certainly give that a try also. Anything to keep me from having to disassemble the stereo rack...!

John
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Juppers



Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the 4 port version, and man that thing was flakey with codes. What I did to make it work was use Pioneer(00 E2), and changed the fixed data from FF to F7. It has been solid ever since. Here are the EFCs I made up and am using.
SW1=022, SW2=085, SW3=174, SW4=234, Power=056
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JWBDolphins



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the Help!! I ended up using the TV/0156 codes (simplified codes) and the switchbox is working great, No problems since! It was good to hear that the 4-port box has the same problem also - that verifies what I was seeing and that the same solution fixed both. (Not necessarily good in respect to the product that RS is putting out!, but you know what I mean!)

One thing I did do - which is why I'm posting this in case others see the same thing - I unplugged the 15-2117 IR Repeater box Before I made the switchbox learn the remote's codes, and then plugged the IR Repeater back in once I was finished. I'd read in a previous post, and have verified myself, that the 2117 IR Repeater is Always outputting some level of IR, and that was evidently interferring with the switchboxes learning. Sometimes the switchbox would actually "say" it had learned a code before I'd even hit a key on the remote. By teaching the switchbox without the 2117 IR Repeater plugged in, the switchbox learned a "clean" signal - and I've not had a single problem with it since.

And as Juppers alluded to also - even though it isn't documented in the user manual, you Can teach the switchbox a Power On/Off toggle in the same way you teach the other inputs.
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18563
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JWBDolphins wrote:
Thanks Rob!

Hopefully doing these will help me determine if the switch itself is bad or not. I don't think it is a rebranded RCA model, but I'll certainly give that a try also. Anything to keep me from having to disassemble the stereo rack...!

John

Did you try the RCA codes to see if they did anything?
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Rob
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JWBDolphins



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob, I tried the RCA codes, and that did Not work. But, having said that, unplugging it and waiting for the memory to reset didn't work either - my learned commands persisted. I ended up trying the Power command which I had not yet set, and the RCA command for that didn't work.

If I lose power for a long period of time (with spring storms coming up) and it Does happen to reset itself, I'll go back and try the RCA codes for All the buttons and report back.

John
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