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URC-7781 and URC-7780 Extenders version A2 available
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject: URC-7781 and URC-7780 Extenders version A2 available Reply with quote

Extender A2 for the URC-7781 and URC-7780 is now available here. This is an upgrade to Extender A1, which must be installed first. It requires IR.exe version 8.00 or later. Installation preserves your existing settings for Extender A1 but it adds new features, including

* Auto clock set. The remote's clock is automatically set from your computer system clock when you upload from IR.exe to the remote.

* Long Magic Keypress setup works within the extender, and only offers you menu choices that are safe to use with the extender.

* Changing batteries does not exit extender. You will be led through the usual Set Language, Day and Time but then you are automatically returned to the extender.

In summary, you need never see the original operating system of the remote again. But if you want to do so, it is easy. You just perform a Reset from the Long Magic Keypress setup menus. You are then back in the original, unextended, operating system.

For more information on Extender A1, see this thread.

Edit added Feb 6, 2010:

There is a bug in the Pause special protocol in Extender A1 that remains when it is upgraded to Extender A2. It prevents Pause from working correctly when device upgrades have been added to the extended remote. I have posted a bugfix here.

I am not posting a revised version of the extender as this bugfix is very easy to apply. Installing this fix should therefore now be considered as a final step in installing the extender. The fix can be applied at any time to either Extender A1 or A2 without affecting any settings of the remote.
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Last edited by mathdon on Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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regne v



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 50
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the Extender A2, the new features are great.

I've found one minor bug: If you have a working upgrade in IR and select "Clean upper memory", the upgrade gets broken and when you upload it the remote keeps restarting over and over.

Also there's a small annoyance: When you download from the remote it still asks for language/date/time. Could this be avoided?

Thanks again for this nice work.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

regne v wrote:
Thanks for the Extender A2, the new features are great.

I've found one minor bug: If you have a working upgrade in IR and select "Clean upper memory", the upgrade gets broken and when you upload it the remote keeps restarting over and over.

It's not really a bug, it's a consequence of what "Clean upper memory" does. IR.exe doesn't know whether or not a remote has an extender, there is no unambiguous way of telling. It regards the extender code as part of the junk that you want to clean out. So "Clean upper memory" breaks extenders. ALL extenders. You ALWAYS need to re-load your extender setup from a saved .ir file after using it. (That's all you need to do with Extender A2 to get it working again.)

The continuous restarting that occurs when you use "Clean Upper Memory" with Extender A2 is an unavoidable consequence of the code that enables the remote to re-enter the extender automatically after any upload. That bit doesn't get cleaned out. It re-enters a broken extender and the native OS of the remote forces a restart whenever it encounters invalid code.

Quote:
Also there's a small annoyance: When you download from the remote it still asks for language/date/time. Could this be avoided?

Unfortunately, no it cannot be avoided. Downloading, as well as uploading, forces a restart on all remotes. In the URC-7780/81 the restart causes the internal clock to reset to Monday 00:00 and to ask the user to set it correctly. There is no way to preserve the clock setting through a download. Extender A2 sets the clock from the computer system clock on upload and by-passes the startup questions, but on download it cannot do so as the data is flowing in the wrong direction.

The simple solution is to follow the download immediately with an upload. This just puts back into the remote the data you have downloaded, so it doesn't change the settings, but it does set the clock and so avoid the need for manual re-setting.

Thank you for the comments. I'm glad you like the new facilities. Although there is nothing I can do about the points you raise, they do suggest that I should put something in the instruction manual to explain about them.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

regne v wrote:
If you have a working upgrade in IR and select "Clean upper memory", the upgrade gets broken and when you upload it the remote keeps restarting over and over.

I explained in my previous post why this happens and that loading a valid .ir setup file will restore proper operation. The setup file need not be for Extender A2, any valid setup file will do, i.e. unextended remote or either Extender A1 or A2. This leaves the impression, however, that it is not possible to exit the endless restart loop without using IR.exe. It IS possible to do so, but not something you would think of if you didn't know about it. Here's what you do.

Exiting an endless Restart loop

What happens in the loop is that it asks you to set the language, day and time, and after you set the time it starts all over again. Each restart begins with the LCD display showing "UEI SW VERSION xxxx" for a short time before it moves on automatically to ask for Language. While the UEI SW message is displayed, press and release the LCD Left and LCD Right keys simultaneously. This doesn't mean hold one down and then press the other, they have to be pressed at the same time. The leeway is very short, about 1/20th of a second, so it is easy to do deliberately but very unlikely to be done accidentally.

The LCD screen will then go blank for a short time, followed by a display of TEST MODE. Just wait for the test mode to time out, so the remote turns off. This takes about 15 seconds. When you press the Light key to wake the remote up, you will again be asked to set Language, Day and Time, but now it will work properly. All data has been erased (it has performed a Factory Reset), so you are then put into ADD DEVICE mode, but normal operation has been restored.

What is TEST MODE? It enables the factory, or anyone with one of Tommy Tyler's IR Widgets, to check that all the buttons are working correctly. ALL buttons, including the special ones like Magic, Enter and LCD Left/Right, send an IR signal in the NEC1 protocol. The OBC is one less than the internal key code (as listed in the RDF) for that button.
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regne v



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Although there is nothing I can do about the points you raise, they do suggest that I should put something in the instruction manual to explain about them.

Oh, please, do. This has been the first time I've dealt with extenders and this straightforward installation took me a lot of time because I've always used to clean upper memory before uploading an upgrade (I don't know why) and always got the remote rebooting itself. Sad

Only when tired of clicking I forgot to clean it the upgrade started working and noticed the problem.

Thanks again for your time.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing you should know about extenders is: follow the installation instructions exactly! They are complicated beasts, they don't all work the same way and adding your own bits to the instructions, like cleaning upper memory in the middle of the process, is a recipe for disaster!

I'm curious to know at what stage in the installation you did the "Clean Upper Memory". Had you done it before you started to install Extender A2, I would have expected it to be OK. If you did it after running the Upgrader but before re-loading your setup from Extender A1, I would expect a disaster but equally I would have thought you would have known that was asking for trouble. So could you say what you did, please, so I can warn anyone else temped to do the same thing?

I think I should also clarify one more thing. You write
Quote:
I've always used to clean upper memory before uploading an upgrade

Perhaps I should not have talked about an "Upgrader" in the installation instructions. It bears no relation to an ordinary device or protocol upgrade. It is a piece of software that upgrades the extender from version A1 to version A2, no more and no less than that. If it is my terminology that led you astray, please accept my apologies.
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regne v



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 50
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mathdon wrote:
I'm curious to know at what stage in the installation you did the "Clean Upper Memory"

Yep. I did it in the final stage when you have downloaded the extender A2 from the remote and then you have to add your upgrades, key moves, etc, and then upload it to the remote. In the instructions on page 3 when you write "This is now your Extender A2 setup... (I cleaned the upper memory)... Upload this new setup to your remote".

mathdon wrote:
One thing you should know about extenders is: follow the installation instructions exactly!

Yeah, you're right, but as I told you it's been my first upgrade. Anyway with all the testing I've learnt a lot of things about extenders.

mathdon wrote:
Perhaps I should not have talked about an "Upgrader" in the installation instructions.

Well from what I had read about extenders (not in your documentation but in the forum and the newbie guide) I thought it was some kind of device upgrade that somehow changes the behaviour of the remote, but now I see that the upgrade is only used to activate the real code of the extender.

From my own experience I've found that it's very difficult to write foolproof instructions Wink. If you think that "upgrader" is the rigth term here then I'm sure it is.

mathdon wrote:
If it is my terminology that led you astray, please accept my apologies.

Oh, no please. As I told you I know that writing instructions is difficult and you've done a very good job with both the instructions and the extender.

If you are going to review your instruction manual maybe you could add that you don't need to have TV1508 in the device buttons list. I didn't know what to do so I first tested with it and when everything was right I deleted it and got that it was not necessary.

Thanks for your time.
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Capn Trips
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

regne v wrote:

mathdon wrote:
Perhaps I should not have talked about an "Upgrader" in the installation instructions.

Well from what I had read about extenders (not in your documentation but in the forum and the newbie guide) I thought it was some kind of device upgrade that somehow changes the behaviour of the remote, but now I see that the upgrade is only used to activate the real code of the extender.
I've added a (hopefully useful) explanatory note to that FAQ in section 6, to highlight that WHAT YOU SEE is simply a device upgrade, but that there lie hidden terrors beneath.
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Remotes:Atlas OCAP URC 1056, Harmony One, OFA XSight Touch, AR XSight Touch
TVs: Panasonic TH-50PE700U; LG 65" Smart LED TV; RCVR: Pioneer VSX-D2016S;Onkyo TX-SR875
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for telling me what you did. I see now that it makes sense, even though it was disastrous! You didn't do either of the two things I thought you might have done. You cleaned upper memory after correctly installing Extender A2 but before creating the setup you needed for your own equipment. A wise thing to do in a normal setup, but not when you have an extender.

I think the best way to avoid this happening is for me to put a confirmation message into IR.exe when you select "Clean Upper Memory", saying that if you have an extender installed, it is not recommended that you proceed.

regne v wrote:
Well from what I had read about extenders (not in your documentation but in the forum and the newbie guide) I thought it was some kind of device upgrade that somehow changes the behaviour of the remote, but now I see that the upgrade is only used to activate the real code of the extender.

Exactly. The continuous restart problem you were having comes from the fact that Extender A2, unlike Extender A1, is self-activating after a reset and the cleaning had removed the code it was trying to activate.

Quote:
If you are going to review your instruction manual maybe you could add that you don't need to have TV1508 in the device buttons list.

Oops! TV/1508 is for my own TV, so I used it as the default value! In the manual for Extender A1 it does say on page 5 that "the TV device will need to be changed to the code for your TV", but it is such a long manual that it is easy to miss things. I'll repeat this in the Extender A2 manual, which is much shorter (though, of course, it is really a supplement to the Extender A1 one).
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kcmurphy88



Joined: 20 May 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Using 7781 extender A2 Reply with quote

While I have my remote working now, and greatly appreciate the extender, I had to work around some issues.

1. This is probably IR.exe (8.00) but I had put the pause widget on DEV2 Phantom3. Whenever I tried to view the macro string, the Phantom3 text was left out (although the byte was still present). Binding a different key fixed it, probably due to Phantom3 = 0x00

2. I attempted to use the LcdEnter button as a device-specific setup macro, forcing on the AVR and TV, and setting the sources for the indicated device. Invoking Pause inside this device-specific macro broke the rest of the macro. Luckily I could do without Pause. Did not matter if I was using XDEVn or CDEVn to invoke the device.

3. In a Long Keypress Macro, I could not have the short keypress be the the key itself (and indirectly its function on that device), but instead had to indirect it myself. In any event I had hoped to use one LKP macro for "everything off" bound to the OK key, instead of having to have a macro for every device specifying the device's unique OK code. Using the device key instead of the function would have allowed that.

Don't know if anything but the first is really a "bug", but I thought I should post my feedback.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. It would help me a lot if you could post a .ir file that contains macros that demonstrate each of these three problems (ie macros with the bugs still in them). Post it in the File Section/Diagnostics area and put a link to it in this thread. It saves me trying to recreate these problems and possibly misunderstanding the exact circumstances in which they happen.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugfix for Pause special protocol

There is a bug in the Pause special protocol of Extender A1 for the URC-7780 and URC-7781 that remains after an upgrade to Extender A2. I have added an edit to the first post in this thread that gives more details and a link to a bugfix.
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Vyrolan



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham,

Do you expect this to still work? I've followed your instructions exactly about 10 times and never gotten the A2 to actually install. I've tried both with IR 8.03 and with the latest RMIR. It just always acts like it's still A1 and doesn't autoset the language/day/time. Has something changed and it just won't work anymore?

~Vyro
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vyrolan wrote:
Graham,

Do you expect this to still work? I've followed your instructions exactly about 10 times and never gotten the A2 to actually install. I've tried both with IR 8.03 and with the latest RMIR. It just always acts like it's still A1 and doesn't autoset the language/day/time. Has something changed and it just won't work anymore?

~Vyro

I haven't tried installing it for a long time, but nothing has been changed so as far as I am aware, it should still work. I'll try it again on my URC-7781 as I can always restore my saved configuration, in case something in the posted files has got corrupted.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vyrolan wrote:
Graham,

Do you expect this to still work? I've followed your instructions exactly about 10 times and never gotten the A2 to actually install. I've tried both with IR 8.03 and with the latest RMIR. It just always acts like it's still A1 and doesn't autoset the language/day/time. Has something changed and it just won't work anymore?

~Vyro

For the record, Vyro and I have resolved this in an exchange of PM's. The installation instructions say that during the upgrade process the RDF path must not include the RDF for Extender A1. Vyro had misread this as saying that it must include that RDF.
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