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URC-7960 Shortcomings
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject: URC-7960 Shortcomings Reply with quote

Hi All.

This is my first post. I found this site when searching for information on the OFA URC-7960 which I have just bought. I gather it is currently being analaysed with a view to making it JP1-able. I don't think that is going to be able to help me with the problems that I have with it, but I will post my findings anyway as a heads up to others. Athough it could be a great remote and does look the part, it does have some fairly big shortcomings in the way it works.

It seems to have been designed to be used primarily in what OFA call SmartControl mode. It is essentially their phrase for activities. So once you have set up all of the individual controls for TV,DVD,Game etc you can tell it which bits of gear to use for the "watch TV" "watch Movie" etc modes and the remote will control the relevant devices from the appropriate buttons on the remote. EG If you set up "Watch TV" mode to watch TV via a Satellite box it uses the volume, power and picture aspect ratio buttons to control the TV and all the others to control the Satellite box . So far, so good. You can also set up macros as you would expect. (No one here needs me to tell them how a macro works, I'm sure!!!)

BUT, for some unknown reason when in Smartcontrol mode the macros don't work and the buttons only perform their basic function. Macros only work when in individual device mode. I emailed OFA as I felt sure I must be doing something wrong, but they have confirmed that macros simply don't work in Smartcontrol mode. This makes them pretty much useless IMO.

The other big macro problem is that even in device mode, they work across all devices not just one. Surely they don't expect you to want/need the same macro for all devices?!! What chance is there that the same set of commands will perform a useful function across up to 6 different devices and that the same button isn't needed in any of the them?!!! Is it me or does it beggar belief that it can be set up that way?

There is another issue in that, although the US version of this has "Master Power" control to switch all units on/off with a long press of the power button, for some reason the 7960 doesn't have this feature (again confirmed via email by OFA). A macro can be set up on the power to do this but of course then doesn't work in SmartControl mode!

If macros worked in SmartControl mode and master power worked this would be a brilliant remote. However for the sake of some better firmware it has fallen short.
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vickyg2003
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Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 7055
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: URC-7960 Shortcomings Reply with quote

GeoffT wrote:
The other big macro problem is that even in device mode, they work across all devices not just one. Surely they don't expect you to want/need the same macro for all devices?!! What chance is there that the same set of commands will perform a useful function across up to 6 different devices and that the same button isn't needed in any of the them?!!! Is it me or does it beggar belief that it can be set up that way?


Macros are Global in 99% of the JP1 remotes, so this is nothing new. I do believe that a few of the newer remotes have native DSM(device specific macros), but they are few and far between. DSMs are one of the nice features of extenders.
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:07 am    Post subject: Re: URC-7960 Shortcomings Reply with quote

vickyg2003 wrote:
Macros are Global in 99% of the JP1 remotes, so this is nothing new. I do believe that a few of the newer remotes have native DSM(device specific macros), but they are few and far between. DSMs are one of the nice features of extenders.


Hi Vicki. I hadn't realised that is how they all worked. Does seem an odd way to do it. I'm obviously on a steep learning curve here on what JP1 would enable me to do. Would the extender DSMs work in "SmartControl" mode as well?
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3FG
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Joined: 19 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The RCA RCRP05B, which is a popular remote, can do DSMs.
For the 7960, we're quite close to having capability to program it via a JP1.3 cable, but I would guess an extender is a ways off. On the other hand, there's a small possibility that it is capable of DSMs out of the box. The RCA can do them, but it isn't documented in the instructions.
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I just test mine for out of the box DSM functionality by trying to program a macro using the 978 code instead of 995, or is it more complicated than that?
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3FG
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be as simple as that. If the remote responds to 978 with 2 blinks, then you should be able to define a DSM. However, it is also possible that the remote responds to a different command number, or the DSM feature would only be programmable via the cable. And of course the most likely scenario is that it can't do DSMs.
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just tried it and I get a long single flash after 978.
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3FG
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're of a mind to experiment, try every command from 999 down to at least 959, looking for 2 blinks. That's how we found most of the less common 9XX commands.

However, it might become necessary to do a 981 reset if you inadvertently program a feature which isn't listed in the Wiki, in which case you may not know how to undo it.
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just been through all codes from 959 to 999. The only ones that give a double flash are:
975
976
977
980
981
983
986
990
991
992
993
994
995
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fabriw



Joined: 02 Dec 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: URC-7960 Shortcomings Reply with quote

GeoffT wrote:
Hi All.

BUT, for some unknown reason when in Smartcontrol mode the macros don't work and the buttons only perform their basic function. Macros only work when in individual device mode. I emailed OFA as I felt sure I must be doing something wrong, but they have confirmed that macros simply don't work in Smartcontrol mode. This makes them pretty much useless IMO.



Strangely macros on the Smartcontrol keys work in Smartcontrol mode !

Wim
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: URC-7960 Shortcomings Reply with quote

fabriw wrote:
GeoffT wrote:
Hi All.

BUT, for some unknown reason when in Smartcontrol mode the macros don't work and the buttons only perform their basic function. Macros only work when in individual device mode. I emailed OFA as I felt sure I must be doing something wrong, but they have confirmed that macros simply don't work in Smartcontrol mode. This makes them pretty much useless IMO.



Strangely macros on the Smartcontrol keys work in Smartcontrol mode !

Wim


Yes that is a really good feature. I have macros on Watch TV to turn on TV and Satellite box then switch the TV to HDMI 1 and on Watch Movie to switch on the the PS3 and switch the TV to HDMI 2. That all works very well. Like I said it is very nearly an excellent remote. If macros could work in Smartcontrol mode, it would be damn near perfect.
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GeoffT



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've now got the 7960 set up about as well as I think I can given the SmartControl macro limitation. I have to say it is working pretty well. A combination of the standard device setup, learning some discrete commands from my old Pronto for HDMI input control and power on/off for my panny TV and moving a few buttons around have got me to the stage where I must be fairly happy as I haven't changed anything for over a week!!

The activity buttons macros work perfectly in getting onto the right inputs and controlling the various bits of equipment.

The downsides are primarily the Smartcontrol/Macro problem, and if I'm being really picky I would prefer to have the transport buttons where the info/menu/guide buttons are and vice versa.

Overall though for the price this is a good looking remote that works pretty well. I have just bought a JP1 cable to see if the work that Mathdon is doing for this remote can end up providing device specific macros that (I presume) would then work in Smartcontrol mode. I am still on a steep learning curve with the JP1 programs, but have at least connected the 7960 up OK and uploaded it's current configuration successfully. Having it saved as a file on my computer is a nice reassurance.
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deerewright



Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 23
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: URC-7960 Shortcomings Reply with quote

GeoffT wrote:

Yes that is a really good feature. I have macros on Watch TV to turn on TV and Satellite box then switch the TV to HDMI 1 and on Watch Movie to switch on the the PS3 and switch the TV to HDMI 2. That all works very well. Like I said it is very nearly an excellent remote. If macros could work in Smartcontrol mode, it would be damn near perfect.


I just received this remote, and am trying to set this up to control my Dish Hopper.

Do you have a code that will work with the hopper? I have tried all the Dish and Echostar codes with no luck. The only way I could get it to work was with learning each key....

Also, could you post an example of how you set up the macros with the Watch TV button?

I have a Vizio (again no code) that I want to turn on, select hdmi1, then power on Hopper.

I have also set up the Ps3 controller, but would like to do similar to yours, power on tv, set to hdmi 2, then power on ps3, etc...

Thanks in advance,
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unclemiltie
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Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Posts: 1790
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the Echostar/Dish upgrades in the upgrade area. They've been using the same remote codes and protocols for a long, long time so the chances are that they did it again. You could learn a couple of things from the original remote and compare them to what you see in the upgrades.

The other thing you should try is that Dish has a "remote address" on their older remotes. you change the receiver's ID by pressing the record button when you are in the info screen where you can see the remote ID. The built-in upgrades may not be the same as your remote, thus aren't working.

If not, you can build your own upgrade from the original reote. learn some keys, write them down, learn more, repeat until done and then use RM to build your own upgrade.

If you build an upgrade for the hopper, please upload it since I'm sure that there are going to be more of us who are looking at those boxes and starting from something that works is always a plus.
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mdavej
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Joined: 08 Oct 2003
Posts: 4066

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopper uses the same code as other Dish equipment, SAT 0775 (00775). The trick with Hopper is you must manually enable IR on the Remote Manager screen because it's disabled by default. Hopper/Joey only respond to IR address 1. If you use one of our upgrades, use the one I did for the 722 because it includes discrete on/off and all the colored buttons.

I'd be interested to find out how you learned each key since the Hopper remote (model 40.0) can't send Dish codes via IR.
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