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replacement for my URC-9800 with RF repeater

 
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freebase



Joined: 30 Apr 2004
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 12:35 am    Post subject: replacement for my URC-9800 with RF repeater Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I have a number of URC-6800's that I have been using very successfully over the years. I recommend them - great feel, etc.

My problem child is my URC 9800 with the built in RF to the repeater. This thing sucks in pretty much every way. It's big and ugly, it doens't seem to have the learning function the guide describes (thank god for JP1!) and the repeater might as well not exist.

What I am doing is trying to watch a second TV in a room that is directly above where my cool stereo components are located (TiVo, DVD, Sat, etc.). I have RCA cables connecting everything up and thought the 9800 would be the perfect way to control the components. I installed the repeater in the ceiling of the basement room that houses the components, so basically there is just the carpet and a sheet of plywood seperating my remote from the antennae of the repeater. But the thing barely functions. I find myself posing in all sorts of weird positions trying to find the right angle that will work. If I'm doing something complicated like skipping a commercial (fastforwarding and stopping) I find it much safer to get up and stand directly over where the antennae is located (kind of sucks).

The other thing I don't like about the 9800 is how it transmits the RF and the IR together. I wish I could turn of the IR function on the remote. Because if I use the remote in the room with the components (the repeater is there), I get repeated commands since one set comes from the IR on the remote and the second set comes from the repeater (hence the name Smile. Also I have a Sony VCR in each room (upstairs and downstairs) so when trying to control the one downstairs I control the one upstairs too. I have taken the step of taping over the IR LEDS on the remote to solve my problems - but it seems kind of silly that a remote would require a consumer to do this to use a product successfully.

So after all my complaining Smile my question is this. Can someone recommend a replacement for my 9800 with a repeater that has better signal strength/range, that maybe allows the IR to be turned off on the remote and maybe is an improvement ergonomically? (Must be JP1 compatible of course! Smile I saw mention of an RS 15-2117 - any opinions on that one?

Thanks for all input!

Gordon
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18355
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally I'd suggest that you also try putting the command center in different locations to see if you can find one that works better than it's current location, but if it's inteh ceiling that might not be feasible.

The modern versions of the URC-9800 are the URC-9910 and the RS 15-2117, but the RF portion of these new remotes hasn't changed since the days of the URC-9800, so I doubt that they'll work any better than the one you have.
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Please don't PM me with remote questions, post them in the forums so all the experts can help!
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jon_armstrong
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 1238
Location: R.I.P. 3/25/2005

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: replacement for my URC-9800 with RF repeater Reply with quote

freebase wrote:
What I am doing is trying to watch a second TV in a room that is directly above where my cool stereo components ... I installed the repeater in the ceiling of the basement room that houses the components, so basically there is just the carpet and a sheet of plywood seperating my remote from the antennae of the repeater. But the thing barely functions.


I don't have any direct experience with a 9800, but I don't recall ever hearing of such limited range. I do remember a discussion where there are some delay issues and a framing issue where the signal being sent out of the repeater was confusing the IR receiver in the gear. Is the problem with all components b eing controlled or just the TiVo that you probably send most of the commands to?

Quote:
I find myself posing in all sorts of weird positions trying to find the right angle that will work.


We also recommend putting aluminum foil over your head Smile

Quote:
The other thing I don't like about the 9800 is how it transmits the RF and the IR together. I wish I could turn of the IR function on the remote. Because if I use the remote in the room with the components (the repeater is there), I get repeated commands since one set comes from the IR on the remote and the second set comes from the repeater (hence the name Smile.


I think the only practical solution for this is use your 9800 upstairs and one of your 6800's downstairs.

Quote:
Also I have a Sony VCR in each room (upstairs and downstairs) so when trying to control the one downstairs I control the one upstairs too.


There are three different command sets for Sony VCR's. Ususally that is controlled by a little slide switch or in the setup menu of the VCR. VCR/0033 is VCR1, VCR/0034 is VCR2, and VCR/0032 is VCR3. I don't think VCR/0034 is in the 6800 (although you could do a device upgrade), so set one to VCR1 and the other to VCR3.

Quote:
Can someone recommend a replacement for my 9800 with a repeater that has better signal strength/range, that maybe allows the IR to be turned off on the remote and maybe is an improvement ergonomically? (Must be JP1 compatible of course! Smile I saw mention of an RS 15-2117


I would definitely go with the 2117 since it is being discounted for $30 if you can still find one. If it doesn't work you can always return it. You can't turn IR off on it, but you can always put the palm of one hand over the front.
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freebase



Joined: 30 Apr 2004
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We also recommend putting aluminum foil over your head


I like it Smile

Taping over the LEDs solved most of my issues with the two VCRs and being in the same room as the blaster.

Funny thing about my Sony VCRs... I've had a few over the years (my kids wear them out or the power supplies fail) - My old ones had the slider which allowed them to respond to individual IR signals but my two new ones have done away with that nice feature (isn't that a pain!).

I guess I won't bother changing to a new remote until I can get this 9800 to behave better. I'm considering moving the blaster to the corner of the ceiling and drilling a small hole so I can pass the antennae into the room above (crude eh?). Either that or I may look into a hard-wired repeater such as the one robman suggested in another topic.

So just a question... Am I always going to get responses from you two no matter where I post? You guys must be giving your lives to this project. I sure hope you can turn it into a profitable enterprise someday...

Gordon
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mr_d_p_gumby
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Joined: 03 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freebase wrote:
Quote:
We also recommend putting aluminum foil over your head
I like it Smile
While we do recommend the aluminum foil on your head, it's not good to put it on the receiver's head... translation: is there any HVAC ducting or metal electrical conduit/boxes near the receiver? That could shield and/or detune the receiver.

It does seem that you are getting abnormally poor performance from the RF repeater. Perhaps yours is somehow defective? Maybe getting an RS 15-2117 might help in determining if this is the case. The remotes & receivers are compatible with each other.

Another thing to check: do you have any other RF remote receivers located nearby (15-20')? Garage door openers, security devices, X10 stuff, etc. It's possible they could be interfering with the RF repeater.
jon_armstrong wrote:
I do remember a discussion where there are some delay issues and a framing issue where the signal being sent out of the repeater was confusing the IR receiver in the gear. Is the problem with all components b eing controlled or just the TiVo that you probably send most of the commands to?
I remember one case where the equipment would not work reliably when the first frame of data got corrupted going through the RF repeater. (I think it was an NEC1 protocol, but I'm not sure without doing a search back through the Yahoo postings.) We were able to overcome that problem with a special protocol that sent a dummy IR burst before the first frame was sent. The RF repeater still corrupted the dummy burst, but the equipment was then able to recieve a good first frame.
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freebase



Joined: 30 Apr 2004
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a basement there is of course metal ductwork around. That was my original inspiration for hiding it in the ceiling above any of that stuff. I was also careful to pick a location away for the receiver away from the duct that my remot could get a non-metalic shot at.

Now that I know I should be able to expect better performance, I'll try moving that sucker around. Maybe there is a better spot that isn't so apparent - maybe I have to be closer to some metal ducts than others, etc.

I wonder if my having the antennae mounted horizonatlly has a negative impact....it is extended out all the way though...

I don't know about RF interference... We are in a small community without too much around (even my cell phones get a weak signal). But I just recently found out that we are a way point for planes approaching the Ottawa airport - which involves a large antennae not too far away - something tells me that thing generates some RF....

I'm not worried about corrupt IR, if I stand above the blaster I get good response from all my devices including the TiVo.
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jon_armstrong
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freebase wrote:
So just a question... Am I always going to get responses from you two no matter where I post? You guys must be giving your lives to this project. I sure hope you can turn it into a profitable enterprise someday...


In that case, where should we send the invoice?
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