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noncom
Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:21 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 01 Sep 2006 Posts: 542
OK, this is a follow up to the "spontaneousely formatted drive" thread I started a couple of weeks ago.

Having had the unit apart and recovered programmes from the drive, I posted the PSU values and was told they seem to be OK (although a couple of the values were a little high).

I've now re-assembled it and formatted the disk (just in case it wasn't completely empty before), done a Factory Reset and re-tuned.

The signal strength at the socket I'm using is a little low (seems to be lower than at the socket my main Toppy is plugged into) and I don't know if this is relevant.

With the Toppy "on its own" the signal looks like about: Strength 40%ish, Quality 90%ish.

But when I plug in the USB lead (just a loose lead, not even connected to anything at the other end) the Quality drops (sometimes to about 80% and sometimes as low as 0%) and the picture breaks up. Signal Strength doesn't seem to change.

If I connect the USB to the PC, I can see the Toppy in Altair, and navigate folders, although I haven't tried doing a transfer yet.

Why should plugging in a USB lead cause a Picture Issue? Is this another possible indicator of a PSU problem? (I'm starting to think I should get the caps changed "just in case")

Andy

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TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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alan_m
Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:43 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Oct 2006 Posts: 3509
noncom wrote:

With the Toppy "on its own" the signal looks like about: Strength 40%ish, Quality 90%ish.

You could probably get away with a 50%+ (ideally 60%+) signal strength but the quality figure needs to be 99 or 100% (98% is marginal).

Your main problem appears to be a lack of viable signal from your aerial or a poor aerial distribution. Using the signal monitor TAP will allow the reporting of all MUXs and both tuners parameters on the same screen - and to a text log file.
http://www.tapworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=318


Quote:

But when I plug in the USB lead (just a loose lead, not even connected to anything at the other end) the Quality drops (sometimes to about 80% and sometimes as low as 0%) and the picture breaks up. Signal Strength doesn't seem to change.

The aerial fly lead is possibly poor quality. Digital requires CT100 type (satellite quality) cable that has 100% copper screening. You need the type A or type B cable as detailed in the following link and not the type D cable as still sold in many of the sheds.
http://www.wrightsaerials.tv/articles/coax-cable-quality.shtml

An USB cable only connected at one end doesn't mean that nothing is being transmitted down it. The lead will be acting as a transmitter with a signal perhaps a million times greater than you pick up on your aerial. Put this transmitter inches away from a sensitive tuner input connected with a poorly screened aerial lead and the signal from your aerial doesn't stand a chance of getting through uncorrupted.

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noncom
Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:57 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 01 Sep 2006 Posts: 542
Fair enough. That makes sense. I'm aware the signal here is marginal at best (and seems to vary between aeriel sockets - I need to get up in the loft again and chase all the cabling at some point).

I can't decide whether to get up on the roof and try to swing round to a better transmitter, or just wait til April when we SwitchOver.

Thanks
Andy

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TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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R2-D2
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:23 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
noncom wrote:
Having had the unit apart and recovered programmes from the drive, I posted the PSU values and was told they seem to be OK (although a couple of the values were a little high).

andyfras has suggested that certain caps might need to warm up before they wander out of spec -- and he should know!

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alan_m
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Oct 2006 Posts: 3509
noncom wrote:
Fair enough. That makes sense. I'm aware the signal here is marginal at best (and seems to vary between aeriel sockets - I need to get up in the loft again and chase all the cabling at some point).

I can't decide whether to get up on the roof and try to swing round to a better transmitter, or just wait til April when we SwitchOver.

Thanks
Andy


If the aerial is feeding more than one outlet how is the aerial signal split?

A loft mounted aerial will give you a lower signal than the same aerial mounted above the roof line. If you now take marginal signal from a loft mounted aerial and then passively split it between multiple outlets you will only be getting a maximum of half the signal level at each outlets.

You may need to fit a low noise powered distribution amplifier (or masthead amp) to be able to distribute your signal to multiple sockets.

If you do have passive aerial splitters, as a test you could remove them completely and run tne Toppy directly from the aerial. If this dramatically improves your reception on your toppy the solution would be to provide a better aerial distribution system.

If you already have a powered distribution amplifier of some kind make sure that it is being supplied with power.

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noncom
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:46 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 01 Sep 2006 Posts: 542
Hi

Thanks Alan_m. Yes, it's a roof mounted aeriel, which looks relatively new and relatively high gain. It may not however be pointed at the best transmitter (although almost every house in our road aims towards Wrekin - which is closest - a Freeview website predicts better strength from Sutton Coldfield) so I need to try swinging it round at some point.

Yes, there's an active aeriel distribution amp (and also a passive 2-way split) in the loft which is powered, but when I moved into the house a few weeks ago it was wired up completely wrong. I sorted it out very quickly, enough to get the socket for our main TV working, but it's possible that I need to trace all the cabling more thoroughly to work out exactly what's feeding what and get the best arrangement.

R2D2, thanks for the reminder, I'll let the unit run for a couple of hours and re-measure the voltages.

Cheers

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TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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alan_m
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Oct 2006 Posts: 3509
noncom wrote:
I moved into the house a few weeks ago it was wired up completely wrong.


I assume that
i) You re-scanned for channels
ii) You did a factory reset first (scanning only adds channels and doesn't get rid of the ones you had before)
iii) You limited the scan for your preferred transmitter, an auto-scan may have picked up from a different transmitter)

Scanning for one transmitter can be done manually or by using a TAP such as FastscanGui
http://www.tapworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=597

Problems with duplicate channels can be seen if you run MyInfo (having also downloaded the Myinfo support files to your Toppy as per the readme in the download). MyInfo also generates a text log file with the information.
http://www.tapworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=608

It is worth running the Signal Monitor TAP to check reception on all MUX and both tuners. It also helps when you adjust your aerial to ensure optimum results.
http://www.tapworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=318

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juwlz
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:09 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
Quote:
EPG2MEI v0.94; Media Manager 1.5; QuickBlank 0.2; MHEG Control B2; MyStuff 6.0; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; MyInfo B4.0; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub v0.6;
In conjunction with alan_m's post, if your sig is up to date, I'd recommend you update to MyStuff 6.2, which will also give you EPG2MEI 0.96 and MyInfo 5.4 (assuming you use the installer).

The updated version of MyInfo in particular will be useful in this case, as it gives you FAR more information about your channels (and is needed to overcome an issue with duplicate pseudo-channels which were introduced into the lineup in the last few weeks).

Julie

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noncom
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 01 Sep 2006 Posts: 542
Hi both

The Toppy in question is not mine, but my parents'. They live in a different region, so a scan was necessary anyway, and I did do a factory reset. The signal I'm getting off that aeriel is such that there are certainly no duplicates! In fact, there are hardly any channels at all (from that socket, I think I got 2 muxes, whereas where my Toppy's plugged in I get 3, although one's pretty dodgy).

Juwlz, I tried MS6.2 for a few months on my main Toppy, and had repeated crashes (possibly related to SDS from reading other people's reports of problems). So eventually I reverted to MS6.1 and since then it is MUCH more stable. I'm very reluctant to go through this again, particularly on a Toppy that's not mine, so I think I'll stick with 6.1 for now. I know there are bugs which have been fixed in 6.2, but for me with my setup (MyStuff, Media Manager etc) 6.1 seems to be far more reliable.

As and when 6.3 comes out, I'll give it a go, particularly if it gives an alternative to SDS for power handling.

I will try to re-setup my parents machine with a stable configuration and see if I can improve the signal reception problem as soon as I have time, and hopefully things will be OK then.

Thanks
Andy

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TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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juwlz
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:48 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
noncom wrote:
Juwlz, I tried MS6.2 for a few months on my main Toppy, and had repeated crashes (possibly related to SDS from reading other people's reports of problems).
Fair enough, although I've been happily using 6.2 without SDS (with Power Manager instead) on my "stable" Toppy without problems.

I really DO recommend that you update EPG2MEI and MyInfo though (and Channel Organiser if you use it), even if you don't update MyStuff. MyInfo and CO have both been updated to be able to deal with the newly-introduced "duplicate" pseudo channels bracketing the Adult section, and EPG2MEI v0.96 has some bug fixes that are worth having.

Julie

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noncom
Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:22 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 01 Sep 2006 Posts: 542
Ok, that sounds fine, how do I go about doing that? I tend to just use the MyStuff installer to do its thing, so is it just a case of running the 6.2 installer, then removing SDS and replacing MS6.2 with MS6.1?

Maybe I should look more carefully at PowerManager and see what that can offer instead. Then perhaps I could keep MS6.2 and see if that combination works for me.

Thanks for any further advice
Andy

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TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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juwlz
Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:48 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
noncom wrote:
Ok, that sounds fine, how do I go about doing that? I tend to just use the MyStuff installer to do its thing, so is it just a case of running the 6.2 installer, then removing SDS and replacing MS6.2 with MS6.1?
Yes, although the replacing MS6.2 with 6.1 bit should be unnecessary.

Julie

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noncom
Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:28 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 01 Sep 2006 Posts: 542
Ok, will give it a try.

What exactly do I lose by removing SDS? And which of the "lost" functions does PowerManager replace?

Thanks
Andy

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TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
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juwlz
Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:55 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
noncom wrote:
What exactly do I lose by removing SDS? And which of the "lost" functions does PowerManager replace?
Enough of a delay after shutting down at the end of a recording to allow MyStuff to complete its post-recording stuff, e.g. Autofiling, etc.

Power Manager just does things differently. It powers off your Toppy at a particular time of night (unless it's recording something - in which case MS still might not get time to do its stuff), so you basically set it to shut down at a time after you expect to have stopped recording anything.

Alternatively, you could use SimonC's Power Down TAP, which shuts down after a configurable period of inactivity.

MS 6.3 will have its own built-in power management, so you'll be able to use that instead when it's released.

Julie

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5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+BmC0CfCtFsIMPePsR3UUuUxZ
5810, TS On, F/W: F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 +BmCfCtFsR3Z
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