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<  Firmwares, enhancements and upgrades  ~  Power Restore Pack (F/W & TAP)

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FireBird
Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:45 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 05 May 2005 Posts: 358 Location: Vienna/Austria
Hi,

it is well known that the Topfield PVRs lose the actual time on a power failure. Until now there was no way to automatically resynchronize the clock except with hardware extensions (power sequencer, UPS). The Masterpiece and his real time clock should work around that problem but a nasty bug prevents this. Even though it does not lose the time, the front panel processor forgets the wake-up event and therefore no timer is executed.

A little modification in the firmware changes the start-up behaviour. Instead of shutting down before it can fetch the time, it will boot up into user mode. If the Power Restore TAP recognizes an invalid time (<01.01.2005), it will switch to a channel which has to be defined in the file "PowerRestore.ini". If the time collection has been restricted to specific transponders, then the channel has to lie on one of these transponders. Both files should be copied into the Auto Start folder.

Nigel told me that the 5800 may receive a correct time stamp before the TAPs in the Auto Start folder are executed. In this case the TAP can?t distinguish between a boot caused by a power failure or by the user. The same is true for the Masterpiece models, which always have the correct time. In such a case the TAP will start a countdown. If no key is pressed within this time frame, the Toppy will be shut down. This time frame can be defined with the Countdown parameter. The TAP will display a warning one minute prior to shutdown. A timeout of 0 disables this feature.

The modified firmware version is marked by a "P" at the end of the application version in the IRD status, e.g. TF-NPT-5.12.25P.

This link points to the thread in the German board. It contains the download links for the firmware and the TAP. If I?ve missed a model or you need an older firmware version, please give me a note and I?ll add it.

Thanks to Nigel for doing the beta test on the 5800!

In the next step I?ll add the Australian firmware patches.

Regards, Alex
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andyrogers
Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:02 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2005 Posts: 814
Hi

I this firmware same to use? has anyone else tried to use this firmware?

Nigel, what are your views on this firmware/tap? will it work? will it invalidate my warrenty?

Thanks

Andy
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nwhitfield
Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:21 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
Well, I did some tests, and it appears to do what it says on the tin; after a power failure, the Toppy will restart and power up, instead of just going to standby with a time of 00:00.

The TAP will then shut it down again if necessary (if you're happy to have the Toppy just stay on, then you don't need the TAP).

I haven't run the firmware through the full test suite, to confirm that it behaves exactly the same as the standard one, but from Firebird's description, it should be the same.

I don't know about the warranty situation, but I would suspect that running unofficial firmware would not be welcomed by the support people; if you do experience problems with this one, I'd recommend swapping back to an official firmware. You can't damage the box just by running different firmware.

If you do suffer from frequent power cuts, then I'd say this is definitely worth a try - that's really the only way to be sure it's going to work fine for you.

Alex, I presume the TAP doesn't pop up if it realises a recording is in progress?

Nigel.

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FireBird
Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:32 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 05 May 2005 Posts: 358 Location: Vienna/Austria
nwhitfield wrote:
Alex, I presume the TAP doesn't pop up if it realises a recording is in progress?

Correct. There are a lot of checks in there and two of them are if a timer has woken up the Toppy or a timer is due within Countdown + 5 minutes.
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DaveR
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:17 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Mar 2005 Posts: 21 Location: Australia
FireBird wrote:
In the next step I?ll add the Australian firmware patches.
Hi Alex,

Nice work!

If I was you I'd only bother with the Nov 2005 firmware for the Aussie 5000, as it's the one most of us are using at the moment.

Though the MPs didn't get the Nov beta, and most MP owners use the May 2005 f/w. For the BP the only one listed is the buggy Dec 2005.

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jumbo
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:36 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 Apr 2005 Posts: 4731
andyrogers wrote:
Nigel, what are your views on this firmware/tap? will it work? will it invalidate my warranty?


nwhitfield wrote:
I don't know about the warranty situation, but I would suspect that running unofficial firmware would not be welcomed by the support people; if you do experience problems with this one, I'd recommend swapping back to an official firmware. You can't damage the box just by running different firmware.


If, for whatever reason, the Toppy can not be retrograded to a kosher firmware and needs to be looked at under warranty, you might need a good lawyer to enforce it!

Alex and/or Nigel

Since this is such a valuable breakthrough (assuming that it does not introduce new problems/bugs), can it not be passed on to Topfield Korea so that it can be legitimately incorporated into the next firmware upgrade and avoid any potential warranty issues?
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nwhitfield
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:46 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
Well, I shall certainly bring it up when I'm chatting with the guys at Turbosat; it's been on the to-do list for quite a while and perhaps this will prod them along.

Another note - if you're using PowerManager to shut down your Toppy at night, so that Jag's scan works, then you could omit the TAP element of this, since your box will get turned off, albeit after some hours instead of the 5 minutes that the TAP provides.

Nigel.

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moley6knipe
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Aug 2005 Posts: 863 Location: Spalding, Lincs, UK
nwhitfield wrote:
if you're using PowerManager to shut down your Toppy at night, so that Jag's scan works, then you could omit the TAP element of this, since your box will get turned off, albeit after some hours instead of the 5 minutes that the TAP provides


Nigel, I'm being thick - why would I not use the TAP element of PowerRestore given that my PowerManager switches off at 00:30? As I understand it this TAP/firmware combo automatically switches the Toppy on after power fail, when it will read the .ini file and update the clock by tuning to the specified channel, and then if no recordings are due within the time specified within the .ini file and no keys are pressed, it turns the Toppy off again?

So the firmware tweak, as I understand it, only shuttles the Toppy into user mode if the power on is as a result of mains power being restored; if the Toppy wakes up as the result of a normal timer then it ignores the PowerRestore TAP?

Edit: sorry, don't understand the bit about transponders either...
If the time collection has been restricted to specific transponders, then the channel has to lie on one of these transponders. Both files should be copied into the Auto Start folder... is a restricted transponder a serious condition? Wink

Sorry if I'm being too simple to live... Embarassed

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FireBird
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 05 May 2005 Posts: 358 Location: Vienna/Austria
In the sat world, there are a lot more channels transmitting bad time stamps than good ones. Especially the Hotbird group is known to send random numbers. Therefore we can (dis)allow the clock synchronisation for every transponder (frequency) on our sat Toppies. I didn?t know if there is something similar on the 5800.
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moley6knipe
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Aug 2005 Posts: 863 Location: Spalding, Lincs, UK
Thanks alex, I see what you mean. Over here we've sometimes had problems with some of the muxes, in that occaisionally a 5800 powering on to one of the poorer muxes gets a weird time stamp and some people report failed timers. I've never had it myself thankfully.

So to ignore those frequencies, what's the text required and what does one save the resulting filename as, out of curiosity?

Edit: Ah, this option must be set in the menus of the Sat Toppy's then? In which case, no the 5800 doesn't have a menu option for this.


Last edited by moley6knipe on Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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nwhitfield
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
I mentioned PowerManager just as an aside - if you already have tons of TAPs in AutoStart, you may decide that you're happy to have the Toppy running all day in the event of a power cut, rather than add another TAP to the mix.

Nigel.

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moley6knipe
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:15 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Aug 2005 Posts: 863 Location: Spalding, Lincs, UK
Ah, I see now I think. So if I just install the firmware without the TAP the Toppy will boot for timers as it always has, but if it boots following a power cut, it will just boot to the channel it was watching last, and stay on until Power Manager turns the Toppy off?

I guess this would only fall over if the last channel watched was one with a dodgy time-stamp (such as, from what I've read, MuxA can be occaisionally) - in which instance the Toppy won't find the time stamp?

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jumbo
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 Apr 2005 Posts: 4731
As the warranty issue does not apply to me (upgraded hdd) I've upgraded to Firebird's new firmware/TAP and performed a few ad-hoc experiments to my satisfaction Razz

Another cracker from Alex! Thanks.

(I actually have a UPS as well with an unstable electricity supply so the new firmware should back the backup!)
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vroomfondle
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 09 Jun 2005 Posts: 1338 Location: TX: Hannington
Can't upgrade to this firmware using ftpd-topfield, get the E-15 error.

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5800 (400Gb, fan cooled). Firmware: 5.13.40PHT2a Taps: MyStuff5.21a, Mediamanager1.3
Other: ASUS WL-500gx + Olegs (1.9.2.7-7f) + ftpd-topfield (0.7.4) + rt2mei0.63
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DaveR
Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Mar 2005 Posts: 21 Location: Australia
vroomfondle wrote:
Can't upgrade to this firmware using ftpd-topfield, get the E-15 error.

E-15 Question

As far as I know they only go up to E-13.

http://toppytools.com/errors.html

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