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<  Firmwares, enhancements and upgrades  ~  How do I get my old firmware back? Fed up of it ignoring me

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Andy2No
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:54 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 02 Dec 2005 Posts: 190
I installed the currently recommended firmware, 5.13.65T, within the last couple of weeks. Since then, my 5800 frequently just ignores the remote. I can see the green LED lighting up on the front panel when I press a button, but it doesn't do what I say.

This can happen in a variety of ways. Quite often I come to use it and the front panel shows RECORD but I can't tell if it's actually recording anything because it ignores the remote except for the power button. After turning it off (two presses of the power button, with just the display reduced to a dot, the first time), it does the Veriftying Files and Folders routine, then works again for a while. It can also happen when I'm just watching a recording and try to pause or stop it.

Certainly, I'm used the Toppy ignoring me, but nothing like on this scale. Before the update, I had a firmware without a T on the end. I was under the impression it was 5.13.65, without the T, but the way the firmwares are numbered seems very inconsistent so I'm not sure. Among the recent firmwares listed, I tried one firmware that made it go wrong within about a minute of turning it on, and another that fwload refused to install because it said it was for another type of Topfield.


The new firmware is making using my 5800 a total PITA. It locks out the remote on a daily basis, often more than once. It worked a lot better before.

As far as I know, the one I had before was the firmware recommended by this forum a couple of years ago, when I was visiting it fairly often. I'd like to put that one back, but I'm not clear which it was, or even if it's listed on the firmwares page.

Any clues?

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juwlz
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:50 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10801 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
I very much doubt that the problem stems from that firmware. Pretty much all of us who are still running 5800s are using that firmware. The T denotes that it includes user-contributed fixes to a whole slew of bugs that Topfield weren't interested in fixing themselves, including some that would have rendered the Toppy completely unusable many years ago.

Have you ever hard any of the hardware checked? I'd you're having unexplained problems with a Toppy, the very first port of call is the capacitors in the PSU. See Toppy Repairs for more detail. Thankfully, a repair by AndyFras is very inexpensive, or he can supply the appropriate components at a very reasonable cost (cheaper than minimum order requirements) if you want to go DIY.

Assuming your PSU has had all 18 of its capacitors replaced, one major cause of poor responsiveness to the remote is having interactive services enabled.

Another is the (obvious cause of) dying batteries in the remote - but I expect you've checked that.

A third is a faulty front panel.

I would suggest you investigate those potential causes first, before blaming firmware that has been stable for the majority of users here for many years, and is named Recommended Firmware for a very good reason.

Julie

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juwlz
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:00 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10801 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
BTW, the Recommended Firmware hasn't changed for at least 5 years, so this IS exactly the same firmware that you were running two years ago.

The most recent POST in the sticky firmware thread was in 2010, and that had nothing to do with changes to the firmware. (The thread does reference the Recommended Firmware in connection with a FIX for poor responsiveness though).

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Andy2No
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:52 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 02 Dec 2005 Posts: 190
Looking at some of my older forum posts, it seems likely that I had my previous firmware for more than 5 years.

I did check the version number before installing this one. There was definitely no T at the end. I could have read the number wrong - e.g. read 5.13.56 as 5.13.65, but I wouldn't have mistaken the lack of a T as I was looking for a T.

This problem started from the day I installed the new firmware, so it would be a hell of a coincidence if it was caused by hardware failure.

Also, the hardware failure that causes the remote to not work appears to be linked to the front panel circuit board, and involves the green LED not lighting up, from what I've read. Mine lights up when I press a button, but in those situations, nothing happens.

I'm now trying another of the 5.13.65 variants - TF5800NITfix1365. That shows 5.13.65 with no T, so may well be the one I had.

From what I've read, there appears to have been more than one version of the 5800. I've had mine quite a long time.


Last edited by Andy2No on Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:29 pm; edited 2 times in total

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alan_m
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Oct 2006 Posts: 3486
Andy2No wrote:
This problem started from the day I installed the new firmware, so it would be a hell of a coincidence if it was caused by hardware failure. .


Not necessarily
Your recent install of firmware would possibly have been the first time you have written a large amount of data into the flash memory with a failing power supply. This may have been the only time when a large amount of data (the firmware) has written to the flash memory in 5+ years. If you were changing firmware on a regular basis you may have seen hardware problems long before.

The other factor that tends to put a lot of stress on a failing power supply is rescanning for channels.

Quote:

TF5800NITfix1365. That shows 5.13.65 with no T, so may well be the one I had


Same base firmware with fewer patches. Anything before this without you installing patches yourself will have had a broken EPG.

With regards the firmware you recently I would rate it as the one to use. If the firmware alone is causing the problem then many 10s of thousands of users would be complaining.

As a matter of interest did you change firmware because you were seeing problems with the firmware you were using for 5+ years?

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Andy2No
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:25 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 02 Dec 2005 Posts: 190
alan_m wrote:
As a matter of interest did you change firmware because you were seeing problems with the firmware you were using for 5+ years?

No, I visited the forum to ask about something else, and found the firmware I was using wasn't the newest one, so I updated it. The old one had its irritating little problems, but nothing on this scale.

Doesn't fwload verify the firmware after writing it, to check it's been written properly?

FLASH memory mainly fails from over use, as I understand it. Mine's had very few writes ever, so that wouldn't be the reason. It would normally have to be in the thousands of writes. A failing power supply is plausible, but I assumed fwload verified what it had written.

Do you have 10s of thousands of users, incidentally? I always thought this forum was a bit of a minority sport.

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andyfras
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 3449
Several Toppies have had the IR receiver in the front panel fail with exactly the symptoms you describe. I have replaced about 10 of them.

I can supply the component for DIY fitting, or you could send me the front panel, or just the circuit board.

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juwlz
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:15 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10801 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
And if the capacitors haven't already been replaced, it'll be worth doing those at the same time, even if only as a precautionary measure - because they WILL fail at some point.

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Andy2No
Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:36 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 02 Dec 2005 Posts: 190
andyfras wrote:
Several Toppies have had the IR receiver in the front panel fail with exactly the symptoms you describe. I have replaced about 10 of them.

I can supply the component for DIY fitting, or you could send me the front panel, or just the circuit board.
Thanks. I'll bear that in mind. I'll see how it goes for a few days with the less patched version of the firmware. It seems okay so far, but a day or two of actually using it is needed before I know for sure.

I can probably manage to replace an IR receiver, if it's just the 3 pin sort, but my hand steadiness is a long way from what it used to be, so I might chicken out when I see the PCB, depending on how densely packed the components are.

juwlz wrote:
And if the capacitors haven't already been replaced, it'll be worth doing those at the same time, even if only as a precautionary measure - because they WILL fail at some point.

I understand there are a lot of them, so I'd probably want to send the whole thing to be fixed, at that point. I'm hoping that won't be any time soon. I'm sure they will fail, but I don't really have any evidence that that's happened yet. Not all Toppys were necessarily made with the same exact parts, from the same exact supplier. They could also have decided to skimp on later production runs.

I recently replaced a capacitor in an LED bulb that was flickering and flashing on and off - that seems to be one of the main reasons they fail too (except for the really cheap Chinese ones that tend to be running too hot and burn out the LEDs). In this case, they seemed to have skimped on the voltage rating for the capacitor - I replaced a 35V rated one with a 50V one. So far, it's working, and hopefully the extra robustness will keep it working much longer than Philips originally intended. I don't suppose they'd make much money if they sold bulbs that lasted forever.

I've replaced a couple in Casio DH-100s too (electric MIDI saxophone semi toy-grade instruments). It was the same syndrome - the capacitor was only just rated a bit higher than it absolutely had to be, not with plenty of room to spare, as most hobbyists would have used.

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mstombs
Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:26 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Dec 2006 Posts: 938
Andy2No wrote:
I installed the currently recommended firmware, 5.13.65T, within the last couple of weeks.

...

The new firmware is making using my 5800 a total PITA. It locks out the remote on a daily basis, often more than once. It worked a lot better before.

As far as I know, the one I had before was the firmware recommended by this forum a couple of years ago, when I was visiting it fairly often. I'd like to put that one back, but I'm not clear which it was, or even if it's listed on the firmwares page.

Any clues?


Deja Vu?

http://forum.toppy.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=199654#199654
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Andy2No
Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:06 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 02 Dec 2005 Posts: 190
Interesting. Thanks, mstombs.

It would be deja vu, if I had a memory that worked that well. As I don't, it's all new to me Smile

But, yes, I've come to the same conclusion again, six and a half years later.

I'd like to say that reverting to 5.13.65 without the T (but with the NITfix patch) has completely cured it. It hasn't, as it turns out, but it has made it a lot better.

I checked on it before posting this and it was ignoring the remote, having recorded something earlier, with the File menu still on the screen from yesterday.

The other thing that's changed is the TAPs I have installed. I haven't installed PowerManager yet, after the hard disk crash, a couple of weeks ago. Since turning it off and back on again works, having PowerManager do that for me should help - possibly there's a memory leak leading to a slow but inevitable crash, so more frequent restarts is what's needed.

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