Building a PVR project

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ZiaTioN
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Post by ZiaTioN » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:51 am

hmm interesting.

Inside the tar are the 3 following directories:
mcubin
usbirboykmod
usbirboymcu

mcubin contains a single hex file that is already compiled to byte (hex) code via codewarrior (a development env for Windows). This hex file is what the chip needs to be flashed with. If you want to compile it yourself, the source code in usbirboykmod is what you will need. From reading the README file here, it seems that compiling this firmware under sdcc renders it useless so if you want to compile it yourself you will have to do so in CodeWarrior. Now for the stupid part.

usbirboymcu contains all the source code files for the driver. The README explains that this driver also needs to be compiled under CodeWarrior. Sadly enough it is only available for windows so a little work around envolving wine and codewarrior is needed. Apparantly, this driver source can be compiled under sdcc so this may be a better possibility than using an emulated env to run codewarrior.

The README file in this driver source directory gives pretty decent directions on flashing the chip with a prommer (not provided). This of course will be the most tedious task if you are not familiar with, or do not have a hardware pic flashing device (prommer). I think you can find cheap ones around the net. This project seems to provide a schematic for building a prommer to flash the MCU with. This may be YOUR best bet since you are already an established hardware hacker :-).

Hope this helps some. I really only re-iterated what the README's stated along with a little more elaboration on some of the terminology and methods required to accomplish this.

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Post by Void Main » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:23 pm

Thanks, you might have missed my last post. I had a related question about a unit Radio Shack sells:

http://voidmain.is-a-geek.net/forums/vi ... 2998#12998

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Post by ZiaTioN » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:47 pm

Yeah it is definately a microcontroller flash kit. If it will work with what you want to do I can not be sure. It does not state what types of MCU's it will flash. It could do PIC's, HC11's, HC12's HC08's, etc. or it may be able to do some or all. Especially for $80.00, I would try to build the one provided in the schematic from my previous posts. Seems simple enough of a design and you have already shown your skills in building hardware devices so I would recommend that. That is guranteed to work on Linux, or at least this is the impression they give from the README.

Let me know how it goes.

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Post by ZiaTioN » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:20 pm

Ok from looking at this pic again:
Image

It appears that it is actually using a DIP (Dual Inline Package) known as a PIC. For this a PIC programmer can be used. This basically what that schematic of the "prommer" is. The Pic programmer can be used to flash numerous sizes of pics up to PIC32's I believe.

Again all this may not be really worth the extra work required to build a usb ir sensor for extra range in remote sensing, but if you want to do it as a simpel exercise or learning process, I say go for it. I would try to spend as little as possible in dong so though. I personally would build the prommer they provided and use the software they used to flash the chip because I know that it will work and that is exactly what they have been using (not to mention this is what the instructions in the README are for).

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Post by Void Main » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:10 pm

I might do that. It is just for the learning experience as I actually don't need any of what I have built or plan to build. I guess I need to do a little research on PICs. Thanks for the links. I'll probably have more questions. I should start an electronics forum. :)

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Post by Void Main » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:34 am

Is there a good online source for purchasing electronic components? I have most of the components to build the serial version of the tranceiver but they use a capacitor that I just can't find anywhere. The specific capacitor is a Panasonic EEC-S0HD334V which is a 5.5V 0.33F Electric Double Layer Capacitor (EDLC) type:

http://industrial.panasonic.com/www-cgi ... D334V+7+WW
Image

Radioshack doesn't seem to carry anything like that and I can't find anything online that is similar/close that I can purchase.

Here's the serial version with that capacitor installed:
Image

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Post by Void Main » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:33 pm

I think I found an equivelant (Elna 555-DX5R5V334) and a place to buy:

http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDet ... -DX5R5V334

More info:
http://www.mouser.com/catalog/627/583.pdf

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Post by worker201 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:20 pm

[offtopic]
Void Main wrote:Radioshack doesn't seem to carry anything like that
That's the sad truth - Radioshack seems to be more of a phone store than an electronics store now. I was talking with the proprietor of an electronics store here in town, and he said that Radioshack was their best source of customers. Everybody goes to Radioshack looking for LEDs and serial adaptors and other whatnots, to find an extremely limited and high-priced selection. And the Radioshack employees are thankfully happy to redirect their customers to the old school electronics store. Luckily, we have an electronics store in town. I'd hate to have to FedEx an order of serial gender-changers twice a week because they were no longer profitable enough for Radioshack.[/offtopic]

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Post by Void Main » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:02 am

I upgraded my MythTV box to fc6. There was no fc6 ivtv_xdriver for my PVR-350 so I had to create a patch to get the driver to work and build an fc6 RPM for it. Everything is now working great. I was having a stutter problem when watching live TV that has nearly comletely cleared up under fc6. I'm not sure what caused that problem to start but it didn't happen when I initially built the box with fc5. Only after some updates were installed did that problem start.

Here are the ivtv_xdriver RPMS that I built until someone gets them built and loaded into the ATrpms repo:

http://voidmain.is-a-geek.net/files/RPMS/ivtv_xdriver/

Here are a couple of messages I posted on the ATrpms mailing list about it:

http://lists.atrpms.net/pipermail/atrpm ... 06224.html
http://lists.atrpms.net/pipermail/atrpm ... 06225.html

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Post by Tux » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:47 pm

Wow, RadioShack sucks. I thought Maplin was getting bad (our version of RS), but I found that component straight away on their site.


Nice to see you have this working, it's a cool project.

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Post by Maniaman » Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:32 pm

I recently redid my mythtv box with Fedora Core 6 so I could get lirc working right with my remote. After doing some tweaking so I have a decent picture (stupid chroma/luma bug with my card) I am getting dreaded prebuffering pauses. Yay.

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Post by Void Main » Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:25 pm

Does it act like a "stutter" that effects both audio and video? It sounds exactly like the problem I was having until I upgraded to the most recent ATrpms version. Well, I'm not sure if it's the latest version now (haven't upgraded in about 2 weeks). The version that works for me with no stuttering is 0.20-148 built on 13 December.

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Post by Maniaman » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:23 pm

Yeah, every few seconds video and audio will 'freeze' for about a second.

Everything should be running the latest versions, just installed it all yesterday/today.

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Post by Void Main » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:15 pm

Can you check and see what versions you are running? If your version is newer than mine then I don't want to upgrade. :) Also check your process list and see what is eating up the most CPU both when you are watching video and when it should be idle (use the top command).

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Post by Void Main » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:29 pm

Well, I ordered the Hauppage PVR-500 MCE dual tuner from Amazon the other day and got it last night. When I first installed it the system wouldn't recognize the card. I had to hook up a monitor and get into the BIOS and rearrange an IRQ (it's an old Compaq box) and then it recognized the card but I didn't get any sound from the two new tuners. I upgraded the firmware from ivtv site and things work great. The bonus for me is the tuners in this thing tune the higher channels in MUCH clearer than the PVR-350. Another bonus is that the built in FM radio actually seems to work on this new card.

So I now have 3 TV tuners (and an TV-OUT on the PVR-350) and an FM tuner that all work in the MythTV box. I can now record 3 shows at the same time and the old box seems to keep right up with no problem when recording. One thing the old machine seems to not be able to do very well is the picture-in-picture. I think it just needs more horsies than what I have to do this. No problem, I am very happy with the setup. Too bad I just heard they are outlawing everything that isn't digital in 2 years so these cards will probably be worthless at that point. I guess I just stop watching TV when that day comes. I am tempted to go into a politics rant but I'll leave it alone.

Now, if I can just figure out how to stream the radio via VLC like I can the TV tuners so I can listen to it at work I'll be golden.

The PVR-500 (It has a second set of video inputs on a dummy slot that isn't pictured):

Image

I also upgraded to MythTV 0.21 from the ATrpms bleeding repo a few weeks back and I REALLY like it!

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