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Topic:
IR HD Cable Box Remote Control Problem
This thread has 19 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Friday February 2, 2018 at 22:52
BRIAN PHOENIX
Regular Member
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August 2015
71
Problem:
The remote that controls the HD cable box for the basement HD cable box very infrequently will change the channel on the second floor HD cable box. It happens very infrequently, but it does happen. I need to know why this is happening. Here are the details.

Equipment involved in this problem:
*Two HD Cable Boxes
* Two Mrf-350 ir Receivers
* One RFX-250 RF Sensor Antenna Module
* Two MX-350 Remotes

Placement of Equipment:
HD cable box on second floor
HD cable box in basement
Two Mrf-350 ir Receivers set up side by side each other in the basement.
RFX-250 RF Sensor Antenna Module mounted on the wall on the first floor. This antenna module feeds directly to the ir receiver (id#8) that sends ir to the second floor HD. A jumper wire from that ir receiver sends rf to the ir receiver that sends ir to the basement HD cable box id#4.

Settings On MX 350 Remote that controls Second Floor HD Cable Box:
id#: id#8 (all devices on this remote are set to id#8)
IR/RF: RF only for all devices on this remote
Port: 1 (this is the port emitting ir to second floor HD cable box)

Settings On MX 350 Remote That Controls First Floor HD Cable Box:
id#: id#4 (all devices on this remote are set to id#4)
IR/RF: RF only for all devices on this remote
Port: 2 (this is the port emitting ir to basement HD cable box)


Settings On Both ir Receivers:
id# Setting On Mrf-350 ir Receiver Sending ir to Second Floor HD Cable Box:
id#8
port 1 is emitting ir for second floor HD cable box and port output is set to as high as possible because it is a long run to emitter, and if not set wide open emitter does not receive ir.

id# Setting On Mrf-350 ir Receiver Sending ir to Basement HD Cable Box:
id#4
port 2 is emitting ir for Basement HD cable box, and the port output is set to as high as possible because it is a long run to emitter, and if not set wide open emitter does not receive ir.

Thanks for the help.

Brian
Post 2 made on Friday February 2, 2018 at 23:35
tomciara
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6,501
Threads about this exist. Usually, it’s when both remotes are in use. Once a base station has been “opened” by its remote, it will receive signals from any remote sending RF at that moment.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." - Winston Churchill
Post 3 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 00:12
roddymcg
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September 2003
6,624
Yeap , known issue. Tech support will tell you to put tin foil on the antenna to minimize cross talk. I guess properly engineering their RF is out of the question.
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
Post 4 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 00:21
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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December 2001
28,148
Try different channels, too.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 5 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 01:09
pilgram
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On February 3, 2018 at 00:12, roddymcg said...
Yeap , known issue. Tech support will tell you to put tin foil on the antenna to minimize cross talk. I guess properly engineering their RF is out of the question.

Sad but true!
Every day is a good day.......some are just better than others!
Post 6 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 13:14
buzz
Super Member
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2,650
Do you need to use two MRF-350's? Why not use two ports on the same MRF-350 and emitter expanders, if necesary?

Last edited by buzz on February 3, 2018 14:28.
Post 7 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 14:05
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
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On February 3, 2018 at 00:12, roddymcg said...
Tech support will tell you to put tin foil on the antenna to minimize cross talk.

Oh come one. You know that's not where the tin foil goes.....;-)
Post 8 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 15:44
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On February 2, 2018 at 22:52, BRIAN PHOENIX said...
Problem

and
I need to know why this is happening.

Let me suggest that you may never know why this is happening, but that doesn't need to stop you from solving it. I loved the days when I was on salary and my boss told me to work out why something was happening. These days I don't have the time to devote to teasing out the details. I have to make it work using the quickest methods, not the most thorough analysis.

On February 3, 2018 at 13:14, buzz said...
Do you need to use two MRF-350's? Why not use two ports on the same MRF-350 and emitter expanders, if necesary?

I missed this the first time through. Good catch, buzz. I now also wonder what can possibly be gained by using two receivers if they're right next to each other. You've already mentioned a drawback to this, which is that the IR signal to the second floor must be turned up all the way to work.

Knowing that URC has RF problems, and wanting to control systems on two different floors, I'd put distance between the MRF-350s by putting each one on the floor of the system it's controlling. Or did I still read this wrong and some equipment for both systems resides in the basement?

What are you trying to accomplish by putting the two MRF-350s next to one another? And doesn't this mean you have to run IR outputs from the basement to the second floor? Isn't the most straightforward approach, not to mention the shortest wires, usually the best approach?

Another thing occurs to me: The longer the IR wire is, the more it's possible for the IR signal to become distorted by the capacitance of the wire. (I have some experience with this and with solving it, but my methods won't work if you have barely enough signal to begin with.) Interference can also get on the wire that modifies the waveform of the control signal.

And RF can be picked up by the IR wire and fed back into the MRF-350s.

I say separate the MRF-350s.

Last edited by Ernie Gilman on February 3, 2018 15:55.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 9 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 16:03
tweeterguy
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7,647
Installer or home owner?

If you’re the home owner the reasons above tell you why this is happening, you can choose to deal with this occasional incident or hire someone to install something more reliable.

If you’re the installer, I’d suggest you not waste further time on a poorly designed product, RF-wise, and either install a better system or replace one of the units with an International version. I’d prefer the former choice.
Post 10 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 17:27
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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28,148
tweeterguy,
What is an "international version?" How are these different from products made for the US market?

What are some examples, say, of such a URC product? Or other brands?
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 11 made on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 18:29
tweeterguy
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Regular: 418 MHz: example (MRF-350 and MX-990)

International: 433 MHz: example (MRF-350i and MX-990i)

Yes, you can buy the i series in ‘merica.
OP | Post 12 made on Sunday February 4, 2018 at 17:22
BRIAN PHOENIX
Regular Member
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Posts:
August 2015
71
Tried different channels, but the problem still continues. It is exactly what one person said on this problem... it happens when both remotes are used simultaneously which is very infrequent. Is it possible to get a different cable box that has a entirely different channel change code from the other cable box?
Post 13 made on Sunday February 4, 2018 at 22:02
buzz
Super Member
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You’d need a completely different type of box, such as a TIVO, for one room. Boxes supplied by the cable company tend to use the same codes.
Post 14 made on Monday February 5, 2018 at 05:24
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On February 3, 2018 at 18:29, tweeterguy said...
Regular: 418 MHz: example (MRF-350 and MX-990)

International: 433 MHz: example (MRF-350i and MX-990i)

Yes, you can buy the i series in ‘merica.

The 433 MHZ products are not legal to use in the US. You'll probably never get caught, though.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 15 made on Monday February 5, 2018 at 20:48
tweeterguy
Loyal Member
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On February 5, 2018 at 05:24, Ernie Gilman said...
The 433 MHZ products are not legal to use in the US. You'll probably never get caught, though.

Not sure where you get that info from. Those products have been for sale for years (10+) in the U.S. by URC. Crestron and RTI are 434 MHz...is that illegal too?
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