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Copying menu screens from one device to another
This thread has 19 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Saturday November 4, 2000 at 10:21
Geoff Amthor
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I just purchased the MX-1000 -- I like it a lot so far, except I was disappointed that the preprogrammed codes didn't work for several of my relatively new (8 years or less) major-brand devices.

I used the PC software to relabel/reposition the main menu & downloaded the changes -- no problems. However, I'd like to copy screens from one device to another, or duplicate a device, and can't figure out how. For example, I have two Tivos and a DirectTV receiver. I wanted to either duplicate the SAT device 3x as a basic template for these 3 devices, or relabel other devices and copy the SAT menu screens to these devices. I seem to be able to copy buttons, but not whole menu screens. Am I missing something?

Also, is there an easy way to delete a whole menu screen, or add a new one?

There seems to be no documentation or help file for this software that I can find. Anyone know of a help file, doc or FAQ?
OP | Post 2 made on Saturday November 4, 2000 at 10:57
Kevin Fawley
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I'd also like to add more screens to particular devices. (Like adding another screen to my SAT pages so that I can add more favorite channels.) Is that possible?
OP | Post 3 made on Saturday November 4, 2000 at 12:39
Jason S
Historic Forum Post
I don't think you'll be able to add more screens to a particular device. The MDL files are setup for only four pages on each device, maybe because the hardware can only address 4 pages?

I also don't see any easy way of deleting a whole menu screen using the design tool, however, you can do whatever you want within the MDL files.... :)

Through a little "research" last night, I was able to open and modify the MDL and MDS files. I was able to remove devices from the MAIN page (something I can't do on Win2k, but reportedly can be done on Win9x), quickly reorder pages, move icons, change just about any text item on the screen, alter the fonts, etc.

However, I don't have my remote yet, so I'm not sure what negative effect, if any, my mods would make. The program certainly accepts the changes I've made, but I'm not sure if the remote itself would. I would certainly hate to modify some of this stuff and see it render my remote useless. The MDS files I'm more concerned about because they seem to be more of the "core" config than the individual MDL files. It's possible (not sure how probable though) that someone messing with those files could add too much data and overwrite portions of the system firmware, and in worst case, the portion that handles the upload/download.

Because of this, and because I don't want to get into a sling with Universal Remote, I'm hesitant to post instructions on how to open these files. I'm sure some of our more resourceful engineers will be able to figure it out, it's not hard at all.

I'm sure Universal Remote will eventually find out about the ability to make the mods and either make it harder to modify the MDL files directly, or better yet, provide us with the specs so we can develop our own MDL files, editors, etc.

OP | Post 4 made on Saturday November 4, 2000 at 15:22
Ron Sell
Historic Forum Post
i to have not been able to figure out out how to duplicate devices. this was a major feature on the sl9000. the only way i can see is to completely learn everything for a similar device & redo the buttons to read as needed. lots of work...
OP | Post 5 made on Saturday November 4, 2000 at 16:21
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
Looks like in the software itself there is no way to copy *anything*.
OP | Post 6 made on Tuesday November 7, 2000 at 01:30
Historic Forum Post
OP | Post 7 made on Tuesday November 7, 2000 at 01:34
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
'Scuse me?
OP | Post 8 made on Tuesday November 7, 2000 at 03:37
Historic Forum Post
Just look at the first few bytes of a MDL-file, to
discover what kind of file it is.

The string above can be found in the executable :-)

OP | Post 9 made on Tuesday November 7, 2000 at 04:13
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
Ah, yes -- I had that pointed out to me a few days ago... problem is no one's yet been brave enough to test! :-)
OP | Post 10 made on Tuesday November 7, 2000 at 06:56
Historic Forum Post
Well, I am :-)

The most interesting part to me is the assigning
of data to the buttons.

The spreadsheet (4*14) you get when you push the
"add button" key was puzzeling to me.

It seems that when you add a button the default is to
assign one of these buttons depending on the position
where you place the button.
Unfortunatly the program will not show you which one!

The result was that I ended up with two buttons assigned
to the same "position".

After you learn a command to this button the other one
got the same learned command assigned.

After I assigned a different value (even from another
page in the spreadsheet) it did work.

After looking at the MDL database, you can see that
only a value is assigned to the button.
Normaly these are 7,9,11, etc.
If you assign the first one of 4th page the number
changes to 167 (yes that high).

So I believe that at this level of the software
only a number is assigned to a key.
In the remote this number is connected to
1. a learned command
2. the device default (after selecting a code)

The above also explains the "strange" hint in the
manual about "redefining a button on same place
as original" to get the default definition back.

A nice test (yes I will perform this one) is to assign
value 35 to a new button.
This value is connected to the previous page button.
Lets see if this "new" button will skip pages.

Next step will be to see if in the LDT (learned
commands) we can find the connection from button
value to laerned command.
I hope it is in this LDT, if not, whe need some
other memory pages from the remote, which would be
more difficult.
OP | Post 11 made on Wednesday November 8, 2000 at 14:22
Historic Forum Post
Some results:
I changed the x position of a button in the database, and assigned code 36 (sorry 35 in previous mail was wrong) to it.
Downloaded this new database to the remote.
The button position was changed, and pressing it returned me to the previous device page.
I also tried to use this new button in a macro, but that didn't work.
OP | Post 12 made on Wednesday November 8, 2000 at 16:29
Historic Forum Post
Rene, nice work!

Random theory for you: macros may be comprised of the underlying codes, rather than the buttons/positions.

I'm definitely digging into this as soon as I get my MX-1000. :)
OP | Post 13 made on Wednesday November 8, 2000 at 21:14
Jason S
Historic Forum Post
Rene, you've obviously figured out how to get in (I said it wasn't hard...) Have you looked at the PDT file yet? That looks to me to be the actual firmware code, possibly including the "built-in" commands, or it's just the "user modifiable" section of the firmware that is modified when you program the remote. This is probably most likely the case.

Has anyone ventured to open their remote to see what kind of processor is in the device? That info should give us the type of processor being used so we can get a better understanding of the PDT file. It seems to me that that the first 8 bytes or so is an address, the remaining is data or instructions.

I've done some testing with the software to see if I can add additional pages, to no avail. I modified the actual database configuration to add another page5 column and set, what I thought was max pages counter, to 5. But that did not work. The program actually barfed on the tables after I made the changes.

I've also done some toying with the Init and Data MDS files to see if I can rearrange the time, date and location of the text that tells you which device you are controlling (upper left hand corner, "AUDIO", "TUNER", "DVD", etc.), but have not been able to get it to move. I was hoping that we can move all of the text around to get a more custom look.

I still don't have a remote yet, but am happy to hear that someone is brave enough to try this out.

I'm interested in hear more about what you've been able to find out we can do with the program. I haven't been able to do much testing lately (been very busy). Please keep us posted.

OP | Post 14 made on Wednesday November 8, 2000 at 21:16
Jason S
Historic Forum Post
One other question Rene, have you tried to delete a device from the MDL file (not default...) to see if it is removed from the MAIN device page? I deleted all references to VCR2 in my test mdl file, but again, no remote so I don't know if the remote would accept that type of change.

OP | Post 15 made on Thursday November 9, 2000 at 00:06
Jason S
Historic Forum Post
FYI, I've started to map the tables and define what I believe the columns and their values correspond to.

I'll be glad to share with anyone who asks.

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