[mythtv-users] Jumping on the bandwagon

Matthew Conway wr0ngers at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 21:46:54 UTC 2004

Hi all,

I've been observing the progress of mythtv over the past year, and
have finally decided to jump on the bandwagon - well, to be honest, my
_wife_ finally allowed me to. =)  This post is a little long, but I
figured it might be useful to others having problems similar to my

The machine I built is a combination frontend/backed with the following specs:

Chaintech 7NIF2 Motherboard (10/2004, so 6-channel CMedia chip, no SPDIF)
AMD Mobile Athlon 2500+
3x 256MB pc2100
Hauppage Wintv PVR-250
Linksys WMP54G v4 wireless PCI card
Samsung SP1614N 160GB HD
NEC ND-3500A DVD drive
Atech Internal multi-slot Flash card reader
Lite-on SK7551 wireless keyboard/mouse
CoolerMaster ATC-620 (black) (Case fan audible, need to try FanMate
and/or a better fan)
Seasonic Super Tornado 300W Power Supply (really quiet!)
Spire WhisperRock IV (quiet, but still audible, need to try a FanMate
to reduce fan speed)

Tivo Series 1 + TurboNet + linksys WRT54G router in client mode (full
router is cheaper than the ethernet game/bridge adapters, go figure)
Linksys WRT54G in router mode connected to cable modem.


I followed Jarod's Excellent guide for FC2, with most of the problems
I ran into being hardware related.  Software related questions will
probably follow in other posts ;-)

1) I outsmarted myself with the motherboard that doesn't support
multiplier settings for the Athlon Mobile, so its speed defaults to
800Mhz.  You can get it to 1200Mhz by bumping the processor side of the
FSB up to 200Mhz.  However, I was able to use the single wire trick to
bump me up to full speed (14x multiplier * 133FSB = 1871Mhz)
If you want to play with other multipliers, you can follow the guide
at http://www.rhcf.com/sisubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=000127

2) The linksys I have (v4) has the Ralink RT2500 chipset and as such
has 2 options for drivers - ndiswrapper or the native one provided by
the chipset manufacturer (http://www.ralinktech.com/supp-1.htm).  Both
cause kernel panics for me =(  However I discovered by accident that
if I manually setup my card/connection with ndiswrapper early in the
boot sequence,
things would usually (not always) work without any problems - go
figure.  I'll probably try and get this working normally once
everything else is fully setup, so if anyone has any ideas, I'd like
to hear them.  One tip for
building kernel modules - you can build them against the currently
installed FC2 kernel by running "make -C /lib/modules/`uname -r`/build
SUBDIRS=`pwd` modules modules-install" in the source directory you are
trying to compile - alot of people seem to think they have to build
their own kernel to do so - which is only true if the kernel you are
using doesn't have something enabled which the module needs (causes a
compile error, so you know pretty quick)

3) I couldn't get the built in sound to work initially.  I guess the
default FC2 mixer settings for this chipset are wrong.  Even after
manually unmuting PCM (tried unmuting ALL channels too) using
alsamixer, I still couldn't get sound when running aplay.  I had to
force disabling of "alsactl restore" on module load to get a clean
mixer config - manually comment out the modprobe.conf for it, modprobe
the module manually, unmute JUST Master and PCM channels, then alsactl
store to save good mixer settings, and re-enable the entries in
modprobe.conf.  I'll turn on other channesl as I need them -
eventually I'll turn on one which kills my sound, and then I'll know
=).  I also turned off kde's sound engine, and kde's auto loading of
mixer settings because everytime I started KDE it killed my sound
again (it was probably loading the "bad" mixer setting).  I'm not sure
its important, but after tearing out my hair trying to figure this all
out - I booted a Knoppix 3.6 CD just to see if the sound worked there,
and it did because its using a 2.4 kernel with OSS drivers.  Its
possible the OSS drivers "enabled" the sound somehow by initializing
some registers, but I doubt it.  However, if my guide doesn't work for
you, you might want to try this "just in case."

4) My audio/video would stutter  for a few seconds when changing to
some channels (scifi for one), but using the audio buffer and
syncing on video seems to have fixed it.

Hope this helps someone,

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