[mythtv-users] IRBlaster Problems / Suggestions?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Thu Sep 27 14:58:16 UTC 2007

Jason Sharpe wrote:
> Good Day,
> I have been using Myth for over 2 years now and love it, however I have
> been experiencing problems with my IRBlaster for some time now.
> I purchased a serial IR Blaster from www.irblaster.info
> <http://www.irblaster.info> a couple of years ago and installed Fedora
> Core 4 and Mythtv 18 (or 19) on a dedicated backend and using the latest
> version (at the time) of LIRC it worked flawlessly for over a year,
> never missed a channel change on a Dish Network 301 STB.
> The blaster is stuck directly on the STB with a bit of double sided tape
> over the IR receiver. The receiver is in a room that has no windows and
> has no light on 24 hours a day (Except for the once a week I walk in
> that room and have a light on for 5 mins) so there is no ambient light
> at all.
> I upgraded to Myth .20 when it came out and all was well. Then about 6
> or 8 months ago I started getting missed changes, during the 3 digit
> channel change, it misses a number and I record HSN (channel 84)
> instead. It does seem to have a high failure rate, probly around 25-35%
> of the time it fails to properly tune the channel. I adjusted the
> placement of the irblaster over the receiver a bit to the left and right
> thinking it might not be hitting the eye properly but that didn't seem
> to help.
> Hoping it was a software issue, I took the change to schedulesdirect.org
> <http://schedulesdirect.org> as an opportunity to rebuild the backend
> from scratch.
> After looking around I decided to try MythDora which turned out to be a
> great choice as it was VERY easy to install and configure and got my
> systems backup and running very easily after the format. (I saved all my
> recorded content and database which I just reimported after I
> installed). I setup LIRC from scratch again and didn't use any of my old
> files to configure it hoping I would eliminate the issue.
> However the problem persists, I have been running MythDora since Sept
> 1st and still continue to have missed changes quite often.  I can't
> discern a pattern from misses and it happens at all time of the day, to
> any channel, and it doesn't matter if the backend has no load or is
> under heavy load.
> I have given up on trying to resolve this and I am down to trying a
> different IR blaster. I am open to Serial, USB, etc.
> Does anyone have any suggestions that works well with a Dish Network
> receiver?

I've been using a MyBlaster to control a 300 DISH receiver. AFAIK it has
not missed a channel change in over 2 years.

The MyBlaster puts out more IR power than the typical serial port driven
emitter. It uses it's own power supply (and therefore requires its own
wall-wort). It does not use LIRC but rather a perl script (thanks
William) that is easily configurable.

As for your present problems, what you are doing should work. Have you
had any changes in the lighting environment near your receiver? Other
devices that might interfere?

Because of the higher light output level, some claim that the MyBlaster
is more reliable under interfering ambient light conditions. I can't
prove or dispute that, I can only say the unit has worked fine for me.


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