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Old 11-21-2008, 06:43 AM   #1
Ladd Morse
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Used TiVo Wireless G Adapter--How to Tell Before Purchase if it Works?

I will theoretically be making a CraigsList purchase of a used TiVo Wireless G Adapter tomorrow afternoon (Saturday). Given the distance between our homes, we have set up a meeting at a halfway point.

Above and beyond the normal "buying something off of CraigsList and meeting in a parking lot" issues and precautions, is there some way I can test the wireless adapter to see that there is half a chance it actually works?

All I can come up with is to take a Mac laptop with me (remembering "issues and precautions" noted above) and plug the adapter into one of its USB ports and see what happens. Macs are generally pretty good at recognizing and auto-configuring connected external devices, so I hoping that if I plug the adapter in and the laptop recognizes it in some manner, then that might be a clue that there is a chance the adapter might be functional.

Lots of reasons why this test may not be valid:

I recall that current TiVos will work only with the TiVo-branded adapter; I don't know if the converse is true -- that the adapter will only work with current TiVos.

The laptop may only show that a USB device is connected, but this may have no relations whatsoever to if the adapter actually functions as desired.

So, any tips or advice as to how I can get useful information on if this TiVo Wireless G Adapter is good?

.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:16 AM   #2
dickey2345
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Not sure if the Mac test will work. First, I sell them in my eBay store and although I have not used one, the description on the Tivo website, "For use with a TiVo Series2, Series3 and TiVo HD. Not for use with a TiVo® Series1™ DVR (with no USB ports) or DIRECTV DVR with TiVo®. Not intended to be plugged into a PC or Mac." So, I'm not sure it'll work or even if you'll want to do that. But, honestly, I don't know of a way to actually test one. So, if I were you, I'd probably buy one from an authorized source. Just my feeling anyway.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:29 AM   #3
RoyK
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Given that the distance is so far between you that you have to meet halfway will you really save enough considering driving cost to make it worthwhile even if it does work?
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:32 AM   #4
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Plus, they retail for $59.99 on Tivo's website and I sell them for $49.99. Not that much of an investment for something that you'll get brand new and guaranteed to work.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:58 AM   #5
Ladd Morse
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Thanks for the advice given, and for other readers, please keep 'em coming!

Yes, meeting halfway does work for me as it allows me to do several other errands I've been putting off for months because I didn't want to drive 60 miles just for them. A good point though, and thanks for bringing it up in case I hadn't thought of it.

And yes, since the selling price of the two TiVo Wireless G adapters for A Very Good Deal(TM), the risk/reward ratio makes the trip a worthwhile gamble.

And I do realize that purchasing a used electronic device that you can't test is exactly that -- a gamble. So I continue to seek suggestions as to how I might narrow the odds bit on this particular possible purchase.

.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:01 AM   #6
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$39.99 with free shippiing @ Amazon.com...
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:15 AM   #7
Laserfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladd Morse View Post
Thanks for the advice given, and for other readers, please keep 'em coming!
Well, OK then, common sense tells me:

1. That you're being met face-to-face enhances the chance they're OK--most crooks don't like exposing themselves!

2. You can copy-down his/her license plate number (BTW has the seller said he'll take them back if they're DOA?)

3. You know why two are being sold, yes?

Risk vs. reward vs. $40 Amazon on-your-doorstep guaranteed.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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I thought this article from Consumerist.com was relevant,
http://consumerist.com/5074465/i-lit...scammers-hands

Quote:
Herman's tale of eBay/Paypal buyer fraud is unusual because he not only met the scammer in person, he placed his item right in the guy's hands. Here's what happened:

Herman writes:

1. Posted my ad to sell a PS3 on Ebay
2. Got email from a man who is local, wants to buy my PS3 for the Buy it Now price
3. He said he wants to pay first, come pick it up the next morning
3. First time using Paypal, so I thought I'd be cautious and told him that first, the money has to be an Instant Payment
4. He agrees, transfers the money
5. Picks it up tomorrow morning, he seemed like an ok guy, started getting suspicious when he said he did not want to come inside
6. Gave him the PS3, he walked away, and drove off.
7. About a week after, Ebay sends me a message about this guy, saying the username is stolen
8. Suspicious, I tried to take the money out, Paypal told me the funds were invalid. All emails to the scammer go unanswered, of course.
9. Called Paypal, they set up a case that took 2 weeks and required me to send them identification verification,
10. They closed the case, saying they could not reimburse me the funds
11. I called Paypal to complain, and they told me the address existed, but it was not his address. I asked them, "You said your website needs address verification before anyone can send out instant payments, correct? What is the point of the address verification if you don't check it BEFORE allowing him to send instant payments?" Their reply? It was an issue they were "working on."

Basically no one could do anything for me, and I was out $650 (PS3 + 5 games). In retrospect, I should've double checked his information on Paypal before I gave him the goods. But you know what, when Paypal sells itself on how secure it is, and offers an option of payment that is secure because of address verification, you expect to do its job.

Some tips I got from Paypal were: If your ad was on Ebay, make sure to do the whole transaction using the Ebay website, so that at least they have it on record. Also, that its safer to ship it out then to meet the person upfront, because Ebay has no way to tell who did what.

Anyway, lesson learned, cut my losses, moved on. Hope this story helps!

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Old 11-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #9
donnoh
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Just curious, how much is selling this for that he would be willing to travel to some parking lot to deliver it to you?

I'd rather buy it from Amazon for $40 and avoid any issues.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by id242 View Post
I thought this article from Consumerist.com was relevant,
http://consumerist.com/5074465/i-lit...scammers-hands
Quote:
Also, that its safer to ship it out then to meet the person upfront,
Ship it and then meet in person???
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #11
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scandia101, Obviously the OP of that article meant "than" (comparison), instead of "then" (time).
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:34 PM   #12
Ladd Morse
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While I appreciate the community spirit and desire for readers to warn me off this CraigsList purchase, the original intent of my posting this discussion topic was to see if there were any specific things I could do "in the field" to check to see if these used TiVo wireless G adapters were functional.

If there aren't any, then so be it.

For the curious, the seller and myself live almost 120 miles apart. As he is purportedly taking a friend to the airport on Saturday, he will be driving in my direction to do so and that takes him half way to where I live. We have been exchanging emails for a week to set this up, I have his cell phone number, his home phone number and his work phone number. A Google search on his name turns up both personal and work-related links that agree with what has been talked about in our email exchanges.

While it appears that the only way I'll know if the adapters work is to take them home and plug them in, it certainly appears that the seller is legitimate and if he's scamming me, he's gone to a lot of work to do so and for very little profit. And, as mentioned previously, the selling price for the two adapters is low, admittedly pushing the fine line between "too good a deal to pass up" and "too good a deal to be true".

I purchase my TiVo HD three weeks ago, also off Craigslist. New, open box, never used, all original parts and materials, asking $175 and bargained down to $125. Drove an 1:15 each way and found out that the seller was a retired Federal District Court Judge who had never used the TiVo HD that his son had given him and he probably never would.

So good deals can be had although caution always must be maintained with any used item purchase, Craigslist or otherwise. But most people in the world are good and if you expect that and treat them that way, they will usually act that way.

So I'm going to run the non-essential but desirable errands that I've been waiting months to do due to distance, make this TiVo adapter purchase and if it works out, I got a great deal. If it doesn't work out, the cash outlay won't hurt too much and I've lost more money on worse bets in Vegas.

But if there is any way to test the TiVo adapters prior to purchase, I'ld still love to hear about it!
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:40 PM   #13
CuriousMark
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Your Mac or Windows computer will not have drivers for the adapter, so it will not be able to use it as an adapter and test to see whether it can see a network or join one. All you will be able to tell is whether the USB interface is working well enough for the computer to tell that it is a USB device and that it doesn't have a driver for it.

I am aware of only one case where someone reported a dead adapter on a DVR and then plugged it into a PC and the PC reported a USB failure on the port. That confirmed the adapter was dead, but wouldn't have worked if the adapter failure had been in some other part of its circuitry, such as the radio.

So the short answer is that a computer test will tell you only slightly more than a thorough visual inspection will.

It may be worth trying, but it is only marginally so.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:24 PM   #14
scandia101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by id242 View Post
scandia101, Obviously the OP of that article meant "than" (comparison), instead of "then" (time).
Ya think?
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:29 PM   #15
scandia101
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Originally Posted by Ladd Morse View Post

But if there is any way to test the TiVo adapters prior to purchase, I'ld still love to hear about it!
Get a power adapter for your car. Bring a Tivo, a small monitor that can connect to the Tivo, and a wireless router.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:38 PM   #16
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[DO NOT DO THIS]
Buy a couple of real ones at Best Buy.

If the cheap ones work, return the others to BB, if they don't return them to BB.
[/DO NOT DO THIS]
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:52 AM   #17
Laserfan
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...and of course some folks do this, proving once again my long-held belief: "People are just No Damn Good!!!"
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