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Old 08-05-2009, 08:10 AM   #1
blobly
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IR to IR w/ Comcast's Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)

As most of you know Comcast is going all digital and will require some sort of box to view all your channels. The simplest form is the Digital Transport Adapter (DTA) which Comcast sent me 2 for free with my account.

I have not set them up yet, but pulled them out of the box and look at the instructions. The DTA I have has an IR input on the back with an IR receiver in case, according to the directions, you want to hide the box behind your tv.

I have a S2 Tivo, and on the back it has an Ir out, obviously to use with the IR emitters to control such cable box. My question is, can I bypass using the Tivo IR emitter, and just get a cable to connect the Tivo IR out directly to the DTA IR input? In theory it seems like it should work - but I don't have the cable to try it.

(I have already upgraded our main viewing room to a Tivo HD, but want to keep the old tivo for the bedroom)
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:22 AM   #2
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No, that will not work and might even cause damage to the devices due to differing voltages. I've seen a report where someone built an optical isolater to connect the two devices, which might be a slightly cleaner looking setup than the Tivo IR blaster cable and the Comcast DTA IR extender. Best bet, set it up with the cables provided, and hide the DTA behind the TV or Tivo.

If by chance you have a dual tuner Series 2, you will be better off with a cable box over the DTA as you can retain some dual tuning functionality for the remaining analog channels.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
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IR to IR w/ Comcast's Digital Transport Adapter (DTA)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blobly View Post
My question is, can I bypass using the Tivo IR emitter, and just get a cable to connect the Tivo IR out directly to the DTA IR input? In theory it seems like it should work - but I don't have the cable to try it.
Long time lurker, first time poster.

I also had to recently convert to the Comcast DTA.

I was missing an IR Blaster from one of my TiVos, so I designed and built and adapter to do exactly what you describe. I have a web page describing the cable, but I can't post a link because on my low post count. If you're interested, drop me a note and I'll email the details.


Gary
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGray View Post
Long time lurker, first time poster.

I also had to recently convert to the Comcast DTA.

I was missing an IR Blaster from one of my TiVos, so I designed and built and adapter to do exactly what you describe. I have a web page describing the cable, but I can't post a link because on my low post count. If you're interested, drop me a note and I'll email the details.


Gary
Yes I would, can you send me a private message with the link?
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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A few K of picture is worth 40 words.

You need a 1/8" to 1/8" stereo patch cable, and a transistor optocoupler, and optionally a small perf board.

Cut the cable in two.

On the LED side with one end of the cable, connect the tip to LED positive (anode, usually pin 2), sleeve to LED negative (cathode, usually pin 1)

On the transistor side, with the other end of the cable, connect sleeve to transistor emitter (usually pin 4), and ring (middle connection) to transistor collector (usually pin 5).

Leave the other optoisolator pins and cable wires unconnected but secure from shorting.

Mark the ends to make it clear which end is which, for if you plug the wrong end into the wrong place something will, or at least could blow.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:28 PM   #6
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I took a slightly different approach using a MOSFET and a couple of resistors.

It's useful to note that the TiVo and the DTA share a ground through the shield of the coax cable conecting them.

I'm happy share my design with anyone interested, but I can't post a link yet.


Gary
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:31 PM   #7
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I bought 2 cables from GGray on ebay - I will post my results once they are installed
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:20 PM   #8
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I'd be interested in seeing the eBay page. Are any more such cables available?
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:07 AM   #9
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grayeng.net/TiVotoComcast.htm

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320408732826#ht_500wt_924
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blobly View Post
grayeng.net/TiVotoComcast.htm

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320408732826#ht_500wt_924
Bobly,

Thanks for posting the partial links. I'm not sure the EBay link conforms to TC posting guidelines. It may be considered spam. Maybe someone else could clarify this. The first link is more of a "how-to", and I think it is fine.

Gary
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
blobly
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Got the cables from GGray
They work great!!!

Thanks
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Got the cables from GGray
They work great!!!

Thanks
I'm glad to hear the cables are working out for you.


Gary
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdonoghu View Post
No, that will not work and might even cause damage to the devices due to differing voltages. I've seen a report where someone built an optical isolater to connect the two devices, which might be a slightly cleaner looking setup than the Tivo IR blaster cable and the Comcast DTA IR extender. Best bet, set it up with the cables provided, and hide the DTA behind the TV or Tivo.

If by chance you have a dual tuner Series 2, you will be better off with a cable box over the DTA as you can retain some dual tuning functionality for the remaining analog channels.
Since I had to connect TWO DTAs -- one for the TV and one for the Tivo positioned in the same media cabinet as the TV -- I positioned the 2 Tivo IR blasters next to the RF receiver extender that came with the DTA, wrapped the three of them together with duct tape after verifying that the IR blasters were working correctly, and then taped a small piece of aluminum foil over the IR receiver window on the Tivo's DTA box. This prevents the DTA remote that is controlling the TV's connected DTA box from accidentally also changing the channels on the Tivo's DTA box. Plugging the IR receiver extender into the back of the DTA merely adds a second IR receiver site to the DTA box -- it does not disable the IR receiver on the DTA box itself.

I also put a piece of black electrical tape over all of those #$#@^$! green LED lights on all the DTA boxes -- they serve no purpose other than to inform you that the DTA is connected to the cable TV signal. Duh!
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:06 AM   #14
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the cables from GGray are working fine and were a cheap easy solution
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:58 AM   #15
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I would like to try and build one of these cables. GGray - can you provide a parts list and instructions on how to assemble?
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:14 PM   #16
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http://grayeng.net/TiVotoComcast.htm
The parts are in the schematic. 2x 10K resistors, BS107 FET transistor, 1/8" mono and stereo plugs and cord. A stereo 1/8" patch cord is fine.
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
http://grayeng.net/TiVotoComcast.htm
The parts are in the schematic. 2x 10K resistors, BS107 FET transistor, 1/8" mono and stereo plugs and cord. A stereo 1/8" patch cord is fine.
Thanks. I'm not familiar with EE schematics.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:48 AM   #18
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Does anyone know if these cables work for other Comcast STBs (such as the Motorola or HD box), and for the S1 as well?
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
Does anyone know if these cables work for other Comcast STBs (such as the Motorola or HD box), and for the S1 as well?
Since I have only tested the cable on Series 2 TiVos with the Pace DTA, I can't say for sure, but perhaps some other users can help fill in the blanks.

Here are the important questsions:

Are the IR Blasters interchangeable for Series 1 and Series 2 TiVos?

Do other Comcast STBs have an input for a remote IR sensor and, if so, is it also a 1/8" stereo plug?

Gary
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:41 PM   #20
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I'm assuming the answer to the first question is yes, given that Tivo only sells one type of IR control cable.

Visually on the boxes I have (Comcast HD and black Motorola), it looks like the answer to the second question is also yes. But I don't know if there are other issues than jack size that may complicate compatibility, such as voltages and such.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:56 PM   #21
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They will only work on Pace boxes with IR in. The Motorola/GI boxes have no such input. They may have an IR out, which is something entirely different.

You can, in theory, hard wire the circuit in with the IR sensor inside the box. In practice, you cannot because you do not own the box. I built my optoisolator based circuit into a satellite receiver I own though.

Series 1 and 2 IR blasters are interchangeable. The adapter should work with Series 1s just fine.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:03 PM   #22
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My S1 is connected to a Motorola DCT 2224, which has a jack labeled "IR," which I assume is for IR control. My S2 is connected to a Comcast RNG110 HD box, which has an "IR Receive" jack. I thought these may be possible input connections for a direct connection.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:12 AM   #23
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I have been "conversing" with Comcast since this DTA started and the tech now is experimenting on his own with the direct cable

He said it worked on an S1 but could not get it to work on an S2.

Is it really different voltages?
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:13 PM   #24
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Has anyone out there successfully used one of Gary Gray's cables with the "IR Receive" port on the Comcast RNG110 box?
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Has anyone out there successfully used one of Gary Gray's cables with the "IR Receive" port on the Comcast RNG110 box?
I just did. It works wonderfully. Hooked it up - ran back through the channel setup tasks - and voila! Thanks, GGray!!
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
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I just did. It works wonderfully. Hooked it up - ran back through the channel setup tasks - and voila! Thanks, GGray!!
So you're using one of GGray's cables with a REGULAR Comcast box, using the IR port on the back?
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:14 PM   #27
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Quote:
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So you're using one of GGray's cables with a REGULAR Comcast box, using the IR port on the back?
I'm using the RNG110 - which is a Pace box, I think. It's a smaller one, and has the IR receiver on the back. I did not try it with a big Motorola box...

I had both the RNG110 and the DTA - so I thought I'd give it a try. It works! So, after a few more days of testing, assuming all goes well, I'll be returning the DTA. With the RNG110 I can get premium channels and OnDemand.

Just wanted to clarify for everyone.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:46 AM   #28
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Thanks for the schematic Ggray of the direct connect cable. It replaces the need for an IR blaster . It only took a few minutes to put together if you have parts and skills. This worked for me with a Humax Series II and the Comcast DTA and the Pace RNG110.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:25 AM   #29
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Has anyone tried this cable with the external jack on a USB-UIRT (it would be going to the Pace RNG110)? I can't see any reason it wouldn't work. I realize this is a TiVo forum, but I was hoping just maybe...

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:33 PM   #30
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Gary Gray's Comcast DTA Tivo Cable not workon on motorola

I purchased Gary's cable and just tried it out on my comcast motorola box and it did not work on my TiVo Series 2. When I ran through the re-setup, and selected Cable box->motorola, then the TiVo did the testing to change channels, it did not change channels.
1. Does anyone know of a way to change me TiVo from a analog cable to a digital box other then running setup again?
2. Does anyone have any advice on something else to try?
3. Gary put a warning about static electricity on the packaging(Which I did not read first, shame on me) Is there a way to know if maybe I had blown the cable? I did not ground myself before plugging it in and put the wrong end of the cable in first?
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