Tivo Roamio & Tivo dongle - possible?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by NeedMoreCowbell, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Hi,

    I have my Tivo Roamio in another room and due to the nature of my construction the RF remote only very sporadically works with it.

    I purchased a Tivo USB-RF dongle with the hope that I can pair my Tivo Roamio RF (stock) remote to the dongle which is connected via a 20ft USB cable routed through the wall that's causing interference.

    No matter what I try, when I attempt to pair the remote to the dongle it pairs back to the Roamio, not the dongle. The dongle lights up green (flashing slightly every second) indicating it's in pairing mode, but I don't know how I can pair the remote to the dongle.

    I just spent 1/2 hr on the phone with Tivo support - the rep seemed like it was his first time learning about Tivo so that didn't go so well.

    Has anyone else tried pairing an RF Roamio remote to a usb-rf dongle on a roamio that already has RF capability?
     
  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Ingenious approach, and bummer it's not seemingly working.

    If you can't get the USB RF dongle working the way you'd like (expect), you might consider trying the same thing with a VOX Remote and its associated Bluetooth dongle. You might have better luck, since the Roamio lacks the built-in Bluetooth hardware required by the VOX Remote.
     
  3. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestion, it's on my to-do list if I've exhausted all possibilities w/this Roamio.

    I wonder if anyone can answer this question for me - I see in a lot of docs online "flashing green light" when the dongle is in pairing mode, but every time I plug it into anything it's a solid green light with a slight, maybe 1/20th of a second flicker/off every second. Is that the expected behavior of the dongle when it's in pairing mode?
     
  4. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    I did a little experimenting. I currently have another USB RF dongle that I use with an old Tivo Slide Pro remote to control my Kodi instance on a PC. It's been working flawlessly (with a 75' usb extension cable) for years.

    Old USB RF Dongle (on Kodi) -> old Slide Pro (Works)
    New USB RF Dongle (on Kodi) -> Roamio remote (Works)

    Old USB RF Dongle (on Roamio) -> old Slide Pro (Doesn't work)
    New USB RF Dongle (on Roamio) -> Roamio remote (Doesn't work)

    So it looks like the USB RF Dongle doesn't work with Roamio, at all, regardless of device. Does this sound plausible? Also when I plug either of the USB dongles into the Roamio they display the same "solid green light with a flicker every second" behavior, which is different from what I see when I plug the dongles into a PC.

    Thanks!
     
  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    I don't have any input, just a question.

    What do you mean by "old" vs "new" USB RF dongle? I thought there was only a single RF dongle version.

    p.s. Cool to know that the TiVo remotes can be made to work with Kodi on a PC.
     
  6. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Old as in the old one that I had been using for a few years.

    The slide pro is an amazing Kodi remote. Highly recommended.

    Ok so I just realized I did something stupid - I had my usb cable plugged into the eSata port. Yep. That's what I get for having a dark, cramped IT-device closet.

    Good news: I was finally able to get the Roamio paired to the usb RF dongle! Woo!

    Bad news: although it's paired it doesn't seem to be doing anything to the Roamio. I can see the dongle receive button presses (green light flash on each button press) but I see nothing on the Roamio.

    So... back to square one.

    Has anyone used an RF Dongle on a Roamio successfully?
     
  7. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    It looks like maybe my USB ports are bad. I'm able to pair either the Slide Pro or the Roamio remote to the dongle but immediately after I press a button the dongle lights up solid green and is unresponsive. Edit: Rebooted the Roamio and now I see the previous response: dongle responds with green flash per button press but no response from the Roamio.

    Wondering if the dongle is drawing too much power from the anemic Roamio? Has anyone used a powered USB hub successfully?
     
  8. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    My head is spinning.

    FWIW:
    I have my Slide Pro Remote STILL connected to my Roamio Pro AND the VOX Remote connected to the same Roamio Pro using the VOX Remote's USB dongle. IOW, both remotes work for the same Roamio Pro. I still prefer the Slide Pro Remote but I got the VOX Remote free at the Tivo VOX intro open house a couple of months ago and decided to try it. So using the VOX Remote dongle with an extension USB cable may be a viable solution if you're OK using the VOX Remote.
     
  9. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Thanks for this datapoint.

    When you say you have your Slide Pro remote connected, is it connected via a dongle or natively through your Roamio? If dongle, then you have two dongles connected to your Roamio and both remotes worked fine that way?
     
  10. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    Silicon Valley
    One dongle only for the VOX Remote.
     
  11. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    Another thought:
    I have a Mini using a Slide Pro Remote with its companion USB dongle that I purchased a while ago. If you can get your hands on that dongle, perhaps you can extend it with a USB Cable from your Roamio and the Roamio will respond appropriately. HST, wasn't clear to me if your "old" USB dongle is the same dongle as the one I have plugged into my Mini that came with my Slide Pro Remote.
     
  12. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Thanks again - the old and new dongles are the same, they are both for an RF remote, either the slide pro or Roamio RF remote.

    I've been thinking of getting a mini for upstairs - I suppose I'll use the dongle for that if I ever make that purchase. In the meantime, it's good to know the Vox works w/Roamio with its associated dongle. I'll probably order one and shelve the Roamio RF remote until I get a mini.
     
  13. dmurphy

    dmurphy Home Again

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    Jan 16, 2002
    I did something very very similar and it works great. I have a TV over our outdoor fireplace (made by a company called SunBrite). The TiVo mini lives in a “pocket” in the back of it, which doesn’t pass RF very well. I ran a USB extension cable out of the “pocket” and then plugged in an RF dongle, and it works perfectly. Great range from the other side of my yard. Good luck - it does work with the roamio as well!
     
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    A Mini v1 or v2 ?
     
  15. dmurphy

    dmurphy Home Again

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    Jan 16, 2002
    It’s a v2, non-Vox.
     
  16. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    This is bad news for me - it points back to bad USB ports on my Roamio again. When you say "it does work with the roamio as well" do you mean you tried using a USB-RF dongle w/the roamio itself and it worked? How do you know you were paired to the dongle and not the internal Roamio RF antenna?
     
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    NeedMore, have you tried clearing all past pairings from the DVR, using the 221-Clear sequence?

    See: Bolt Mini VOX remote
     
  18. NeedMoreCowbell

    NeedMoreCowbell New Member

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    Apr 13, 2007
    I have yes - probably a dozen times in my quest for successful pairing.

    I just ordered a Vox remote - that should give me some verification.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  19. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    Some help on remotes, dongles and TiVos....

    Original Slide Remote (not the Pro) - Bluetooth based, dongle required
    Roamio and Bolt Remotes - RF based, support built into Bolts, Roamios and V2 Minis, dongles required for V1 Minis and other "Series 4" units
    Slide Pro Remote - RF based, support same as Roamio/Bolt remote
    VOX Remote - Bluetooth based, support built into Bolt Vox and Mini Vox, Bluetooth dongle needed otherwise

    With the roll out of Hydra late last year there were a number of issues surrounding drivers of various types being left out of some builds, but I think that was resolved. The issue the OP is having is that he is trying to activate an RF dongle on a machine that already has the RF interface built-in. So, when the DVR boots, it activates the internal RF interface and so ignores the dongle. You can add a dongle to any device that doesn't have an internal interface of the same type. So....

    Series 4 devices (Premieres, V1 Minis) require a dongle for any type of radio based remote. There are at least 3 different dongles - the original Slide remote Bluetooth dongle, the Slide Pro RF dongle, and the Vox remote Bluetooth dongle.

    Series 5/6 devices (non-VOX Bolts, Roamios, V2 Minis) require a dongle for Bluetooth remotes but have built-in support for the RF based remotes.

    VOX branded devices: have built-in Bluetooth and RF interfaces. AFAIK, no dongle will work with a VOX unit, so the original Slide remote is incompatible (this may have changed in Hydra RC12).

    Speaking of Hydra, if you have not already upgraded to Hydra, the TiVo will want to do so when you pair the VOX remote (only Hydra supports voice command). You don't have to use Hydra, but then the VOX remote will act like a regular remote.
     
    davidblackledge and kokishin like this.
  20. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    Very informative! This post should be a sticky.
     

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