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Thread: Changing channels on a Motorola box via serial

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    RI
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    Changing channels on a Motorola box via serial

    Hi. I've done some searching around on how to control a Motorola cable box via serial commands. It seems most people use Girder. Well, I didn't feel like paying $50 or $100 for Girder, so I wrote my own program. Its a simple .exe that takes the channel number as an argument.

    I placed the .exe and the .ini file in my devenv\gbpvr directory. The .exe creates a mot_changer.out file to log everything it does, and its placed in the same directory the .exe is in.

    I've tested this on my DCT 2524 cable box and it works fine.

    I've attached the exe, the ini used to configure it, and the source for this program (built using Visual Studio 7.1).

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    motorola box changer.

    Do you think your program will work with a starchoice motorola digital receiver? It has a serial connection port on the back. Must I make up my own cable? Thanks

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlatrace
    Do you think your program will work with a starchoice motorola digital receiver? It has a serial connection port on the back. Must I make up my own cable? Thanks
    I'm not sure if it'll work. You can give it a shot. You don't need to make your own cable. A standard DB9 cable will work just fine.

  4. #4
    I too have a StarChoice Box, I just might give this a try as I am having little luck with HIP running my MCE 150 Blaster setup consistently...
    Thanks. I will let everyone know of my results.
    Athlon 64x2 5200+,GigabyteMoBO Nvidia 9600 512, on board Realtek HD audio /3gs ram/500gb record storage, 500gb network video, 500gb video/trans code storage. 1 PVR-150, 1 PVR-1800, 2 Shaw Satellite receivers (one dedicated), one OTA antenna. This dedicated GBPVR PC has a Antec case Blue-ray/HD DVD, windows remote+diNovo mini keyboard.

  5. #5
    Bummer.. I thought I had a serial connection... But I dont. I have the DSR350 box, all it has is a card slot. Oh well, I hope This works for you fellow starchoice viewers/MCE blasters. ----I see why HIP is FREE.
    Athlon 64x2 5200+,GigabyteMoBO Nvidia 9600 512, on board Realtek HD audio /3gs ram/500gb record storage, 500gb network video, 500gb video/trans code storage. 1 PVR-150, 1 PVR-1800, 2 Shaw Satellite receivers (one dedicated), one OTA antenna. This dedicated GBPVR PC has a Antec case Blue-ray/HD DVD, windows remote+diNovo mini keyboard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by offrotor
    I see why HIP is FREE.
    UM..... I can think of another FREE program that is pretty cool
    Server= Asus M3A78-EM, 4 gigs ram, AMD A64 5200+, Windows 7 home premium 32, 1 HVR-1800, 1 PCH A-100, Test Rig, Biostar 880g+, AMD X2 260, 4 gb ram, Windows, 7 Home Premium 32, 1 DCR-2650 cablecard tuner

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Hi, I thought I'd add my two cents.. Here's a quote of what I wrote in the wiki:

    Serial Cables

    Some STBs have serial ports that, when enabled, a computer can connect and change channels directly. Enabling the port is the trick though. Several Television providers are reluctant - indeed resistent - to enable the port as, along with enabling a computer to control the STB, it also enables a hacker access to the providers infrastructure.

    But, if enabled, software will need to control the channel changing. Girder is one of the few software interfaces that will assist you with using the STB's serial port.

    ----

    Here's the catch... I've tried everything, and researched just about everything out there, From the inside !.. (I work at Shaw)

    It seems the serial connection will only work if the cable company has enabled it, and I know (at Shaw at least) that unless you have a very old DCT 2000, the firmware has been rolled out to entirely disallow the serial connection, even if it's enabled at the head end (which i've been able to do)

    To be clear, I even did what is not allowed, nor sanctioned, and still couldn't get the serial port enabled...

    I understand that there are other cable companies that do allow it, and need to have a code sent to the box to unlock the ability. In that case your program, or girder, or other stuff may work.

    I just don't want everyone to get their hopes up...

    But Just to be fair and open minded, I will give your software a try....

    (Oh BTW, I hope this goes without saying - but I'm not an official rep of SHAW nor a service contact point)

    Frank Z

    I used to ask 'why?' Now I just reinstall...
    ______________________________________________
    Author: ZTools: ZProcess, MVPServerChecker; UltraXMLTV Enhancer, Renamer, Manager;


  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    RI
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipstir
    Are you using 9-pin male to 9-pin female serial connector.. or two males and what length?
    6 foot 9 pin male to 9 pin female. Here's a link to the one I bought on buy.com.

    Quote Originally Posted by tipstir
    Can you post some samples of what this would look like in:
    Sure. Here's what my settings look like:

    Quote Originally Posted by tipstir
    Btw the way you're in RI (Rhode Island)
    Yes, yes I am

  9. #9
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    Jun 2006
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    RI
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    Quote Originally Posted by zehd
    But Just to be fair and open minded, I will give your software a try....
    My software does nothing special. I doubt it'll work for you. It simply opens the serial port and sends the binary data the Motorola box expects. If the box's port is closed, it won't be able to send the data.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Southern California
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    LS2,

    What cable provider do you have? I have a dct2524 with Adelphia and I can't get it to change channels (from reading multiple websites I will have to call adelphia to see if they will allow this to be enabled). I can't get the built in MCE blaster functionality to work with gbpvr and haven't had time to setup HIP yet, but I like the idea of serial control over an IR blaster any day.

    Brian
    Last edited by Brian_W; 2006-06-12 at 09:15 PM.

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