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  #1  
Old 02-12-2017, 10:42 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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FireWire in unRAID How-to

This is an easy one as everything is recognized automatically.

Make sure that you are running the LibreElec kernel version 6.3.1 or later. The easiest way to do this is to have the Community Applications (CA) plugin installed. Then go to the Apps tab and search for DVB. You should see unRAID DVB come up. You will need to install this plugin. Then start the Plugin and click on the "Select an image to install" button. Pick LibreELEC and the version that corresponds to your unRAID OS version (this is currently 6.3.1). The firewire drivers began to be included in version 6.3.1. You will then have to reboot your unRAID server as this plugin updates the Linux kernel.

Plug in your firewire devices to your computer - you can even daisychain them together as some cable boxes have two firewire ports. So you can run your connections like this:

PC -->box1 --> box2

After plugging in all devices you should restart the SageTV docker. Not doing these seems to result in incorrect box ID codes being read by SageTV.

You can't change the tuning method for a source so if you are already using this source with another tuning method then you will have to delete that source. Add it again and when it comes to tuner method you should see one entry per each set top box that you have. I have yet to figure how to determine which box has which code. So you will have to use trial and error. Select one of the firewire tuners and go to preview channel. You should see channels change on one of your boxes. If you have selected the wrong firewire box then go back and try a different device.

Then end the setup and you should be good to go.

I have found that this works seemlessly with both SA3250HD boxes and SA4250HD boxes with Rogers cable in Ontario. This is even better than the Windows method as you often had to use different settings for these two boxes.

edit - added instructions for installing unRAID DVB edition.
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Last edited by wayner; 02-13-2017 at 06:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2017, 09:21 AM
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dstanley dstanley is offline
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Thanks - I have been trying to follow your 'adventures' with unRaid as our situations seem remarkably similar.
I have my unRaid hardware and just starting to put things together.
Thank you for all your posts - I am sure they are going to help me!

Dwight
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SERVER: Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz - UnRaid Server 6.8.0/DVB LibreELEC with Docker stuckless-sagetv-server-java9 MOTHERBOARD: ASRock-Z77 Extreme4 / 32GB RAM CACHE DRIVE: SSD 1TB ARRAY: 24TB/7 DRIVES PARITY: 8TB
EXTERNAL DEVICES: 4x HD-PVR's Firewire Channel Changing
TUNERS:NO LONGER RECORDING LIVETV
CLIENTS: 2xHD300 2xHD200 SONY ANDROIDTV MINI-CLIENT
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2017, 09:46 AM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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It might be helpful to include a link in the guide on how to run the optional kernel.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:08 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Will do that - I think I did that in the USB-UIRT guide that I did.

If Firewire is an option I would highly recommend using it as the configuration is easier and the connection should be more reliable as you don't have to deal with IR, multi-zones, and potential IR conflict with changing channels on the wrong box.
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Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2017, 03:58 PM
Wrx4me Wrx4me is offline
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Great job Wayner, glad you got it sorted out! As you mentioned, firewire channel changing is much easier to setup in Linux than Windows and changes channels accurately and faster than comparable IR methods.
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2017, 06:35 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcjenkins View Post
It might be helpful to include a link in the guide on how to run the optional kernel.
I just added instructions on this - let me know if it looks ok.
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2017, 08:54 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrx4me View Post
Great job Wayner, glad you got it sorted out! As you mentioned, firewire channel changing is much easier to setup in Linux than Windows and changes channels accurately and faster than comparable IR methods.
Any idea if there is a command line program that lets you test out the channel changing or send other commands via firewire? In Windows there is a file called channel.exe or channelw.exe. I find this helpful to find the right box if you have multiple boxes.

It can also be helpful to be able to occasionally issue commands to your box, like volume up. You wouldn't think that STB volume would matter when using the spdif connection but it does seem to make a difference.
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:26 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
You wouldn't think that STB volume would matter when using the spdif connection but it does seem to make a difference.
There should be an option in the box to disable the volume control and pass the AC3 out the SPDIF port untouched.
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:42 AM
Wrx4me Wrx4me is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Any idea if there is a command line program that lets you test out the channel changing or send other commands via firewire? In Windows there is a file called channel.exe or channelw.exe. I find this helpful to find the right box if you have multiple boxes.

It can also be helpful to be able to occasionally issue commands to your box, like volume up. You wouldn't think that STB volume would matter when using the spdif connection but it does seem to make a difference.
I know what you mean, I couldn't locate one when I was going through my Windows to Linux conversion and assumed none existed.
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2017, 09:45 AM
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dstanley dstanley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
I just added instructions on this - let me know if it looks ok.
Dumb question of the day - WHERE did you add these instructions to!?

Dwight
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SERVER: Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz - UnRaid Server 6.8.0/DVB LibreELEC with Docker stuckless-sagetv-server-java9 MOTHERBOARD: ASRock-Z77 Extreme4 / 32GB RAM CACHE DRIVE: SSD 1TB ARRAY: 24TB/7 DRIVES PARITY: 8TB
EXTERNAL DEVICES: 4x HD-PVR's Firewire Channel Changing
TUNERS:NO LONGER RECORDING LIVETV
CLIENTS: 2xHD300 2xHD200 SONY ANDROIDTV MINI-CLIENT
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2017, 10:26 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Into post 1 above - the second paragraph now contains instructions on installing the LibreELEC DVB edition of unRAID.
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Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:35 PM
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Tomahawk51 Tomahawk51 is offline
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So I need to get a new PCI e Firewire card for my Unraid server to try this. I used to run Firewire, and this would allow me to go from VM to Docker for Sage, so I'm OK to buy a card.

Any opinion if I should just get a cheapest available one and assume it'll probably work on Unraid? I couldn't find Firewire cards listed in compatible hardware...

here's the cheapest on ebay for example

link

though coming from China might take longer than I want to wait...
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:53 PM
c5davey c5davey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomahawk51 View Post
So I need to get a new PCI e Firewire card for my Unraid server to try this. I used to run Firewire, and this would allow me to go from VM to Docker for Sage, so I'm OK to buy a card.

Any opinion if I should just get a cheapest available one and assume it'll probably work on Unraid? I couldn't find Firewire cards listed in compatible hardware...

here's the cheapest on ebay for example

link

though coming from China might take longer than I want to wait...
I have the same card although I have only tested it in Windows and it works fine.
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2017, 09:30 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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The issue with firewire cards can sometimes be the chipset - if it had the right chipset, like Texas Instruments, it should work no matter who makes the card.

I am not sure who makes the chipset on mine as it is built into the mobo.
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:23 AM
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dstanley dstanley is offline
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Newegg Canada had this one for $15.00 - VIA Chipset so I will have to see if it works!
https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...tem=15-166-018
I will report back with my results - might take me a bit as I have to learn about this unRaid and Linux systems.
I too have heard that the Texas Instruments chipset is best for compatibility.
Thanks for pioneering this route for me Wayner and Wrx4me - you WILL be hearing from me!

Dwight
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SERVER: Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz - UnRaid Server 6.8.0/DVB LibreELEC with Docker stuckless-sagetv-server-java9 MOTHERBOARD: ASRock-Z77 Extreme4 / 32GB RAM CACHE DRIVE: SSD 1TB ARRAY: 24TB/7 DRIVES PARITY: 8TB
EXTERNAL DEVICES: 4x HD-PVR's Firewire Channel Changing
TUNERS:NO LONGER RECORDING LIVETV
CLIENTS: 2xHD300 2xHD200 SONY ANDROIDTV MINI-CLIENT

Last edited by dstanley; 02-15-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2017, 10:27 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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I think my mobo has the VIA chipset - according the Asus specs it is a VIA 6315N controller. That worked without taking any futzing around.
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Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #17  
Old 02-15-2017, 10:37 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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The other thing to be careful of is to make sure that you have a PCI slot in your mobo if you are ordering an older PCI card. There are PCIe cards available, like the ones you listed above. Or you may even want a PCI card if you have a slot available and don't foresee using it for anything else.
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New Server - Sage9 on unRAID 2xHD-PVR, HDHR for OTA
Old Server - Sage7 on Win7Pro-i660CPU with 4.6TB, HD-PVR, HDHR OTA, HVR-1850 OTA
Clients - 2xHD-300, 8xHD-200 Extenders, Client+2xPlaceshifter and a WHS which acts as a backup Sage server
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  #18  
Old 02-15-2017, 08:44 PM
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Tomahawk51 Tomahawk51 is offline
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I just read the TI comments, found one that had positive Ubuntu usage, and bought it. I'm sure it will work but will report back (this weekend) if it doesn't.

Then I read the Via Chipset is working, so I guess I could've saved a couple bucks maybe - whatever.

link
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2017, 07:30 AM
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Tomahawk51 Tomahawk51 is offline
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Help - so close!

I'm very close to this working, but wondering if I'm at an impasse with my box...

I bought the FW Card I linked to, which seems to work. It has 2x FW800 ports and 1x FW400 port (which is the one I'm using). I mention this, as it is possible I need to buy a cable to try the 800 port - but don't think so.

In SageTV Docker, I'm able to see the FW tuning option, and then an entry for my cable box. So that's great progress!

I think my problem is what type of commands are being sent. When I change channels I can see something is happening:
  • initially: A typical image of TV (Sesame Street in my case lol) is shown - normal.
  • If do channel Up/Down or Type a Channel: I go to the Comcast Music Choice menu system. Every time!
  • note: I used to use the same box and the Windows FW channel changing approach in the past - so it seems it could work unless Comcast disabled FW channel changing over the wire without my knowledge.
Is there any hope that I can more granularly control FW? Or should I return this card and turn to researching where we are with the USB UIRT IR approach?
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2017, 08:01 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Those of us that have had it work haven't had to do any troubleshooting. I was surprised that I didn't have to specify any parameters such as a cable box or anything like that. I am not even sure how it works - whether it is calling a command line program for example. It would be useful if we could figure that out for troubleshooting. Maybe the issue is that your cable box requires something different - what box do you have? I have Sci Atl 3250 and 4250 boxes.

There is also potentially another way using the gentuner option which calls a command line program called panelctl. But to do that I think you have to install another package - something like 1394tools.
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