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Thread: Connecting Via Serial Cable

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    7

    Connecting Via Serial Cable

    Ive read many (many) posts on the forum lately and offer my thanks for the wealth of information out there. Ive been able to upgrade my hard drive size, install a 4.x OS, and make my own serial cable. Ive run into several issues, but this one's related to the cable.

    I was able to construct my own cable after following the threads on the board, but havent seen a bash prompt yet. Ive tried Hyperterminal and Tera Term Pro, and made sure all of the settings were correct (115200, 8 bit data, no parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control).

    Both sides of the connection were seated properly and until I received this text after sending the Tivo into standby, figured I didnt even have the cable correct:
    "oslink: 01 01 01 Access Card: Inserted Tuner[0]: Locked Tuner[1]:Locked
    oslink: 01 07 07 Access Card: Inserted Tuner[0]: Locked Tuner[1]:Locked"

    A few searches revealed this is what the device displays when it locks onto a satellite signal, so that means the cable is right...right?

    Additional background: I followed dellanave's guide for upgrading the USB ports to 2.0, and after rebooting it no longer saw the USB network adapter. After double checking the steps, and pulling the drive once already to try again, Im certain Ive followed them properly. Before I pull the drive again, Id rather get the serial cable method perfected first. The device is a Philips DVR704.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    5,601
    There are several elements that must be correct before you will have a fully functional serial cable.

    1. It must be wired correctly.

    2. For a Series 2 system, bootpage -p must include 'dsscon=true console=2,115200'.

    3. It must be plugged into the correct jack, and plugged all the way in.

    4. It must be connected to a serial port on your computer.

    5. The terminal program must be connecting to the same serial port and set for 115,200 baud, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control.

    6. /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author must contain /bin/bash</dev/ttyS2&>/dev/ttyS2&

    7. Nothing else can be trying to use the serial port on the computer.

    A couple of tests: Hit <Enter> (on the terminal program) right after turning the TiVo (DirecTiVo) on. You should get a password prompt (even if the boot parameters are incorrect IIRC). If you don't something isn't working.

    Short the tip and ring together, start the terminal program, then type on the keyboard. The keystrokes should be echoed back.

    As the system boots you should see the serial console output on the terminal program.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill
    There are several elements that must be correct before you will have a fully functional serial cable.

    1. It must be wired correctly.

    2. For a Series 2 system, bootpage -p must include 'dsscon=true console=2,115200'.

    3. It must be plugged into the correct jack, and plugged all the way in.

    4. It must be connected to a serial port on your computer.
    Check, following this (http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9724) guide for the cable.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill
    5. The terminal program must be connecting to the same serial port and set for 115,200 baud, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control.
    Check.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill
    6. /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author must contain /bin/bash</dev/ttyS2&>/dev/ttyS2&
    Crap. Is this a deal breaker? I followed this (http://www.weethet.nl/english/tivo_dtv2_os4hackrid.php) guide and its rc.sysinit.author didnt have that line.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill
    7. Nothing else can be trying to use the serial port on the computer.
    Check.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill
    A couple of tests: Hit <Enter> (on the terminal program) right after turning the TiVo (DirecTiVo) on. You should get a password prompt (even if the boot parameters are incorrect IIRC). If you don't something isn't working.
    Ive just been hooking the cable to the TiVo and attempting to connect with Hyperterminal/Tera Term. Should I reboot each time I try to connect via the serial cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill
    Short the tip and ring together, start the terminal program, then type on the keyboard. The keystrokes should be echoed back.
    Im gonna regret this, but what's the tip and the ring? The tip of the 1/8" stereo adapter is an easy enough assumption, but the ring?

    Thanks again.

    .sal

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    5,601
    Quote Originally Posted by SALVATORE
    Originally Posted by PlainBill
    6. /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author must contain /bin/bash</dev/ttyS2&>/dev/ttyS2&
    Crap. Is this a deal breaker? I followed this (http://www.weethet.nl/english/tivo_dtv2_os4hackrid.php) guide and its rc.sysinit.author didnt have that line.
    A serial cable performs three functions: It allows you to access the prom menu (if you know the password); it allows you to view the serial console output (mainly used when the system fails to boot); it allows you to interact - type commands, see output - with the OS (great when you are trying to get telnet working). The above lines are for interaction.

    I am not responsible for the content of guides. Many of them were written by someone who was flush with their first sucess hacking a TiVo and felt like telling the world how smart they are. Not that there's anything wrong with bragging, but in general you've got to have a dozen sucesses and fixed at least that many failures before you REALLY begin to understand what is going on.

    Look at the stereo jack. The ring is between the tip and the shell. In your diagram it was probably marked 'RD'.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    2,402
    Quote Originally Posted by salvatore
    /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author must contain /bin/bash</dev/ttyS2&>/dev/ttyS2&
    Crap. Is this a deal breaker? I followed this (http://www.weethet.nl/english/tivo_dtv2_os4hackrid.php) guide and its rc.sysinit.author didnt have that line.
    It's the line that tells the TiVo to start a bash shell on the serial port. So yes, it's a dealbreaker if you're looking for a bash prompt on the serial cable.

    ew

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    7
    Thanks Bill and eastwind.

    Noted on the guide-following as well; I'll be sure to do some reading before attempting anything else.

    I pulled the drive this evening and started over, installing 4.0.1b and then upgrading to 6.2 via slices. All is well and the system responds to my telnet requests via the wireless network. The cable is still non-responsive, even with the missing line in rc.sysinit.author readded; I'll just purchase one from 9th tee. My soldering skills must be worse than I thought.

    USB 2.0 is next, and Ive already rendered my USB ports inoperable twice by following guides and not fully comprehending the implications.

    Thanks again, Im off to read.

    .sal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    5,601
    Suggestion: USB 1.1 is fast enough. Don't try to upgrade to USB 2.0 until you get serial bash working.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    7
    Good advice of course; I wasnt going to attempt it again just yet.

    Related question: searching the board reveals there's no way within the UI on 6.2 to alter the wireless network or tcp/ip settings. This thread suggests I can use Netconfig.itcl from TWP to do so. If I munge my USB ports again and have to revert back to 1.1, I have to find a way to reenter my SSID, WEP key et cetera, using a utility like this (or this ), right?

    .sal

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    It shouldn't be necessary. I don't use wireless (I don't see the point in spreading my data information around the neighborhood), but remember a thread on this. It would seem to me that changing the drivers in the root partition should not alter the settings in the mfs database. It WOULD be a good idea to verify this, of course.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    7
    Since there's no LAN drop in the living room, and Im not prepared to run cable through two stories to the router, a WEP-enabled wireless connection will do for now.

    Thanks Bill; I'll continue the research.

    .sal

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