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Thread: FS: Full Service PROM Modification

  1. #1
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    Jul 2005
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    574

    Smile FS: Full Service PROM Modification

    The LAST PROM Day was: Friday, October 28th, 2011
    The NEXT PROM Day is: On Demand - PM Me For Turn Time

    If I receive your unit BEFORE PROM Day, it will be done on PROM Day.
    If I receive your unit ON PROM Day, it *might* be done on PROM Day.
    If I receive your unit AFTER PROM Day, it will WAIT until the next PROM Day.

    Good Evening Fellow TiVo Hackers!




    A couple of years ago I became very interested in the TiVo hacking scene and became very quickly aware that there were many people around that wished to participate, but could not due to technical limitations. This limitation was of course the replacement of an MTP flash chip, otherwise known here on DDB as the "PROM" chip. In an effort to make TiVo modification and exploration more accessible to others in the community, I decided to offer rework services and flashing services for those that could do the work themselves, and leave the software work up to the user. I was never out to make gobs of money with this, so I charged only a modest fee for the materials and labor. Unfortunately I rather quickly found that the popularity of the rework service pulled time away from my personal life and my professional life, and the margin off of each transaction was not making up for the time lost. By Fall of 2007, I was left with a decision. I could either discontinue the service completely, or I could change the structure somewhat to reduce impact on my life and continue to offer the service on a limited basis. What I came up with as a solution, was the concept of the "PROM Day".

    Instead of processing TiVo's and orders on a FIFO basis, I would batch process them on "PROM Days". The idea was that if I announced in advance a day that would be dedicated to working on units, I could batch process all of the work during a particular weekend and everyone had a clear expectation of when the work would be completed. This would minimize the amount of downtime and cleanup spent on each TiVo, and would allow me to continue offering help to the community. Although this new system worked out fairly well, I was still left dealing with too many shipping issues and issues with communication. Most of the time the time spent communicating payment shipping arrangements would take longer than the work itself, and I found that overall I was still operating at a loss. Again, I find myself in the same place I was only a few months ago. Either stop service completely, or try to change it in a positive way.

    Current Shipping Process:

    1. You select a service and pay via PayPal. The service includes return shipping only.
    2. You print the TiVo Repair Service Checklist and include it with the TiVo.
    3. I receive the unit before PROM Day and set it aside.
    4. I ship the TiVo back to you within 2 business days of PROM Day.
    5. You receive the TiVo several days later.

    Note: All TiVo units will be going to ZIP 08054.


    If you are purchasing a new unit, you should have it shipped to you first so that you can TEST IT, before shipping it to me to void the warranty. While defective TiVo's are quite far and few between, this will ensure that your shiny new Series3 or TiVo HD is working correctly. I'm too busy to be able to track inbound shipments from TiVo and Amazon. I can not do motherboard-only work, since I cannot verify operation after rework is complete. I can only continue doing this if it remains mostly headache-free. I apologize for the extra cost this will incur for some people.

    On to the services!



    Standard PROM Service
    - $105 - Includes Return Shipping to CONUS

    -> ->


    For just a single bald Benjamin, I will professionally remove, socket, and install a new PROM in your TiVo unit. You will receive a properly serviced TiVo along with your original PROM chip. I don't take any shortcuts here, folks. The socket is not modified or clipped in any way during installation so your PROM won't bottom out against the pins, and all flux is properly cleaned and removed from the board to prevent corrosion.

    To order, [CLICK HERE].

    NOTE: DO NOT CLOSE THE PAYPAL WINDOW AFTER THE TRANSACTION IS COMPLETE! PayPal will redirect you to a page with shipping instructions!



    DIY PROM Kit - $16 Plus $2 Shipped to CONUS

    For merely sixteen of your hard earned dollars, you get this pretty silver bag and yellow sticker.



    There's stuff inside the bag. Here's the stuff:



    • Pre-programmed SST37VF010 (12V) chip double-verified to within 5% of nominal voltage.
    • Low Profile MillMax PLCC32 Socket with Tin Plated Pins
    • The ESD bag is sealed with a pretty yellow sticker.
    • This socket is NOT suitable for the "clip-on" or "piggyback" method. These pins were not designed to be bent 180 degrees and will break if you attempt to do so.

    To order, clicky one of these linkies:

    CLICK HERE for TiVo HD / TiVo HD XL (Gen06)
    CLICK HERE for TiVo Series3 HD (Gen05)
    CLICK HERE for TiVo Series2 DualTuner (TGC01)
    CLICK HERE for TiVo Series2.5 and DTV R10 (Gen04)

    TiVo HD Serial Jack w/TTL Converter - INDEFINITE HIATUS


    Shipping and Liability

    Part orders are usually shipped within several business days of ordering. All parts are shipped via USPS First Class Mail.

    I will insure your package based on the model of unit you are sending:

    Series2 - $100
    Series2DT - $100
    Series3 - $150
    TiVo HD - $100


    You are fully responsible for properly packing your TiVo. Your box must withstand TWO trips through the courier.


    If you send me a complete working TiVo unit, you will receive a working TiVo unit back. I will test the PROM chip before and after the service to ensure integrity.


    Software Support

    There is none. I will not hack your hard drive for you, or walk you through how to do so. This is a hardware service only, and serves to help out the people who know or are willing to learn the software, but do not have access to the appropriate tools.


    "Alright already! Just shut up and tell me where to send the money!"

    If paying by PayPal...

    Just click the PayPal link for the service or item you're looking for above.

    If paying by cashier's check or money order...

    Send me a PM with the services and parts you need.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Omikron; 06-28-2012 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Updated service dates.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    574
    !!!!!PLEASE READ THIS FAQ!!!!!

    Since I seem to be answering a lot of similar questions via PM, I figured I'd turn this second post into a FAQ of sorts.

    Will a TiVo software update remove my hacked PROM in some way? Will my service be affected?
    If TiVo wanted to, they could easily check to see if your PROM has been modified or not. The PROM chips used are SST37VF010 chips which require 12V in order to be erased. It is widely thought that the TiVo does not have the ability to reflash this chip while it's in place, but some speculation has been made that this may be possible. Historically this has never been known to happen and to date no one has ever reported their TiVo service as discontinued as a result of the PROM change. That said, if the unthinkable happens and the PROM is flashed remotely, or if your service is affected in some way, that is out of my hands. The modification is 100% your responsibility to manage, and you take ownership of any consequences.

    Will the PROM change my TiVo subscription or my recorded shows?
    No. The PROM modification does not affect your TiVo's functionality, subscription, or content IN ANY WAY. It merely removes the hardware barrier that exists to prevent you from making changes to your software. Everything else will be exactly the same.

    Will the PROM mod enable FTP and telnet access?
    No. The PROM modification will only allow you to make changes to the kernel, which then allows you to make changes to the OS and install any hacks you desire, such as FTP and telnet.

    Does the TiVo need to be activated in order for you to work on it?
    Absolutely not. Testing the PROM replacement is quite simple. If boots to the TiVo sunrise, it works. If you don't get any video, then it doesn't. The activation state of the TiVo is irrelevant.

    Do you need any of the accessories?
    Nope! In fact, it makes my life much simpler when you DON'T include them.

    Can I purchase a new TiVo and have it shipped to you directly?
    No, not at this time.

    Will this void my warranty?
    It absolutely will void any warranty you have on the unit.

    Do you warrant your work? What if my TiVo doesn't work the same way when I get it back?
    I warrant my work as it relates to the PROM chip and socket, and no further. If for some reason you have an issue with the unit upon receipt and you believe it to be related to the work that I completed, then I would ask that the unit be returned to me at your expense for inspection. If I make the determination that my work was faulty, then I will repair the issue and return the unit at my own expense plus refund any shipping costs incurred in shipping the unit to me. If the PROM rework was done correctly, then the unit will be returned only at your expense. Any issues that the unit has before being sent to me will remain on the unit upon return. If the system boots the PROM after the socket rework is complete, then that constitutes a successful completion.

    I have a [INSERT YOUR MODEL HERE] TiVo. Can you give me some help on how to hack it?
    I'm sorry, but I barely have enough time to work on units. I can't help you with the software side of things. My recommendation is that you learn the same way I did: Read the forum for hours a day every day for a few weeks until it clicks.

    I don't know a whole lot about this TiVo hacking stuff, and I'm pretty new at this. Can I just pay you to hack it?
    I will not do this for several reasons. First and foremost, anyone who offers to hack your TiVo for you for a fee is doing you a disservice. Hacked TiVo's require frequent love and care in order to continue working smoothly, and if you don't learn enough to perform the hack in the first place, you'll never know enough to troubleshoot it down the line. Second, most of the free utilities created by the community and available on this board have license agreements specifically prohibiting their commercial use. That, and I don't have the time!
    Last edited by Omikron; 04-21-2008 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Updated FAQ

  3. #3
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    Jul 2005
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    Just to give everyone a heads up, I will be leaving for ShmooCon today and I won't be back until Wednesday. I will still try to answer messages but I will not be able to ship any units until next week. If you need something before I leave, better let me know...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    7

    Any experience with this fellow?

    Anyone send a unit off to this fellow? If so please let me know how he did on the work.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcormode View Post
    Anyone send a unit off to this fellow? If so please let me know how he did on the work.
    Well, I can answer that question...

    No one has sent their unit in for rework yet, but I have filled a couple PROM orders that went out today. If he wants to post here once he receives it, he's more than welcome to.

    On a different note, I'm actually bringing my hardware hacking kit and programmer with me to ShmooCon so if anyone here is going, and needs a chip, drop me a line.

    If anyone wishes to contact me while I'm at the con, please email omikron[ATSIGN]brokenpixel[PERIOD]net with a phone number I can call you back at.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    236
    I'm interested. I have a S2DT (649) box. Can you burn the patched rom for it?

    http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...&highlight=649

  7. #7
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    I'm back from ShmooCon as of today and it was a blast! My apologies to anyone who had their PM go unanswered until now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSimmons View Post
    I'm interested. I have a S2DT (649) box. Can you burn the patched rom for it?

    http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...&highlight=649
    I noticed you sent me a PM last week but I was at ShmooCon during this time so I didn't get a chance to reply to the PM until today. As long as an original box or chip can be provided, I can extract the image from it and patch it.

  9. #9
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    Since I just completed reworking Stan's S2DT, I now also have PROM chips available for the Series2 Dual Tuner models.
    Last edited by Omikron; 05-17-2007 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Removed duplicate photos.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omikron View Post
    all flux is properly cleaned and removed from the board to prevent corrosion.
    If you use rosin flux that says "no clean", isn't there no corrosion concern? Chipquik rosin flux is a no-clean variety. Assuming you put flux on the pads before soldering down the socket, I don't see how you clean the flux from under the socket after soldering.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcc View Post
    If you use rosin flux that says "no clean", isn't there no corrosion concern? Chipquik rosin flux is a no-clean variety. Assuming you put flux on the pads before soldering down the socket, I don't see how you clean the flux from under the socket after soldering.
    Although I do use "no clean" flux, it is still good to clean up as much as possible. That said, there are various flux remover sprays you can get from different places that are designed to dissolve and flush away various fluxes from the PCB. I generally use Techspray's model 1634 defluxer for "No Clean" fluxes and model 1631 for all others.

    Edit: For those that are soldering the socket themselves, a defluxer is not really needed as long as you stick to "No Clean" fluxes.
    Last edited by Omikron; 04-04-2007 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Clarification

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omikron View Post
    Edit: For those that are soldering the socket themselves, a defluxer is not really needed as long as you stick to "No Clean" fluxes.
    Phew. Now I can go back to worrying about neutrinos corrupting my program's memory.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcc View Post
    Phew. Now I can go back to worrying about neutrinos corrupting my program's memory.
    Just because I follow and recommend proper soldering technique, doesn't mean you have to bash it in my thread.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omikron View Post
    Just because I follow and recommend proper soldering technique, doesn't mean you have to bash it in my thread.
    First post was a serious question, as I left rosin flux on my pads under the socket on the systems I've done. 2nd post was an acknowledgment with joke
    Last edited by bcc; 04-04-2007 at 07:07 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcc View Post
    First post was a serious question, as I left rosin flux on my pads under the socket on the systems I've done. 2nd post was an acknowledgment with joke
    Then I apologize for thinking you were attacking my process. I had assumed, wrongly and incorrectly, that you were taking a pot shot at my thread. I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions. ;-)

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