301 IR Blaster Problem


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Original poster
Mar 11, 2004
I'm trying to get my 301 receiver to control my Toshiba M671 VCR. Here's what I did:

1. I used the Dish universal remote to find a three digit code that would control the VCR. No problem, the first one listed in the 301 manual worked (the others did not). The universal remote could command the VCR to record, play, rewind, etc.

2. Program that same three digit code into the 301 receiver, then use the Test function to make sure that the receiver could also program the VCR. No luck.

More details: As you may recall, the Test function will try to record for a few seconds, then rewind the tape. Well, the rewind part worked fine, but the VCR never went into record mode. I tried it several times, once even with all of the room lights out, but no cigar. This tells me that the IR signal is getting from the receiver to the VCR, but the record "command" that the receiver is sending is incorrect.

I tried the other Toshiba codes that are listed in the manual, but none worked at all. I'm not very excited about trying 999 different codes to see if an unpublished one will work. Does anyone have any other ideas?

did you check the tape you where using to record
on to make sure the tab on the back edge was still there.
Yes, I recorded on the tape using the Dish universal remote. I guess I need to play around with the allignment of the two units, etc.

Hey, I figured it out! One of the codes from the manual does work, but the Test function was failing if the remote was pointed directly at my entertainment center (the satellite receiver is on top of the VCR). If I invoked the Test function while pointing the remote at the ceiling everything worked. Maybe the IR signal from the remote was interfering with the IR Blast signal from the satellite receiver. Weird, eh?

The same thing happened to me, with an additional twist. I just purchased two new 301s and was looking through the manual to find the code for my Go Video combo DVD/VCR with no luck (none of the codes they listed would work). I remembered that I had gotten my old blue-button remote to work with it so I looked up the codes that were in my old manual. That old code, which is no longer published, worked perfectly. Then I went through the test as you did and found out that, with the 301 placed on top of the VCR, I had to aim the 301 at a nearby wall to get it to send the signal to the VCR. I guess they figured it would all work fine if the box and VCR were stacked inside a cabinet with a glass door. Alot of us don't have that and without some kind of external IR transmitter the IR blasting capabilities are all but useless. Chalk up yet another Echostar design flaw.
I think that I wasn't completely clear. My stacked system is working fine. The problem was that the Test function did not work if I invoked it with the hand held remote control pointing at the system. If I pointed the remote at the ceiling then the Test function worked fine.

If that's really the only problem then it shouldn't be a problem. Try setting up an actual recording using the guide on your 301 and see what happens. Don't forget you need to leave your VCR turned on for this to work as the 301 only sends a record command and not a VCR power on command.

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