Technically, DCII services are always encrypted, but the IRDs are able to decrypt with the generic keys. DCII IRDs are able to receive Zero Key services even if never activated. Fixed Key services are available as long as the IRD is or had been once activated.
Commerial receivers can be frustrating to use if wanting to tune multiple FK services. The receiver only holds one service key and needs to be reset to receive a different service. You might be happier with a consumer DCII set-top IRD.
Agree with Pacificrim! Since this will just be a slaved receiver and only receiving a few channels, buy a cheap 4DTV (or free at Goodwill or Craigslist) and map it. BTW... Saw 3 at a Goodwill dropoff station last month.
From what i seem to remember from reading previous posts, is that if the battery in the units ever went bad, then it would be incapable of picking up the DCII channels. Wouldn't i need to be careful about getting as it might power up and work as advertised, but the people selling these things don't know the ins/outs. Or did i mis-understand those older messages..??
Power up the unit and see if it has the UID (Unit ID) number in the diagnotics screen and that it matches the UID on the bottom of the unit. The seller should be able to provide this photo proof or move on to another unit...
Maybe Glen would clone one of his infamous channel maps....LOL!
I still have my General Instruments DSR-922. I haven't used it in over a year but it probably is still OK since I replaced the battery and did the mapmaster thing to it and kept it plugged in. Too bad there's not enough people still around to keep the DCII subs going. I have the General Instruments HD decoder also.
I downloaded the software and got the cable when this first came out, but never tired it, so I don't have any firsthand knowledge of it.
But I believe it is like a channel editor. You can't normally add frequencies to a 4DTV receiver. What is there is it, without this software. But there are the generic satellite tiles that cover many, but certainly not all of the possible frequencies.
Don't worry about a dead battery/scrambled ID,just put a new battery in it.The only thing the ID was for was to get subscription channels,you can't subscribe to anything anymore so it doesn't matter.A 4D with a bad ID will still get the "free" channels just fine,as long as there is nothing else wrong with it.I know because I have one.It does need a god battery to work,bad ID or not.