[linux-dvb] lifeview pci trio (saa7134) not working through diseqc anymore

Jordi Moles Blanco jordi at cdmon.com
Fri Dec 12 14:22:19 CET 2008

wow, how many questions in just one mail, hahaha. i'll try to answer 
everything as well as i can.

En/na BOUWSMA Barry ha escrit:
> On Fri, 12 Dec 2008, Jordi Molse wrote:
>> However, i haven't been able to get diseqc working and i don't think i
>> will....
> It is too early to give up now!!1!  At least, I shall not
> give up until the sun melts away enough of the snow, so that
> I can go out and get more beer, though the melted snow
> will probably freeze into slick ice, and I'll probably
> end up hurting more than last time, this time with broken
> glass embedded into my body...  A direct infusion of that
> evil alcohol into by bloodstream without the middleman of
> passing the lips, gums, tongue, nose -- heck, why bother
> searching to find excellent-tasting beer when I won't notice
> and appreciate the difference anyway...

hahaha, and they say I'M crazy.

>> i used to have this card running in a dual boot with windows xp, where
>> everything worked like a charm, and another one where i kept installing linux
>> distros without any luck until "kubuntu hardy" came out. At that point, as the
>> card with diseqc worked "out of the box", i decided to erase all data and move
> One card, worked in two boxes; the first box a 'doze box,
> the second box Kubuntu Hardy...  (unsupported before then)

i just realised it couldn't be worse explained... hahaha. The thing 
is... i used to have one computer with the lifeview card. In this 
computer i had dual boot. In the first partition always windows, where 
the card would work through diseqc. On the second partition i would keep 
installing different linux distros until i found that "kubuntu hardy" 
After that i erased all data and installed only kubuntu hardy on my 

>> then i upgraded the system and also moved the tower from its place to next to
>> the tv (to be a medicenter computer :) ). Then i couldn't view the channels
>> anymore. I tried to retune with no luck... I check all the cables, just in
>> case one of them was in bad shape. I even replaced the T connectors, just in
> System `upgraded' and stopped DiSEqC working; but also,
> system moved.  No success since then.
> Question:
> When you moved the system, did you have to add new cable?
> If so, how long was the length of cable from your machine
> to the DiSEqC switch before you moved it, and how long is
> this cable now, or is it the same length and same cable?
> Other question, what do you mean by a `T connector'?
> For satellite, I am familiar with the `F' connector, and
> I am also familiar with other types of `T' connector,
> but they should have no place in a satellite system...
So... after installing everything and getting it to work properly 
through diseqc, i upgraded the whole system to the latest packages and 
also moved the tower from my room to the another room. I didn't try to 
view any channel after upgrading and before moving the computer, and 
that's why i didn't know if the upgrade had broken the system or i had 
broken the card by moving the tower from room to room... or may be had i 
used bad cables in the new place?

Then i turned on the tv and realised it was not working anymore. Then i 
went crazy and tried every possible thing until i came here to post for 
the first time.

>> so... is it possible that somehow i've broken the card someone? the truth is
> Not too likely -- DiSEqC switching is basically the same
> as a modulated version of the 22kHz tone which is used to
> switch between low (below 11700) and high (above 11700)
> frequencies by the LNB.
> However, I have had experience with several different
> 2/1 and 4/1 DiSEqC switches at the end of long cable
> runs, which could not be properly switched by some DVB-S
> cards, but could -- or could not be switched by a consumer
> satellite receiver, but which worked flawlessly when located
> a few metres from the receiver, instead of nearly 100m away.
> The cable length attenuated or otherwise corrupted the
> DiSEqC bursts from some devices so that they failed to work.

I don't think distance is the problem, as now there are less meters from 
the dishes to my box.
Actually, it's the same 2 cables than before. I used to have 2 long 
cables which went from the dishes to a room (going through the room the 
computer is now). It used to be like 8-9 meters long.
Right now, the box is in this other room, closer to the dishes. I'm 
still using the same cables, but shorter, i cut 2-3 meters from each one 
as i don't need those meters anymore.
Obviuosly, i had to set the "F connectors again" (not T connectors, 
hehe) and... did i do it the right way? I don't know. I would think 
so... but that's why i asked you if there's a chance i've broken the 
card but mounting the F connectors the wrong way and causing the 
receiver to malfunction.

>> that what used to work in windows... doesn't work anymore... this evening i
>> went back to windows just to check if the card, the diseqc and everything was
>> fine... and i had so many problems to get the satellite working as before. i
>> used to use progdvb, which supported diseqc for my card and now it just can't
>> tune through diseqc, none of the two satellites. other software does know how
>> to get through diseqc, but only switch 1.
> So, the same setup, apart from being moved, now no longer
> works the same as it used to work with 'doze, and 'doze
> either no longer works at all, or fails to switch DiSEqC?
> Note that a typical DiSEqC switch will simply pass along
> its 1/2 or 1/4 or 1/8 or 1/whatever input, when it does
> not receive the switching signal to select 2/2 or whatever.

Again, that was made me thing that i had broken something in my card or 
my diseqc switch, as i can tune from both separately but not together 
through diseqc.
It doesn't make much sense to me that the card is half-broken.... i 
mean... i can tune any satellite but not through diseqc.... but i asked 
because i'm no a hardware expert at all.

>> i've checked cables and i don't think it's an issue from the diseq thing,
>> cause i've got two and both give the same problem.
> Two?  Two what -- DiSEqC switches, two cables to switches?
> Do you have a normal consumer satellite receiver, as well
> as your different computer boxes?

two diseqc switch to play with. lifeview is not working with any of them.

i've got an engel tdt 5300 receiver, but diseqc never worked there.  I 
bought it when i had only one dish. When then i set the second one, i 
also fought to get diseqc working and i ended up trying the lifeview in 
my computer, which worked in windows. I though that it might  be a 
problem with engel's tunner, so i just let it go.

i haven't tried now to make it work in the engel receiver... but if back 
then didn't use to work....

> I'm going to guess based on where I think you are located,
> that you have something like the following -- please correct
> me where I ass-u-me wrong, and add any additional info that
> is missing from this...
> Dish+LNB pointed at 28E, large enough to receive BBC/ITV/etc
> Dish+LNB pointed at 19E (or offset mounted on 28E dish)
> DiSEqC switch(es) located near dishes -- or near your tuner
> so you can connect directly from each LNB as a test?
> Single cable run from switch to computer, or two cable runs
> from two switches?
> LNB19E--
>         \               long cable run
>          2/1 DiSEqC----------------------------Computer
>         /
> LNB28E--

i've got 2 80cm satellite dishes, one for Astra 28.2E and the other one 
for Astra 19.2E.
Then, from each dish i've got like 2-3 meters cable to where the 
computer is.
Then, next to the computer "the two become one", hehe, through the 
diseqc switch.

 From diseqc i've got a cable, like 30cm long to the computer

The diseqc switch is 2.0, like this one:


> You also mention DVB-T/radio from this card; if you could
> mention how that affects the above, if at all (it should
> not, but I never know for sure)

I don't think it affects in any way. The card has 3 different chips, or 
so i think: one for radio, one for digital tv (terrestrial) and one for 
satellite tv. In windows you install 3 different drivers. Actually, 
windows see the card as 3 different cards, and you can "tune" the three 
chips at the same time. for example, you can view satellite while 
recording digital tv, which is great :)

In Linux this doesn't happen. Linux sees the card "as one", and you have 
to keep  doing

modprobe saa7134 use_frontend=0... =1..=2 to get one chip or another to 
work.  Although it would be great to have all of them working at the 
same time.. it's not a problem for me, as i actually never used this 
feature in windows.

> Also, if you have any spares (a pile of DiSEqC switches,
> other DVB-S capable cards, etc), it would be handy for me
> to know -- in the case of my 4/1 switches located more
> than 50m from my tuners, it was partially a case of
> swapping in other switches from my pile of them until
> finding a working combination, or running an additional
> several hundred metres of cable to permit me to switch
> the four positions close to the tuners...

i don't think there's any other helpful information to provide.

> thanks,
> barry bouwsma
> not an expert, by any means
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