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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanting to use some vacation time to tweak my TVHeadEnd setup and fix some last issues I still have, googling brought me to this page (Google works in mysterious ways -- but at least nowadays, you don't end up on a porn page when searching for some obscure electronics part):


They're basically saying the channels & feeds on 125W will be disappearing in the predictable future. Not sure about 87W, or about Montana PBS.

Of course, quick googling didn't give me a confirmation of this -- you have to love Murphy.

After losing OETA some time ago, which was a bummer (they had an interesting film presentation every week-end, IIRC) if PBS disappears altogether from FTA, I'm not sure what would be left on 103W would be enough to complement OTA.

Anyone else heard anything about it, or was I the only one who missed the memo?


p.s.: Is anyone else having issues with Montana PBS (125W), BTW?
 

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The only issue is that with my 33 inch dish the Montana signal is much weaker than the other PBS channels.
 

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Min C/N to lock is a bit lower on Montana than the 12180... So Montana should actually be easier to receive.
S2 8PSK FEC 2/3 c/n lock 6.6 dB - Montana
S2 8PSK FEC 3/4 c/n lock 7.9 dB - Feeds

I will say that once upon a time, many years ago, shortly after Montana PBS switched to DVB-S2, the Montana PBS was difficult to receive for me, because my C/Ku antenna was using a really old Ku Band LNB at the time, like from the late 80s / early 90s, designed for analog old.
I replaced it with a more modern Norsat Ku LNB and it's been fine ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've noticed that Montana PBS was always the one that took the longest for my Amiko Mini HD RE to lock on and display, that and the 4 "NBC MUX" transponders that usually have MSNBC & CNBC on 103W. A blind scan of 125W earlier this year did show a 2nd mux for Montana PBS, one that was not listed on Lyngsat or other FTA websites. Not sure what the deal is with this one.

After setting up my TVHeadEnd back-end (with a Raspi4 as a client) for OTA+FTA, it scanned Montana PBS, was watchable a few times... and not after. It's as if it times out... or that the Mux that it uses (11916V, 2398, 2/3) is no longer active. I thought the DVBSky S960 tuner I'm using with this box could be at fault, so I got a TBS 5930 unit... Which has the same problem with Montana PBS.

I might have to re-connect the Amiko receiver and check if it sees Montana.

@majortom, I think you're the one who suggested to me the DVBSky units way back when, because they were supported natively by the Linux kernel. As DVBSky seems to have folded since then (despite their website still being accessible), are you aware of more recent external (or internal) receivers that are also supported natively by Linux? I'm asking because the TBS drivers are causing me grief and I'd like to stick with units that don't stop working after an OS update.
 

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yeah check and confirm your STB reception of montana...
Not really sure about any new devices lately.
But would you mind plugging it in (using the tbs drivers), and doing an 'lsmod' printout for me? Like to see which demod / tuner chip they are using for that device?

Have you ever tried the custom ARCH based distro/kernel we made for the raspberrypi?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The latest update I did on my TVHE box (an old i5 Dell running Ubuntu 20.04LTS) rendered the TBS drivers completely non-functional. Doing a "dmesg | grep dvb" today only shows the pair of HVR-1250 I use for OTA.

BUT!

I'm sure I kept copies of dmesg outputs when I finally got the 5930 drivers working. I could post this if you want. It's not that long.

Though I can tell you this device uses the m88rs6060 chip (found that out quickly when I was looking through the source code). Specs are found here (hopefully DHCA won't filter out the links):

and

The driver downloads two firmware packages in succession to the device: first, the "dvb-usb-id5930.fw" file, then the "dvb-demod-m88rs6060.fw". It's as if the 1st file is doing prep work needed for the 2nd file to work.

Driver for this device is part of the "TBS Open Source Linux Driver Offline Package v20210508", but it's missing some firmware files. All required firmware packages can be found in this file: http://www.tbsdtv.com/download/document/linux/tbs-tuner-firmwares_v1.0.tar.bz2

As for current cards, I've searched high and low to see what was available besides TBS hardware. Eventually stumbled on the "Sundtek SkyTV Ultimate Dual" but besides that, it's like OTA hardware, there seems to be a dearth of FTA computer tuners. I can't believe how many searches I did before the Sundek bubbled up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Copy-pasta action below. I could look for "lsusb" output to complement this if you want, as an "lsmod" would not give anything useful right now:

###START###
[email protected]:~$ dmesg | grep dvb

(...)

[ 207.343742] dvb-usb: found a 'TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x' in cold state, will try to load a firmware
[ 207.344262] dvb-usb: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-usb-id5930.fw'
[ 207.465827] dvb-usb: found a 'TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x' in warm state.
[ 207.466016] dvb-usb: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer.
[ 207.470051] dvbdev: DVB: registering new adapter (TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x)
[ 207.478540] dvb-usb: MAC address reading failed.
[ 207.570229] m88rs6060 9-0069: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-demod-m88rs6060.fw'
[ 207.589912] dvb-usb: TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x successfully initialized and connected.
[ 207.592372] dvb-usb: TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x successfully deinitialized and disconnected.
[ 209.378924] dvb-usb: found a 'TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x' in cold state, will try to load a firmware
[ 209.378927] dvb-usb: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-usb-id5930.fw'
[ 209.501814] dvb-usb: found a 'TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x' in warm state.
[ 209.502041] dvb-usb: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer.
[ 209.502184] dvbdev: DVB: registering new adapter (TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x)
[ 209.734921] dvb-usb: MAC address: 00:22:ab:c0:5f:4e
[ 209.819980] m88rs6060 9-0069: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-demod-m88rs6060.fw'
[ 211.430283] dvb-usb: TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x successfully initialized and connected.
[email protected]:~$

###END###
 

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Not really a name... but check here...

It is basically arch pi, from archlinuxarm.org with special custom kernel for more and better device support in terms of dvb and tv tuners...
based on user 'Updatelee' 's v4l-updatelee kernel source that we have been maintaining ever since he pretty much stopped his work on it.
You will see some of my other references to this kernel, application(s), and tricks added that you'll never see in the stock linux kernel, here on this thread...
 

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Thank you, that is what I was suspecting the tuner/demod would be when I was poking around a couple weeks ago...
the output of 'lsmod' would be good too, to see all the kernel modules that are loaded.

Code:
[ 207.570229] m88rs6060 9-0069: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-demod-m88rs6060.fw'
[ 207.589912] dvb-usb: TurboSight TBS 5930 DVB-S/S2/S2x successfully initialized and connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Careful! Just downloading the m88rs6060 firmware doesn't work, the '5930 appears to be recognised but the MAC address cannot be read and you get a nasty error. I could post dmesg's output if you want.

The driver really makes use of both firmware packages, it is a bizarre two-step process. Maybe the demod chip cannot work fully through a USB interface by default, hence the first firmware file to enable support? (Just spitballing, here.)

For that raspberry pi thing, I'll have a look. Thanks.

Not sure I'd use a raspi as a TVHE server, but I might learn a thing or two from that package.

As for doing an 'lsmod', because the latest update seems to have made the TBS drivers not run at all (*), I'm not sure anything useful could come out of it.

I could do a complete uninstall of the driver package I last used (the one from github) and re-install the "TBS Open Source Linux Driver Offline Package v20210508" one. If it at least gives a sign of life (the driver, that is), I'll post an lsmod.


(*) it didn't include a kernel update, as it was too small for that, which makes the whole thing incomprehensible.
 

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it's alright, nevermind. I thought you were saying you were already running the tbs drivers now.
one firmware is for the USB bridge portion of the device, while the other one is for the tuner/demod chip.

I am not familiar with the tbs5930, as I don't have one, and probably have enough devices already such that I won't ever need one. It just looks interesting, as a.) it's fairly new and b.) it's cheap enough and c.) a new demod to play with.
If I had one though, I would try to run it thru it's paces in windows first with crazyscan, to see what it was really capable of doing. Don't know if it is even supported in crazyscan yet. Then if happy with that, I'd collect some logs and try and port the tbs5930 modules over to UDL's tree and what not.
As we been trying to keep his tree fairly well up to date with the tbs tree's support for TBS devices too. To the extent possible at least, given no documentation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did have the TBS drivers working for roughly two weeks… until that fateful OS update broke them.
Not exactly impressed by that.
 

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Yeah, that has always been my argument for not using that 'media_build' framework.
IMO, them media_build scripts / framework they use was never intended for end users/production systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wonder why TBS is not getting their drivers integrated into the mainline kernel. Others (DVBSky can't be the only one) did it, why not them? If the stock kernel supported their hardware, wouldn't it increase their sales?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Did some quick testing with my Amiko earlier today.
There was no signal for the 4 "NBC MUX" channels on 103W, which explains why can't see them with the TVHE box these days.

It picked up Montana PBS on both scanned channels; my STB says they're at 11917/V/2427 and 11917/V/2398. I should have searched for the stream IDs on both to maybe get a better idea of what's happening, but didn't. Will do it next time.

Just tried to re-scan the channel on my Myth FTA box and to my great surprise, it sees a signal (85%), but just can't lock on it and eventually times out. I'm even more puzzled now.
 

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I am confused too. There is only one "Montana PBS" channel far as I am aware, and it's this one.
11917/V/2398

I managed to create some patches from the tbsdtv 'linux_media' tree to pull in to UDL's tree at:
The modules 'dvb-usb-tbs5930.ko', and 'm88rs6060.ko' compiled ok for me, so now I pulled in the required new firmware and am recompiling the entire kernel.
When it finishes compiling and I have a chance to test my devices, I will push the changes to UDL's tree,
if your in to trying to compile some deb packages from the source to try out on your debian based system that would be really cool. Cause we have no way to test the device without the hardware. The instructions are in the readme.

Assuming that goes OK, we can then get it added to the raspberrypi tree as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do have a spare raspi 3+ that I experimented with, trying to build an sdr fm radio server; I could simply buy another sdcard and do some testing for you. You'll have to give me a few days to get around to it, as I have a few obligations to tend to.

Once I get everything compiled and the OS to boot and properly detect & use the '5930... What next, again?
 

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sure, a pi3b will work... i have a pi3b+ and a pi4.
I'll let ya know when changes make their way to the pi tree.
In the meantime, whenever ya get around to it, install that arch pi image I pointed ya to on a spare SD card.
Get that installed and working, and expand it's file system as in darksky's readme. From there you'll be able to compile the kernel from source. Worst case, if ya have any grief, we can probably just compile some packages for ya to install the kernel with pacman.
 
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