Skybox M3

Lazarus

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Anyone reading my tale of woe and subsequent elation over goosing my F3 for a day will have noted I'm so happy overall with the F3 that I was thinking of getting a second one anyway.

However, it occurs that an M3 could fit the bill. Originally, I got the F3 because I was concerned about such a physically tiny box as the M3 being likely to overheat/crash etc. especially when driving a Motor.

But my likely use for a second box of the ilk would be with a DiSEqC switch, not a Motor, so that worry doesn't apply.

I have briefly thought about an F4 (or even the upcoming F5), but getting a useless GPRS feature whilst shelling out more money does not appeal.

Soooooooooooooo: Anyone got an M3? Any good? Any issues?
 

nelson_b

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My Satellite Setup
Strong 4375 driving a 2.4 m Channel Master dual focus offset + Invcom Quad C120 K/U l.n.b. + BSC 421 and Zinwell C band l.n.b.,s - DR HD F15 - TM5302 - Octagon SX88+Optima - GT Media V7 - HD receivers. + other dishes currently in use - Antique 3.0 m Prodelin P.F. - Channel Master 1.8 m offset - Channel Master. 1.2 m.
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hi -
i,v had the M3 for a while now - but i,v only used it in a limited way up to present -
just as a blind search tool on my 1.2 c.m. dish setup - the dish is moved using an aged
T.M.5500 DAPCI and the M3 takes a straight feed from a twin k/u L.N.B on that dish - so i,v never used it on a motor or diseqc switch -

i find the remote response a bit slow compared to other receivers i have - but its not really a problem - - and as was mentioned in another thread about the F3 the clock has a mind of its own --l.o.l ,

the picture quality on HD channels is very good -- blind search is fast and on the whole - accurate i have on a number of occasions now , accidentally left the box switched on (not in standby)and it did not get unduly hot - even after being left on for 4 days one time.

i did get a bit of a surprise the other week when i tried a firmware update - that turned out to be totally in - (possibly )arabic - and had one hell of a job finding the u.s.b. menu again in order to put back the original backup file ----- but i got there in the end

all in all i,m happy with the m3 especially at the price i paid for it --
but as i say its use for me so far has been mostly as k/u a blind search tool .

cheers nelson.b.
 

Lazarus

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That's a really useful bit of Feedback: Counting pennies ................ !
 

Lazarus

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Actually, after lots of umming and aahing, I think I'll revert to Plan A and get another F3.

Currently going for £41.99 + £4.63 if you look carefully on Amazon.

I make that £46.62 >>> If anyone can find it cheaper (or anyone has one they no longer need), do pipe up!
 

nelson_b

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My Satellite Setup
Strong 4375 driving a 2.4 m Channel Master dual focus offset + Invcom Quad C120 K/U l.n.b. + BSC 421 and Zinwell C band l.n.b.,s - DR HD F15 - TM5302 - Octagon SX88+Optima - GT Media V7 - HD receivers. + other dishes currently in use - Antique 3.0 m Prodelin P.F. - Channel Master 1.8 m offset - Channel Master. 1.2 m.
My Location
North West Yorkshire - near Lancashire & Cumbria borders.
a good price indeed --- :)
the reason i went for the M3 at the time - was that it was claimed to have a new and more sensitive tuner - but when it was compared with "vipersans" F3 box , it was not noticably any different to be honest --
that said - its not bad ------- better than the t.m.5500 DAPCI or the t.m. 1500 ci super.
but not as sensitive as the Spiderbox hd 9000 or the Dr.HD F-15

cheers - :)
 

Lazarus

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Now ordered. Can't see it being available cheaper in the future >>> people are selling bricked ones for over £30!
 

Lazarus

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Received second F3 at 12.30.

Installed, cloned to first Box and fully functional within minutes.
 

Lazarus

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And the good thing is if I brick both Boxes I'll have the makings of a small wall!
 

Riverblue

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Or 2 novel doorstops!
 

Lazarus

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Hmm.


Now that this second Box is sited in the Living Room, I can confirm Analoguesat's gripe about the clock!

Not noticed before as my first (Bedroom) Box is powered down when not in use so I rarely see the clock per se.

Loses ten minutes a day!
 

Analoguesat

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Hmm.


Now that this second Box is sited in the Living Room, I can confirm Analoguesat's gripe about the clock!

Not noticed before as my first (Bedroom) Box is powered down when not in use so I rarely see the clock per se.

Loses ten minutes a day!

Oh good Im glad mine isnt the only lemon around! :-lmao
Clocks running on chips have been around for 30 years - you would have thought they would have got it right by now!
 

Adam792

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Dishes: 80cm (5°W/4.8°E), 80cm (30°W), 60cm Zone 2 (13°E/19.2°E/28.2°E)
Receivers: HTPC (Intel i3 processor, nVidia Graphics, and TBS6905 4x DVB-S2 PCIe tuner card) running Ubuntu with Kodi/TVHeadend, Wetek Play2, Skybox M3.
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I received my M3 a few days ago and I'm actually pretty impressed with it for such a small cheap box.

I can confirm (from the F3 thread) that it does have a built in IR receiver; the extension cable is just for if you want to place the box out of sight.

The CCCam version on it (2.1.4 even on the latest FW) means it won't open the TNTSat channels from my official card (I won't go into detail about this set up, but I do own the card and it's in the same building... :D).

I've only tested on 13 and 19.2°E but it clears the ORF channels fine as well as the few BISS ones. RAI doesn't clear on Eutelsat 13 (Again I'm assuming because of the CCCam version, I don't think the built in MGCamd reads the key files at all.)

I would like to try the BBC feeds on 27.5°W but I don't want to brick it like Tivù did. :D

The on-board media player works well enough; not the most intuitive thing ever but it played some 720p TV episodes I had on my USB stick in MKV format (AVC video with AC3 audio) absolutely fine and they looked pretty good.
 

Lazarus

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Good review, thanks.

As for 27.5W, the Encryption Flags need to be set to "Scrumbled" (sic.) and this can only be done in the Channel Editor package that can be downloaded from the Skybox Site. It was the Uploading of my Editing TP_Prog file back to the Box that the problem occurred - so it might have been "finger-trouble" with the Editor (Or it might not!).

But I did manage to reflash the Box, so don't let my experience put you off.
 

Adam792

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Well, I managed to brick my M3 doing the same in editing the 27.5°W channel list... :D

I'm waiting on a Null Modem cable (and USB adapter) to come in the post. I'm hoping my parents haven't chucked their 32bit Windows XP machine!
 

Lazarus

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Sorry to hear it - but I did warn you!

Anyway, you can be confident you can reflash it.

Don't forget to find the Recovery Tool erom_upgrade_8Mflash and don't forget to use an early Firmware version before then upgrading.

PS: Does the M3 not have a 9 pin RS232 port?


[warning]Skybox Users: Steer Clear of the Channel Editor Tool!![/warning]
 

Adam792

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Yes, I thought I'd have a try just to see if you were unlucky but it does definitely seem like it's worth steering clear of the editor!

It has a tiny connector on the back with a cable that converts that to RS232. Thanks, I'm sure I'll get it up and running again soon.
 

Adam792

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Receivers: HTPC (Intel i3 processor, nVidia Graphics, and TBS6905 4x DVB-S2 PCIe tuner card) running Ubuntu with Kodi/TVHeadend, Wetek Play2, Skybox M3.
My Location
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Just to update, I finally got a null modem cable today and with the EROM tool and included firmware version (08.05.2012) I managed to reflash the box. All working fine again now with the latest 19.11.2012 firmware. :D
 

Lazarus

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That's great news.

Did you find you had to run config.bin first?

No idea what it does (or appears to do; or doesn't do!), but my first attempts failed using a copy of the EROM tool that didn't have a config.bin file package with it.

As soon as I got one that did, it worked first time.

Also, getting the timing right at first seems critical until you realise that it will actually wait happily quite a while, so there's no rush.
 

Adam792

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Dishes: 80cm (5°W/4.8°E), 80cm (30°W), 60cm Zone 2 (13°E/19.2°E/28.2°E)
Receivers: HTPC (Intel i3 processor, nVidia Graphics, and TBS6905 4x DVB-S2 PCIe tuner card) running Ubuntu with Kodi/TVHeadend, Wetek Play2, Skybox M3.
My Location
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Tivù said:
That's great news.

Did you find you had to run config.bin first?

No idea what it does (or appears to do; or doesn't do!), but my first attempts failed using a copy of the EROM tool that didn't have a config.bin file package with it.

As soon as I got one that did, it worked first time.

Also, getting the timing right at first seems critical until you realise that it will actually wait happily quite a while, so there's no rush.
I didn't have to run config.bin, everything worked from the off. My copy of the EROM tool didn't have that with it.

Yes I know exactly what you mean about thinking it's critical when it really isn't! :D

At least it's all working again now; got it set up with my dishes here in Staffordshire where it's going to stay. It's happily receiving 28, 19 and 13E.
 
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