Thought I might share this weird effect I got from a Remote Control Extender unit, bought from Jaycar some 6 years ago. It is the model that is a remote extender only (no video), operating on UHF frequencies.
It has done sterling service these past 6 years. The reciever unit sits atop my tv, and the transmitter is sitting in front of the free-to-air satellite decoder box, which sits around the other side of the house. The receiver unit used a UHF transmission to send any Infra-red signals it detected in the living room to the transmitter for re-broadcast.
The only thing that has upset this unit was the fluro lightbulbs we use in the living room. The light fixture has a 3-socket light fitting that eats incandescants for breakfast, but the compact fluro bulbs last for years in the same job. Only problem is the remote control extender sort of 'locks' when the room light is shining directly at it, and we have a little shield over the extender unit to prevent this.
The UEC satellite box is nearly identical to an Austar satellite box. I believe it is simply a change of firmware to alter the usage of the decoder (as told by the tech who installed it)
Anyway, the satellite decoder box has started going flakey, where I would regularly find the channels were blank. There would be the channel information being presented when you changed channels, but no audio or video. It required a re-boot of the decoder box to get the damn thing working. The past few days, this was happening 2-3 times a night. I also discovered the decoder box was re-booting on it's own, which suggested to me the decoder box was losing its grip on reality.
I investigated a replacement box on Monday, and was bracing myself for the $475 cost of the new decoder, but decided to talk to the tech before I took the plunge. However, things got away from me, and I didnt get around to contacting him. Last night, the decoder box was even worse, and was now announcing after a re-boot that the channels were all currently scrambled.
I ended up out looking at the decoder box, and moved the transmitter unit of the remote control extender out of the way. From the other side of the house, I hear the television burst into life! Thinking about it some more, I wondered if the remote control extender had caused the problem. I have another model of a remote control extender; one that operated on 2.4Ghz, and can send video & audio as well. Plugging it in, and placing the units in their respective positions, I have my satellite decoder back in business, and the channel changing works just fine via the extender units.
Only thing I can think of is the old remote control extender unit was firing out flakey commands to the satellite decoder box, and the decoder was acting on them. However, I hadnt realised there might be a command sent via infra-red that could instruct the decoder to re-boot! It wasnt the room light in the living room causing the problem, as I havent used it the past few weeks. It makes me think the extender's infra-red transmitter is losing the plot, and killing the decoder box in the process.
Anyway, thought I might share this unusual problem in the hope it helps someone else. The solution turned out to be much cheaper than I expected, and a lot less obvious.