Installing a Dreambox DM500 HD

Some of my experiences with installing a (2nd hand) Dreambox DM500 HD (v1);
It's setup to receive Astra 2 E/F/G at 28.2° East. I did not connect an external hard-disc. Instead I record via NFS.
The dish is a Triax TDS 64cm and the LNB an Inverto IDLH-SNL410-HMPRO-OPN Home Pro Single 40mm PLL LNB. The coax cable is Hirschmann Koka 9. Which is a foamed-PE, triple shielded coax. I use regular screw-on F-connectors. A friend of mine set up the box for Astra 2 E/F/G before installation.

Aligning the dish

For this you need to;

Getting the azimuth right

The back wall of my house runs almost in a perfect east-west line. Almost but not quite. I tried to measure the angle in three different ways;

These yielded angles of 4, 9 and 7.5 degrees.

My initial impression was, that the Google satellite view based angle was the most accurate. So I used a box-cutter, a felt-tipped pen, a measuring tape, a ruler and a bit of trigonometry to create a large carton board triangle. I put one side against the wall and used a compass to check the direction of the hypotenuse, which now should point at the satellite. According to the compass, Google was a bit off. So I modified the triangle to match the city plan instead.

     ---------------- Wall
          \    |
           \   |
            \  |
             \ |
              \|
               .
                .
                 .
                  satellite

Next I aligned the dish with the hypotenuse and then slightly turned the dish to obtain maximum SNR. As it turned out, the current direction is a close approximation of the Google satellite view. So a Google satellite view can in fact be used to align a satellite dish.

Editing

Using the remote control

According to the manual, the arrow-left and arrow-right button can be used to delete characters during text input. This does not always work. When this happens, use the mute button instead.

Editing files

When editing a file doesn't work or returns to it's original contents after a reboot, do:

init 4

Edit file.

init 3

Recording via NFS

On my LAN the Dreambox is called 'dreambox.int.sput.nl' and has a fixed IP address. The NFS server is called 'sput.int.sput.nl' and has IP address '192.168.1.1'.

NFS server

In /etc/exports;

/data/dbox	dreambox.int.sput.nl(no_root_squash,rw)

'/data/dbox/' is the exported directory. The Dreambox recordings are kept in '/data/dbox/movie/' (edit / change to suit your needs).
After editing the file do;

/etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server reload

NB: This is on a non-systemd system.

Dreambox

In /etc/auto.net;

auto.network:sput -fstype=nfs,rw,nolock,soft,timeo=10,rsize=4096,wsize=4096 192.168.1.1:/data/dbox

'sput' is the directory in '/media/net/' where the NFS volume is mounted. You need to create this directory first (edit / change to suit your needs).
After editing the file do;

/etc/init.d/autofs reload

Recording BBC 4

During the day the BBC 4 data-stream contains CBeebies. Which has a service-id which is different from BBC 4. Which in turn confuses the Dreambox a lot. The Dreambox has the tendency to reboot after recording BBC 4. I'm not quite sure if this a bug or a feature.
To 'fix' this, I record a bit from an other channel some time after the BBC 4 recording has finished.
Alternatively one can use a cronjob to switch to an other channel;

#!/bin/bash
wget -q -O - "http://dreambox.int.sput.nl/web/zap?sRef=1:0:1:2876:800:2:11A0000:0:0:0:"

The above cronjob runs at 4:15 and switches to BBC News.
More information about the webinterface here:
Enigma2:WebInterface

The service references are different in in lamedb and userbouqet. In '/etc/enigma/lamedb' it's;

2876:011a0000:0800:0002:1:0
BBC NEWS
p:BSkyB,c:0013ec,c:0113ed,c:0213ef,c:0313ec

In userbouqet it's;

#SERVICE 1:0:1:2876:800:2:11A0000:0:0:0:

The service reference can be found with (on RC); Menu, Info, Stream info.

Preloading the EPG

The script below pre-loads the epg. It switches to the first entry in the favourites list. Stays there for 4 minutes and 16 seconds. And then switches to the second, etc.

#!/bin/bash

CHAN=""
REF=""
TM=256

# Set the IFS
IFS=$'\t\n'

echo "Preloading EPG"

while read CHAN REF
do
	echo "Changing to ${CHAN}"
	wget -q -O - "http://dreambox.int.sput.nl/web/zap?sRef=${REF}"
	sleep $TM
done < alist.servrefs

# Restore the IFS
IFS=$' \t\n'

alist.servrefs contains entries from the userbouquet. The format is;

Channel_1<Tab>Service_Reference_1
Channel_2<Tab>Service_Reference_2
Channel_3<Tab>Service_Reference_3
 ...
Channel_n<Tab>Service_Reference_n

The is no need to put every channel in there. Just every transponder in the favourites list once. You can find channels on the same transponder with (on RC): Menu, Channel_list, Satellites, Current_transponder.
I run this script once per day.
Edit / change to suit your needs.