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Nokia 221T keeps locking-up

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Jon Weaver, May 5, 2003.

  1. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Following positive feedback on this forum, I recommended that my boss buy the Nokia 221T Freeview box.

    Yesturday I poped over to help him 'install' it and found that it keeps locking up.

    On 3 occasions within a 30min period, it stoped responding. There was still a picture and sound, but it wouldn't respond to the remote or the buttons on the top. It was completely locked on the channel we were watching.

    Has anyone else seen this? Is there a cure??

    Searching on Digital Spy, I have seen others report this and I wonder if its a common problem.

    I must say that I am surprised, considering this box costs 50% more that some of the rival boxes and I wouldn't expect to see a problem like this!

    Has anyone had any experience with a problem like this?
     
  2. Fernsehman

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    Mine has never "locked up" but I followed the "Freeview Bible" instructions and wired it up with double-shielded coax. This keeps interference out and prevents the problem. Has he noticed that it "locks up" only when someone operates a light switch, electric kettle or in time with, say, a boiler thermostat?

    Does it have the latest software (download it)? Is there an "energy saving" or fluorescent light in the room, or anything else (a DECT phone) that might interfere?

    Fman
     
  3. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    There may well be "things which interfere", but I can't believe that a box aimed at the "mass market" could be so sensitive to such things.

    3 lockups in 30mins is beyond un-accepatble.. This indiactes either seriously bugged software, or a lack of quality in the hardware.. Either way, I can't see how Nokia can justify the £139 price tag.

    I think I am going to recommend that my boss return the Nokia and get a Thomson instead. Not only will have have £40 in his pocket, but I havn't heard of problems like this with other boxes!
     
  4. hornydragon

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    I think that in a strong signal area the box choice is less critical but my parents(maybe) in law haw the tompson and the picture is unwatchable in all but perfect coditions, use CT100 from aerial to box and you will have no problems! Sorry it happen to your Boss though mate that is not good!
     
  5. Fernsehman

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    Although I'm retired, I'm still a qualified electronics engineer. You can ignore my advice but I suggest you think about why my 221T (and hundreds of others) are trouble-free if the software is "seriously bugged"?

    Everywhere you go, you'll see the instruction to "use double-shielded cable for Freeview". That's why I keep repeating it here. Standard TV cable shielding is only 60% effective at best. Of course many people "get away with it" because their signal is strong or their TV cable happens to be well away from sources of interference. But if it isn't then you have no choice but to upgrade the cable. To prove the point, just hold an electric drill near the aerial cable and pull the trigger.

    I don't understand why you seek advice here and then criticise when it is offered freely.
     
  6. nathan_silly

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    What's the cheapest you've seen the 221T for?- anyone selling them for £100?

    221 + the aerial is close to £200, a big outlay for me (since I only watch BBC2)
     
  7. media guy

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    Yes the Nokia lockups have been noted on DS but I have to say that if you have the latest software then the amount of freezes have gone down by about 90% so check that (You should be on 1.1.2).

    My Nokia now crashes very occasionally if I am going non-stop through the navibars creating new channels lists and then checking them and then going back and forth for about 10 minutes.

    The only crashes I get now is when it freezes when there has been very low signal strength but it never carrys on when the signal is better. Pressing freeze twice solves this one

    The other thing is sometimes people mistake a crash. I thought that it was getting very buggy in the last few days but it's just the batteries in the remote going. The Nokia box wouldn't switch on at one point until I realised it was checking the engineering channel while it was off to see if it had the latest version. I ripped the plug out of the wall in annoyance the other day until I realised the TV was on analogue :blush: .

    And just so you know my Nokia box gets switched off when I use my PS2. And seeing as it's nearly dissertation hand in that's about every 2 weeks.

    Graham
     
  8. hornydragon

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    Nathan
    I think that £129 is the cheapest you will get the Nokia, It might be worth an ex ITV box for £30-40 S/H and then you could get the aerial upgrade for about £100 max and see what you think! If you like it then sell the S/H box for £30-40 and buy the new Nokia!
     
  9. Jon Weaver

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    I have no problem with the fact that this is caused by poor signal strength, but the fact that it just 'locks up' to me seems like buggy software.

    Its a product designed to work in enviroments where there are massive differences in signal strength. Surely the software/hardware should be able to handle this better than just 'locking up'
     
  10. cbemoore

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    As Media Guy suggested, check your software version! You should have version 1.1.2.

    You can download the latest software from the Nokia website, and install it using a null modem cable.

    If that doesn't work, try exchanging your box. Mine has only ever locked up once, and that was after reading lots of teletext pages.

    Chris
     
  11. adamsdad

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    Nathan,
    I have just ordered a Nokia 221T through Dixons web site. They have it for £129.99 with free delivery.
    Also you can use a £10 voucher obtainable from http://www.ukfrenzy.co.uk
    This brings the price down to £119.99, which is the best I've seen.
    You dont actually need to visit the ukfrenzy web site as all that is required to obtain the £10 discount is to put a code in at the Dixons checkout - in this case 'comp10'
     
  12. Jon Weaver

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    Yep.. Its got 1.1.2

    I spoke with my boss this morning, and it hasn't locked up once since I left.

    When it was locking up, we were hammering the box by constantly changing channels and navigating the menus.

    So, it does seem to be more stable that I gave it credit for.. But I am still a little surprised that it locked up so easily.
     
  13. JH4

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    I have had 2 Nokia 221T's. The first locked up while channel hopping, and would take an age with the mains plug out before it would reboot. Eventually it would not turn on at all, after a freeze. I took it back.
    The replacement has locked up once with a green screen, and reboots if left disconnected for about half an hour. If you try to reboot too soon a single green LED flashes slowly but it will not turn on. Very strange.. I use double screened coax and the S/W on both was 1.1.2. Boot version is 1.3. Signal strength is around 70%. Other than that it's great - far more features than the Panny I had before. If a S/W update solves the lockup problem, it will be perfect. Could it be noisy mains ?
     
  14. Fernsehman

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    Noisy mains is a common cause of problems but I'm referring to BIG voltage spikes caused by switching (boiler thermostats, fridges, microwave ovens, washing machines, things with electric motors or big heaters). In really bad cases, even switching a light off can cause a big enough "spike". Since the internal switch-mode power supply used in every box is inherently "noisy" there's a good deal of suppression in there, so interference direct from the mains is rarely going to cause a problem. However, if the mains voltage drops very low (below 200 volts) then problems can arise. This is called "mains brown-out" and happens mostly on farms and outlying districts where the mains supply is poor (and notably Spain - although you'd need a rather high aerial to receive Freeview there!)

    The main fault arises when the "spikes" get into the aerial socket. This is usually due to bad coax running too close to mains wiring but the aerial can also pick up "spikes" from passing traffic, electric trains and other sources. The type of system used by Freeview is VERY susceptible to noise spikes. This has nothing to do with software per se. It's just the way the system works. It's VERY robust when the signal is quite weak and when "ghosting" would normally occur, but it's quite abysmal at handling "spikes".

    So, if at all possible, use double-shielded coax in one continuous length from aerial to Freview box. If you MUST use a wall plate, make sure it's fully shielded. Keep the aerial AND coax as far as possible from sources of interference (especially mains wiring, microwave ovens, thermostats and main road traffic).

    If problems *still* occur and you are certain that it's not caused by interference, weak signal, or old software, then you *might* have a faulty receiver. But this is rare. If you suspect the receiver, simply find a friend or neighbour who has a good Freeview system and ask him to test your receiver for an hour or two. That will soon tell you whether or not it's at fault.

    Fman
     
  15. JH4

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    Thanks Fernsehman for your info. I know for a fact it's not traffic, trains, fluorescents, microwave, thermostat, kettle, but it could be my Dect phone which is some 10 feet away. I am going to do some experimenting so will post if anything is found, although the replacement has not frozen twice yet. Any idea why it takes so long unplugged to reboot tho? Electrolytic capacitor discharging ??
     
  16. JH4

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    Locked again tonight. OK all day but failed to respond to remote while exiting from text on the beeb this evening. Have checked double screened coax, no kettle on, no central heating on, no traffic. Electric drill used this morning had no effect. Dect phone had no effect all day also. Getting to think it doesn't like too many commands in a short period ( navigating text) Won't reboot for at least 30 minutes. If you plug it back in before 30 minutes, no leds appear. Around 20 minutes a single green led flashes slowly, but still won't switch on. Any one else have this problem ?
    My second set. V1.1.2. Signal strength 70%.
     
  17. Fernsehman

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    That's about right. Satcure are bundling a full aerial kit and 221T for a total of £203.38 inclusive. http://www.satcure.co.uk/accs/bundles.htm

    You won't see a *new* 221T for less than £129 because the dealers are only making about a tenner profit on them! £100 is close to the actual cost of manufacturing.

    Fman
     
  18. Jon Weaver

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    Checked with my boss again.. His has locked up once since Sunday.

    However, when it locked up, it was when he was 'playing' (i.e changing channels and navigating menus)

    This is the same circumstance as when I was 'playing' on Sunday..

    Still seems like buggy software to me... Saying that, spoke to some friends last night who all have Freeview but using different boxes.. They get 'lockups' too.. So, its not really a Nokia problem.
     
  19. JH4

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    I also believe that the lockups are "key press" related. No problems at all when left on one channel.
    My reboot problem I think might be a temperature fault, as when it last locked it had been on for some 24 hours and took about 3 hours unplugged before it would restart ! (It's not near anything hot, and does not feel hot to the touch, tho.) See post above.
    Nokia say take it back for a replacement, but it's the second one now with this problem.
     
  20. hornydragon

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    My ex ITV nokia is slow as hell but has never locked totally requiring a manual reboot, maybe there was a reason for such a huge Box!
     
  21. JH4

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    Third time lucky! Now got a third 221T with a serial number some 11,000 higher than the first, same S/W and H/W versions, and still locks when under "key press duress", but this one reboots OK every time.
    Hopefully this is my last post on this subject.
     
  22. DJM

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    Jon Weaver
    not been looking at the site for a while as been busy at work. But, I have had regular freezes if I channel hop very fast. The only other time it freezes is when the signal strength falls to the low end of the amber sig strength bar.

    Rectifying the former usually means not touching any button for about 30 seconds then using a number button on the remote to change channel. This usually sorts it out. Only very rarely have I had to perform a hard reset (ie switch off) to cure this problem.
    I suspect this is software related, but due to the way signals are received and processed, there may be very little that the software can do if things are upset mid channel change without making normal channel changes unnacceptably slow.

    If the signal strength falls too far, then freezing is generally the best cheap solution. Other more complex solutions make processing either too complex, too slow or too expensive.

    Neither problem is exclusive to Nokia, and having used some of the other boxes, the 221t handles these better than most. Remeber, Digital TV is more complex than analogue, not necessarily better.

    JH4,

    Nokia 221t are very suseptable to overheating. Nokia themselves state that they should be kept away from sources of heat, ie not positioned above hot amps or DVD/VCRs. If you look at past posts, others have had similar problems. So although leaving it on for long periods of time may be the cause, it may be exacerbated by the position you have installed it in. I know you say it's not near anything hot, but even a standby VCR creates heat and if your room is well insulated, the air flow may be insufficient to keep the temperature in range. Just a thought.
     
  23. liamjf

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    Just to let you know that my first Nokia locked 3 times but on the last time (I'd had it a week) refused to do anything at all. Now on a replacement box (which has locked twice in a couple of days but still reboots). Though cable could be a bit near mains and I'm not sure that cable is double screened (comes straight from ariel - always been there). Signal 100% I think though (Can't tell though all bars seem full on menu)

    Liam.
     
  24. iybyisyl

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    Log on to the Nokia website and download the latest software to your PC and then to your (Or your bosses) box, double screened cable is the way to go a must I reckon.
     

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