Getting dongled

Puddleduck

New Member
A hesitant first post from a new member, prefaced with the necessary information that Mrs Puddleduck and I are in our 70s but digitally proficient in that we have 16 between us and four thumbs. Other than that level of understanding: not much.

A centenarian relative passed on earlier this year and we inherited her Humax HDR Fox T2. We know little about PVRs, though at least have used one before: something called an Inverto, purchased in December 2005 for £220, but which ceased to invert anything three years later when its programme guide vanished followed very shortly thereafter by the company itself. I think it went back to Holland, or somewhere equally exotic.

We installed the Humax Fox in our kitchen and cleared from its memory 47,000 episodes of The Chase and a dozen episodes of a bakery programme called the great British Sod Off, or something like that. The Fox has worked perfectly ever since. We've been so impressed, we recently purchased an allegedly 'refurbished' 1800T from Humax (allegedly, because the thing is indistinguishable from new: at £89, it makes that £220 spent 12 years ago look very expensive.) We've teamed the 1800T with the bedroom TV. It works perfectly.

We have Sky+ in the lounge, the basic package, and as the engineer connected it up to our wifi, have ready access to BBC iPlayer and other catch up services. We'd like, now, to be able to access iPlayer via the bedroom 1800T, or kitchen Fox T2. Or, er, both.

Humax sells something called a 2T2R Wifi Dongle for £39. We haven't ordered one because I decided to RTFM (read the forum manuals) on here first. Having done so, I'm incredibly grateful to all those who put so much time and effort into them, and particularly in regard to the dongle info and references to the Ralink 3070 chipset. (I also appreciate that any suggestions as to Humax alternatives are based on anecdotal information.)

Currently on Amazon UK, one of the listed, possible, alternatives is the Tenda W311U+150Mbps Wireless USB Network Interface Card but it seems to be almost the same price (including postage) as the 'genuine' Humax dongle, so I'm not sure whether it's worth chasing a saving of a few quid. But then: I'm not sure if I'm attending to the correct Tenda? I also note from an Amazon purchaser's review earlier this year that the chipset is no longer Ralink but Realtek.

Various other 'Humax dongles' appear on Amazon UK, apparently by Humax (according to the listing) but, er, not.

Question 1, then: I just wondered if any further anecdotal evidence had been amassed about alternatives to the £39 genuine article? I note the reference to the LED light Mini dongle from an eBay seller, but also the fact that it doesn't seem to work satisfactorily. (And any workaround would, sadly, be beyond me.)

As to Question 2:

Would the purchase of 2 wifi dongles -- be it Humax or compatible, and assuming we actually find one that works -- be necessary for our two Humax's. . . or could we swap the dongle between the units as and when?

Any help would be appreciated: thanks.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
I can't speak for the 1800 but I find using wireless dongles on the T2 a complete pain.
I have an Edimax EW-7711 which is very unreliable and gets very warm (the two things may not be unrelated). Driver support is extremely limited so finding compatible hardware is even more of a challenge now than it was a few years ago. It's much easier to use a wired connection to a local "switch/router/access point in client mode", and then use that to provide the wireless link, than it is trying to mess about with wireless dongles.
Newer Humax dongles will probably work on the 1800, but might well not on the T2. If you want to try alternative non-Humax stuff then you are basically on your own.
Frankly, I would much prefer to get rid of wireless altogether, so the less I have the better, especially as KrackAttack has now made so much older stuff vulnerable.

I guess some of this might have gone over your digits though...
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
Yes, we have two T2 boxes with wifi dongles and although they work they only connect automatically on about 50% of start-ups. If I need wifi when it hasn't connected I have to go into the settings and tell it to connect (which it does without needing to reenter anything like passwords).
To be honest, given the 'good' chipset is probably like rocking horse poo these days I'd order them from Humax while making clear which boxes they are for. At least you can then send them back if they are a complete waste of space.
 
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Puddleduck

New Member
Thanks prpr and MikeSh for the fast and constructive response: much appreciated. I've reached the conclusion (as you two seem to have done) that struggling to find compatibles is an effort that might not necessarily be properly rewarded. prpr's thoughts re T2 compatibility and MikeSh's advice about using an actual Humax product are also taken to heart. So-oo . . . After an extensive hunt aro9und Amazon UK and eBay, trying to sort the wheat from the chaff, and the genuine from the non-genuine -- it's amazing, the number of "Humax" sellers listed on Amazon UK who aren't Humax at all -- I have just now located a listing with a singularly unhelpful title yet which actually relates to the *real* Humax WNA699U8N3 dongle, the one recommended by Humax for pairing with the 1800-T.

Sorry, as a new member, I can't provide the link, but the product is to be found, for the time being at least, on Amazon UK under "USB-W-LAN" (inspiring, not) and sold, via Amazon, by Humax (Germany).

Purchasing the identical dongle from Humax UK would set me back £43 including post & packing.

Purchasing it from Humax Digital GmbH with Amazon's returns guarantee, is costing me £29.42, including post & packing. (Mrs P is a member of Amazon Prime since they stopped renting us Lovefilm DVDs by post and provided discounted Prime membership.)

For orders from Amazon customers who aren't on Prime, the P&P from Humax, Germany, would've been charged at £7.11p. So that's quite a saving.

Hopefully, we've done OK here and acquired a genuine product which will genuinely work with the 1800-T, if not the Fox T2. And if it doesn't work, well, I guess we can always arrange a return and a refund from Amazon.

If anyone else is interested, it might be A Good Idea to snap up the Humax (Germany) sale while there's still a few left (4 dongles, to be precise.)
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
A hesitant first post from a new member
And an excellent first post too!

As far as networking goes, IMO the order of preference is:
  1. Cat5 (Ethernet) cable between device and router;
  2. HomePlug adapters (Ethernet over house mains wiring);
  3. Ethernet-WiFi bridge (eg TP-Link TL-WR702N);
  4. USB WiFi dongle.
I would not be willing to spend Humax prices on a dongle and still potentially have connection problems and the vagaries of the Humax setup menu (this is alleviated by the configuration options available in the Custom Firmware, but that only applies to HDR-FOX and needs network access in the first place). When suitable dongles could be picked up for a few quid, the balance was different, but now it seems it is a lottery whether the cheap dongles (or even the expensive dongles) have a compatible chipset.

Options 1-3 above avoid the need for WiFi configuration on the Humax. Number 1 is the most reliable, but I acknowledge running a cable may be tricky. Having a 15m Ethernet cable on standby is always handy even if only to connect the unit to your router temporarily, and can be acquired on eBay cheaply.

Option 2 is a good bet for you - you would need three HomePlug adapters: one for each Humax and the third connects to your router. There’s no setting up, it’s fit and forget (unless you want to change their default password to stop any potential eavesdropping). You should be able to buy a set of three and a long Ethernet cable for debugging for no more than the cost of your dongles. For a bit more money you can get them with pass-through mains (only needing one socket for the adapter and the Humax) or multiple Ethernet ports. Devolo and TP-Link are recommended.

Option 3 provides a WiFi connection independent of dongles and Humax. Typically powered from a USB port (but not USB operated), you connect it to a PC to configure it for your WiFi, and then it will provide an Ethernet connection to the Humax (or anything else with an Ethernet port) via your WiFi. I have several of these on standby, configured for various purposes.

Once you have your units connected to your home network and the Internet, you will be able to share recordings between them and (in the case of HDR-FOX) take advantage of the facilities offered by the Custom Firmware - such as setting up recordings while away from home.

NB: posted before I saw post 4.
 
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Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
Humax sells something called a 2T2R Wifi Dongle for £39. We haven't ordered one because I decided to RTFM (read the forum manuals) on here first. Having done so, I'm incredibly grateful to all those who put so much time and effort into them, and particularly in regard to the dongle info and references to the Ralink 3070 chipset. (I also appreciate that any suggestions as to Humax alternatives are based on anecdotal information.)
The Humax £39 dongle 2T2R is NOT compatible with the HDR-FOX T2.
It has a RT5572N chipset. Alternatives that use the same chipset can be had for a number of suppliers for under £8, including https://www.amazon.co.uk/TOOGOO-300Mbps-2-4Ghz-Wireless-Adapter-Black/dp/B01M3XXYVB/. Not that I am recommending any of the non-Amazon sellers that are listed as I know nothing about them and (prefer not to buy from Amazon or through the Amazon site).
I have tried one of these in a HDR-2000T (which runs the same firmware as the HDR-1800T) as I already was using one from ebay on an old laptop. Its ability to pick up a WiFi single is OK for 2.4Ghz and very good for 5Ghz.

Various other 'Humax dongles' appear on Amazon UK, apparently by Humax (according to the listing) but, er, not.
Have you a current example or two?

As to Question 2:

Would the purchase of 2 wifi dongles -- be it Humax or compatible, and assuming we actually find one that works -- be necessary for our two Humax's. . . or could we swap the dongle between the units as and when?
For a dongle that works in both an HDR-FOX T2 and an HDR-1800T you are more limited.
The original Humax dongle which is compatible with both looks like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Humax-WLAN-WiFI-150Mbps-Dongle-Black/dp/B006GJKAEU
Yes, you could swap the dongle between the units as and when, but it needs a reasonably strong wifi signal.

NB: posted before I saw post 4 & 5.
 
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sceptic

Forum Supporter
A well known auction site might also be worth a look, THIS one for example looks like the one Black Hole mentioned is compatible with both the HDR-FOX T2 and an HDR-1800T
 
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Puddleduck

New Member
Oh my. I wish there was a smiley to signify grovelling. . .

MANY APOLOGIES to Black Hole, Luke, prpr, Trev and sceptic for coming on here, seeking help, only to then vanish without a word of thanks nor even any sign of noticing posts made by people out of a kindness to others. Unfortunately, a family matter cropped up that necessitated my absence, this compounding that earlier folly of mine in acting too quickly: Mrs P reckons that those who appear the most decisive are often the least decisive; they're brisk in their decision-making so as to mask an innate uncertainty. Gee shucks. Never marry a psychologist.

But anyway. Yup, seems I'm too often too precipitate, always looking to move on to whatever's next on the day's agenda. As happened here, where having unexpectedly found the 'genuine' Humax dongle at a seemingly good price, and knowing I can always return it for a full refund if it doesn't work, then, then . . . Eejit.

MANY THANKS then, to go with the aforesaid multitudinous apologies, for all the so-far unacknowledged help. Black Hole's structured approach to this dongle issue is greatly appreciated, as is Luke's info and sceptic's link. What's particularly invaluable is the way these posts legislate for any idiocy on my part -- reckon you're all psychic, then -- because if this current purchase doesn't work out, then I definitely need a drawing board to go back to. And it's provided here. The posts have also settled the question I had in regard to using the Humax 2T2R with both the 1800-T and the older Fox T2: not feasible, but a good alternative at a value-for-money price does exist.

I'm going to pursue the advice given here, and can only say how much it is appreciated . . . even though these thanks are, embarrassingly, belated. I'll also come back with an update if the dongle (currently on its way from Germany) turns out not to play nicely with my 1800-T, and the experience I have of alternatives so thoughtfully featured here. My thanks. . . again.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Jeez. A grovel is sometimes indicated and appreciated here, but that must rate as the grovel of all grovels and certainly not required. ;) Let us know how you get on. Sometime this year would be good.:roflmao:
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I wondered whether there was a reference to ten bob in the Beatrix Potter story, but there’s none I can find.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Strewth (Bruce). Is is that difficult to put the relevant terms into a search engine of your choice?
"jemima puddle duck 50p" works for me.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
Learned something new (again). Never seen one of those 50ps. There have been so many different tails on the 50p, I never know which are legal tender and which might be as bent as a five bob note.
 
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