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Thread: Whats the difference beteen a clone and an original DM500S and the time bomb thing?

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    Junior Member hca's Avatar
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    Default Whats the difference beteen a clone and an original DM500S and the time bomb thing?

    I know these DM500-S boxes are old hat now, but I am looking at re-purposing one which is bound to be a clone to the point where I am not interested in the video output aspect. I just want to make sure I stay clear of this bomb thing, hence the questions. I am hoping there are a few around who might remember some the details.

    With respect to the hardware whats the real difference between the original design made with off the shelf US designed, Asian produced components and the clone produced in Asia from the same component stocks apart from price and wounded pride?

    I see they run on busy box linux so any one can program what they like into it. I assume the electrical circuit is identical at least as far as the processor concerned, is that correct?

    I have read about the mac addy being different in the network chip, and how to change it, obviously the stock firmware could be made to read that. Is there more like something custom mask programed into a register by IBM in the factory that can't accessed later?

    And how does the time bit work? there's no RTC in the box, is it getting the date from the satellite stream or keeping a count somewhere in eeprom or the flash? I suppose the time aspect was just a bit of vengeance by the original firmware code writers

    Where was it in the firmware? bootloader, busybox os, or the receiver code. I have 2 boxes with Gemini project code in them, the box Is using DM mac address but the labels are different. I am guessing the tweak to busy box or a software patch applied somewhere.

    And finally what did this bomb do to brick the box when triggered, modify the bootloader, the OS thereby requiring a Jtag reflash or suicide the the receiver code? Or worse, like something secured internal to the processor? Something requiring access to a pin not brought out from under the BGA.

    I am still searching around clipping bits and pieces of DM500-S info into a file where ever I find it but with time most of the discussion, code and tools have disappeared from the net over time. Lots of dead links remain. So if any one can shed some light on this I will be most grateful!



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    They are mostly clones around. I don't think I've ever seen an original! They work fine. Batches came out with the same Mac address but you can change that. Time comes from Sat Transponder. Can't remember what source repository files the image builders used that had that 'bomb'. Just download a reputable image like Pli. They won't have left an image up compiled with the bomb repository files.
    XCRUISER HDSR600HD twin sat and terrestrial receiver $OOS *
    XCRUISER HDSR385 Avant - sold out$OOS UltraPlus DVB-T and DVB-S2 tuners $49 Remotes $OOS

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    The original clones was born from a stolen beta board layout from Dream Multimedia. Easily distinguishable by a known component layout error. This was never ever corrected.

    Chinese had no understanding of copyright or Intellectual Property. All they were interested in is producing a cheaper marketable product. An this followed on to the consumer especially in the boom days of piracy in the early 2000s. There were still people who were prepared to pay for quality and original receivers but to the average man on the street as long as it worked and they got pictures they brought it.

    There were some clones that were real pigs but many worked fine.

    I could waffle on about the original Vs clone era but I wonít bore you. The time bomb or worm was some story that came out of Europe and was supposedly embedded in images not hardware. Because as I said earlier there was only one version of clone DM500s and no bomb was embedded in that hardware.

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    Thank you both for your replies.

    I don't know anything of the DM era, hence the questions, pretty much spooked out of the hobby since the bmac. I have not done anything since but blindly flash eeproms or use supplied kit.
    But as I dropped on the other chat, people bring these Chiacom related issues upon them selves with their own shopping choice. The covid problems have highlighted this in many countries, eg no masks, make them! How? no machines, no workers who know how to sew anymore.

    But I have 2 redundant aurora DM500s which are bound to be clones, on line for a year maybe, watched for 10 hours at best. I think they will make Himawari weather sat receivers with some code from gitHub in place of the DVB code. Its early days in the research phase, and your comments indicate this bomb thing wont be an issue.

    Now its a mater of time and priorities.

    cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoore View Post

    Chinese had no understanding of copyright or Intellectual Property.
    Incorrect - the Chinese were well aware of copyright and IP issues as far back as 1984.

    It is the Chinese government's enforcement of those articles of law (or lack thereof), that forms the problem...see;


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    Quote Originally Posted by wotnot View Post
    Incorrect - the Chinese were well aware of copyright and IP issues as far back as 1984.

    It is the Chinese government's enforcement of those articles of law (or lack thereof), that forms the problem...see;

    Yes that is what I should have said. They ignored copyright and IP rather then not be aware of it. Although the Aust govt didnít help by asking huge $$Ks from effected companies to enforce border security seizure of goods that breached Intellectual Property getting into Australia, but they ignored small volume imports. It just became uneconomical for me and DMA to pay this charge every 6 months. then flood doors opened.

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    It's an SD box, the clone and the original so MPEG2 (not H264/MPEG4 or H265/HEVC).

    The only difference is the manufacturer in China produced copies 1:1, and you just have to check the MAC address to be sure it's a 0034:xx:xx:xx, otherwise the Gemini image has a Time bomb that could erase the Flash... easily restorable with JTAG.

    TS

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