24 October 2014

Nokia Mediamaster 9800S - details you never knew about it - how an abandoned product was revived only once

Nokia Mediamaster 9800S - details you never knew about it - how an abandoned product was revived only once

Nokia Mediamaster 9800S was a legendary DVB-S receiver which dominated the satellite market between 1997-2004.
It was designed first by Nokia Multimedia Terminals in Motala Sweden.
Then updated by Nokia Multimedia Terminals in Linköping Sweden.

Latest released firmware version was MA 1.3 from 2001-03-07, then Nokia stopped updating it and informed officially it will no longer update it.
In 2002, I bought a Nokia Mediamaster 9800S and soon discovered that despite official data from Nokia which stated it was capable of driving a Nokia Satscan motor and a standard DiSEqC 1.2 motor (like Stab Italia HH-100 or HH-120), reality was another.

Nokia has included in firmware hidden code which made the receiver behaving erroneously or moving 2 times slowlier compared to Nokia Satscan, an antenna with a non-Satscan motor.
In other words, Nokia "blacklisted" any kind of DiSEqC 1.2 motor.
Why? Simple, Nokia Satscan motor was almost twice more expensive than a standard DiSEqC 1.2 motor.
Irony was that Nokia Satscan was manufacturated by same Stab Italia who also made the well-known HH-100 or HH-120 standard DiSEqC 1.2 motors.

I took contact with a russian software developer (Mikhail Simonov), also passionated by satellite technique, working in Italy.
He was the author of "Nokia Mediamaster MM9800 utilities, software remote control and settings editor - MSE9800", a popular software in 2002 for Nokia enthusiasts.
Together we reversed engineered the firmware MA 1.3 and documented my supposition.

Then came the juridical aspect. Living in Linköping, Sweden, I contacted directly Nokia Multimedia Terminals in Linköping Sweden via phone and fax, and presented my discoveries regarding firmware MA 1.3.
I was invited to their building situated in Mjärdevi Science Park in Linköping, Sweden.
Here were present Nokia Research and Development Manager, 2 development engineers and representative from the swedish police.
I was asked who is behind me and if I/we intend to blackmail Nokia.
I presented myself and explained that I was only an individual person, passionated by satellite technique, I bought the Nokia 9800S receiver in good trust and wanted to use it with a normal DiSEqC 1.2 motor, as Nokia stated in the commercial datasheet of their product.
But I encountered a lot of trouble and problems when steering the antenna.

That made me investigate the firmware MA 1.3 and I discovered that it was "with intent" made to behave eratically with non-Satscan motors.
Because all Nokia advertising material stated that 9800S was fully DiSEqC 1.2 compatible, I said that it's Nokia's duty to release a new firmware which should eliminate the hidden blacklists of DiSEqC 1.2 motors and also Nokia should withdraw any existent advertising material which was not correct regarding to info about 9800S and its actual capabilities to drive correctly a DiSEqC 1.2 motor.

Nokias representatives denied totally my claims saying that their firmware was "clean".
I replied that I can prove my discoveries and I said I will sue them at the Swedish Consumer Board for false marketing and information about their product Nokia Mediamaster 9800S.

I did that.
After about 1 month, I was called by representative from the Swedish Consumer Board which asked me if I agree to achieve an agreement with Nokia and take back my sue against Nokia.
In exchange, Nokia should do the following: release a new firmware fully compatible with DiSEqC 1.2 motors, their present info about Nokia 9800S should be withdrawn and corrected with actualised correct info.
I replied yes and the rest is history: on 2002-11-07, Nokia released a new firmware 2.0.9, which worked ok with all motors.
As a revenge against Sweden, Nokia abandoned and closed its new build center Nokia Multimedia Terminals in Linköping Sweden, the new building being abandoned only after one month from inauguration, then Nokia Multimedia Terminals moved completely to Finland.

So, all satellite enthusiasts frustrated over firmware MA 1.3, must say thank you mainly to the russian software developer Mikhail Simonov, the person who helped me to reverse-engineer Nokia Mediamaster 9800S.
The firmware MA 2.0.9 has "three parents": Mikhail Simonov and Zeno Sloim, and of course... :) the Swedish Consumer Board.

Otherwise, Nokia would never have released an update to an already abandoned product.

And now some practical info to all users complaining about the error code "A2.0"


Here is how to restore the receiver:
1. Take out the mains cable
2. Push and hold the on-off button
3. Connect the mains cable
4. When 4 horisontal ---- appear on the display, release the on-off button
5. In max 5 seconds, push and hold the arrow-up and simultanously push on arrow-down button
6. The display will show "C.U.S.t" for a short time and then "Pull the cord"
7. Take out the mains cable and connect it again after few seconds
8. The receiver is now factory-resetted
9. The welcome menu is shown on the tv-screen

Your receiver is again new and ready to be programmed.

Those laughing on a faulty 11 years old Nokia 9800S should excuse themselves, I have a 13 years old and works as new, good quality receiver made in Motala Sweden, updated in Linköping Sweden.

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