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Topic:
Replacements For Our MX-500's?
This thread has 14 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Friday May 14, 2021 at 10:57
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
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38
Hi All,

I've stuck with MX-500's as long as I can, but finding replacements for failing remotes has become more work than it's worth. It's time to move on. It looked like the Digital R50 would be just what the doctor ordered, only to find out it's discontinued.

So where to turn?

TIA

(Heh. Reviewing my posting history, it looks like I end up back here every few years, asking the same question, only to find there's no good answer.)
Post 2 made on Friday May 14, 2021 at 12:44
Dundas
Founding Member
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April 2002
320
I see a dozen listings currently for MX-500s on eBay and several more for MX-600s.
New listings seem to pop up all the time.
Do you have IRClone as well?
OP | Post 3 made on Friday May 14, 2021 at 14:06
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
Joined:
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38
The problem with the MX-500 listings is they're a craps shoot. Last time I went on an eBay MX-500 buying spree I think I bought five and had to return two for not being even remotely close to as-described. One had non-functional buttons.

And that's the other problem with buying old MX-500's: How long will the buttons last? Two of the ones I did keep have multiple dead buttons after only a year or two of use.

Not familiar with the MX-600, but, if I cannot clone it from our MX-500's I'd sooner buy something new.

Don't know what IRClone is.
Post 4 made on Friday May 14, 2021 at 21:10
Dundas
Founding Member
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320
I guess I have had much better luck than you have buying them on eBay including finding some unused ones.
I have 6 in use currently and several spares.
Don't recall ever having a button failure either so lucky again I guess. Although I have not bought one in some time I still have a saved search on eBay that sends me an email when one is put up for sale. Usually get 1 or 2 notifications a week.

An MX-600 is the same as a 500 with additional RF capabilities. They can clone from each other.

IRClone was a 3rd party device and software that allows you to program the remotes on a PC and clone the setup to the remote and do much more. The files you see here:
[Link: files.remotecentral.com]
are IRClone files.

This functionality is the main reason I continue to use these 20 year old remotes.
Post 5 made on Friday May 14, 2021 at 22:29
Brad Humphrey
Select Member
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February 2004
2,230
Just to add to this.
Inexpensive remotes that could be programmed to do advanced things, have almost been universally killed off from every remote manufacture. They are all forcing people to buy their $$$ PC programmed remotes for more profit. Profit being the only reason, as it has been shown time & time again, you could get great remotes for way less money in the past. The greedy manufacture just don't want to make those anymore.

With such a void in the lower priced market, you would have expected Chinese companies to have flooded the market with options. But that hasn't happened. Sure, there are a lot of fancy looking remotes you can find for cheap... but they are all fundamentally flawed. Either the layout is crap, macros can't be programmed the way they need to be, learning is limited, or some other quark that makes them useless. These Asian companies just don't get it and don't seem to care about listening either.

The latest one I looked at was the SofaBaton U1. It looked promising at $49. But then I see it has no back lighting on the buttons (WTF!!!). And you can't really program macros for activities, not in the regular way. You have to use hard buttons on devices to trigger = useless. No reason the remote couldn't have been made to work great. Just stupid design that would have only cost them pennies more to do correctly. But such is the story of all these universal remotes out of Asia.
Post 6 made on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 03:09
edmund
Elite Member
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April 2002
13,730
The only problem with cloning the mx-500 to a mx-600 is the power buttons are switched. So your discrete ON commands would be on the OFF button on the mx-600.

I did away with all my universal remotes, just use Roku tv with soundbar connected, the only remote I need is the roku tv remote. :)
OP | Post 7 made on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 10:02
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
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38
On May 14, 2021 at 22:29, Brad Humphrey said...
The latest one I looked at was the SofaBaton U1. It looked promising at $49. But ...

I have one of those sitting in front of me right now. The lack of back-lighting and the largely useless macro capability are perhaps the *least* of the Sofabaton's failings. The numeric keypad buttons are so tiny and so close together it's nearly worthless. Learning mode is erratic and sometimes just plain does not work. I lot of the pre-canned programming leaves a lot of keys having to be manually assigned. Some of the pre-canned programming is just plain wrong. And the IR emitter is so weak I doubt it would pass *one* layer in the MTFC test. It's going back.

*sigh*... I guess I'll go through the eBay ordeals some more :(
Post 8 made on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 12:19
Brad Humphrey
Select Member
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On May 15, 2021 at 10:02, SEMIJim said...
I have one of those sitting in front of me right now. The lack of back-lighting and the largely useless macro capability are perhaps the *least* of the Sofabaton's failings. The numeric keypad buttons are so tiny and so close together it's nearly worthless. Learning mode is erratic and sometimes just plain does not work. I lot of the pre-canned programming leaves a lot of keys having to be manually assigned. Some of the pre-canned programming is just plain wrong. And the IR emitter is so weak I doubt it would pass *one* layer in the MTFC test. It's going back.

*sigh*... I guess I'll go through the eBay ordeals some more :(

You could dive into the world of URC Complete Control (CCP). You can find the MX890 or MX990 for sale at good prices (avoid the MX780). You just need to make sure the person you buy it from, supplies you with the programming software.
Those remotes are so much more nicer than the MX500, MX600 remotes. And capable of doing so much more.
Post 9 made on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 12:21
Dundas
Founding Member
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April 2002
320
On May 15, 2021 at 03:09, edmund said...
The only problem with cloning the mx-500 to a mx-600 is the power buttons are switched. So your discrete ON commands would be on the OFF button on the mx-600.

I just open the MX-600 up and swap the screen button strips to make the MX-600 the same as the 500.
OP | Post 10 made on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 18:28
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
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On May 15, 2021 at 12:19, Brad Humphrey said...
You could dive into the world of URC Complete Control (CCP). You can find the MX890 or MX990 for sale at good prices (avoid the MX780). You just need to make sure the person you buy it from, supplies you with the programming software.

I'm gonna guess the programming software runs on MS-Windows? And perhaps Mac OS X?  That'd be a non-starter, as we currently have neither.  (Though there may be some Macs in our future.)
Post 11 made on Sunday May 16, 2021 at 11:19
hdtvluvr
Long Time Member
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313
CCP runs within Windows. On a Mac, you have to run a virtual windows machine.

Have you contacted P1Repair.com to see if they have any Keypad repair membranes for the MX-500? I know he has them for the 700, 800 & 850 which are similar though not exact enough I don't think. There aren't listed on the website but might not hurt to contact them to see.

If you only have a few buttons that don't work he has single button repair membranes too.
OP | Post 12 made on Monday May 17, 2021 at 10:52
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
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On May 16, 2021 at 11:19, hdtvluvr said...
CCP runs within Windows. On a Mac, you have to run a virtual windows machine.

Anything that runs only on MS-Windows is an automatic non-starter for me.  Being rid of ever again having to deal with MS-Windows was one of the great benefits of retiring :)

Have you contacted P1Repair.com to see if they have any Keypad repair membranes for the MX-500?

Thanks for the lead.
Post 13 made on Monday May 17, 2021 at 16:47
hdtvluvr
Long Time Member
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September 2002
313
I understand about MS Windows. I run a virtual machine with Windows on my Mac for just the remote software. BTW, if you look at the MX-700, 800 or 850, it's MX-Editor software is also Windows Only.

And post back about P1Repair as to whether they have a repair kit. It may help others.
Post 14 made on Tuesday May 18, 2021 at 10:15
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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December 2006
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On May 14, 2021 at 10:57, SEMIJim said...
Hi All,

I've stuck with MX-500's as long as I can, but finding replacements for failing remotes has become more work than it's worth. It's time to move on. It looked like the Digital R50 would be just what the doctor ordered, only to find out it's discontinued.

I also stuck with my MX-500's for a long time (i bought my first one from Circuit City the first day they got em in) but eventually moved on to newer URC models about 10 years ago. However the trusty old MX-500 is still the only universal remote my wife will use in her den and bedroom (she's rejected all my attempts to transition her to my R40, R50, MX-450, MX-780, & MX-890 units over the years).

If you liked the R50 form factor, the MX-450 is the "Pro" version of that unit with a few differences and is a solid Learning Remote. Good used ones are available on eBay for fairly cheap. They're pre-programmed but i didn't like the default layouts, so on mine i ended up creating my own screen icons where *I* wanted them, then just learned pretty much everything from my original remotes and created a bunch of activity macros. As learning Remotes go it was a good upgrade from the MX-500. There are several threads about it here in the Consumer Remotes and CCP forums.
Randy
URC MX-890, MX-780, MX-450, R40, MX-500, Sony XBR-55X900E, Panny TC-P55ST60, Tivo Roamio Pro & Premiere, TWC Arris DVR, Onkyo 333 AVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray . . . .
OP | Post 15 made on Tuesday May 18, 2021 at 10:58
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
June 2006
38
On May 17, 2021 at 16:47, hdtvluvr said...
And post back about P1Repair as to whether they have a repair kit. It may help others.

If I end up using them, I will.

On May 18, 2021 at 10:15, RandyWalters said...
If you liked the R50 form factor, the MX-450 is the "Pro" version of that unit with a few differences and is a solid Learning Remote. Good used ones are available on eBay for fairly cheap.
...
As learning Remotes go it was a good upgrade from the MX-500. There are several threads about it here in the Consumer Remotes and CCP forums.

I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

In the meantime, I found an MX-500 on eBay that is allegedly fully functional and in very nice cosmetic condition, so I bought it.  I guess I'll just go back to looking for nice MX-500's.

Won't solve one problem I have.  I've taught our Apple TVs the buttons I want to use for a certain function, but the MX-500 streams out repetitions of that command very quickly, with no initial pause after the first one.  So it's tricky to use.

ETA: Just received that MX-500 I'd bought off eBay. Seller claimed its cosmetic condition was 8-9 out of 10. He wasn't kidding. This is the nicest, cleanest MX-500 I've bought off an eBay seller, bar none. Not quite LNIB, but darn close.

Last edited by SEMIJim on May 22, 2021 11:35.


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