Reelbox Avantgarde to Freenas

This dissembled Reelbox Avantgarde died a while back and I tried to revive it thinking the power supply was bad.  I bought a similar fitting ATX size, 250-watt unit and rewired it to the Reelbox circuit which has some wires tied into the power on function of the unit.

Most of the documentation for the Reel Multimedia and Reelbox is written in German.  If you’re not familiar with the Reelbox, it is a European satellite receiver containing a mini ITX, based HTPC featuring a Netceiver–a networked DVB tuner board, connected over Ethernet.  It came with a lot of support at one time before Reel went insolvent.

But a freestanding Netceiver could be optionally mounted in the attic next to the dish and connected to the main unit with CAT 5.  When located inside the Reelbox enclosure, a short Cat5 jumper is used to bridge the two on the back of the unit.

So the Netceiver that remained on my unit, the cool part, actually was salvageable until it may have gotten damaged while wiring it up wrong somehow on the power header.  TBD.

While reading about the Freenas project, the simple tenant of it was “use old hardware”  you only need 8M of RAM, old hard drives laying around, etc, etc.  So I had this Mini ITX Kontron motherboard from the Reelbox thought I’d use.netceiver_jpg

The photo below is a closeup of the Reel Netceiver.  It has a CAM slot to make subscription satellite reception possible in the EU.  Don’t get me started on how paid TV programming gets distributed in North America–and why TV providers didn’t also adopt the CAM/smart card system.  The picture also shows a RS232 driver hooked up to trouble shoot from the terminal messages sent from it.2015-01-16-564

So I was hopefully trying to use the Kontron mini ITX for the basis of a FreeNas system.  More information on the Netceiver from the developer here: Baycom Netceiver


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