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Bluetooth is coming to RMIR

 
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mathdon
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:39 am    Post subject: Bluetooth is coming to RMIR Reply with quote

Bluetooth is coming to RMIR. RMIR v2.07 will include a new interface, JP2BT, to connect RMIR by Bluetooth to remotes that support the UEI Bluetooth "One for All Setup" phone app. At present we know of two such remotes, the URC-7980 and URC-7955. In place of an interface cable, this interface requires the Bluegiga BLED112 Bluetooth Low Energy Dongle by Silicon Labs:

https://www.silabs.com/products/wireless/bluetooth/bluetooth-low-energy-modules/bled112-bluetooth-smart-dongle

available from them for $10.45 or in Europe from RS for #8.52 at

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/bluetooth-adapters/8077742/#

As supplied, these remotes support downloading via Bluetooth but not uploading, as the functionality required in the remote for uploading has been only partly implemented by UEI. For the URC-7980 I have written an extender, Bluetooth Extender v1.00, that fixes this partial implementation, providing both upload and download capabilities and so allowing full support of all RMIR features. The extender is installed with RMIR via Bluetooth, so no other cable is required to upgrade the remote to full RMIR support. The extender takes up no room in the user memory and is permanently installed until actively uninstalled, and so survives a change of batteries and even a factory reset. I hope to provide a version of the extender for the URC-7955 in the near future.

The phone app provides a very minimal set of features. Upgrading to RMIR with Bluetooth gives access to the full range of features provided by RMIR, which is an enormous improvement. This new interface has already been tested with 64-bit Windows and both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux and is believed to support Mac OS X as well. It is nearly here Very Happy .
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Graham
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RMIR v2.07 build 1 is now available. See this announcement for details and the download link.

As described in the previous post, the Bluetooth interface to RMIR requires the Bluegiga BLED112 Bluetooth Low Energy Dongle by Silicon Labs. When you plug this into a USB port, it appears to the OS as a serial port. In Windows you can use Device Manager to check this. Under Ports (COM & LPT) you should see an entry Bluegiga Bluetooth Low Energy (COMx) where x is the port number. You will need to know this number to connect to the dongle.

The Bluetooth interface is accessed through the Remote > Interface menu in RMIR. As no physical connection is made to the remote, it is used rather differently from the wired interfaces. It will not be found by Auto-detect, instead it has to be selected explicitly. To do so, select the JP2BT item. This will open a dialog box that offers you a choice of available serial ports. Click the radio button for the appropriate port and press OK.

A new button should appear on the RMIR toolbar, whose icon is the Bluetooth symbol. This is a toggle button. When it shows depressed, RMIR is connected to a remote. To disconnect, press it again and it will return to normal appearance. To make a connection, press it. A Remote Chooser dialog will open, with five buttons: Search, Register and Deregister in a box marked Actions, and Connect and Close underneath this box.

There is an panel of instructions at the top of the dialog box. That should tell you all you need to know, but here are a few more details. On first use the Select remote box will be empty. Press Search to start RMIR searching for accessible remotes. If you have used the phone app, you will know that when first connecting the phone to a remote, you have to press and hold the Devices and Activity buttons on the remote until an LED starts to flash. The same is true of RMIR, so do this on the remote you want to connect. There is no hurry, RMIR will search for 15 minutes before timing out. Once your remote starts flashing, a radio button should appear in the Select remote box listing the remote by its UEI name and its individual ID. You can repeat this for other remotes if you wish.

You can now select your remote and press Connect, but you may prefer first to register the remote with RMIR. Registered remotes are remembered and will appear in the Select remote box when you next open it, without the need for searching. So select the remote and press Register. A dialog enables you to give it a user-friendly name that will show instead of the UEI name and ID. Then press Connect. The progress bar will show the progress of the connection task. Once connected, the remote will remember RMIR so that next time, you will not have to search. You can just select the button for the registered remote and press Connect, so simplifying the connection process considerably. The Close button closes the dialog without connecting, terminating a search if one is in progress.

Once connected, you can use RMIR as normal but with a few differences. If your remote is a URC-7980 then you have one new feature. Once connected, a second new toggle button will appear next to the Bluetooth one on the toolbar. This is the Finder button. Press it to sound the finder buzzer, as with the phone app, and press again to stop the buzzer. Note that the URC-7955 does not have a finder, so this button will not appear. The other difference is that initially you can download with RMIR but cannot upload. You will have got a message to this effect when you connected, and the Upload button will remain disabled. You need to install an extender, a one-off process that takes up no user memory in the remote, to give upload capability to the remote. The extender is installed with Bluetooth, no additional cable is required. Details of the extender and its installation will be given in a later post in this thread.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have added the official Silicon Labs Windows drivers for the Bluegiga BLED112 Bluetooth dongle to the download site for RMIR v2.07 build 1. I have seen conflicting information as to whether this needs manual installation or should be found by plug-and-play. I had some trouble getting my Windows 8.1 PC to show the dongle as a COM port and did install the driver, but before I did so, Device Manager was saying that no driver was necessary. Anyway, they are there if needed. Drivers are not needed for Linux or Mac OS X.

I have also posted URC7980 Extender 1.00 in the Extenders > Other Brands > Bluetooth area of the File Section. This is needed for the URC7980 to support uploads with the Bluetooth RMIR interface. Detailed instructions for installing the extender are included in the package. Note that the installation is made through the Bluetooth capabilities of the unextended remote. No additional cable is required. Note also that what is in the package is actually an extender installer which is loaded, used and then deleted. The extender remains in the remote, taking up no user memory, until actively uninstalled, so it survives a change of batteries and even a factory reset. The installer includes an uninstallation facility if this is ever required.

The URC7955 also needs such an extender, but that is not yet available. I hope to port this extender to the URC7955 in the near future.
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chuliu



Joined: 04 Dec 2010
Posts: 311
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For bluetooth to work on rimr, the usb bluetooth dongle has to be this particular model bled112? I just wonder if my no-name usb bluetooth dongle will work.

I ordered 2 urc-7980 remotes off ebay, not 1, because the shipping cost to Hong Kong of the second remote is much cheaper than the first one when the 2 remote are sent in a mail package.

I do find bled112-v1 on taobao.com for cny 65, but just wonder if it is required to buy this.
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yaworski



Joined: 22 Jun 2014
Posts: 441
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuliu, BLED112 is required right now. This is not a standard BT adapter. It can't be used like other adapters (it's not recognised as BT adapter in Windows for example).

URC-7980 uses BT4.0 low energy profile. There's no API available yet in any of desktop systems, which would allow use of it from a java application. The BLED112 helps here because it doesn't use operating system's Bluetooth stack, but has its own running on the dongle itself and exposes its API over a virtual serial port. This allows us to use BT from RMIR.

I'm still researching different approaches. I've been testing accessing BlueZ Linux stack over Dbus, but I couldn't overcome some issues yet. This would allow use of standard BT dongles (and built in bluetooth in laptops for example) on Linux, but would require manual installation of the latest version of BlueZ, as the one in popular distributions is too old.
I've been testing some approach in Windows using .net and C# and even had some preliminary successes, but in the end I couldn't make it work.
I don't have Mac or access to one so I don't even know how BT stack works there.
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Marcin
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chuliu



Joined: 04 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info and the effort to make bluetooth works on rmir.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have now released build 2 of RMIR v2.07. This enhances the new Bluetooth interface to support uploading to the URC7955. I have also posted URC7955 Extender 1.00. As with the similar extender for the URC7980, this needs to be installed to enable this uploading with Bluetooth. This is a direct port of the URC7980 extender so everything written above about the URC7980 extender also applies to this one. Note, however, that there is one difference between the Bluetooth support for the URC7955 and that for the URC7980. The URC7955 does not have a Finder buzzer, so the toolbar toggle button for the finder does not appear when the URC7955 is connected.
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Graham
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chuliu



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I received the two urc-7980 in the mail today and also received the bled112-v1 from taobao the other day. I tested it on my macbook pro and all went well. Just need to read the readme.txt in the extender zip file. It is pretty straightforward.

One question, though. When I select jp2bt as the interface, it prompted me to select from several radio buttons the inetrface type. I tested every one and decided that usbttymodem11 was the correct one to choose. I just want to ask if the choice is correct. Not sure what these interfaces mean.

Again, thanks for making bluetooth work on rmir for urc-7980. So far I really like this remote.
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for letting us know that the Bluetooth RMIR interface works with your URC7980 on your MacBook. We were able to test it on Windows and Linux before release, and you have now completed that by testing it on a Mac. Excellent Very Happy .

The BLED112 device appears to the computer as a serial port. The radio buttons represent the serial ports on the computer, which may all be virtual ones. I don't know anything about Macbooks so don't know how you can find out what device is attached to what port. In Windows, there is a Device Manager which will tell you the name of the attached device and it shows up as Bluegiga Bluetooth Low Energy. If trial and error has worked for you, though, that is OK.
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