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Advice on the simplest/cheapest compatible remote

 
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MMNH



Joined: 19 Feb 2024
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 1:27 pm    Post subject: Advice on the simplest/cheapest compatible remote Reply with quote

Hi,

I have done a lot of reading, but haven't stumbled across the specifics of what I am looking for.

I only have one IR device to control, so the remote I am looking for does not need to be complex at all. Really, I am more interested in simplicity of connectivity to my PC and simplicity of software use (with said remote).

I want to control a non-AV device (actually a vibration platform that has only 7 keys on its IR remote control). I am trying to obtain the respective IR codes for these 7 remote keys, but may end up using an IR receiver to learn the codes if I can't get the information directly from the platform manufacturer.

The entirety of my requirements in terms of picking a programmable remote involve the ability to program a macro of codes onto a single button of the programmable remote (I may want to do <n> macros on <n> buttons), and I also want the ability to use a timer/delay mechanism between code transmissions. For example, within the macro I want to emit a couple of codes and then wait/delay for a minute before moving on to the next code transmission(s), and then wait/delay again before the next code(s) transmission, etc...

Can the experts suggest the most economical programmable remote for this purpose? More important even than being inexpensive, though, I would like the cabling solution between programmable remote and PC to be as simple as possible and also for the programming procedure to be as simple and reliable as possible for this particular programmable device. I am willing to pay more for the simplicity/reliability aspect of a given solution as opposed to necessarily just aiming for the most inexpensive solution (programmable remote).

Is there an obvious choice here in terms of the programmable remote/cable pairing to choose for my application?

Thanks in advance,
Marc
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mdavej
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but your requirements <> simple. At a minimum, you'll need a remote capable of running an extender in order to build those timers, and even a minute will be tricky.

What part of the world are you in, US, Europe, etc.?
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MMNH



Joined: 19 Feb 2024
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in U.S. Thanks for the prompt follow-up. You've already helped me understand plenty by relaying that timers are tricky in this realm. Is there a remote out there that might support time delay operations natively (maybe a short sub-second delay built-in that could then be repeated to construct longer waits)?

I am still not certain I am looking in just the right arena here in JP1-RMIR-land.

I arrived here after a few hours of investigation spent refining the general technology realm where I would want/need to be for this application. From the outset, stages of investigation entailed something like this:
1) Figure out that these AV control and home automation targeted devices extenders/repeaters/etc. don't typically integrate with PC (sans power) and generally aren't programmable
2) Redirected to look at generic/general USB transceivers and any existing support software. Ended up looking more closely at USB-UIRT HW alongside Eventghost and/or Girder SW, and Lrnhelper (for learning).
3) Realize that USB-UIRT appears to be defunct and forum largely abandoned. Then decided to see what other existing USB IR transceiver HW appears to be supported by Eventghost and/or Girder.
4) Spent time investigating Promixis solution PIR-1 device (alongside Girder). Looks like it might be a pretty workable solution. Perhaps promising. Hit the [download SDK] button to have a look and most recent update is from 2014. Hit the PIR-1 [buy now] button and get 404 back.
5) Ok, continuing onward looking toward a HW/SW pairing (probably involving Eventghost/Girder and some supported device HW) that looks conducive to this application.
6) Get distracted slightly and end up here in the JP1 programmable universal remote realm.

So, here I am. It seemed worth asking a few questions (at least) around these parts...


I'd prefer to actually program a generic USB transceiver myself, frankly, at least in terms of the emitting side of the equation. Getting the right codes is (obviously) a distinct endeavor and can be left aside for the moment. Is there a USB transceiver (or even just a transmitter) out there somewhere with an available driver and/or SDK (perhaps open-source or offered with the device as a binary) that encourages custom application development?

The feedback is genuinely appreciated...


p.s. I do have an old (unused) Inteset INT-422-3 hanging around...
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from needing pauses in macros of over a minute, JP1 can give you everything that you need, especially if you buy a learning remote.

For starters, you wouldn't need to get the codes from the OEM as you could just learn them. Chances are very good that they are using a standard IR protocol, so RM and RMIR would be ready to go, you would just need to lug in the codes. And if they are using a custom IR protocol, I would write an executor for it to get you going.

To connect your remote to your PC for programming, you just need an off-the shelf FTDI type of cable, available online for around $10 or less, you just need to modify the connector.

As for which remote to get, I'll let others advise you there as I don't recall which ones are currently available.

Now, back to wanting a minute's pause in a macro, would you be using the remote in the normal fashion (ie, holding it in your hand and pointing it at your device) or would you be leaving it on a shelf to run the macro? Because, in normal use, nobody wants to stand there holding a remote that's not doing anything for over a minute. My TV takes more than a minute to warm up, so I use 2 macros, one to turn it and other devices on, then a second macro to get the TV in the right mode, etc.
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Rob
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MMNH



Joined: 19 Feb 2024
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rob.

I would be leaving the remote on a shelf (just next to the platform's control/IR receiver box). Optimally, I'd like one button press on the remote to execute multiple minutes worth of macro (including multiple timer/wait iterations of 10-60 seconds each).

But, now that I think about it, it is probably good enough for one button press to issue/execute about two dozen (or so) commands (contiguously) without a subsequent delay. Then, I think another button press every couple of minutes for the platform user would not be prohibitive (the shelf with both remote and platform control box/receiver onboard will be right in front of them)...
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off the shelf remotes only support up to 15 steps in macros, for longer than that you will need a remote for which we've written an extender as then you can daisy-chain the macros.

As for creating pauses of a minute of more, if you know S3C8 assembler, I imagine you could probably write an executor to do that.
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Rob
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MMNH



Joined: 19 Feb 2024
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so I am still coming up to speed on the architecture involved here. Am reading the Protocol Builder page here: http://www.hifi-remote.com/wiki/index.php/Protocol_Builder

Is there a better spot to read about the framework? The above page looks pretty comprehensive after a brief perusal...
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MMNH



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so I see the Inteset INT-422-3 shows as having extender support.

If I can get around the requirement for delays (which I think I can) then I suspect the path of least resistance is to stand on the shoulders of those who preceded me. And you all look like giants after I've done some more reading here. Really neat technology involved. Kudos.

I guess my next step is to purchase a JP1.3 cable (I will follow the recommendation provided in a recent INT-422 related thread) and get rolling. I really wish there was a pre-made cable that had the 6 pin connector block already configured appropriately...
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MMNH



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like maybe I was wrong about extender support for the INT-422-3. Am I correct that it looks like there is extender support for the INT-422-1, INT-422-2, and INT422-4, but not the INT-422-3 ?
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For buying a cable, all you need to know is here:
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16360

If you get a cable and start programming the remote,I will see if I can help you program a long delay in the macros.
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MMNH



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very much appreciated.

But, before heading down that path... does the plan to have long delays as I've suggested even make sense? The main question that pops to mind for me is whether such a delay would end up sucking up a large amount of battery since/while the processor is spinning in a delay loop? If the only way to delay on one of these microcontrollers is to spin lock in a loop by/while actively executing instructions (for a minute, for example) then is that whole plan necessarily predisposed toward using an excessive amount of battery? I haven't looked at the S3F8 documentation yet, but if these microcontrollers don't have the ability to innately sleep for some period of time then I would think that minutes of actively spinning (executing instructions) during a 'delay' operation could possibly be anticipated to drain the batteries very quickly. Does this make the concept of even trying to program long delays a dumb idea?

Separately, I guess I am assuming now that the INT-422-3 is indeed usable with (supported by) an extender (just like the INT-422-1, -2, and -4). Can someone correct me here if the -3 model is somehow prohibitive or not supported like the other flavors of INT-422...?
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose a large battery drain in certainly possible, especially when you consider that the normal operation of a remote is done in less than 1-2 seconds.

But given that you can get a cable for less than $10 usually, I don't think you should overthink whether you should get one, just do it and start exploring the possibilities.
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HamburgerHelper1



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:03 am    Post subject: Advice on the simplest/cheapest compatible remote Reply with quote

MMNH wrote:

Separately, I guess I am assuming now that the INT-422-3 is indeed usable with (supported by) an extender (just like the INT-422-1, -2, and -4). Can someone correct me here if the -3 model is somehow prohibitive or not supported like the other flavors of INT-422...?


The INT 422, INT 422-1 , and INT 422-2 are all JP1.3 remotes and will work with an extender The INT 422-3 and INT 422-4 are JP1.4 Remotes and there is no extender for JP1.4
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MMNH



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Randy.

So, with the knowledge that the INT-422-3 I have here doesn't support an extender then I guess it is not an option since I need at least 20 IR codes/commands to be emitted for a single button press macro.

I guess I am back to my original question about which inexpensive and simple remote I should be looking for vis a vis my application. Do I want a JP1.3 remote since that supports extender? Is the INT-422-1 or -2 a good choice if I can find one? If I can't use what I already have on-hand then I am in a green field and would like to start from scratch with the best option.

Anyone have a suggestion for an inexpensive and simple remote that will support an extender (so I can get upwards of 20-30 codes/commands emitted per key press macro)? I don't think I will need the long delays that I previously requested. Which remote meets the above ask, is hopefully widely available, and has proven compatibility with RMIR and available cables?

Thanks.
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you have an INT-422-3 already, I would strongly recommend that you get a JP1 cable and start experimenting with it. Then, simultaneously look for another remote that has an extender.
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Rob
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