Lazy Part 2

Part 2: Programming the Remote

I got the remote control in the mail today. It's a beautiful, silver OneForAll 8910.

Just to get things warmed up, I found the code for my TV and entered it. I got that up and running right away. Early win. Nice.

Uncharted Territory

I tried out the IR.exe and Remote Master software. It turns out there's one more handy piece of software, IrToWav. I'll explain that in a minute.

In brief, Remote Master creates the key mapping for the remote (which button should send what signal), IR.exe converts that map to a binary file the remote can understand, and IrToWav generates a .wav file that can load the upgrade to the remote.

How slick is that? The remote has a modem in it for one-way uploads of information. If you call OneForAll technical support, they can have you hold your remote up to the phone and load new devices and protocols. If you use IrToWav, you can do the same thing, but with a custom program you created. You don't even need the JP-1 cable to write to this remote.

There's a great tutorial on all of this on the hifi-remote site, and another good one here. The hifi-remote forums are also a gold mine of great information. If you just take two hours to read the sticky posts in the beginner forums and search for your particular remote, you'll be a beginner no longer.

To control the music player on my PC, I just selected a common universal code for a CD player (for some reason, code 0157 is used for 16 different CD players in my remote's catalog, but not for mine). I figure choosing a common code means there's a low probability that its carrier signal will be out of range for my IR receiver or some other nonsense. I plan to use these play controls to manipulate the Music Engine on my screen. I must say that this step of the process went smoother than I could have imagined. The remote is already controlling my whole home entertainment system (except PC), and I had a super-easy graphical interface to remap all of the buttons.

I didn't need the $14 JP-1 Cable to do this, but since I already ordered it, I'm adding it to the budget. I'll use it later when I'm in a nerdy mood.

Budget update: $39.84, 7 hours