Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: Total Newbie... need advice  (Read 916 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
USA
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 5
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

OK, so I have a need.  Or I should say, my wife has a need.... she'd like a universal remote that she can (1) understand, and (2) does what it's supposed to.  I've had a couple of universal remotes now that cannot control my Bose system or get out of sync with the various devices which puts her into a tizzy trying to just watch some TV - and gets totally exasperated when the remote turns on the TV but turns off the cable box (and vice-versa).

Now, a little background.  I have a good amount of experience in programming (web, C#, stuff like that) and a degree in computer science.  I've been a senior web developer for a while.  But, I have very little experience in electronics.  I'm not afraid to wire in a new outlet in my house, and I actually built a laundry room and did all the wiring for it myself.  So, I can do the simple stuff.  But when you start talking resistors and ohms and other things like that, I have vague recollections of stuff I covered in high school 20 years ago.

Now, I'm willing to learn what I can in what little free time I have (usually late at night).  So, my thought is... what about building my own universal remote?  I saw a video online where a guy used an Arduino board in combination with a bluetooth and IR transceiver to make one he could control from his phone.  It sounds like a neat project... however, I guess I'm going to need some hardware.

I have no understanding of the differences in the various boards available, what board I might need for such a project, and what other "accessories" I need to get.  Will most of the boards accomplish the basics of this?  I want to program in the appropriate remote codes for my devices or use the IR receiver to "learn" the remote signal from my remotes.

I guess I'm hoping to get some advice from someone who has already been down this path... smiley

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Logged

Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 22
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I don't have the information onhand but I am a student and have access to inumerable resources. I will repost A.S.A.P but, in the event that someone answers your question before I am able to do so,don't hesitate to contact me if you get stuck somewhere along the way.
Logged

Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 22
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Hello,
I was looking around in the android app store today and came across an app that may suit your needs. That is if you possess an android based smartphone. It eliminates the need for interfacing arduino with your tv remote and essentially converts your phone into a remote. It is available on the google play store and goes by the name remote control.
Logged

USA
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 5
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Hello,
I was looking around in the android app store today and came across an app that may suit your needs. That is if you possess an android based smartphone. It eliminates the need for interfacing arduino with your tv remote and essentially converts your phone into a remote. It is available on the google play store and goes by the name remote control.

My phone doesn't have an IR transmitter, so there's no remote control app that will work unless it comes coupled with some hardware... smiley
Logged

USA
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 5
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Well, I decided that it would probably take me a little while to work up to the whole universal remote thing anyway... so I figured it didn't matter too much what card I got just to get started with the concepts and everything, so I purchased this starter kit:

(reference to company selling counterfeit boards removed by moderator)

Looked like a reasonable price for everything.  Maybe a few dollars over, but I doubt that will be the least amount I waste on this endeavor.  smiley
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 01:22:57 pm by Coding Badly » Logged

Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 11
Arduino is just plain addicting to me.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I am new myself, and apparently in a sort of the same situation as you except for the fact I am 21 and don't have any fancy degrees. I have tinkered with the Arudino a bit as well as a knowledge of remote controlled helis and planes. I don't really know much about how to go about this except for the idea of getting an IR emitting and detecting diode set which I know is sold at my local Radioshack, and using some buttons of course. I would be interested in learning from you about how you go about doing this if you ever figure it out. Personally, I am working on an RFID door lock for my room which uses a servo. I hope you figure this project out though.
Oh, one last thing that may help a lot if you don't already know, I figured out quickly when working with the Arduino that you use pull-down resistors and pull-up resistors a lot when using the digital pins. If interested, I have a link here. http://blog.makezine.com/2009/03/05/understanding-pullup-and-pulldown-r/
Logged

Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 54
Posts: 1857
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

It really depends on what devices you are controlling.  Many TV type devices use infrared light (IR), and you can make Arduino controls to mimic existing devices.  Some controls use a different frequency than the common apps, and you might not be able to control those.  Also, if the device uses bluetooth or wifi radio waves, it would much harder to reverse engineer the protocol.  The usual place to go to for IR controls is Ken Shirriff's blog: http://www.righto.com/2009/08/multi-protocol-infrared-remote-library.html.  Be sure to get the newest versions, that are here: https://github.com/shirriff/Arduino-IRremote since the original version was made for an earlier version of the Arduino IDE, and things have changed.

In terms of hardware, pretty much any Arduino can control an IR light.  If you want many buttons, you need to think about having an Arduino with more pins, or get shift registers to handle all of the imputs.  So you might want to think about what you need in terms of keypad and buttons and battery control.  I would say get a basic Arduino, an IR receiver, and and IR LED, and play with the IR learning code, and learn how to send various controls.  It may be that for a hand held device, you ultimately may have to move away from the development boxes, but it would allow you to learn how to do the controls and get your feet wet.

I'm surprised that there aren't more kits to allow you to do what you want with minimal building.  Unfortunately, most of the stuff is the opposite direction, where you have an IR controller, and you want to control the Arduino.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 07:27:57 am by MichaelMeissner » Logged

USA
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 5
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I am new myself, and apparently in a sort of the same situation as you except for the fact I am 21 and don't have any fancy degrees. I have tinkered with the Arudino a bit as well as a knowledge of remote controlled helis and planes. I don't really know much about how to go about this except for the idea of getting an IR emitting and detecting diode set which I know is sold at my local Radioshack, and using some buttons of course. I would be interested in learning from you about how you go about doing this if you ever figure it out. Personally, I am working on an RFID door lock for my room which uses a servo. I hope you figure this project out though.
Oh, one last thing that may help a lot if you don't already know, I figured out quickly when working with the Arduino that you use pull-down resistors and pull-up resistors a lot when using the digital pins. If interested, I have a link here. http://blog.makezine.com/2009/03/05/understanding-pullup-and-pulldown-r/

Thanks for the info.  I'll keep that in mind as I get into it.  So far, I've just got the IDE setup and ran/modified some of the tutorial projects.  I just installed the add-on for Visual Studio (http://www.visualmicro.com), but I haven't used it yet.  I'm excited about that, though, since I use Visual Studio every day.  The reviews say it works really well!

Logged

USA
Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 5
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

It really depends on what devices you are controlling.  Many TV type devices use infrared light (IR), and you can make Arduino controls to mimic existing devices.  ...

All the devices I want to control at this time use IR - but I have yet to understand how to control the IR signal.  Do all IR transmitters encompass the frequency range for transmission required by the various frequency ranges of most modern IR devices?  My understanding is that to maximize the range, I may need to get separate IR transmitters for different devices.
Logged

Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 54
Posts: 1857
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

It really depends on what devices you are controlling.  Many TV type devices use infrared light (IR), and you can make Arduino controls to mimic existing devices.  ...

All the devices I want to control at this time use IR - but I have yet to understand how to control the IR signal.  Do all IR transmitters encompass the frequency range for transmission required by the various frequency ranges of most modern IR devices?  My understanding is that to maximize the range, I may need to get separate IR transmitters for different devices.
There are a few IR devices that use a different frequency, but the majority just use a different encoding of on/off pulses.  So for sending controls to different devices, you would only need one IR light.  Here are some tutorials:

One of the Arduino devices (TV-B-gone) which attempts to send many different signals to turn off a TV has two IR lights, one that is narrowly focused, but goes further, while the other light is diffused so you don't have to aim the control directly at the device if you are close to it.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 04:15:26 pm by MichaelMeissner » Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to: