XBMC TableTop controller

Here is one of my latest crazy projects. I am using XBMC as a media center software on my HTPC and I don’t like pushing pause to see “where in the show I am”. I also don’t like the remote as much. So I designed this little thing as a quick project. It’s a basic XBMC controller. It has enough buttons to control most often used XBMC features and I also modifying the software so it can interface with my home automation system. It has an LCD that basically shows what is currently playing and it’s progress (with a nifty progress bar included).

This was a quick design and everything (circuit, software and the case) was done in three days. So forgive me if the case isn’t the best looking one - I think it looks like some sort of weird industrial thing. Part of the case also unstuck from the 3D printer while it was printing so it’s a bit bent around the edges.

And when the XBMC is turned on and nothing is playing:

If anyone is interested I can of course post the schematic and the software (it’s written in Java so it should work on Linux/Mac/Windows).

Looks interesting.. Good job btw! I would like to see the guts on this thing.. Do you mind posting some pictures showing the board and such..??


If anyone is interested I can of course post the schematic and the software (it’s written in Java so it should work on Linux/Mac/Windows).


Very interested for sure. We run OpenElec on several RPi here, not all have CEC remote contol TVs and that looks a good deal more compact than grabbing a wireless keyboard and as you say the progress bar is a sweet touch. Would like to see what you’ve done in more detail and see if we couldn’t adapt it to be a wireless control centre for our coffee table.

Thanks for sharing,

There are really only two main components to this. An arduino PCB and a 24x2 character LCD (this one to be exact: http://uk.farnell.com/powertip/pc2402lrs-awa-b-q/lcd-module-24x2-led-b-l/dp/1671511?Ntt=167-1511 ). I would add a picture of the board but I don't have any - I slightly miscalculated the bottom plate so the only way too keep it on was to glue it in place. But I can give you the PCB design:

This is the smallest that I could go with at home PCB design. Anything else would probably be impossible to make with a toner transfer method. You'll see that the serial port is connected to two pins. That's because I am using an external serial converter. I am using a Nokia DKU-5 cable (they are using a prolific PL2303 controller and they are dirty cheap on ebay, but you can use an external FTDI board or anything that you want). As for wireless - I guess it's possible but it will need some work. I went with wired because I don't want to change/recharge the batteries all the time.

I'll upload the code as soon as I finish adding a GUI for the XBMC connection settings (should be later today).

Here you go: https://github.com/r00li/XBMC-TableTop-Controller

A little later than promised. I included the Arduino and Java source code, the PCB design and the case design. It's a bit thrown together so there may be some bugs. I am here if you have any questions.