Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Remote control

For my TV, DVD and audio equipment, I use one remote control for everything. It doesn’t have a screen, or touch buttons, and it is over 5 years old, and cost $30. How is this possible? I give you, the Radio Shack 15-1994 6-in-1 Smart A/V Remote.

Of course, Radio Shack in Canada is now, “The Source, by Circuit City”, and this remote is no longer sold, but what it has is a feature called, JP1 . This allows me to program the remote from my computer. There is a whole group of people at yahoogroups who have set up software and spreadsheets to assist with this. I created a cable using their instructions and started tinkering.

My current routine when I get a new device (not that often, mind you) is to learn the features I need from the new remote, program it in, and never use the manufacturers remote again. I can program macros (a sequence of button presses), timers (e.g. for a commercial mute for 120 seconds) and “punch-throughs” which allow me to be in DVD mode and control the Audio system’s volume.
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Current devices I control are:
Sony TV
Sony Stereo
JVC Stereo
Sharp VCR

I try to "give back" by posting new devices I have programmed, so others may copy them and use in their own remotes.

There is a newer model, the 15-2117 I think, which is an 8-in-1 that I purchased for my dad when it was on sale for $40. It does have an LCD which helps while programming. That remote was set up purely using codes known by the remote, and the learning feature for codes it didn't (like the screen projector). His needs are more simpler, and the only macro is on that turns on the projector, audio, and satellite. (Pressing it again turns all of those devices off).


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