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Author Topic: IR input device  (Read 12878 times)

Offline merit

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IR input device
« on: March 05, 2011, 01:04:58 am »
Hello,
I asked over in the setup forum about using an IR dongle to generate events / trigger scenes, but it hasn't gotten much attention.  I'm wondering if I will need to write a plugin to do this?  I am a professional software developer and wouldn't mind delving into this if necessary but I don't want to duplicate effort if its been done before.

Anyone know of anything like this?  If not, any tips on where to start?  I assume that it would involve a) getting the dongle recognized and working under linux (looks like there is a project called lirc that has drivers) and then b) creating a plugin to handle it.

Thanks,
-Merit

Offline oTi@

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 07:58:16 am »
Perhaps most folks use Z-Wave controllers (handheld or in-wall), or native apps or the mobile browser GUI on their smart phones / iPods / iPads to interact with Vera. It seems kind of counter-intuitive to use IR if you can have RF or WiFi control.

At any rate, before looking at the SW side, what do you propose for HW? (Although that was probably part of your question.) As you need line-of-sight for IR, you're probably not looking for just something that plugs directly into Vera, but rather an IR receiver that connects to your (wireless) LAN. Or a wireless IR repeater plus something that plugs into Vera.

And what do you propose as controller? Presumably an IR remote.

What do you propose Vera (your application) is going to emulate for an IR device, so that my remote is compatible with it? Do I just take an old remote, for a device I don't use/have anymore, and make it the remote for Vera?

Did you do some searching for LIRC on this forum already?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 08:01:22 am by oTi@ »
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Offline Ap15e

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 08:18:15 am »
I'm not quite sure whether a Squeezebox qualifies as an IR dongle:  :)

http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Squeezebox#LOUIS4Vera

Offline oTi@

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 08:42:32 am »
I'm not quite sure whether a Squeezebox qualifies as an IR dongle:  :)
:) Sure does. If you own SB('s).
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Offline merit

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 03:39:51 pm »
First off thanks for looking at this and taking the time to get me straightened out.

It seems kind of counter-intuitive to use IR if you can have RF or WiFi control.

At any rate, before looking at the SW side, what do you propose for HW?
And what do you propose as controller? Presumably an IR remote.

I should have been more clear.  I have a Universal Remote MX-880 and an RF base station that has an IR blaster on it.  My home theater equipment is in the same closet as my Vera.  The theory was that I could use the IR blaster to send commands from the remote to Vera to trigger scenes.  The remote is programmable, so I already hit a button called "Watch TiVo" and it turns on the tv, sets up the receiver, turns on TiVo, etc.  I want to be able to add a command to that macro on the remote to (eg) dim the lights.

I have a cheapo IR receiver from an MCE remote.  It identifies as a "TopSeed Technology Corp. eHome Infrared Transceiver" in lsusb.

Did you do some searching for LIRC on this forum already?

No, I hadn't tried that, but its an excellent idea :)  Last night I got as far as downloading LIRC to my Vera but I realized there is nothing like a development environment there so I wouldn't be able to build the kernel modules (which makes sense now that I think about it, due to the extremely limited storage). 

A quick look at the search results shows me some people have already got something like this going, I will look deeper.

Thanks again.

Offline oTi@

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 04:44:47 pm »
I have a Universal Remote MX-880 and an RF base station that has an IR blaster on it.  My home theater equipment is in the same closet as my Vera. [...] I have a cheapo IR receiver from an MCE remote.

Ah, you have all the answers; that clears it up. Thanks!

Did you do some searching for LIRC on this forum already?
A quick look at the search results shows me some people have already got something like this going, [...]

Precisely. Sounds like you got the HW, and it truly is coming down to the SW part of it. And LIRC seems a good choice.

Have fun and please report back at some point as to how it all panned out for you.
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Offline denix

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 06:11:30 pm »
You can start by reading one of the oldest threads on this forum:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=23.0

:)
Veras (1, 2, 3, Lite, Plus), lots of different Z-Wave modules, Luup plugins and theater/security integration.

Offline radarengineer

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 08:18:27 pm »
Yesterday I started thinking about doing something very similar (attaching USB IR receiver to vera).

I have a Manta TR1 that I bought from a small company called Twisted Melon some years ago. I've been using it on my mac pro for about three years and its been working great. I have a few extra IR emitters lying around and the Manta TR1 has two plugs in the back for those. It looks like they are going for $19 right now, and if you don't have an emitter that is another $5 or so (available on ebay or amazon). Seems like a cheap option for an IR transeiver. I'm very happy with mine, but as I said I've only used in on OSX. I will be testing this over the next few weeks myself. The linux device info, just in case anyone is interested, is:

{ 0x147A, 0xE015 },   // Formosa21 BB

I'm debating trying to build lirc for the Vera or just putting it on another OpenWRT/dd-wrt box (I have a few lying around!) and then just passing the IR communication over TCP/IP. I'm planning on doing something very similar with another OpenWRT box and the mochad package to add X-10 support (sending and receiving) on RF and PL. There are pre-built lirc packages available for quite a few different architectures from Openwrt. Not sure which one is appropriate.... unfortunately i think it might be here which is one of the few arch's missing lirc:

http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/brcm-2.4/packages/

I'll probably get lirc running on a different router first before (if?) moving it to Vera unless someone else gets around to building the package first.

Thanks! Anyway, @merit, this is just a long winded way of saying I'm very interested in any progress you make.

-radarengineer
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 11:30:15 pm by radarengineer »

Offline merit

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 11:21:35 pm »
Thanks! Anyway, @merit, this is just a long winded way of saying I'm very interested in any progress you make.
-paridel

It's good to know someone else is interested and working on it :)  I think you are correct about the OpenWRT platform and that lirc is not built for it.  I'm not sure why, I was going to ask over on the OpenWRT boards but haven't gotten around to it.  I am also in the process of setting up an OpenWRT cross compile environment to try to build lirc myself.

I suppose I could also do the IR over IP thing.  I have a windows home server box sitting right next to Vera that would probably work just fine, but I'm going to stick with trying to make this work directly for a little longer.

I'll be sure to post back here if I get lirc to build.  I'm a little concerned about getting the kernel modules to load, we'll see how it goes...

Offline merit

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 02:09:16 am »
Update: I got lirc built.  The basic problem was that they are using the 2.4 kernel and the new version of lirc does not support it.  I had to go back to an old rev of lirc (0.8.2) to get it to build out of the box.
I was able to get the kernel modules loaded (:o) and lircd running but haven't gotten the user space tools going yet.  So far though things are looking promising.

I also stayed up way too late...  :P

Offline oTi@

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 06:05:28 am »
Update: I got lirc built.
8)

Quote
I also stayed up way too late...  :P
As long as you don't get up early. :)
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Offline mda

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 03:32:38 pm »
FWIW, i tried using the Insteon IRLinc Receiver (http://www.smarthome.com/2411R/IRLinc-Receiver-IR-to-INSTEON-Converter/p.aspx) but it did not work with Vera (with 2413U Insteon modem)

If there were some way to make USB UIRT trigger scenes on received IR commands it would be a truly wonderful thing.

I believe Homeseer supports this so seems like it could be done?

Offline merit

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2011, 02:24:41 am »
So I had to eventually give this up for two reasons:
1. Vera runs on kernel 2.4 and the LIRC driver I needed for my device (usb_mce2) only works on 2.6.
2. I realized that the dongle will only read microsoft media center IR codes.  This is a problem for me because vera is next to a real PC running media center, so they would have conflicted.

Anyway if anyone wants the LIRC packages (and your device is supported in 2.4, which most are) let me know and I can post them.

Offline shady

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2011, 04:14:25 am »
You can start by reading one of the oldest threads on this forum:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=23.0

:)


Thanks for reminding me of this that linked to 325xi's suggestion.  Satellites to Vera would've been such a cool addition, a cheap wireless way to distribute IR and Serial, heck a possibly add usuable memory for Vera to use.

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=16.msg48#msg48
Vera3 1.5.346, Schlage (3)DB (2)Lever, Kwikset (1)Lever, RCS TZ43 Thermo, (2) Vizia RZI06-1LX 600W Dimmers, (17) Monster (Leviton) Dimmers (6) Monster (Leviton) IWC Scene Controllers (1) Etherrain-8, (3) HSM 100's (1)GE 3-Way set

Offline denix

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Re: IR input device
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 11:43:00 pm »
Anyway if anyone wants the LIRC packages (and your device is supported in 2.4, which most are) let me know and I can post them.

I don't know if I would have any time for it in the near future, but having LIRC available would be very helpful anyway - can you share it somewhere, please?
Veras (1, 2, 3, Lite, Plus), lots of different Z-Wave modules, Luup plugins and theater/security integration.