Wednesday, December 03, 2014

You pressed a button

The DVD player will actually be in a cabinet with solid wood doors - that is, no IR thru the doors and I'd like to keep the doors closed. The DVD player is used for Netflix, Amazon, etc. so we rarely have to touch it. I'd prefer to be able to point the remote at the TV so I need an IR repeater. It is only about $25 to buy a repeater but I thought it would be an interesting project and I have most of the parts around. Ultimately, I plan to use a 555 with some basic supporting components (IR Extender Mark 4) in the cabinet powered via the USB port from the Wii or DVD player. A wire will have to run thru the wall to the IR receiver which will be right below the TV. I had some doubts that the signal from the IR receiver would go thru such a long run with multiple connectors so I did a couple simple tests before building the Mark 4.

I used the very basic test setup from

When the code from that page is uploaded to the Arduino and then you press a button you see "You pressed a button" on the serial monitor. That worked as expected. It was nice to get validation that the remote was 38kHz - I assumed it would be because that's what I've read that most are these days but nothing is ever simple.
Between the cabinet and the TV, I've run 1 HDMI, 1 Component, and 2 ethernet cables. I don't actually need ethernet at the TV at the moment so I'm using 1 of them for the IR repeater. So there is a Cat 5e run of about 10 feet in the wall, 2 jacks / plugs, and then about 4 feet of cable at each end for connecting to the components.

I was pleased to read, "You pressed a button" in the serial monitor when I used the remote. The receiver appears to be plenty sensitive still as I don't have to be close or pointing the remote at the IR receiver.

I feel like it is safe to move on and build the Mark 4.

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