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digitalb0y

Flirc trouble on my Macs

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Hello,

I waited a while to post this because I wanted to make sure it wasn't just an issue with one computer. My Flirc works as expected on my XBMCbuntu box, but on three different MacBook Pros, it sends stuck key presses, as if I'm holding down the last key I mapped. If I unplug it and plug it back in, or plug it in to a different USB port, the stuck presses continue right away, as soon as the Flirc is rcognized. It only stops when I clear the configuration or flash new firmware. I can sometimes map two or three keys before one gets stuck again, but that's it. I've tried the newest stable firmware and the newest beta firmware for long key presses, and the issue is the same on both.

Not sure if this is related or not, but ever since I configured the XBMCbuntu box to wake up to keypresses from the Flirc, the box wakes up immediately every time I suspend it. Perhaps something is stuck on Linux too? It would be harder to tell if things are sticking during programming it using Linux, since I'm only doing that via SSH on one of my Macs, and would never see a key stick in my terminal window that way. XBMC doesn't seem to behave as if a key is stuck though.

Is there something else I can try, or is there a chance my Flirc is defective?

Thanks!

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Hello,

I waited a while to post this because I wanted to make sure it wasn't just an issue with one computer. My Flirc works as expected on my XBMCbuntu box, but on three different MacBook Pros, it sends stuck key presses, as if I'm holding down the last key I mapped. If I unplug it and plug it back in, or plug it in to a different USB port, the stuck presses continue right away, as soon as the Flirc is rcognized. It only stops when I clear the configuration or flash new firmware. I can sometimes map two or three keys before one gets stuck again, but that's it. I've tried the newest stable firmware and the newest beta firmware for long key presses, and the issue is the same on both.

Not sure if this is related or not, but ever since I configured the XBMCbuntu box to wake up to keypresses from the Flirc, the box wakes up immediately every time I suspend it. Perhaps something is stuck on Linux too? It would be harder to tell if things are sticking during programming it using Linux, since I'm only doing that via SSH on one of my Macs, and would never see a key stick in my terminal window that way. XBMC doesn't seem to behave as if a key is stuck though.

Is there something else I can try, or is there a chance my Flirc is defective?

Thanks!

While I certainly wont rule out that the unit is defective, I believe I may know the cause. Flirc may be recording a signal seen from your room lighting, or even television. When this happens, a good trick would be to open up the GUI, and press the delete command. The next key 'seen' by flirc will be deleted. That way, if an erroneous signal was recorded as 'some' key, you will un link it. Let me know if that does the trick.

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Hi Jason, thanks for the response, I can try that. The problem is that I don't know what key would be a problem. There's no specific stuck key, it's alway just the last one I tried to map using the GUI. I only see this issue on my Macs, and it happens in the dark as well. I was able to program the entire remote using the command line Linux utility via ssh (in the same room with the same ambient lighting). It waited for me to press my remote buttons, and they all mapped accordingly. On the Macs, usually it doesn't wait for me to press a remote button at all, it just says that a key was already mapped. If I clear it and start over, I typically only get a couple of buttons in before one starts sticking again. On the XBMCbuntu box, the only thing not working is wake (which may be a problem with Ubuntu and not the Flirc) and the ctrl+i and ctrl+e mapping (which you addressed in another thread, and I will attempt to troubleshoot). Is there anything else you'd like me to try? And do you have a suggestion for which button to delete if all of them work on Linux and the one that sticks on Mac is not consistent?

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Also, I'm sorry I've only posted about problems. I forgot to say what a fantastic idea Flirc is, and how well I think you present it. Even if it turns out that there is something wrong with my unit and we have to work something out, I think the work you're doing is fantastic and I'm really glad someone on the XBMC forums pointed it out to me.

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I was able to program the entire remote using the command line Linux utility via ssh (in the same room with the same ambient lighting)

How strange.

Are you running linux on your mac or on another computer?

What Mac are you using?

For what it's worth, in my limited technical mind, does your mac have anything connected/on such as a camera (often they use i/r to focus).

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My wife and I each have a MacBook Pro (one 2006 and one 2009) running Snow Leopard and I tested on 2011 MBP running Lion as well. I have the same "stuck key" results on all three, with no other peripheral hardware connected to them and a pretty standard setup. The Linux box is a Zotac Zbox running XBMCbuntu RC2. I haven't tried it with Linux on the Mac itself to see if it's hardware or software responding to whatever the Flirc is sending it, but either way it seems to follow the Flirc from one system to another. I'll bring it to work and try on a fresh OS X installation. I don't have anything set up to dual-boot currently, and even if I set up a VM on one of the Macs to run Linux, it's gonna be a Flirc, an Apple USB bus, and the VM host translating whatever the OS sees and sending it to Linux, so I'd expect it to be broken that way too.

I wish I knew someone with another Flirc so I could see If that does it too. Honestly I may be able to live without ever connecting the Flirc to a Mac (although the GUI would be nice to use), but I'd really like to be able to figure out whether the wake from sleep problem on my Zbox is an Ubuntu or Flirc issue. I should have time to dig into some more troubleshooting tonight or tomorrow.

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Based on other forum posts, I was originally guessing my Macs aren't responding to the null message that is sent after a keypress but Linux is just handling that part better. The problem with that logic is that I can't figure out why it works for anyone with a Mac if it doesn't work on any of mine. Also, if I disconnect it when a button causes a stuck key, it's still stuck when I plug it back in. If it were an issue with the null message, I'd expect it not to start up with the stuck key again until I press another button.

Two tests for tonight:

  1. I don't know for sure whether I have tested the problem after programming the device on the Linux system and then trying to use it on the Mac without ever needing to open the editor (i.e - is it only an issue while it's being programmed or does a properly programmed Flirc still send stuck keys on my Mac?)
  2. I haven't begun looking at the interkey_delay setting at all yet. I will play with that a bit as well.

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That is frustrating. I don't think you should have to do a fresh install of the OS but at the same time it could be an OS thing.

As you say though, once it is programmed then that is it no more fiddling - just works.

You could try it on someone else's mac - incase it is something both you and your wife have installed.

I'm sure Jason appreciates all this feedback, hopefully something can be learned that will benefit other users.

Cheers

Chris!

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Well, using Flirc fully configured on my Mac tonight, I can't reproduce the problem at all. It only seems to happen when I'm programming it, so perhaps it's some kind of UI bug related to my specific remote or something? I opened a text editor and every remote button sends the correct key press and never sticks. I think this is good news, as I actually prefer configuring the device from the command line anyway, and I'm pretty confident it's not doing something it's not supposed to on the Linux box as well. I'm sure my wake issues are just with Linux and my Zotac box.

I have no idea why the Mac app sends it into a panic, but I don't think my Flirc itself is defective. Thanks for brainstorming with me!

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