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Don't know if I'm doing something (or have done something) wrong

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I don't know if I'm doing something (or have done something) wrong or if my Flirc device is simply defective.

I've looked at a bunch of the FAQs and various Forum posts and found lots of semi-relevant stuff, but no clear answers to my Flirc problem(s), so I decided it was best to start a new topic and explain things from the beginning...

 

I just bought a Flirc-USB to use with a HarmonyOne remote and a FireTV box. As I understood (or misunderstood?) the Flirc website, the Flirc-USB should work straight out of package for my setup (w/no Flirc custom programming) by

  1. setting up Harmony Device using its programming tool,
  2. choosing Flirc under Media Center, and then
  3. naming it Kodi or XBMC (not clear if name choice is even important).

However, when I loaded the new programming into the HarmonyOne and tried to control FireTV, nothing would happen.

I next tried using the Flirc GUI (v1.4.4) on Windows 7 Pro/64-bit. After fighting through some of the problems others have also had with getting things the GUI up and running (such as keyboard and mouse going dead), the GUI seems to communicate with the Flirc-USB because it understands when the Flirc is plugged into a USB port and – using Force FW Upgrade under File>Advanced – it claimed to upgrade the Flirc's firmware from version 3.6 to 3.8. (I should mention that along the way, I also tried some of the stuff above and below on a Windows 10 computer.)

Yet, when I tried to program a key, the GUI gave no indication that programming was working...  the selected key just kept flashing after I pressed a button on the remote. I tried different keys and different remote buttons (even under different Controllers choices) and none gave any feedback to indicate that programming was working. When I'd re-click the key on the GUI with my mouse (or choose a different key), it would say "Recording stopped," but there was certainly no visual feedback to show it was seeing the button-presses on the remote. Then (not thinking it might be a destructive step) I decided I'd better erase anything I'd done and start over, so I used File>Clear Configuration

It wasn't until then that I started wondering "maybe the GUI isn't designed to provide feedback that a button has been pressed?" If that was the case, perhaps programming actually was working? I tried to test that possibility by...

  1. saving a configuration file,
  2. programming a few more keys (or at least trying to),
  3. saving a second configuration file, and then
  4. comparing the two files (in a couple of different ways).

There was no difference between the two files and both were only 5-bytes long. When I saw how small the files were, I realized the Clear Configuration I'd done might have been destructive and that the built in Controller profiles might be gone.
So, QUESTION#1 is do I need to do something to restore the Flirc to factory defaults?

Even if Clear Configuration was destructive, the programming of keys using the GUI doesn't seem to be doing anything, so something very basic seems to be wrong.

QUESTION#2a: What is the correct behavior of Flirc programming GUI:  Should I be able to see visual feedback when I press remote button?

QUESTION#2b: If there isn't visual feedback, what's the easiest or most definitive way to tell if it's working?

QUESTION#3: How can I best test if my Flirc-USB is defective?

And, the main question, of course, is where can I find the most complete guidance for a Flirc novice on getting up and running with the combination of hardware I described?

Edited by ajgmisc

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Hi.

You can't delete built-in profiles by executing "Clear configuration" option. They are built into the firmware itself and they are also not saved into the config file. There's only an option to turn them on and off in Flirc GUI's advanced options.

Flirc software gives a feedback when you record a remote button by changing message "Recording" to "Recorded successfully" (or something like that - I'm writing from memory now). In your case there's definitely something wrong somewhere.

Have you tested your HarmonyOne remote with a different hardware (for example your TV)? Do you have some other remote you can test Flirc with? It can even be a TV remote for your TV - this is only to do the test to check if Flirc is receiving IR signal.

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Thanks for the fast reply, yawor!

The reason I have a HarmonyOne is that I have IR remotes nearly coming out of my ears.  And your advice was good:  when I tried the TV remote, the Flirc GUI immediately showed me the kind of feedback of successfully recognizing the button presses that I'd expected (and that you described).  So, that's an indication that the Flirc-USB may well not be defective.

It seems like a good next step would be to use the Flirc programming GUI to test whether the device I added to the HarmonyOne's programming is actually transmitting the IR codes that the Flirc expects for a Kodi/XBMC device.  But, given my difficulty with the combination of the HarmonyOne and the Flirc so far, it's not obvious to me what the best way to go about that is.  Or, you may have different advice altogether for a better next step?

Addendum:  The HarmonyOne has a touchscreen.  When in "Device" (rather than Activity) mode, the screen shows custom buttons for the chosen device... buttons that aren't present among the HarmonyOne's hardware buttons.  The custom buttons it's showing for the device I created by choosing Media Center Computer and then manufacturer=Flirc show lots of buttons that don't appear to map to the keys illustrated on the Flirc GUI's Kodi Controller profile.  Perhaps this is a clue that the Harmony programming software didn't create the correct type of device?

Edited by ajgmisc

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You can check if the remote is sending anything at all. For that you can use your phone's camera. Digital cameras are more sensitive to IR light than human eye and when you point your remote at the lens and press a button you should see flashes of light in the camera app.

BTW you should have a Flirc/Kodi or Flirc/XBMC profiles in the HarmonyOne - not just Flirc.

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Sorry for the verbosity.  I figure it's better to err on the side of providing a bit too much info rather than risking not providing quite enough...

I'm 100% certain the IR emitters on the HarmonyOne work because all the other "Activity" profiles I have created (for activities that don't involve the Amazon FireTV) work fine.

I describe my test, using my cellphone's camera, of whether the button presses on the HarmonyOne are transmitting any IR for the Flirc virtual device below, but I want to respond to your "BTW" first. 

BTW you should have a Flirc/Kodi or Flirc/XBMC profiles in the HarmonyOne - not just Flirc.

When adding the Flirc device to my Harmony's programming, I'd been getting explicit lists for Device type (in which I was choosing Media Center PC) and Manufacturer (in which I was choosing Flirc).  However, I was not getting an explicit list of "Models" to choose from, just a blank that I could fill in with whatever string I wanted.  Your comment made me think that either my HarmonyOne's programming app or the remote's firmware (or both) might not be up to date.

I'd tried updating both the app and the remote's firmware before I added the Flirc device the first time, but I checked again. The programming app was definitely up to date, but a second round of firmware updates may have been applied to the remote.  The updater had given no indication that it might need to be run iteratively (this time I ran it twice to ensure -- as best I could -- that it was fully updated;  unfortunately the updater doesn't make it easy to compare the before and after states.)

Nevertheless, after deleting my original Flirc device definition in the remote's programming and recreating it, the app is still not giving me an explicit list of choices for Model (see image below).  This seems weird to me, but for lack of other good options, I just entered XBMC.  The app seemed to understand that entry because the created virtual device showed Model=Kodi.  So I guess the Harmony programming app is understanding XBMC even though it doesn't list any explicit choices.

 

So, with the remote's programming redone, I used my cellphone's camera to see if the remote's IR LED's were flashing when I pushed buttons (with the remote set to be the Kodi virtual remote), and the LEDs definite flash for every button-push I tried.  Yet, with the Flirc GUI fired up, my Flirc inserted in a USB port (and recognized by the GUI), and the GUI's Controllers menu set to Kodi, it shows no evidence of seeing button presses on the remote.

The current "bottom line" is that I cannot observe any evidence on the Flirc GUI -- regardless of which Controller profile I set -- that the Flirc device is seeing button presses on the HarmonyOne, no matter what device or activity I set it for.

 

 

20160906@084139 capture.png

Edited by ajgmisc

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This is strange. But I'm not a Harmony user so I don't know how else I can help you with this :(. Maybe there's some setting in the Harmony software you also need to enable or disable. I think there already are HarmonyOne users here on the forum so it should work.

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Thanks for your help, yawor, and for confirming that I'm not a complete idiot in finding the current evidence confusing.  If the plea below doesn't yield any replies, I'll start a new post that's more specific to where I now know the problem lies.  If you come up with any other ideas of tests that may help pinpoint my problem, please let me know!

HarmonyOne users out there:  I'd appreciate it if you could help me figure out why the virtual Kodi device I've created in my HarmonyOne doesn't seem to produce IR output that the Flirc GUI (set to the Kodi controller profile) can see.  Using other, non-programmable IR remotes, I can get the Flirc GUI to react to button presses, but not with the HarmonyOne remote which I've supposedly programmed to have Kodi-specific buttons.

Update
I discovered the problem... It turned out to be isolated to the computer I was using, which has a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.  It seems the Flirc GUI was for some reason able to see the output of the computer keyboard in place of the IR transmissions of the HarmonyOne.  I haven't thought through it enough to figure out how that's possible, but when I tested the HarmonyOne programming via the Flirc GUI on a different computer, it showed exactly what I'd been expecting.

______________________________

HOWEVER, I still have a problem:  I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get the "back" (as in go back to the previous level) button to function and I can tell from the various threads I've found, that I'm not alone in having this problem. I've tried all the settings mentioned in those threads for which people claim success, but none of them have worked for me.  If anyone can give me some guidance or ideas, I'd appreciate it very much!

Edited by ajgmisc

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Original mystery solved (as explained in "Update" in my previous post in this thread).
But I have one lingering problem (also noted in the previous post):

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get the "back" (as in go back to the previous level) button to function and I can tell from the various threads I've found, that I'm not alone in having this problem. I've tried all the settings mentioned in those threads for which people claim success, but none of them have worked for me.  If anyone can give me some guidance or ideas, I'd appreciate it very much!

Edited by ajgmisc
Mystery solved, but with one lingering issue.

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One problem i had with my harmony one remote was in using the harmony setup software. For some reason the buttons weren't actually being assigned to physical buttons on the remote - only appearing within the device menu. After I went back in and fixed that, assigning commands to hard buttons on the remote -it worked fine.. 

 

What i did to get things up and running: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R10KH5OSDU2MGZ/ 

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