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nicknack35

Looking to use Flirc

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Hey all im new to the forum and thanks for having me. Im after some advice currently using a wireless keyboard and mouse which i use for general browsing and for PLEX but the keyboard is not very user friendly for PLEX on my HTPC. Question is what remote or remotes are best to use with Flirc am i right in thinking Flirc doesn't have mouse control and could i still use a mouse with Flirc with a seperate remote?

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Hi,

Flirc basically works like a keyboard. You teach it by selecting a keyboard key or key combination (with modifiers) and assign it to a button on a remote, by pressing the button. It should work with most remotes but some may cause problems. Flirc is "tuned" to remotes which use 38 kHz carrier frequency. This frequency is used by most consumer appliances' remotes. It won't work properly with remotes which use frequencies too far from that, like some MCE remotes working at 50-something kHz for example.

Also there are many different IR protocols. Some work better than others and some may be unusable. For example many settop boxes (like cable boxes) use strange proprietary protocols that don't work well with Flirc.

I think the best solution is to look for a universal remote that lay good in your hand. You can then switch device profiles and test which works best for you. My personal preference is to use a device profile which uses one of the NEC family protocols (preferably NECx1 or NECx2). For example LG uses NEC protocols (NEC1 for TVs, NECx1 for soundbars/sound systems). Also Samsung uses NEC for some TVs. I don't know what Panasonic uses but @jason also recommends that brand. I don't recommend Philips or MCE as these are RC5/RC6 based. These protocols have toggle bit that changes on each key press. This means you'd need to record each remote button twice.

I'm using AllForOne Simple 4 remote (URC-6440). It's really nice universal remote and the price is really good. It's 4-device by default, but there's a possibility to upgrade it to 12-device one using custom firmware (really easy to install and fully reversible). The custom firmware also adds a lot of features. There's also a community developed PC software (for Windows, Mac and Linux!) that allows you to configure the remote whatever you want (the remote has microUSB port to connect to PC). If you can learn something about this and other remotes from the same manufacturer, you can go to http://hifi-remote.com/forums/. It's a community forum focused on providing support and extra features for this remotes.

You can also go the Logitech Harmony way. There're even ready to use Flirc profiles in the Harmony software which are supported by Flirc without any programming. They do not give you 100% of functionality out of a box. Rather something like a quick start. I don't have Harmony so I can't tell you much about them.

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I think the Harmony would be overkill for my needs and i would be using it as a keyboard also for the likes of facebook exc. Think the harmony is better for Media Centre. Which i do need but just one universal remote would be great .How do you setup the keyboard layout on the Remote cause remotes don't have letters only numbers lol/ What is the best way to set up and thanks again for the Help im a total newbie to this sort of thing lol

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I don't setup my remote to work as a keyboard in the sense of using it to enter the text. I'm using Kodi on Raspberry Pi, so I have mapped my remote to specific keyboard shortcuts to maximise number of different Kodi functions I can execute from the remote. Kodi have a built-in on-screen keyboard I can use to enter text by using direction and OK buttons to write some text. If you need full text entry support, there's really nothing better than just a keyboard. You can have both Flirc and a keyboard plugged into your system.

There are some nice wireless keyboards that are great for HTPC/Media Centre use. For example Logitech K830, which has a built-in touchpad and is backlit. I don't really need mouse/touchpad with my Kodi setup, so when I really need to enter some text I use Logitech K480 (it's a multi-device bluetooth keyboard, I also use it sometimes with my phones). I have Raspberry Pi 3 so I'm just using the on-board Bluetooth for the keyboard. But most of the time I just use the remote.

There were some ideas here on the forum how to add SMS-type text entry using numerical keys on the remote. Someone has even written some Windows software to do that. You can also use Flirc with some automation software like AHK (AutoHotKey) or EventGhost (both are Windows only applications). These can give you a lot of extra functionality.

Regarding the mouse control with Flirc, there's no such functionality. At least not yet. Only keyboard support right now (and maybe PS3/PS4 gamepad emulation if I correctly read the PS3/PS4 support thread). But you can use (mentioned earlier) AHK/EventGhost or other automation software to simulate such feature.

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