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#1 VanSmak

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:57 AM

Just received my flirc with 1.0 firmware and installed with the .97 software, I'm experiencing issues with XBMC (Pre-Eden), after programming my Harmony Remote (Device: MCE Keyboard). I need to press every key twice before it will register with XBMC. Any advice?

Running Windows 7 x64

#2 Chris!

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:07 AM

Depending on how much fiddling you want to do; have you tried using a different device on your harmony (perhaps give:
plex
plex player
a try?)

I used to use MCE keyboard but found that some commands were too similar and flirc didn't like them

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#3 jason

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 04:52 PM

Just received my flirc with 1.0 firmware and installed with the .97 software, I'm experiencing issues with XBMC (Pre-Eden), after programming my Harmony Remote (Device: MCE Keyboard). I need to press every key twice before it will register with XBMC. Any advice?

Running Windows 7 x64


Hey VanSmak, There is a strange issue with these certain remotes. I will eventually fine tune this with the firmware. Basically, the remote sends out a unique key code every other consecutive key press, for the same physical button.

The quick remedy to this is to record each button twice, and "catch" each unique key code for every button. Let us know if that does the trick.

#4 eskro

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:45 AM

im experiencing this also,,,
example, when browsing XBMC's main menu,
using the arrows on my Harmony650,
i have to press the same arrow button twice before seeing it move on screen...
and if i use my HP IR Receiver, no issues at all! its navigation is perfect!

#5 Chris!

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:46 AM

In case anyone picks up on this thread, the issue seems to be resolved if you don't use a microsoft device for the harmony remote.
See sticky on subforum for solution.

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#6 eskro

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:30 PM

yes, very true!
users can also try this Here
:)

#7 rascal

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 08:09 PM

https://h10025.www1....product=3814861 This HP MCE remote has the same problem as described above. Recording each button twice in a row solves it.

#8 mjkuwp94

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:53 AM

The so-called strange issue seems to be part of the RC6 protocol (little bit of research on Google led right to it). The last transmitted bit is a toggle bit that allows the receiver to distinguish multiple key presses. I hope you can correct the firmware and/or the GUI soon - the workaround to program keys will be pretty tedious and will be hit and miss. I have been having good results except for this issue.

#9 eskro

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 05:37 AM

yeah but again, we dont suggest MCE remotes with flirc.
best to use a TV remote or an Harmony remote.

#10 mjkuwp94

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 12:52 PM

eskro, I didn't see where MCE remotes were not suggested. Actually I find that suggestion a little unreasonable as this device is intended for "your PC media center" according to the front page of the Flirc website.

I just tried an old Sony DVD remote; mapped the keys to FLIRC and it worked shockingly better. However, the Windows media center remotes should be supported because they will have close to the appropriate keys for a media center. Until then Flirc team, how about a more prominent warning about the type of remotes supported.

#11 Chris!

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 01:26 PM

Until then Flirc team, how about a more prominent warning about the type of remotes supported.

I think this is more than fair enough. Though it is hard to achieve this simply.

To elaborate on this issue with MCE remotes, it's basically due to non-standard i/r frequencies.
http://forum.flirc.t...findpost__p__55

So a warning would have to be very technical (i.e. frequencies outside of 38kHz may not work as expected) - how would you know that about your remote(?)
Or name specific remotes (At the moment Microsoft remote - MCE, XBOX remotes) - of which it would be difficult to list all of them.

I'll leave it it up to Jason (as it's his project), but mjkuwp94 does raise a valid point.

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#12 mjkuwp94

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:24 PM

I am guessing the issue isn't the 38kHz nominal. A Sony remote worked really well and is likely at 40kHz. The Media center remote is 36kHz. I *assume* Flirc uses a 38kHz receiver nominal so it would still have sensitivity for for the other modulation frequencies used.

I have been testing the remotes with an Arduino board, an IR receiver breakout board from Sparkfun and a library by Ken Shirriff. I checked the modulation frequency with an oscilloscope. I am by no means an expert but unofficial information on the RC6 protocol seems to be readily available. For my solution, I am simply going to find a Sony universal remote and give up on the Windows media center remotes (or any Phillips RC6 protocol remote?). It will be far quicker and easier for me to solve the problem that way. It doesn't change my assertion that the Flirc product should support those remotes. Not to get too far off topic... but a big reason I am sticking with the Flirc is the fact it can wake up my HTPC from USB.

#13 eskro

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:44 PM

I'll leave it it up to Jason (as it's his project), but mjkuwp94 does raise a valid point.


it is indeed a valid point...
one might think FLIRC's bulletproof but in fact,
as it is today, its not...
not necessarely FLIRC's fault but,
since we encourage users not to plan on using FLIRC with a windows MCE/RC6 remote,
that should be appear somewhere on the main website...

#14 jason

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:22 PM

@mjkuwp94

As mentioned by everyone, your concerns are extremely valid. I'm using if not the same, but an extremely similar IR receiver you mentioned on sparkfun.

You actually won't be able to tell the modulation frequency with that specific part. The output of this part is a noise free, demodulated signal from the received IR signal. If you point your remote at this part, and shoot, you will be able to receive the output on your scope because 56kHz is still within the wide frequency band of the on part filter. However, when passing through the AGC, it could have unpredicted results on the output which will show up as jitter, or worse. You can try this experiment by looking at the output and comparing your scope shot next to the IR receiver, and again when emitting a signal from the other side of the room, where the frequency effects would be more exaggerated.

My algorithm will be fine tuned in the future for this, and eliminate the need for double recording (is that your primary concern?). But overall, I have to play a lot of tricks in order for this RC6 protocol to work which is outside the specified 38kHz center frequency of my receiver.

All this being said, there are some RC6 protocols which are 38kHz, in which the only problem would be the double presses issue, in which you would need to record your button twice. If this truly what you are seeing, how is the performance of your flirc when you have done so? I've often found RC6, regardless, doesn't seem as solid.

Thanks so much mjkuwp94.

#15 mjkuwp94

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:47 PM

Just realized I was not complete or detailed enough in my earlier post - sorry!

I also have a Tek 2235 Analog scope and a DSO Nano and a bare IR Receiver Diode. These parts are what I used to measure the modulation frequency. The DSO Nano waveforms can be captured and analyzed on the PC and I think the Nano just barely does have enough bandwidth to pick up the modulation.

I get your point about the jitter and if I get some time I will re-measure the modulation frequency on my two 'Windows' remotes which are actually HP and Rosewill brand. My home theater components are Panasonic and Sony so it seems I will have good luck if I use some other remote controls.

I think the biggest thing I was reacting to is that the front page of FLIRC makes it very clear in capital letters that ANY remote will work though this is not totally accurate. Leaving out all remotes designed for Windows MCE seems like a big hole.

I had initially planned to do my remote integration with Arduino and the Ken Shirriff library but the deeper I get I see I don't have enough time for this. I am sticking with Flirc for now and will either use a Sony universal remote or pick up a Harmony remote since it seems those are highly endorsed by the community.

#16 jason

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 05:54 AM

Just realized I was not complete or detailed enough in my earlier post - sorry!

I also have a Tek 2235 Analog scope and a DSO Nano and a bare IR Receiver Diode. These parts are what I used to measure the modulation frequency. The DSO Nano waveforms can be captured and analyzed on the PC and I think the Nano just barely does have enough bandwidth to pick up the modulation.

I get your point about the jitter and if I get some time I will re-measure the modulation frequency on my two 'Windows' remotes which are actually HP and Rosewill brand. My home theater components are Panasonic and Sony so it seems I will have good luck if I use some other remote controls.

I think the biggest thing I was reacting to is that the front page of FLIRC makes it very clear in capital letters that ANY remote will work though this is not totally accurate. Leaving out all remotes designed for Windows MCE seems like a big hole.

I had initially planned to do my remote integration with Arduino and the Ken Shirriff library but the deeper I get I see I don't have enough time for this. I am sticking with Flirc for now and will either use a Sony universal remote or pick up a Harmony remote since it seems those are highly endorsed by the community.


Thanks so much for the reply. Yes, I agree with you, and I'll make this a priority. I started doing some homework, I'm going to try and get to the bottom of this over the next few weeks. I didn't quite follow if it was broken for you entirely, or if you just needed to do as the thread suggested and record multiple times.

I don't use a traditional way of 'clocking in ir'. Without going into detail too much detail, it wont be as easy as adjusting for the last extra bit, but will require a good amount of work in my firmware.

Thanks again.

#17 mjkuwp94

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

The HP and Rosewill remotes designed for WMC (Windows Media Center) both worked the same way. After matching commands to Flirc, they worked but - not really. I eventually figured out that approximately only every other keypress did anything. After further research, this thread included I figured out the issue seemed to be the toggle bit.

At one point, I reached the maximum memory of the Flirc so I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of programming each button twice and so I never gave that a good try. I may try again if I find some time - no promises.

Would I need to go through the entire button programming sequence twice? Like:

Press play on Flirc GUI
Press Play on MCE remote
Press play on Flirc GUI
Press Play on MCE remote

?

I can see how that might work but it sure seems tedious and also would it take up double the normal memory? It would be much nicer if you could somehow use the desktop application (gui) to decode the remote protocol and assist with the Flirc programming. It could then recognize the RC6 protocol and prompt the user to press the key two additional times, for example.

I admit after reading a few of the protocol specs, my head is totally spinning. I didn't anticipate these things would be so complicated.

One more thing - I checked the modulation frequency on both my MCE remotes again. I came up with 36 kHz again. I used the DSO Nano - I have to set the timebase so that I just see the very beginning of the command and also scale and offset the voltage (essentially zooming way in) but then the ripple is extremely easy to see.

It doesn't matter to me personally what priority you put on something like this. I am sure it will help the project in the long run but for me I want results very soon so I am trying a combination of Sony remotes and Harmony 300.

I do like the Flirc concept a lot and that is why I was willing to abandon the MCE remotes in the short term.

#18 mjkuwp94

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:41 PM

follow up.

yes, I found that if I do the routine of programming each MCE button twice then I get good results. As I mentioned above it's not so fun but maybe i am lazier than most!

one issue I can think of is that with this routine some applications will not respond correctly to fast-forward commands. I recall that sometimes one press is 1X forward speed, 2 presses is 2X forward, etc. I didn't test it but I guess the end user (application) will not be able to respond correctly.

btw, you can see in another thread that I am using a keypress application in Windows provided by user NJKA to do the testing.

#19 jason

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:41 PM

follow up.

yes, I found that if I do the routine of programming each MCE button twice then I get good results. As I mentioned above it's not so fun but maybe i am lazier than most!

one issue I can think of is that with this routine some applications will not respond correctly to fast-forward commands. I recall that sometimes one press is 1X forward speed, 2 presses is 2X forward, etc. I didn't test it but I guess the end user (application) will not be able to respond correctly.

btw, you can see in another thread that I am using a keypress application in Windows provided by user NJKA to do the testing.


Thanks for the followup, I'm going to get this resolved in a firmware update.

#20 NJKA

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

Another option is to adjust the "Keyboard Properties" "Repeat rate" setting.

From the Windows 7 Start menu type "keyboard" and select "Keyboard" under the "Control Panel" group

In the "Keyboard Properties" dialog that appears adjust the "Repeat delay" & "Repeat rate" sliders until the problem goes away.

Note this dialog effects all Keyboard Devices attached not just the Flirc device.

You may also experience this problem with Harmony remotes depending on what your "Inter-key Deley" delay is set too.


Neal




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