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Phone Proximity Sensor Might be Interfering with Flirc (Nonstop Button Presses)


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Hello all. I had a peculiar issue where my Flirc was receiving a continuous button press. It was like somebody was holding down the up button on my remote. I believe the culprit was my phone's proximity sensor, which is IR based technology.

I started testing things in the usual way. I cleared my configuration, switched ports, reinstalled, made sure my firmware was upgraded.. but nothing was working. The only thing that could stop the button input was when I covered the device with my hand. I then thought that maybe I had a faulty remote with a button stuck down, so I removed all of the batteries from my remotes and Flirc was still receiving a signal. I was absolutely puzzled. A couple hours later I picked up my phone, walked away, and the button pressing stopped! I set my phone back on top of my computer and the button presses started up again. I finally figured it out! =D When my phone is within 6 inches of the Flirc it registers a button press. My Flirc is plugged into the USB ports on the top of my case and my phone was resting directly next to it.

My phone is a Pixel 2 so I hopped online, did some research and found that the proximity sensor in the phone is IR based. The good news is that the IR interference only happens when my phone is inches away from the device. Keep in mind that your mileage may vary though. I just wanted to share this in case someone else is searching the forums for a related issue.

Edited by simillarian
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Thanks for sharing. This is really good info. It may help us troubleshoot in the future.

BTW the new Apple's FaceID also uses IR projector. This may apply also to other mobile face or eye scanning technologies. I wonder if/how they interfere with Flirc.

I've just checked on my Huawei P10 Lite but I need to point the screen at the Flirc right next to it. I wonder if cameras with laser focus could also affect it. Unfortunately P10 Lite doesn't have one and my Nexus 6P has broken down.

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  • 1 year later...

Has there been a resolution to the Google Pixel 2 IR interfering with Flirc? I'd love to be able to use Flirc again but I eventually noticed that every time I walk by my HTPC with my phone in my pocket it causes button presses and sometimes messes things up. I have also been recently wondering if using a different remote might fix it? Maybe my remote just happens to be close to the same range my phone uses.

Edited by simillarian
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