< async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"">

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Using any TV remote to control raspberry pi - xbmc (raspbmc)

ADVERTISEMENT
If you are using your raspberry pi as a media player (using raspbmc/xbmc), it is often convenient to use the same TV remote control (infra red remote) to handle most of the features rather than using the wifi remote on a smart phone or tablet. It is also more child or girl friend,wife or grandma friendly. Often the raspbmc/xbmc freezes and it is very convenient for the non techie family member to press the magic button on an ir remote to gracefully restart the xbmc rather than pulling the powercord for the raspberry pi.

Even for me, it is inconvenient to ssh in to the raspberry pi and do a

 sudo initctl stop xbmc  
 sudo initctl start xbmc  
or more violently,
 sudo reboot xbmc  
Think of doing this, with out turning on the ssh program and typing it on a smartphone with wifi on :), so i mapped some extra buttons on the TV remote to do all these.

And here is my TV remote where i used some of the buttons for the built in DVD  player functions which i do not use and are mapped for XBMC


I used the record button to restart the xbmc, but it is possible to map any tv remote button for the purpose as long as it wont produce any valid result on the TV, while it is used with hdmi input.

If you are starting from scratch with a brand new raspberry pi, you need to install an operating system to use it as a media player. The easiest solution is raspbmc.

To get infrared remote receiver, the cheapest solution is to use the GPIO pins. Installation instructions can be seen here. If you search for HX1838  you can spot a reasonable ir sensor. Take care while hooking it on to the pi, so that you wont damage the board.


Raspbmc has the required softwares built in to it. You just need to configure it (in raspbmc settings menu)and it usually works out of the box with those small remotes like the one shown below


If you are happy with having two or more remotes, the process is simple and almost done.

For non raspbmc (starting from scratch ) users 
CLICK FOR DETAILS


 Now let us test the installation and the remote control. Reboot the pi and stop the lirc and fire up a small program which shows the signals from ir remote

 sudo /etc/init.d/lirc stop  
 mode2 -d /dev/lirc0  

If things are fine ,something like pulse and some numbers pops up in the console/ssh window. Next step is to use a program called irrecord to make a config file which contains the fingerprints for each buttons in your remote by recording the infrared pulses from your remote
 irrecord -d /dev/lirc0 ~/lircd.conf   
 sudo cp lircd.conf /etc/lirc/lircd.conf   
Next step is to run  a script using irexec to reboot/restart the xbmc with a specific keypress. Often mapping the keys to correct xbmc function is needed and is achieved with Lircmap.xml file placed at (home/pi/.xbmc/userdata). More details will follow in my next post [click here]. Please post a comment , if you face any difficulties.

A sample lircd.conf

 # Please make this file available to others  
 # by sending it to <[email protected]>  
 #  
 # this config file was automatically generated  
 # using lirc-0.9.0-pre1(default) on Fri Oct 25 21:47:45 2013  
 #  
 # contributed by   
 #  
 # brand:            /home/pi/lircd.conf.new  
 # model no. of remote control:   
 # devices being controlled by this remote:  
 #  
 begin remote  
  name /home/pi/lircd.conf.new  
  flags RAW_CODES|CONST_LENGTH  
  eps      30  
  aeps     100  
  gap     114780  
    begin raw_codes  
      name KEY_RECORD  
        1147   624  1147   660  2015   681  
        1093   700  1087   705  1077  1626  
        998   798   988   821  1855   825  
        958  1729   953   837   938  
      name KEY_PLAY  
        1142   635  2004   692  1095   702  
        1091   705  1094   705  1035  1667  
        1876  1705   980   816  1862   823  
        947  1748   924  
      name KEY_PAUSE  
        1139   667  1099   688  1988   715  
        1082   699  1078   785   953  1686  
        987   804   985   806  1872   817  
        961   833   955  1738   934  
      name KEY_STOP  
        1134   655  1123   669  1996   698  
        1087   712  1079   737  1000  1674  
        1886  1739   951   819  1858   825  
        945   839   935  
      name KEY_PREVIOUS  
        1161   622  2033   662  1112   686  
        1103   687  1088   705  1085  1614  
        1891  1714   979   823   947   827  
        1851  1741   928  
      name KEY_NEXT  
        1116   673  1084   707  1946   766  
        984   806   978   811   968  1719  
        1844  1744   933   865   910   892  
        890   907  1776  
      name KEY_FASTFORWARD  
        1173   621  2052   633  1148   647  
        1136   655  1117   677  1089  1600  
        1926  1685   982   806   972   818  
        1844   850   950  
      name KEY_REWIND  
        1169   668  1088   663  2006   683  
        1089   699  1089   707  1083  1623  
        1883  1712   968   822  1848  1747  
        928   847   925  
      name KEY_RED  
        1151   640  2010   685  1093   709  
        1077   719  1070   709  1157  1551  
        991   802   982   819  1864  1717  
        954   835   943   846   940  
      name KEY_GREEN  
        1179   609  1140   652  2015   684  
        1088   698  1088   705  1081  1616  
        1013   788   986   808  1864  1733  
        949   836  1824  
      name KEY_YELLOW  
        1183   608  2048   657  1121   658  
        1146   646  1121   673  1090  1628  
        1057   724  1015   783  1884   805  
        965  1725  1835  
      name KEY_MENU  
        1172   621  2020   666  1120   680  
        1100   700  1081   700  1114  1595  
        1003   786  1883  1724   958   819  
        963   838  1814  
      name KEY_BLUE  
        1166   622  1165   627  2029   668  
        1103   683  1107   685  1088  1599  
        1177   679   951   802  1876  1713  
        1845   836   947  
      name KEY_ENTER  
        1149   632  2033   656  1136   660  
        1110   687  1091   703  1085  1611  
        1894  1707  1862  1718   956   831  
        948   844   933  
    end raw_codes  
 end remote  

Re mapping the IR remote keys for xbmc under Raspbmc

If we need to use a specific key on the remote control for a different function on the raspbmc/xbmc we need to remap the keys. For e.g. we can remap the record button on a tv remote to stop button on raspbmc and so on. For this, create a file called Lircmap.xml and keep it at  ~/.xbmc/userdata

An example file is given below nano ~/.xbmc/userdata/Lircmap.xml

<lircmap>
       <remote device="devinput">
               <stop>KEY_RECORD</stop>
               <play>KEY_PLAY</play> 
               <pause>KEY_PAUSE</pause> 
               <stop>KEY_STOP</stop> 
               <left>KEY_PREVIOUS</left> 
               <right>KEY_NEXT</right> 
               <up>KEY_FASTFORWARD</up> 
               <down>KEY_REWIND</down> 
               <back>KEY_RED</back> 
               <start>KEY_GREEN</start> 
               <mute>KEY_YELLOW</mute> 
               <close>KEY_BLUE</close> 
           <select>KEY_ENTER</select>              
       </remote>
 </lircmap>

Notes on Recording and debugging irremotes with irrecord/lirc

A simple log of recording an irremote and debugging the keypresses with irw
[email protected]:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/lirc stop
[ ok ] Stopping remote control daemon(s): LIRC:.
[email protected]:~$ sudo lircd  -d /dev/lirc0 
[email protected]:~$ irw
00000000e17a28d7 00 KEY_BACK philipsxbmc
00000000e17a28d7 01 KEY_BACK philipsxbmc
00000000e17a28d7 02 KEY_BACK philipsxbmc

Routines
========
[email protected]:~$ irrecord -d /dev/lirc0 ~/newconf.conf

irrecord -  application for recording IR-codes for usage with lirc

Copyright (C) 1998,1999 Christoph Bartelmus([email protected])

This program will record the signals from your remote control
and create a config file for lircd.


A proper config file for lircd is maybe the most vital part of this
package, so you should invest some time to create a working config
file. Although I put a good deal of effort in this program it is often
not possible to automatically recognize all features of a remote
control. Often short-comings of the receiver hardware make it nearly
impossible. If you have problems to create a config file READ THE
DOCUMENTATION of this package, especially section "Adding new remote
controls" for how to get help.

If there already is a remote control of the same brand available at
http://www.lirc.org/remotes/ you might also want to try using such a
remote as a template. The config files already contain all
parameters of the protocol used by remotes of a certain brand and
knowing these parameters makes the job of this program much
easier. There are also template files for the most common protocols
available in the remotes/generic/ directory of the source
distribution of this package. You can use a template files by
providing the path of the file as command line parameter.

Please send the finished config files to <[email protected]> so that I
can make them available to others. Don't forget to put all information
that you can get about the remote control in the header of the file.

Press RETURN to continue.


Now start pressing buttons on your remote control.

It is very important that you press many different buttons and hold them
down for approximately one second. Each button should generate at least one
dot but in no case more than ten dots of output.
Don't stop pressing buttons until two lines of dots (2x80) have been
generated.

Press RETURN now to start recording.
................................................................................
Found const length: 108501
Please keep on pressing buttons like described above.
................................................................................
Space/pulse encoded remote control found.
Signal length is 67.
Found possible header: 9047 4522
Found trail pulse: 562
Found repeat code: 9040 2245
Signals are space encoded.
Signal length is 32
Now enter the names for the buttons.

Please enter the name for the next button (press <ENTER> to finish recording)
KEY_0

Now hold down button "KEY_0".

=========================


end

1 comment: