NaderGator - PROJECTS : Home Theater PC (HTPC) with IR reciever & remote Date of this project: 10/17/2010 Do this project at your

own risk. As with every electronic project, you may risk damaging your motherboard or controller. I will not be responsible for it. Yet anoher project based on my custom server box. This may be the final one for this case as a home theater box (DVD player, Movie player, MP3 .. etc) with custom remote control. there are a few software options available for this porject. Since I have low specs on this box , I decided to go with view movies & play audio CD's / DVD's only on this one. I do not need the option to record movies like a "Tivo" box.

MYTHTV a great linux option if you need to record tv shows .. used along with a TV tuner/capture card like a Hauppauge or ATI all in wonder cards. GEEXBOX is the one I have picked to be used with this project. It's a complete bootable Linux OS optimized to run fast and supports the LIRC project to add remote control input. My LCD TV has a RGB input for a standard VGA, so no problem there, I had to reflash the BIOS of my MSI motherboard to ignore the keyboard since we will not be using it. instead I programmed a FISHER vcr remote control to communicate with the IR receiver I have built (serial port) see circuit below :

This is a very common serial port IR circuit. Basically, this circuit is a generic infra red receiver that accepts most remote control signals in the 38K freq, to see supported remotes visit the LIRC project page, chance are any remote you may have could be supported .. if not .. make your own, like I did. I was able to fit this tiny circuit into a standard RS232 plug housing, see below :

I could not find a smaller voltage regulator from RadioShack, so I used the standard LM7805 (slightly bigger) , but you can also use the LM 78L05 with a smaller pakcage, pay attention to

the pinouts since they are slightly different... you can use any common 5V regulator .. for the IR if have extracted an old one from a broken VCR and it worked great.

Next, after installing "GeeXboX" to the unit (pretty straightforeward) I had enabled FTP access and assigned IP to the unit to be accessed remotely (to upload movies to the HDD) and program the remote (LIRC config files) .. LIRC needs 3 config files to function properly. Initialy, you want to tell lirc to use "logitech" remote for example, and "homemade" reciever .. we will alter these settings later ... files needed are : 1- lircd_logitech (remote config file for LIRC) 2- lircd_homemade (IR reciever driver - serial driver) 3- lircrc_logitech.conf (remote codes mapping to mplayer) they are located in "/etc/lirc" and are already there .. I have used "logitech" as an example, but will later modify it using "WinLirc" to read / learn remote codes... you do not need to do anything with lircd_homemade driver .. I just mentioned it for clarity ..

Programming the remote (using WinLirc) : connect the IR dungle you made, start WinLirc, on your windows PC, and chose raw codes to read from the remote control, try pressing buttons on the remote, you should see codes as you press, if you do, the circuit you built is working good : (use com1 or com2 depending on your computer)

the rest is pretty much self explanatory, you need to click "learn" , follow the screen prompts and eventually save you new config file somewhere, then click "Analyze" to convert raw codes into something useful for LIRC. your config file should look something like this : # # this config file was automatically generated # using WinLIRC 0.6.5 (LIRC 0.6.1pre3) on Wed Oct 13 22:33:18 2010 # # contributed by Nader # # brand: fisher # model: # supported devices: # begin remote name fisher bits 11 flags SPACE_ENC eps 25 aeps 100 header 2423 554 one 1143 554 zero 669 554 ptrail 669 post_data_bits 8 post_data 0xC9 gap 13122 toggle_bit 0 begin codes UP DOWN OK

0x00000000000004F5 0x00000000000002F5 0x0000000000000685

end codes end remote once that is done, replace the contents of "lircd_logitech.conf" with this file, then edit "lircrc_logitech" and replace the menu key assignments to your liking.. (names should match extacly the way you have it in your .conf file (ex. UP, DOWN, OK .. etc) begin prog = mplayer button = TV config = run /usr/bin/tvswitch end begin prog = mplayer button = 5 config = pause end begin prog = mplayer button = 8 repeat = 1 config = seek -120 end begin prog = mplayer button = 2 repeat = 1 config = seek 120 end begin prog = mplayer button = 4 repeat = 1 config = seek -10 end begin prog = mplayer button = 6 repeat = 1 config = seek 10 end begin prog = mplayer button = 1 repeat = 1 config = volume 1 end begin prog = mplayer button = 7 repeat = 1 config = volume -1 end

begin prog = mplayer button = FULL_SCREEN config = osd end begin prog = mplayer button = MINIMIZE config = menu toggle end begin prog = mplayer button = SOURCE config = set_menu open_file end begin prog = mplayer button = OK config = menu ok end begin prog = mplayer button = VOLconfig = menu cancel end begin prog = mplayer button = UP repeat = 2 config = menu up end begin prog = mplayer button = DOWN repeat = 2 config = menu down end begin prog = mplayer button = 3 config = audio_delay 0.1 end begin prog = mplayer button = 9 config = audio_delay -0.1 end we are done here, ftp those 2 files back to your linux box and restart it .. you should now be able to use your remote control with GeexBox ... don't forget to plug in the IR receiver to the COM port before you boot ..

hard drive .. it's plug & play !

one nice thing about GeexBox is you can put your AVI movies (or other formats) on a USB stick and plug it into the box and open the files from the USB stick and watch the movie .. no need to even copy it into the


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