Hard button remote for iRule or demopad - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-02-2011, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I am an ex-control4 dealer and want to automate my new house. I dont want to use c4 because I want iPad and iPhone control and they have made that pretty difficult unless you use a c4 installer.
I'd like to use iRule or one of the other automation systems that run on iPad and iPhone but I still need a hard button remote to do most control of my family room av. It is much easier to fast forward thru commercials with a hard button remote than it is with a touchscreen
So is there a good hard button remote solution for an automation system like iRule?
Or is there a better alternative to IRule that integrates easily with an iPhone/iPad system and a hard button remote?
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-05-2011, 07:47 AM
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I am also on the lookout on how to integrate hard remotes into an iRule or other iPad/iPhone system using ip-based control.

Right now I'm using a mix of automation controls and a single type of remote throughout (urc mx880), which i am happy with. I really just want to fix the backend - urc msc-400 and elk m1 gold with several custom bits handling various stuff... It's just become unwieldy. My goal is to have the elk handle automation rules only by passing requests to an ip-based controller. Right now the elk controls some items (lighting, shades, HVAC), but has no connection to the msc-400 which handles all audio and video.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-02-2012, 08:32 PM
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Did either of you find a good iPad/Hardbutton hybrid solution?
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-02-2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swassbac View Post

Did either of you find a good iPad/Hardbutton hybrid solution?

I've not arrived at an easy solution. So, I'm debating holding off until something easier comes out... or forging ahead. On the waiting front, URC has some new stuff on the horizon that will do what we need... but, it's already delayed and is not likely to be available for 6 months or more. Even then I've not seen a demo of their iPad software, so, it's a bit of a guess at this point that it will wow me.

So, the difficult way, at least for me, means some sort of computer automation controller in the middle. The reason for this is I still want to use my URC remotes via RF. So, I would need the URC remote sending RF commands to my MSC-400. The MSC-400 would need to be programed to get the RF command and send out an RS-232 serial command to a computer automation controller (running Premise or similar). The automation controller then would send an IP command to the various i-tach devices attached to my equipment.

The ipad would use irule (or similar software) to interact with the itach devices directly.

The Elk (security) would also send RS-232 commands to the computer automation controller to issue commands that are security related (vacation mode lighting and shade control, intrusion lighting, etc).

I've bench tested this arrangement and it works... but, it's going to be a bear to program. I'm guessing 60+ hours at least, just on the back end work - MSC-400, RF remotes and Automation controller). Add in iRule and I'm probably looking at another 20-30 hours.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-27-2013, 05:18 PM
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Now that this is out there, it seems something like a hard remote shell would be possible. Thoughts? Crestron thought about it a couple years ago and for some reason didn't release.

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/gadget/3490893/logitech-powershell-controller-battery-first-look/
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-27-2013, 05:34 PM
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I think it has been possible for a while. You could do a shell or better yet just embed a small android device.

I am not sure why nobody has done this yet. Maybe the target market isn't big enough but I would love something like this.

The fact is that there is not a single hard button/lcd remote solution that is targeted at consumers and offers real customization.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-28-2013, 04:08 PM
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Take a look at pro control, not consumer based though
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-01-2013, 05:17 PM
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I've been searching for a solution for this for the past two years. The two most promising ones were the big names remotes that integrated an iPod touch or the new Harmony Ultimate. I personally now use Roomie due to ease of setup. When an activity gets launched, I added an image file to the background that shows a number. I have a Harmony 700 in each zone as well. These remotes' activities don't do anything when launched. They are simply named by the numbers corresponding to the activity on the iPad. No power commands are taught...only navigation and volume, all to the corresponding devices. So in practice it works like this. Select the activity on the iPad. Everything turns on, and the iPad works as a fully functioning remote. At the bottom a number is shown. Hit that number on the remote in the room you're in, and it will control the devices in the activity you launched on the iPad. This is far from ideal, but it's as close as I could get without hiring an integrator.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-28-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmikie View Post

I am an ex-control4 dealer and want to automate my new house. I dont want to use c4 because I want iPad and iPhone control and they have made that pretty difficult unless you use a c4 installer.

I'd like to use iRule or one of the other automation systems that run on iPad and iPhone but I still need a hard button remote to do most control of my family room av. It is much easier to fast forward thru commercials with a hard button remote than it is with a touchscreen

So is there a good hard button remote solution for an automation system like iRule?

Or is there a better alternative to IRule that integrates easily with an iPhone/iPad system and a hard button remote?

Not sure if it's been mentioned but calrad sells a it receiver that uses 3 copper wires in order to tie it back into emitters in your rack so that you can "grandma proof" your setup with original remotes...
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