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post #1 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I need help finding a suitable remote control. Right now I have an Omega MX-650.. Its dated and a pain to program, but I can deal with it and works just fine for me.
Problem is no one other them myself can figure out how to use it. I have programmed it as best as I can with the limitations of the unit. There is no way I can make it simpler for them so I need to find a better remote!

- It HAS to be user friendly, Touch screen preferred. Child/wife friendly.
- It HAS to be able to go through floors and walls. Needs fairly good range too, I will use it to control my stereo from outside.
- I need to be able to program it myself. I know there are some remotes that you HAVE to get programmed by a professional and there's no way around it. I want to be able to customize/alter if I want to. It doesn't have to be simple to program, just need to be able to do it myself.
- I know most remotes have this, but need one that can learn functions.

Any ideas???
Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 04:17 PM
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Harmony 900 for traditional looking remote with buttons and a small touch screen. Uses RF so you don't need line of sight.

or

Harmony 1100 touch pad design with a few hard buttons. Would need the RF add on.

or

Buy a tablet, a Global Cache unit and an iRule license and build your own remote with as many or as few buttons as you desire, all touchscreen...no hard buttons

Just a few choices. .....

The Harmonys can be had for under $250 if you are patient on certain auction sites. The tablet / iRule set up will cost you more. ($100 license, $200+ tablet, $70-$150 Global Cache unit (s) )
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoSport View Post

Harmony 900 for traditional looking remote with buttons and a small touch screen. Uses RF so you don't need line of sight.
or
Harmony 1100 touch pad design with a few hard buttons. Would need the RF add on.
or
Buy a tablet, a Global Cache unit and an iRule license and build your own remote with as many or as few buttons as you desire, all touchscreen...no hard buttons
Just a few choices. .....
The Harmonys can be had for under $250 if you are patient on certain auction sites. The tablet / iRule set up will cost you more. ($100 license, $200+ tablet, $70-$150 Global Cache unit (s) )


Harmony was the first thing I considered. I have had a harmony before and liked it. With the Harmony remotes I dont think the RF extender would work with my setup tho. From what it looks like the sensor sits on the shelf in front of your device and it beams the signal to everything on that shelf infront of it.
My Audio/video equipment are stacked up on 4 different shelfs. Some shelves have one on top of another on the same shelf. Right now my IR emitters stick right on the sensor on each device. It doesnt sit on the shelf.

I've also heard the RF is really bad on Harmonys. Is that true?

Right now I have an Android Tablet (HP Touchpad) with Ice Cream Sandwich, and I also have an iPod Touch. It would be great to be able to use one of those but how would it send the signals to control each device? I have seen devices you plug into an ipad (I dont have that port on my android tablet) and it sends the signal to your equipment, but I dont know how it works without that device plugged in and not sure how it would work through walls.


EDIT


After looking into it a bit more iRule looks exactly like what I need. Looks like it can be customized a lot and easy to use. And it would be more familiar to use an app. Right now we have 2 tablets an iPod touch and maybe getting an iPhone so being able to control it on all those devices would be great. If they can all be different that would be better but I doubt it. Doesnt matter either way.

Does iRule work with the PS3? the PS3 uses a Bluetooth controller. One thing I hate is that almost all universal remotes wont work with it. frown.gif
the $100 license you mention Im guessing if for iRule? I can't seem to find the paid app on the android market. All I see is a free one.

How would I learn a remote if I use a tablet/phone when there's no sensor to receive the signal for the remote I want to copy? I have a FTA satellite receiver and Im almost certain there wont be any codes for it..

Where can I find more info on these Global Cache units? Not sure where the best place to buy one, what would be the best one for me, and can I set it up myself or do I need to hire someone to do it?

Sorry for so many questions. Ive never heard of anything like this before. No ones been able to give me a good solution before and this one looks like it might just work for me smile.gif Thanks!
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 10:53 AM
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The $100 iRule 'Pro' license allows you to have up to 5 completely different configurations / handsets. You can share the same configuration between unlimited devices, but they have to be the same screen resolution.

For controlling the PS3, you need an IR to Bluetooth converter. There are many out there, including one from Logitech.

The iRule client app is free both for Android and iOS. You pay for the 'server subscription' ( one time ) for the cloud based iRule builder when you sign up.

You can get info on the globalcache.com site. The 'iTach' line is their latest offering, and offers multiple connections from multiple handsets. There are many distributors, including iRule themselves.

The Globalcache IP to IR and Wifi to IR iTach units include built-in IR learning sensors. You run a IR capture utility app, downloadable from globalcache, on your PC. Point the remote you want to learn at the iTach learning port and press the button to be learned. The translated IR code string is displayed in the app window. You can then cut and paste this string into the cloud based iRule builder.

Hope this helps,

Jonathan
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwhite View Post

The $100 iRule 'Pro' license allows you to have up to 5 completely different configurations / handsets. You can share the same configuration between unlimited devices, but they have to be the same screen resolution.
For controlling the PS3, you need an IR to Bluetooth converter. There are many out there, including one from Logitech.
The iRule client app is free both for Android and iOS. You pay for the 'server subscription' ( one time ) for the cloud based iRule builder when you sign up.
You can get info on the globalcache.com site. The 'iTach' line is their latest offering, and offers multiple connections from multiple handsets. There are many distributors, including iRule themselves.
The Globalcache IP to IR and Wifi to IR iTach units include built-in IR learning sensors. You run a IR capture utility app, downloadable from globalcache, on your PC. Point the remote you want to learn at the iTach learning port and press the button to be learned. The translated IR code string is displayed in the app window. You can then cut and paste this string into the cloud based iRule builder.
Hope this helps,
Jonathan


Not sure how the Globalcache controls my devices tho. Do you use IR emitters and stick them to your devices like what I have now? Basically you would click a button on your tablet, it sends the signal to the Globalcache through the internet and it translates it to IR or the remote code or whatever, then sends it through the emitter to the devices?

I see that it can control lights etc so thats what confusing me. How could it turn lights on and off unless you need a special device or something. I dont want to use it turn on my lights, just trying to figure out how it works. [figured out the lights, you need to use special light switches]

Also, I watched a video on irule demo and the TV it was controlling didnt have an emitter stuck to it, so then I wasnt sure if it does it a different way.

All my audio/video equipment is downstairs in the basement, but my tv is upstairs on the main floor... so if the Globalcache is downstairs there is no problem connecting all of that equipment. Problem is, unless I have to figure out a way to run the wire up to my tv How would I turn the TV on? The TV is mounted on the wall but it can move quite a bit so a wire attached to it wouldnt be a great idea.
I would have to grab the actual TV remote, then use iRule for everything else?
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

Not sure how the Globalcache controls my devices tho. Do you use IR emitters and stick them to your devices like what I have now? Basically you would click a button on your tablet, it sends the signal to the Globalcache through the internet and it translates it to IR or the remote code or whatever, then sends it through the emitter to the devices?

YEP.

I see that it can control lights etc so thats what confusing me. How could it turn lights on and off unless you need a special device or something. I dont want to use it turn on my lights, just trying to figure out how it works. [figured out the lights, you need to use special light switches]

YEP. A lot of us use Lutron programable dimmers with multiple scenes. I "hacked" my Graik Eye unit by inserting a micro IR blaster under the cover and now I have remote control of every scene for my lights.

Also, I watched a video on irule demo and the TV it was controlling didnt have an emitter stuck to it, so then I wasnt sure if it does it a different way.
All my audio/video equipment is downstairs in the basement, but my tv is upstairs on the main floor... so if the Globalcache is downstairs there is no problem connecting all of that equipment. Problem is, unless I have to figure out a way to run the wire up to my tv How would I turn the TV on? The TV is mounted on the wall but it can move quite a bit so a wire attached to it wouldnt be a great idea.
I would have to grab the actual TV remote, then use iRule for everything else?

Every device needs to be connected by a Global Cache device OR through a network connection. For example, all my devices are currently run via IR blasters out of a single Global Cache GC100-12 EXCEPT my Jvc projector and it is connected via cat5 and controled with network codes available on iRules site in the builder interface. There are several compnents that allow commands to be sent via IP address. I will be switching my AVR from IR to a RS232 cable as soon as I order one because I can get "feedback" from the receiver and it will display things on my tablet like volume level and input.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The GC-100-12 you use will it work with any light control device or are they all brand specific? So say down the road I buy an Insteon Remote Control Dimmer will that work with the GC-100-12 or I need some Insteon controller/receiver box for it to work? So maybe thats why you had to hack your Lutron because you had to use a Lutron specific controller? ..the Graik Eye unit

I'm not going to do lights right now because I need to start off small, but it would be nice to setup later on. I have no idea what Global Cache to get looks like the GC-100-12 is good just want to see what extra hardware I need if I buy that one.

I just looked and my Pioneer receiver has one of those RS232 ports too. Its also connected to my router via ethernet so Im guessing I could just control it that way. I already have an app for it but It would be alot better all in one instead of switching back and forth between apps.

One of my Samsung TVs are connected to my Network to stream movies. So does that mean it might be able to be controlled via that cat5? I dont have any app for it, its just to play media. Or does control by ethernet need to be a special feature like my receiver?

Looking at the back of the GC-100-12, The serial ports are for direct connecting to devices like the receivers with RS232. Is that also where you would temporarily connect the device to learn IR commands? (a GC-IRE? and GC-RG1?) I just checked the price and that'd be an extra $150 + tax&Shipping. Wow!

What are the relays for?
Then the last 6 jacks are for connecting the IR immiters/blasters.

If i got a smaller one like say the IP2IR, it only has 3 jacks or whatever you call them. Does that mean I can only control 3 devices with the IR emmiters? Also it has no serial port so I can't learn IR codes.. or is there a different way to do that? it also has no relay but I have no idea if they are important since I dont know what they are used for. lol
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

The GC-100-12 you use will it work with any light control device or are they all brand specific? So say down the road I buy an Insteon Remote Control Dimmer will that work with the GC-100-12 or I need some Insteon controller/receiver box for it to work? So maybe thats why you had to hack your Lutron because you had to use a Lutron specific controller? ..the Graik Eye unit
I'm not going to do lights right now because I need to start off small, but it would be nice to setup later on. I have no idea what Global Cache to get looks like the GC-100-12 is good just want to see what extra hardware I need if I buy that one.
A GC-100 device can control anything that responds to IR, RS232 or contact closure, and that's pretty much everything except devices that respond to IP commands. So if you have a dimmer you wish to control, most dimmer systems use something other than RS232 or IR, but there are converters available. There are at least two Insteon controllers that take RS232 commands and spit out Insteon commands, also return replies the other way. Same with Lutron. The idea is to install a "bridge" between lighting control protocol and something a GC device can handle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

I just looked and my Pioneer receiver has one of those RS232 ports too. Its also connected to my router via ethernet so Im guessing I could just control it that way. I already have an app for it but It would be alot better all in one instead of switching back and forth between apps.
Yes, your Pioneer AVR can be controlled either with IP commands or RS232. You DON'T want people trying to switch apps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

One of my Samsung TVs are connected to my Network to stream movies. So does that mean it might be able to be controlled via that cat5? I dont have any app for it, its just to play media. Or does control by ethernet need to be a special feature like my receiver?
Just because a device will stream media doesn't mean it can be controlled with IP commands over a network. More research needed. In general, consumer TVs need IR commands. You run a wire from the GC-100 to the TV with an emitter on the end, or use a ITach unit networked via WiFi with an emitter attached to it to command the TV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

Looking at the back of the GC-100-12, The serial ports are for direct connecting to devices like the receivers with RS232. Is that also where you would temporarily connect the device to learn IR commands? (a GC-IRE? and GC-RG1?) I just checked the price and that'd be an extra $150 + tax&Shipping. Wow!
It's quite rare that you'd need the IR learner function. There is a vast library of device commands already available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

What are the relays for?
Some things need an actual switch to function. Hard-wired motorized projection screens for example, or something that uses both wired buttons and a bizarre RF command device, like a garage door opener. For them you can use the relay outputs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

Then the last 6 jacks are for connecting the IR immiters/blasters.
If i got a smaller one like say the IP2IR, it only has 3 jacks or whatever you call them. Does that mean I can only control 3 devices with the IR emmiters? Also it has no serial port so I can't learn IR codes.. or is there a different way to do that? it also has no relay but I have no idea if they are important since I dont know what they are used for. lol

Each IR emitter jack can operate at least two emitters. Each emitter can flash several devices if they are physically close together (say in a cabinet) and the IR signal can reach them all. Again, you won't need to have the device learn any IR codes, it's already been done.

Let me give you a reality check here. What you are about to embark on is not a one afternoon project. Getting a tablet to actually control a device isn't hard, but building a usable system takes time and attention to detail. It also takes at least some knowledge of networking, a grasp of how IR works, perhaps a handle on RS232, and if you want your system to be really easy to use, a working knowledge of computer graphics and web design. You aren't building a web page, but some principles apply. Thats why folks pay an iRule Installer to do the work. For example, one installer's premier system will control a display, a media player, an AVR, a cable box, and 3 lighting circuits. The fee he charges includes the iRule license, a GC-100 device and emitters, and installation. What he provides is a custom control system built not only for the clients devices, but with a custom title, images of his devices, and no-learning-curve navigation. His system beats the big guys hands down (he calls it the Crestron Killer), and costs about 1/5th the price of a similarly functioning Crestron or AMX system. But, that Crestron system's base cost is about $6000, so not hard to beat. But you get the feel for how involved this can be. You can build the basic system with the included graphic library on an iPod Touch, and it may work, but it won't have the zero learning curve function. All of that takes either a lot of your time, or some of your money and an installer's time, but trust me, it's way worth it. You need to decide how much time and effort you can afford to put into this, then consider if you might benefit from the services of a pro. The iRule site has a listing of installers, so you can pick one near you, or PM me and I'll give you the guy's contact info and you can ask him your questions, he's a friend of mine. Just don't start a DIY project and think you'll have your ultimate solution with a few hours of effort.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks but I think I will give it a try. The wife wont care if I spend a few hundred on this, but there is no way I'm dropping 6G. Pretty sure Id be living in the dog house forever. haha.
I can take my time with the setup and if it looks like crap and I can't manage to design anything in photoshop or whatever I know a couple graphic designers that would do cheap if not free..

I think a good size for me is the Global Cache GC-100-06. Looks like it has one RS232 which I can hook my receiver to (If it allows more control and information then ethernet) and it has three jacks for ir emitters. Then I can just buy a 3-eye emitter and I should have lots to attach to my equipment.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-25-2012, 06:38 AM
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Most current receivers have nearly identical control ability with RS232 and IP. You'll end up wanting the RS232 for lighting control at some point, and reprogramming receiver controls is a pain. I'd start out with IP control, or at least research what commands are available first to see if you can do what you want without claiming the RS232 port this early in the game. If your receiver was 5 years old, I'd be telling you to go with RS232 for sure, as there probably wouldn't be any IP control, and IR is always more limited than either RS232 or IP, and has no feedback.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-01-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaDraGun View Post

Harmony was the first thing I considered. I have had a harmony before and liked it. With the Harmony remotes I dont think the RF extender would work with my setup tho. From what it looks like the sensor sits on the shelf in front of your device and it beams the signal to everything on that shelf infront of it.
My Audio/video equipment are stacked up on 4 different shelfs. Some shelves have one on top of another on the same shelf. Right now my IR emitters stick right on the sensor on each device. It doesnt sit on the shelf.

I've also heard the RF is really bad on Harmonys. Is that true?

Right now I have an Android Tablet (HP Touchpad) with Ice Cream Sandwich, and I also have an iPod Touch. It would be great to be able to use one of those but how would it send the signals to control each device? I have seen devices you plug into an ipad (I dont have that port on my android tablet) and it sends the signal to your equipment, but I dont know how it works without that device plugged in and not sure how it would work through walls.


EDIT


After looking into it a bit more iRule looks exactly like what I need. Looks like it can be customized a lot and easy to use. And it would be more familiar to use an app. Right now we have 2 tablets an iPod touch and maybe getting an iPhone so being able to control it on all those devices would be great. If they can all be different that would be better but I doubt it. Doesnt matter either way.

Does iRule work with the PS3? the PS3 uses a Bluetooth controller. One thing I hate is that almost all universal remotes wont work with it. frown.gif
the $100 license you mention Im guessing if for iRule? I can't seem to find the paid app on the android market. All I see is a free one.

How would I learn a remote if I use a tablet/phone when there's no sensor to receive the signal for the remote I want to copy? I have a FTA satellite receiver and Im almost certain there wont be any codes for it..

Where can I find more info on these Global Cache units? Not sure where the best place to buy one, what would be the best one for me, and can I set it up myself or do I need to hire someone to do it?

Sorry for so many questions. Ive never heard of anything like this before. No ones been able to give me a good solution before and this one looks like it might just work for me smile.gif Thanks!

Check out Roomie, it is similar to iRule. I think it is faster to set up & easier to use. I think it is way easier to set up than a Harmony & I have a ton of experience with them. I am using Roomie in my Great Room & Master Bedroom. I also have a Harmony 900 & it works ok but still gives me issues with communication between the remote & RF module sometimes. It also locks up sometimes until I pop out the battery & put it back in.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-03-2013, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks but Roomie is not for android. Not that I could see anyways..
I do have an ipod touch, but I also have 2 android tablets and 2 android phones. Need to get one that works on android.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-03-2013, 08:27 PM
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Thanks but Roomie is not for android. Not that I could see anyways..
.


....correct......unfortunately
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