Like the Boxee Box remote?
Wish that you could use the remote with your HTPC?
Can’t find a compatible USB-dongle?
Let’s make one!
It’s super easy and it’s a perfect project to learn how to solder unless you already know how-to.
Required tools and gadgets:
Used or broken Boxee Box (You only need a working transceiver)
Soldering Iron (cheap starter kit will be fine)
1x Resistor - 0.25W 82.0ohm (82R0)
1x USB cable
Heat shrinkable tube (couple of 3/32”, 1/8” & 1/4")
Small plastic box for the transceiver
First thing you need to do is take apart your precious Boxee Box.
Follow this guide: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Boxee+Box+Teardown/4109
Step 7 shows how to remove the Nordic Semiconductor NRF24LU1P transceiver that is used to decode the remote signals.
There are two ways of doing this modification.
Either you solder the wires directly to the board or use the data connector cable that is attached to the wireless board if you don’t want or don’t know how to solder directly to the board.
If you want to use the data connector cable, simply cut the cable and save the part of the cable/wires that connects to the wireless board. You’ll also need to remove some of the shielding surrounding the data connector cable. Depending on where you decide to cut the cable, this part can be a bit tricky and requires some patience.
Now get the USB-cable and with a wire cutter remove the plug that is not supposed to connect to your HTPC. Then remove the outer shielding on the USB-cable so you can see the red, white, green and black shielded wires.
The RED wire (Vbus) from your USB-cable will supply +5 V. You need e.g. a resistor in order to supply 3.3V (22mA) to the board. 82 ohm, 0.25W (82R0) metal film resistor will work.
See this link for color code: http://www.petervis.com/electronics/...alues/82R.html
Cut some of heat shrinkable tube e.g 1/4" and place it over the USB-cable. Then cut some smaller sizes of tube for each of the four wires. The wire with the resistor will need a larger size then the rest. It’s important that you put the tube on all wires before you start soldering.
Start with the red cable and solder the resistor to the other red wire or directly to the board.
I used this guide to learn how to: http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=713336874001
Proceed soldering the rest of the wires (requires no resistors). The yellow wire is not used in this modification.
When finished use the soldering iron or a lighter to shrink the heat shrinkable tube over the resistor and the rest of the wires. Then put the larger tube over all four of the wires and shrink it for protection.
Windows will search automatically for the drivers via Windows Update and Linux will automatically identify the device when you plug it in.
Here is an alternative keymap for the remote with XBMC. (Personally I only use the escape tags)
If you don’t want to attach the transceiver inside your HTPC you can put in a small plastic box to keep it safe from dust.
Disclaimer: You are responsible for your own actions including messing up and burning down your computer and house.
Thanks to Philippe Kehl for the electrical ground work and idea.