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IR control for RF devices?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I recently bought one of those motorized tv stands to keep my living room a little more de-cluttered. It was a good deal, so I didn't really pay attention to the control protocol, but now that it's here I realize the lifting mechanism is controled by a junky little RF remote.

Does anyone sell any kind of 'universal remote' for RF devices that I can control with IR? I really want to control this cabinet with my Harmony One, and put the little RF remote in a drawer. (Every kind of search I do with 'IR' 'RF' and 'Control' comes up with the many RF extenders for IR control like a Harmony 890, etc...).
post #2 of 24

sure would be nice if there was though...
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok, I REALLY wanted to not have that extra RF remote sitting around just to run the TV lift and was determined to make this work.

This is my story.

Step 1: Buy extra TV Lift remote from the company that sells it. It was remarkably cheap. $15, and they even paid for the shipping.

Step 2: Buy electronics kit that can use IR to close a relay. (Velleman MK161) I originally thought this kit could use any IR code, but it can't. You need to also buy the 2-button remote control (Velleman MK162). These kits are just parts and need to be soldered together, but it's through-hole soldering and not too tough.

Step 3: Assemble this stuff, and then take apart the remote and wire the relays to the button contacts on the remote. Basically, when the relay closes, I'm effectively 'pushing' the button on the remote (make sure MK161 is set to close relays only momentarily rather than toggle them off and on).

Unbelieveably, this thing actually worked. All I had to do now was make it nice. I bought a project box, and some little nylon stand offs from Fry's, then ordered the required power supply from DigiKey (and instead of just using the bare wires, I decided to also get a couple of jacks so I could just plug it in). I also picked up some IR window plastic so I could make the box look nice.

Step 4: Set to putting all of this stuff together. (Note, I was able to ditch the battery for the remote, since it was the same voltage as the power supply and required by the MK161. I just wired them up in parallel.

Step 5: Drill a hole in the box for the power supply jack and cut another hole in the front for the IR window (Dremel is handy here). Then you just use the standoffs to stack the boards a bit (I'm a bit of a hack, so I just glued them down).

Step 6: Add the MK162 remote to my Harmony. I made a new device, called it an 'Appliance' and set the two buttons as discrete on and off signals. Then just tell the Harmony software that you want the 'Appliance' on in every activity, and when you start up it will send the 'on' (up) signal, and lift the TV.

All Assembled, it's just a black box with a power supply jack in the back. Plug it in and basically make sure it has IR line of sight to your remote. Done.

Believe it or not, this thing basically works like a charm. Been running it for about a month now with no problems.

Just wanted to share in case other people have similar problems.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
More Pics...
post #5 of 24
'Swantcoat', in script lettering, white color on black label, taped to the corner of that, would make it perfect.

Nice job!
post #6 of 24
Good job Swancoat. You are officially a hacker.

post #7 of 24
Many thanks to Swancoat for this solution. I ran into a similar problem with the Mustang screen from Amazon - which was supposed to be IR, but turned out to be RF controlled.

For anyone who is going to try this for a Harmony remote without buying the Velleman remote to learn from I found by trial and error that the Velleman K8049 light controller is in the Logitech database and is compatible with the MK 161. It was just a matter then of going through the 15 commands downloaded to the Harmony to find out which ones worked. The "Power Toggle" and "Light 2" commands did the trick. Then it was just a matter of customizing those two on the Harmony for "Screen Up" and "Screen Down".

As Swancoat said, it works like a dream.

post #8 of 24
great thread, i have looking for it a long time...

one question - can this work with more modules? to control light electric windows,etc.
this way its possible to automate the living room area with the harmony one control to shutdown the light and windows.
post #9 of 24
will a module with more relays do the trick?
post #10 of 24
is this module the same as MK-161 module but with more relays?
post #11 of 24
post #12 of 24
Wow this worked like a charm!!!
I can now use my Harmony with my projector screen
keep up the good work!!
post #13 of 24
FWIW, I have a slightly larger Velleman module that I use to control my screen masking system. I pulled the IR codes into my Roomie configuration and can now control the individual masks from my iTouch (as well as all the other HT components) - all very cool!
post #14 of 24
Anyone willing to make me one of these for a fee? This is my remote
post #15 of 24
Finally found it... vm122 is pre-built... no more solder fumes!!!
post #16 of 24
Originally Posted by meyerovb View Post

Finally found it... vm122 is pre-built... no more solder fumes!!!

FYI, the fumes are from the flux. The solder doesn't get hot enough to vaporize.
post #17 of 24
Man,,,I'm amazed you guys got this to work like this!...This is deep!! I need to do this.
I have the Mustang Screen as well with an Harmony 1100.

GHEEZ - Whew!!!
post #18 of 24
This is deep!!
post #19 of 24
Originally Posted by itayr View Post

is this module the same as MK-161 module but with more relays?

No, it is NOT the same. It has 15 open collector contacts: max. 50V/50mA (that is to say 15 NPN transistors) which could be used to drive up to 15 external relays.
post #20 of 24
so basically this is the only way to do this? I have the same remote and while this is easily within my skill set, having two kids means all of my stuff has been packed away. has anyone found a simpler already assembled method?
post #21 of 24
Where is the best place to find this kit? All I have found is ebay and some places in the UK and I try to avoid ebay when I can.

I think it is exactly what I need to be able to control a fireplace.

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 

With a solution like this, reliability is always a concern. This thing basically worked without fail every time I used it, and actually the lift itself has now crapped out. I've torn apart the lift, and it is basically unrepairable, and looks to be kind of cheap-foreign manufactured stuff with no brand name to be found on it.

So... I've decided to replace the lift mechanism (and ordered the IR control out of the box this time around). I'm going to retire my little box now, but I'm so proud that it outlasted the lift itself!
post #23 of 24
Swancoat .

I could use your help and doing the same thing with my lift
1 Where do i get those parts
2 what parts do i need
3 how do i do all the soldering and setup.
post #24 of 24
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