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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can somebody point me to some "accessible" documentation for the Global Cache iTach? Specifically, I'm looking for some useful iLearn documentation.


I can't make head or tails of the iLearn tutorial - and I'm a programmer! It leaves most terms undefined, so I have no idea what the heck it is talking about.


Gap? Offset? Gap Pulse? The parenthesized explanations are not helpful, but only serve to confuse further, viz:


Gaps (lines of captured IR command information that will be saved)


Huh?


Offset (always odd amount of IR on-off command string pairs that denote a non-repeated preamble)


Double huh?


Is there something that explains this in plain English?


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I'll be using the iTach with some iPhone/iPad application (yet to be determined), as well as with my isy99 home automation controller (for that "Barry White" button...). But first I want to demonstrate that it actually works, which so far I have not been able to do. I capture a remote command for my TV and play it back, the LED on the TV blinks but other than that nothing happens. But the documentation for iLearn is so poor that I have no idea if I'm doing the right thing or not.


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P.S. Great. I semi-bricked it, following their upgrade instructions to the letter. iHelp claims some other GlobalCache' app is running (it isn't). And the web interface now says "Corrupt or Missing Web Page". Guess I'll have to call them in the morning. Hopefully, somebody there speaks English - certainly not their tech writer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Web page problem went away on it's own - hate it when that happens! And the iHelp problem went away after logging-out and back in to Windows.


It appears it may be necessary to first do "configure" from within iHelp after upgrade and before attempting to use the web interface. This apparently does something to complete the install. All "configure" does is bring up the web page, but it seems to have made the problem go away.


I still can't get it to do the simplest commands on my TV - LED on the TV blinks like something is happening - but - nothing.


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iLearn stopped learning. Any alternatives to Global Cache'?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtara
Can somebody point me to some "accessible" documentation for the Global Cache iTach? Specifically, I'm looking for some useful iLearn documentation.
I can't help you too much with iLearn. Frankly, it's not exactly a "world-class" IR learner (although I don't want to "trash" Global Caché, as my products depend on their GC-100 and iTach "control units", which are excellent in all other respects).


For background reading on IR code formats, which could help you to understand the GC "concepts", see Barry Gordon's fine article:

ProntoEdit's IR Display Format


Global Caché's IR format is actually a "decimalized" version of the Pronto CCF "hex code" format, which is discussed in depth in Barry's article.


As for using iLearn reliably, many of my users have been able to do it (although I myself use professional equipment for IR capture). It seems that "practice" helps you develop the right technique (and gets you to Carnegie Hall)!


There are many variables that affect the "learning technique", including having the remote control steady on a flat surface, fresh batteries, distance from the iTach "learning port" (the little hole near where the power plugs in), and how long you press the buttons on the remote.


Also, be sure to use the iLearn "trim" command. Do not accept any IR code string unless you can get the same result at least twice in a row (after trimming)! In this case, numbers are considered the "same" if they are within 1 or 2 of each other and it's okay if the last number, which is usually a much larger value than the others, varies a lot from one capture to another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtara
Offset (always odd amount of IR on-off command string pairs that denote a non-repeated preamble)
The "offset" in the Global Caché IR format is 1 + (number of decimal values in the non-repeatable portion of the IR code string). Since the non-repeatable portion usually has length 0, the "offset" is usually just 1. Since the decimal values always occur in pairs, the offset is always an odd number (1 plus an even number).


In fact, my (limited) experience with iLearn suggests that it always sets the "offset" to 1, even in those rare cases where it should set it to a larger value (because iLearn fails to recognize a non-repeatable portion of the IR string).


In "Pronto hex code" terms, the GC "offset" is 1 + 2*word3, because the hexadecimal value in the 3rd word of the Pronto format is the number of PAIRS of words in the non-repeatable portion of the IR string.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtara
iLearn stopped learning. Any alternatives to Global Cache'?
Try getting an early-model Pronto or Marantz remote on eBay. They are easier to use and more reliable than iLearn. And they will give you valid "Pronto CCF hex code" strings that you can use with just about anything that supports Global Caché control units (which includes my iMasterControl products as well as my competitors iRule and Bobby).


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you - that was very helpful! Now I understand the terminology and why the data format is the way it is. The GC documentation is awful, IMO. For example, there was no explanation whatsoever of repeat count, leaving me thinking that perhaps it was to repeat the command in case it wasn't received the first time. And definitions tend to be circular. NOT a good starting point!


I assume there are "utility" applications that can "clean" commands given the knowledge of what system they were designed for? (That is, clean-up the timing to "normalize" it.) And to display the actual command words, do conversions, etc? Is there a good site that lists available applications?


I did manage to get commands working to my TV and cable box. In both cases, an emitter stuck over the sensor worked. (Still have to figure out just where the sensor is on my BluRay player...) I didn't have much luck with the IR Blaster and have yet to really get the hang of capturing - it's hit or miss.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtara /forum/post/19656407


For example, there was no explanation whatsoever of repeat count, leaving me thinking that perhaps it was to repeat the command in case it wasn't received the first time.

The repeat count is typically inserted in the Global Caché sendir command at run-time; it is not "really" an element of the captured IR code string (and it is not present in the Pronto Hex Code format). The repeat count actually serves two purposes. One purpose is that many devices do not respond reliably (or even respond at all) unless they see the same IR command at least twice or thrice. The other purpose is for "continuous auto-repeat" of certain buttons (such as volume up/down, channel up/down, and the cursor arrows).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtara /forum/post/19656407


I assume there are "utility" applications that can "clean" commands given the knowledge of what system they were designed for? (That is, clean-up the timing to "normalize" it.) And to display the actual command words, do conversions, etc? Is there a good site that lists available applications?

There are quite a few IR "utility" applications posted at RemoteCentral.com. Searching that Web site for "what you need" can be a challenge, however.


Another good resource is Barry Gordon and his Web site:

Barry's Download Page

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtara /forum/post/19656407


I didn't have much luck with the IR Blaster and have yet to really get the hang of capturing - it's hit or miss.

With the Global Caché GC-100 models, none of the IR ports can be configured to operate natively as a higher-powered "blaster" port. However, Global Caché sells a powered GC-BL2 IR blaster that can boost the signal of any GC-100 port. (It uses a stereo 3.5mm plug to get its power from the GC-100.)


The Global Caché iTach--2IR models come with three IR emitters, one of which is an unpowered IR blaster that can be used on IR port 3 only. But before using the IR blaster, you must use the unit's own Web pages to configure port 3 (connector address 1:3) for "blaster" operation.


I have no experience with the GC-BL2 blaster on GC-100 control units. But the IR blaster that comes with the iTach IR units is quite effective. You can use it to "flash" an entire rack full of devices.


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmccain /forum/post/19656642



The Global Caché iTach--2IR models come with three IR emitters, one of which is an unpowered IR blaster that can be used on IR port 3 only. But before using the IR blaster, you must use the unit's own Web pages to configure port 3 (connector address 1:3) for "blaster" operation.

That's the model that I have. BTW, it comes pre-configured for the blaster on port 3 - you have to change the setting if you want to use a regular emitter on that port.


Trying to figure out what to use to stick an emitter on my Scientific-Atlanta box. The peel-and-stick didn't do the job, and a spray of Super-77 (my favorite all-purpose adhesive-in-a-can) didn't work either. I think the plastic cover on the box is particularly slick, and it's hard to get anything to stick to it. Obviously, I don't want to damage it with a permanent adhesive (assume Super Glue would do the job, but Cox might not like getting back a cable box with a super-glued emitter stuck to it!)
 
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