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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone:


I have joined the new millenium by getting a Theater Master MX-500 remote. I really like it, and it remains my goal to have ONE remote for everything. THat hopefully includes my lights, but that might be a problem.


I haven't bought any switches or control system yet, but was planning to get Switchlinc dimmers from Smarthome. They're RF controlled, and my remote doesn't have RF capability. There might be another new light dimmer control system from Smarthome, but not sure. I think the Lutron system is more than I want to pay.


Is there some method of using an IR remote, aiming at a receiver that converts to RF for the X-10 light dimmer system? I know some people don't like X-10 because it's prone to flaws and interference, but I'd like to try it, especially for the scene capability.


Anyone know of the IR to RF converter?


Thanks, Tom.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blovela /forum/post/0

http://www.weaknees.com/rf-remote-details.php

that just looks like it converts IR into rf for their reciever, then converts it back to IR...


i'm in a similar situation, where i need to be able to program the rf signal, but so far all the remotes i've seen that have RF only work with their specific RF to IR converter
 

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There is no such animal. Also, the reason you don't see universal RF remotes is that the FCC requires a separate license for each RF frequency. Creating a universal that could handle multiple frequencies would not be cost effective as well as logistically difficult.
 

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Actually, I'm not sure if universal RF remote is what the OP needs anyway. I was looking up Switchlinc dimmer because I got interested in them from this post, and I don't see where the RF is used except for the Signalinc RF modules which are bridges and only communicate with each other through RF (and then the signals are passed on to the powerline again). Otherwise the signals are sent through the powerline like the X10's. I also found this article:
http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?...st=0#entry8497

that seems to confirm that.


Since it's supposed to be X10 compatible, it can drop down to X10 mode and you can use this module to send commands using IR remote, but that would make it no better than X10 modules. Also, since IR543 IS an ir receiver, if you want to use RF, converters like to one mentioned above should actually work with the receiver (the "flying saucer" part) pointing towards the IR543's sensor.
 

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The Smarthome Switchlinc is available for either the older X10 or the newer Insteon technology. I would only recommend the Insteon switches at this point (and since you mention RF I assume that's what you're looking at) and the best way to control these with your MX500 remote is with the IR543 or IR543AH (multiple house codes)

http://www.smarthomeusa.com/search.php?q=ir543&x=0&y=0


These are IR to X10 controllers but since INSTEON is backawards compatible with X10 these will work with either version of the SwitchLinc
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSRC /forum/post/0


There is no such animal. Also, the reason you don't see universal RF remotes is that the FCC requires a separate license for each RF frequency. Creating a universal that could handle multiple frequencies would not be cost effective as well as logistically difficult.

i see universal garage door openers with all sorts of frequencies that they can learn on... i just need a simple signal, since the motor controlling the blinds and the projector housing are pretty much using simliar motors...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A follow-up.


Thanks to all who replied.


Kupakai and Jim, does this mean I will be able to use the MX500 Theater Master remote to control my lights? It seems that there are X-10 functions built into the remote's library.


Do I use the IR543 to convert some x-10 IR signals to RF? How flexible is this? Can I ultimately do scene control with several different types of preset scenes? Basically I want my 5 or 6 circuits of lights (each on a separate dimmer) to be controllable to Movie Mode, or Room Clean-up Mode, or one of a few other scene types that I decide on. I might also want to control any one of my circuits separately at any time.


With the MX500 and IR543, can I do this in my home theater whether I choose the Switchlinc or Insteon products from Smarthome?


Thanks again, Tom.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kay /forum/post/0


does this mean I will be able to use the MX500 Theater Master remote to control my lights? It seems that there are X-10 functions built into the remote's library.

yes. the commands in the mx500 library are for the ir543 or similar controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kay /forum/post/0


Do I use the IR543 to convert some x-10 IR signals to RF?

yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kay /forum/post/0


How flexible is this?

the IR543 will control modules on the same house code. The IR543AH will control modules on any house code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kay /forum/post/0


Can I ultimately do scene control with several different types of preset scenes? Basically I want my 5 or 6 circuits of lights (each on a separate dimmer) to be controllable to Movie Mode, or Room Clean-up Mode, or one of a few other scene types that I decide on. I might also want to control any one of my circuits separately at any time.

you can turn on, off, bright or dim but the ir543 will not allow you to pre-select a specific lighting level. If you have software with programmed scenes you can use the IR543 to send code F-3 if that triggers the DVD Lighting scene and so on. The limitation of this controller is that it sends just one command at a time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyz34 /forum/post/0


i see universal garage door openers with all sorts of frequencies that they can learn on... i just need a simple signal, since the motor controlling the blinds and the projector housing are pretty much using simliar motors...

They are very restricted in their abilities. Only certain frequencies can be learned. There are some other differences as well.


Regarding X-10, as Jim mentioned above, the limited ability of the IR543 requires that you get programmable switches to achieve your scene requirements. Some of the Smarthome modules have the ability to set on/off levels that can be triggered by the IR543. I'm using them in a theater room and it does a good job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Mike,


So let's say I have 5 separate circuits in my HT and want them to all obey a single remote button, pressed once. I want the lights to dim down to Movie Scene, or dim up to Flood, or half way to Music listening mode.


I don't understand about how the IR543 works, so is this something you can do? Using the MX500? I would be willing to use whatever dimmer is needed, and I was looking at the 2386 Switchlinc dimmer. I'm not that familiar with Insteon switches, although I have no reason for avoiding them if they can do scenes.


Can you describe a bit more about the programming and/or switches to be used?


Thanks, Tom.
 
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