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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can assure you that my problem with the IRMan is not cost, but rather serial ports. I currently have the Airboard, plus I want to use the BottleRocket/Firecracker. That's 2 serial ports right there, and my PC currently only has 1 (though I plan on adding a 2nd). I'm a little hesitant about having too many serial port accessories on my HTPC. Too bad the Airboard doesn't work in the mini-din mouse slot.


I guess another possibility would be to swap to a different keyboard, I guess it could be RF if I was going to use Pronto to IRMan instead of Pronto to keyboard... But I wouldn't mind at least trying first with what I have...


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffY:
I have exactly the set-up you describe. A CTRL+SHIFT+A for example is learned as a single IR command. So all you do is say create a execute windvd command in Girder, get Girder to learn CTRL+SHIFT+A, then get the airboard to teach CRTL+SHIFT+A to the pronto. It works perfectly.
Do you have your ccf file on remotecentral? Any pointers to ccf files with various Airboard modified keystroke commands?


Mike
 

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Hi all,

I have the Pronto(RC5000)/Airboard combo right now and while the ccf's at www.remotecentral.com are a good starting point, they are lacking on 2 and 3 button combos. I've been capturing the combos that I need to learn, but as anyone who has tried knows, this is definitely a painstaking experience.

For two button combos,I can usually get it in less than 10 tries. 3 button combos have taken up to 30 tries http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif My current method is to put Pronto into learn mode with a one of the keyboard layouts displayed. Then I do a row of captures (like the number row) for the same Airboard combo (like ctrl-1). After this, I will test each signal on the Pronto for the one that works. This includes testing that a key press after the learned combo will also work. After I get 4 or 5 new combos working, I upload those only to my PC and reconfigure the Pronto. Like I said, painful. I've only saved a small handful of the 3 button combos. Basically, just stuff for windows shortcuts, yxy and powerDVD. Biggest problem currently-how to quit yxy after quitting powerDVD.

Questions: Is IRMAN a replacement for Airboard? Or is it used in conjunction with Airboard? Can Girder shut yxy down when yxy is in the hidden state?


Thanks,

Rick
 

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Hi Mike,


I have emailed you my ccf, as I said in the email don't expect too much I only got the Pronto a few days ago! Your best bet is to design your ccfs from scratch using the latest gallery and then do a learn for each button. It takes a little while but once its done its done. You will see from my DVD and winAMP screens that I've kept things very simple (only 1 screen for each).


Jeff
 

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Waja,


Strange I'm not having many problems learning combos. It usually takes me about 2 maybe 3 attempts.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by waja:


Questions: Is IRMAN a replacement for Airboard? Or is it used in conjunction with Airboard? Can Girder shut yxy down when yxy is in the hidden state?
Rick,


Irman is used in conjunction with the AirBoard. Yes, Girder can shut down (minimize, maximize, resize, focus, move window position, etc, etc) yXy (and any other application) regardless of its state.


Regards -- Steve




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STOP DFAST, BOYCOTT JVC, LONG LIVE HDTV
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by waja:
I've been capturing the combos that I need to learn, but as anyone who has tried knows, this is definitely a painstaking experience.
Hi Rick - does your CCF file somehow label what the various learned keys are? Is there any way that you could mail it to me? I would much appreciate it! I like avoiding pain! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Mike

 

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Mike,


About running out of serial ports, you might want to search the forum for info about using a serial->USB adapter with the mouse connection on the Airboard. At least one brand of these adapters has been verified to work with the Airboard, turning it into a USB mouse. That would free up a COM port for the IRMan, assuming you still buy the additional COM port for the firecracker. I just can't stress how much more powerful the Pronto/IRMan/Girder combo is compared to the Airboard/Girder approach.


Regards,


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I actually have USB ports disabled on my HTPC. I was told if not set up properly, they could impact performance. I love USB on my desktop computer, but if I have to be concerned about it on my HTPC, I'm not sure if I want to use them...


I guess I could get an IRQ-sharing serial port extension card... Are those still a few hundred bucks?


Mike
 

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Why is the pronto/irman more powerful than an airboard? It would seem a little more portable but otherwise equivalent.


Something I did notice with the airboard though. The keystrokes are not recognized consistently by gider. For example, f7 is initially detected by learn event as 760000 but after minimizing girder and remaximizing it, f7 is learned as 760A000. Has anyone elso encountered this sort of thing?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by karos:
Why is the pronto/irman more powerful than an airboard? It would seem a little more portable but otherwise equivalent.
1) More possible IR Codes. With just an Airboard, you have to come up with a hotkey for everything. There's only so many combinations you can come up with assuming you don't use any keystrokes that could be used by regular windows software. It's much easier to just use RC5 codes with the Pronto.


2) Performance, though this could arguably be negligible. The keyboard plugin for Girder has to intercept every keystroke you make to generate the event strings for Girder.


3) Reliability. I found the Pronto/Airboard/Girder combination to not always work reliably. I think it was a combination of the Pronto not always learning the keystrokes properly, and the keyboard plugin for Girder not always working 100% right.


4) Ease of use. It's easier to assign RC5 codes than it is to teach the Pronto complex Airboard keystrokes, especially if you use ProntoEdit on a Win2K box and can only learn from the pronto itself, not the software.


Jeff


 

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Mike,

You (as well as anyone else) are welcomed to check out my ccf at http://www.dnai.com/~waja/home_theater/ricksremote.zip Feedback is welcomed.


IRMAN and girder users,

I've ordered my IRMAN $35.00 plus $4.50 shipping. Should be here in a few days. In the mean time I'll check out girder.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi All,


I am currently trying to set up the automation of my HTPC. I have an Airboard, and I'm running Girder. I want to use my Pronto so that the keyboard won't have to be used. Instead of using an IRMan, I want to use the Airboard receiver for receiving signals (i.e. keystrokes) from the Pronto.


I've downloaded Mark Rejhon's (I believe) Airboard/Girder file, so regular keys should be fine. My question is, what about things like ctrl-a, or ctrl-alt-a? From Girder, ctrl-alt-a is seen as just 1 keystroke, although obviously from the keyboard, it's ctrl-down, alt-down, a. My question is, where does those 3 keys get converted into 1 key? The Airboard keyboard? (In my dreams, right?) I guess it's either the Airboard receiver, or Windows itself. If it's the keyboard, then there's just a single IR code that gets sent out by the Airboard for ctrl-alt-a, and it should be easy to program the pronto to send that.


If not, then the pronto has to send those 3 key sequences. If so, has anyone done this? Or something like this? How wuold I do it? Do you have an example I can download?


Any suggestions? I want to use hotkeys to generate events, but I don't want to use the standard characters, for fear of having conflicts with the apps.


Thanks!


Mike
 

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You may want to check remotecentral.com's files download area. There are several airboard ccf's that include the ctrl, shift, alt modifiers keys.


Personally, I'd recommend you consider purchasing the Irman as the Girder/Pronto/Irman combo is pretty though to beat. And you already have the most expensive part of the trio (the Pronto) you're $35 away from an ultimate HTPC control solution.


With the Irman, you can assigned unused Philips RC5 codes to your Pronto's HTPC buttons and/or macros, and teach these to Girder. The beauty of the RC5 codes is that they're very small (low memory usage for the Pronto) and easy to keep track of. My Girder commands names use descriptions like:


PowerDVD Power Off (RC5 12 0)

PowerDVD Power On (RC5 12 1)


This makes keeping track of which codes were assigned to which Girder commands very easy.


Regards -- Steve


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I have exactly the set-up you describe. A CTRL+SHIFT+A for example is learned as a single IR command. So all you do is say create a execute windvd command in Girder, get Girder to learn CTRL+SHIFT+A, then get the airboard to teach CRTL+SHIFT+A to the pronto. It works perfectly.


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JeffY:
I have exactly the set-up you describe. A CTRL+SHIFT+A for example is learned as a single IR command. So all you do is say create a execute windvd command in Girder, get Girder to learn CTRL+SHIFT+A, then get the airboard to teach CRTL+SHIFT+A to the pronto. It works perfectly.
My experience was that what you say is true, except that teaching CTRL+SHIF+A is not the easiest thing to do. If you hold the keys down to long, they repeat and the system will recognize it as multiple ketrokes. Plus, sometimes the Pronto wouldn't learn the key-up part, and the keys would get stuck in the 'down' position from the OS's viewpoint. While I'm sure it's possible to learn complex keystrokes cleanly, I found it to be a pain in the butt.


The other big disadvantage to this route is that you're going to run out of unique keystrokes before long. With the IRMAN, you have almost an infinite number of IR codes to use. I have several hundred commands in my IRMan now, and there's no way I could have used Airboard ketrokes for all of them without running into conflicts. I've found the RC5 codes to be indispensable.


Jeff

 

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Interesting. Thirty tries to do a 3 key learn?? Whoa!


I must have got lucky this morning. I did a Ctrl-Alt-F4 learn to Pronto to start a Dilard macro. My first 3 key combo. I'm scared now to try another. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


I too found the IRMan to be easy to use. I couldn't quite get the hang of Girder.


Chris
 

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Maybe I'm just too old to use these damn modern devices http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

Seriously, it took alot of attempts to get the keys to work correctly. I'm using the Marantz RC5000 Ver. 1.02. Maybe its time to upgrade to Ver. 2.2 though I thought that the later version was not compatible with the previous.

The problem I had in the captures were that not all worked like the keyboard and not all were the same. When I checked the hex values, both size and values were different. Sometimes one of the captures would seem to work, but the next button press was not recognized. This would require the next keystroke to be done twice. So I did 4 rows of captures. Weeded out the ones that didn't work correctly and then selected one of the shorter repeatable captures. The most difficult 3 button captures were the ctrl-shift-<character>.

On www.remotecentral.com, there is no workking ctrl-shift-<character> ccf. Maybe someone here could add theirs?


Rick
 
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