Can I turn my notebook computer into a universal remote?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Shade2074, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Shade2074

    Shade2074 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    83
    Can I turn my notebook computer into a universal remote?

    I was wondering, I just got a new notebook computer, and I was thinking with all this wireless networking, bluetooth, and infra red - is there a way I can use my notebook computer as an universal remote? Is there a PCMCIA card, or USB device I could get to attach to my computer to make it like one? (even better - a piece of software that will use what’s already there) I've seen some of those tablets that display what's on TV - then you just press the show you want, and it does the rest. I was hoping for something like that - is it possible?
     
  2. Shade2074

    Shade2074 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    83
    D'oh I guess no one has heard of such a thing...
     
  3. ming

    ming OSNN Advanced

    Messages:
    4,252
    Location:
    UK
    LOL :p

    Keep on dreaming :)
     
  4. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    NO. There needs to be multiple LED's with different light spectrums, multiple frequencies for the RF stuff, and a host of protocols for the different encoding methods.

    One size does not fit all (I'm 2x).
     
  5. Shade2074

    Shade2074 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    83
    I don't see why a USB device or pcmcia card couldn't be made though. It would be a neat gadget I would think :)
    Integrate it with some kind of online TV guide and I bet you’d have something that was pretty useful. I do most of my work on the couch, it would be cool to pause what I’m doing, call up some kind of TV listing – double click it and let the remote do the rest.
     
  6. Reg

    Reg eXperienced!

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Try searching on the net for IrDA based universal remote software. I have used several software on my PDA (which uses the same IrDA found on laptops) to do everything from turn on a TV, to opening my garage door. So, it is possible.
     
  7. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

    Messages:
    4,006
    Location:
    Sweden
    Really? Cool. When I searched the net last time, all I got was "IrDA != Remote-type-IR, forget it". I guess I'll have to take another round... :)

    Shade2074: AFAIK, most remotes use the same spectrum, just different bit coding standard. You could probably build a simple dongle for the serial port and use some software (I think there are som on the net) to send signal with it. It may not be easy, but it's doable.
     
  8. Shade2074

    Shade2074 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    83
    well... i did a little search, and there's definately a lot for pocket pc's but i did find something that is being sold in Europe. It looks like it's just begining though and not really ready for the general public. Still though, it's cool to see i'm not the only one that wondered. It's times like this that make me want to go back to school for hardware and programing :)
     
  9. STUIII

    STUIII Guest

    I'll look into this. I work with electronics alot. I could definitly make a remote. Probably one that could hook to your pc through a serial port, maybe usb. But I have no experience in making drivers or software. So it would be useless. It's something I would really like to try though.
     
  10. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

    Messages:
    4,006
    Location:
    Sweden
    If you make it for the serial port, I don't think you'll even need drivers. Just a program that writes to the port.
    I know it's possible to make an IR receiver this way at least.
     
  11. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

    Messages:
    12,332
    Location:
    new york
    this isn't making much sense to me.

    if you're looking for some external hardware to plug into the laptop, just pick up a small remote and velcro the thing to the side.

    finnished...no software required
     
  12. STUIII

    STUIII Guest

    But someone already made a remote...What fun would it be if you had a remote taped to your laptop? It'd be so much cooler to have one built in. And a challenge too. Never know could be the next big thing...that and you could change channels with it and no one know. That'd be great...
     
  13. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

    Messages:
    12,332
    Location:
    new york
    well, to be fair, I'd love to be able to change channels through the keyboard of my laptop while I was working

    my post before this was tongue and cheek.

    on the other hand, to have the ability added as another piece of hardware really doesn't make much sense to me...I'd need it internalized
     
  14. STUIII

    STUIII Guest

    I don't really have a laptop to tinker with, and if I did I'd be kinda worried poking around in there, expensive stuff there. But I have been looking into making something small hooking on to a usb port, no cable just maybe and orb sticking out of the side of the pc. Also in my serch for a laptop remote, too see if it was already done I stumbled upon the history of the remote. Interesting stuff.
    You are right though, if something was made to be too bulky you'd have to attach it anyways so it would be almost pointless to have an external drive. hmmm... I think laptops are coming with IF ports now, should be somekind of way to exploit that or maybe use some software for it. BTW here is the history of the remote for anyone interested.
    History of Remote
     
  15. Shade2074

    Shade2074 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    83
    Actually I was thinking a little beyond “push the button change the channel” kinds of remotes - I would like the remote to be controlled by a program on the computer... ok this is a bit hard to explain I think an example in this case would be easier to show what I mean.

    Let’s say its 5:20 and I'm currently listening to some music on a music channel in the background while working on some documents. I want to be sure to watch the news at 6 on a completely different channel. SO... I open the program that is associated with my remote (Perhaps this program can even get local listings from a site like http://www.tvguide.com/listings/ ) I would either fill in a date, time and channel or if it's set up as a guide just right click on the show I want and select "watch" or "record".

    As soon as my computer clock reads 6:00 the program would trigger the remote to change my cable to the news channel, even as I work on my documents.

    I guess there would have to be other options if you wanted to make the remote truly universal (or even) learning remote. I have one of those Sony Integrated Remote Commander RM-AV3000's. It’s set up so that it can even control my air conditioner. I guess all you would have to do is leave room in the program for users to create their own personalized buttons and schedules.

    Perhaps this would be difficult to do – but I bet it’s doable. If there where such a product I’d buy it (at a reasonable price of course).
     
  16. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

    Messages:
    12,332
    Location:
    new york
    aha...that now makes tons of sense.../dealer was very shortsited
     
  17. scriptasylum

    scriptasylum Moderator

    Messages:
    832
    Location:
    Des Moines,IA
    Not too sure about the full "remote suite" idea, but I'm sure a basic program is possible to do. I have a program that will enable remote control functionality on my old HP48gx calculator! You just gotta find some guy with decent programming experience to help ya out. :)

    The only thing I can see being a limiting factor is distance. The IR port isn't designed for long distance transmission since it wasn't intended to be used as a remote, but who knows?
     
  18. Admiral Michael

    Admiral Michael Michaelsoft Systems CEO Folding Team

    You could use the parallel port and create an interface. I made a interface for my blinds.

    A interface I made connects to the parallel which is hooked to a motor and a 12VDC power supply.

    The program I made in VB, reads the time and when it hits one of the times I set, the shade either goes up or down. I also added manual control, auto control (via timer, want to redeign with limit switches). I have it save the shade staus (up or down), up alarm time and down alaorm time to a status.cfg file.

    So I'm sure it could be done. BTW, I have a basic tutorial on how to control the parallel port thru VB, very easy. Its doesn't use any VB components.

    If your interested I'll reply with a link.
     
  19. Shade2074

    Shade2074 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    83
    I don't know much about programing (yet) but I would be interested in seeing what you've come up with, so please by all means post a link if you don't mind.
     
  20. Admiral Michael

    Admiral Michael Michaelsoft Systems CEO Folding Team