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Cell phone app for IR Remote control code capture?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by N_Cook, Apr 7, 2013.

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  1. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    I've found references to their use as remote controls but now that LIRC does
    not seem to be supported these days. Are phone cameras sensitive enough to
    R/C IR in their own right ?
    I've recently been playing with USB-RS232 converter and Termite (has 14400
    Baud setting option ie 36KHz/10 x4 ) capturing of codes via IR receiver/
    carrier stipper , works well enough for my purposes but if
    there was an off-the-shelf phone-app that outputted the pulse train codes as
    HEX test file or something, it might be more generally a simple and useful
  2. I remember at least one application for Windows CE Pocket and Palm-size PCs
    that could output IR codes (or learn new ones) via the IR hardware that most
    of those things had. I've not seen anything like that for a Smartphone.

    Most phone and digital cameras have an IR filter built in to prevent IR from
    interfering with normal picture taking. In some digital cameras, you can
    remove this filter. I'm not sure if this is possible for the much smaller
    cameras used in phones. I also don't know if the camera's frame rate is
    sufficient to capture an IR bitstream.

  3. mike

    mike Guest

    I'd guess that if the phone can send IR, it can also receive it.
    I don't have anything newer than a Trio 850 4G phone that can.
    So, if your device can't resend the codes, might as well capture
    them on a device that can send them.

    As for the questions you did ask ;-)
    The typical IR remote is plenty strong to get thru the IR filter
    in a typical digital camera. All you gota do to verify that is to
    monitor the camera and poke a remote at it.

    I expect that the camera frame rate is way to slow to capture the timing.
    But that isn't to say that there might be some clever way for a driver
    to synchronize it for the purpose. I think you'd have better luck
    accessing the IR port.

    I saved a bunch of stuff from 2000, but all the links seem to be broken.
    Only thing left is a program that claims to turn a HP95lx into a learning

    I have some interpreted basic code that can capture signals from
    the IR port on a Palm. Used it to read the smart utility meter.
    Probably way to slow to work to decode a remote.
  4. I'd guess that if the phone can send IR, it can also receive it.

    The sensor could -- but there would have to be hardware and software designed
    for reception.
    I believe IR remotes operate in the 100kHz range.
  5. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    The 4 digital cameras I tried all showed a flickering response to ordinary
    IR remotes. When its dark tonight I'll try passing a transmitting IR over
    one and see if it leaves an interpetable image over the 2 seconds of open
    "shutter". As long as it/smart phones have the response time to pick up some
    semblance of the typical 36KHz/10 of the coded bit length of 0.278mS rather
    than the full 36 KHz pulses then there is a chance.
    At the other end , the Hex coding would need gating with 36KHz into a
    learner remote or something for normal use.
  6. mike

    mike Guest

    The way I checked mine was to power up a Dell Axim X51v and send the phone
    a file by IR. It beeped and saved the file.
    I'd call that conclusive for the Trio 850.
    Actually making use of that in user space is unlikely.
    If you have the tools to write driver code, should be pretty easy.
    Some, but much consumer stuff is/was around 38KHz.
    There are some "standards" that don't seem to be well followed.

    More info on the end objective would be helpful.
  7. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    Well sort of worked. I didn't think of using the timer, at the time, and
    restricted to about metre in front of lens and not being able to move the
    R/C fast enough. Tasteful purple streaks. The one I used I'd previously
    DSO'd and the first 6 .278mS bits of two 1s were clear , ie 100100 but the
    remaining 90 bits blurred into 1 over about 1/25 of the frame width ,
    partially because out of bad focus and perhaps overloading of the sensor.
    Just for interest I will try again using timer mode and suspending the
    camera so it will rotate about 4 revs per sec and hold the R/C about 3m away
    and repeatedly pressing the button should catch enough part traces if not
    one across the whole frame, raising and lowering the R/c also.
    For timing and not just code sequence for anyone without a DSO perhaps feed
    1KHz to another Tx LED mounted above the R/C in question. Whether a
    smartphone camera would have short enough response time for a static use and
    so a simple app is moot.
  8. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    Axim would seem to have "Wifi capability and Infrared port included"

    My scenario is that you have a useless bit of old or rare kit with no source
    of OEM r/c , URCs don't work, so the kit is effectively dead. But you find
    that someone in another part of the world has a r/c , but how to send the
    codes using readily available kit and no technical ability.
  9. mike

    mike Guest

    Nice thing about the axim is that it supports multiple IR protocols
    and can talk to windows mobile or palm. No experience with android.

    This claims to work with a number of older PDA's. Not clear what the demo
    restrictions are.
    No technical ability is a problem...You're at the mercy of the technical
    capability on the other end.

    There exist universal remote controls with learning ability.
    Mail one to him for programming.

    You seem to be resistant to disclosing exactly what "kit" you are
    dealing with.
    Somebody may have a solution if they knew the problem.
  10. mike

    mike Guest

    On 4/9/2013 1:58 AM, mike wrote:

    The manual at the link has a BUNCH of very good info on how the IR codes
    Page 102 lists some sources

    You can find thousands of these CCF IR hex codes and layout files with
    included CCF IR hex codes
  11. whit3rd

    whit3rd Guest

    Not a great idea to use IR directly. Smart phones with Bluetooth and/or WiFi can
    be used to send other kinds of remote signals, and servers and radio/IR bridges
    can fill in the gap with any kind of translation you can imagine.

    IRDA type hardware was in some Palm phones, but those aren't terribly current.
    Palm was swallowed by HP and mainly sold off (to LG).
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