IRSS as a bridge to other infrared controlled devices (1 Viewer)


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September 24, 2012
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This is my first post, and may be my only post but I used IRSS as a solution to a problem I was having and I thought someone else might like to know how to do it. As it turned out, it was pretty easy.

I have a fairly massive main computer, it runs an octocore processor OC'd to 4 GHz+, maximum RAM, 15 hard drives, over a dozen fans, etc. You get the idea, it's a behemoth. It controls my alarm system, my security cameras (14 cameras), and pretty much runs my home including serving multimedia to the rest of the house.

I'm happy with Windows 7 Media Center, it talks to all the other computers and I stream video from this machine to everywhere else I want it.

The thing is, the room this machine is in gets freakin' hot if it's not air conditioned so I have a little portable AC unit in that room and it uses an IR remote for controlling the AC functions. What I wanted was a way to control that AC unit for greater efficiency and economy. I have an IR transceiver that came with the Hauppauge 1850 TV card I put in the system. What I wasn't sure of was could I use that transceiver to run my AC and other remote controlled devices? There are two ports on the back of the transceiver and I already knew it would control, say, a set top box or such but I wanted it to fire IR commands for the AC. I had considered getting a USB-UIRT device but hey, why do that if I don't need it because I already have that functionality?

I played around with Event Ghost but couldn't get it to fire the commands I wanted it to. In fact, it wouldn't even "learn" the commands from the AC remote control so it was pretty much useless. I stumbled on your IRSS program while searching the internet for a means to fire the commands I wanted.

After I downloaded and installed IRSS I was delighted to see that IRSS could learn the commands from the remote control when it was pointed at the transceiver. That was half the battle done right there because now I had a way to get those commands into my computer, all I needed was a way to send those commands out again when I wanted them to fire. (In IR Server Configuration you have to check the "Hauppauge" box if you're using a Hauppauge transceiver like comes with the Hauppauge TV cards. Else the system won't "learn" commands through the transceiver.)

I had an IR emitter laying around from another installation of something else, I don't remember what but I think it was something for either a DVD or cable box. It has two emitters on one jack. I also had an older Recotron DSC-IR100A extender sitting here that I use all the time for repeating IR commands. I fastened the IR emitter to the dome on the Recotron and plugged it into the transceiver. Using Translate.exe I was able to fire macros and they worked to control the AC.

So now I had manual control of the AC from the computer, all I needed was a way to automate the whole thing so it would turn the AC on and off, set the temperature, switch to straight (no AC) exhaust to exhaust the hot air from the room during the evening hours when the AC wasn't needed, etc.

I played around with command line activations of the macros but didn't have a lot of luck with that. The macros from Translate.exe ARE very handy because Translate allows you to make shortcuts to those macros so I was able to set up a folder on the desktop, populate it with those shortcuts, make a toolbar menu from that folder and manually control the AC without using the remote. Which let me place the remote elsewhere in the room because now I could run the AC from my desk without it.

Still, I wanted to automate the whole thing and the Translate macros weren't doing the trick. So I tried using IRBlast.exe in a command line and voila! The transceiver would fire the learned commands from the remote using IRBlast.exe. Then all I had to do was set up tasks in the task scheduler to automate the controls for the AC and I had everything working the way I wanted it to.

Here's an example of the syntax for doing that-

"C:\Program Files (x86)\IR Server Suite\IRBlast.exe" "Toggle AC OFF.IR"

You have to put the argument for the command I created, which is "Toggle AC OFF" in quotes (so the system doesn't stop at the first word before the space and say "Huh?") and you have to include the .IR file extension in the command also. If I hadn't originally used more than one word to store the commands then the quotes wouldn't be necessary. IE if I had made the command to turn off the AC just "OFF" instead of "Toggle AC OFF" then all that would be needed is: OFF.IR

Now the computer controls the AC automatically and cycles through various settings at various times of day the way I want it to. Using Core Temp 1.0 RC3-64bit I also created a command where the computer will tell the AC to go to maximum cooling IF the computer reaches a certain temperature. The next scheduled task that fires will resume the normal task schedule after that happens so that the AC doesn't stay on full blast all the time if the computer once gets hot. That hasn't happened yet, but I tested it and it works like it should.

I can log into the computer remotely and using the toolbar with the commands from Translate I can manually set the temperature in the room also. This is handy if I'm working elsewhere and while logged into my system I see it's getting a little warm. Recently I went on vacation and left the AC off because the computer is just idling with the cams and alarm running but when I did some work on the system it warmed up pretty quick so I could turn on the AC from a couple thousand miles away to cool things down while I was on the system. Then before logging off my remote connection I turned the AC off again. Pretty handy for a computer geek like me.

So basically what I did was used the computer as a programmable thermostat for the AC using IRSS to run everything. Thank you very much for this great program!
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