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Old 12th May 2011, 08:09 PM   #1771
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don't feel bad; I also spent (over) a year and a half puttering around with the firmware. I consider my project to be *mostly* a software development and to a much lesser extent, hardware. the hw was done for months and months, but the sw bugs needed to be down to zero or near-zero before release. the last few sometimes cause a redesign of the sw and things end up taking forever.

...know the feeling extremely well
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Old 12th May 2011, 08:14 PM   #1772
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hey richard, can you give us some more close-ups of the remote, outside and inside? I'm going to be making a remote of my own, eventually, and would love to see how you approached and solved it.
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Old 12th May 2011, 08:29 PM   #1773
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My biggest problem was trying to engineer a solution to the mess otherwise known as the ATA/ATAPI CDROM interface spec. Then, there was attempting to understand the worst programming manual known to mankind - otherwise known as the AR1000 FM Receiver programming manual. (Well, perhaps the ATAPI spec was worse). I actually obtained an AM/FM receiver module from another company, and I couldn’t even figure out how to interface to that. A knowledge of Mandarin would have helped.

I'll take some more photos of the remote this evening.

Richard
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Old 13th May 2011, 02:03 AM   #1774
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Two images of the remote attached. I built as follows:
i. Basically carved the case out of a block of wood.
ii. There are two spaces in back - one for the electronics, and one for the battery.
iii. I drilled holes through to the front, and used two different width lengths of dowel - Probably ¼ and ⅜ inch. I glued a wider piece of plastic on the bottoms, so that they wouldn't come out through the front.
iv. The PCB has surface mount pads on the back - and I soldered surface mount switches. These line up with the holes and dowels.
v. Lots of sanding, paint, lacquer, etc to get a shiny finish. Got paint from the local hobby shop.
vi. Used Dri-transfer lettering for the letters.
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File Type: jpg CRST Remote1.jpg (81.2 KB, 1380 views)
File Type: jpg CRST Remote2.jpg (110.8 KB, 1365 views)
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Old 13th May 2011, 02:56 AM   #1775
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CRST that is most resourcefull. I see Xbee module as a basis and combined with hand made wood remote. Well I just got to hand it to you.
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Old 13th May 2011, 06:16 AM   #1776
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If you don't need too many buttons, the ebay RF remotes can be
a quick-n-dirty (and cheap) solution. The buttons can be set to
multiple modes (latch, momentary-on etc) via jumpers. Like these -

4 CH 315M RF Wireless Remote Control Controller 4 Relay | eBay

8 Ch RF remote

Last edited by quadtech; 13th May 2011 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 13th May 2011, 08:29 PM   #1777
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the cool thing about the xbee is that its bi-directional. crst is only using it for one direction (send only) and so the simple rf remotes probably would have been sufficient (and cheaper).

however, if you need to get info FROM your system (for some reason) then you need the xbees. my system will query the base for some info, then update itself locally from that info. for me, I need both directions.
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Old 13th May 2011, 11:27 PM   #1778
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Funny you should mention that. I was just planning my next project with just something like that in mind. I have an older, higher quality project, that I would like to rework.

You'll notice that in this project, there are no controls on the front panel at all. Everything is controlled through the remote. Given an FM tuner, CD player, two aux inputs, volume etc, that's a lot of stuff, and I'm quite pleased that I got it all down to just 12 buttons - that my wife can understand.

I was thinking that for my next system / remote, I'd add the ability to display (volume, CD tracks, station, etc) on the remote itself. You can get relatively inexpensive TFT panels now. Carve a nice case, a little firmware, rechargeable batteries, and perhaps I have something.

Opps.. Sorry, getting carried away.

Richard.
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Old 13th May 2011, 11:45 PM   #1779
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projects by fanatics for fanatics -
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Old 14th May 2011, 12:29 AM   #1780
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I don't know what it is. You are never done!
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