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Remote Control Recommendation?
#1
Can anyone here recommend a programmable or other remote control for use with CQC? I want to dump my Harmony Hub remotes. I'm moving to Global Cache GC-100-06 for my TVs.
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#2
I got tired of the many issues of an IR remote and went with an RTi T1B RF remote with an RP6 base station. I basically just programmed each button to send a unique string and had the RP6 simply push that string out the serial port. I ended up building my own CML driver to handle all of the logic for things like theater startup (many steps including a pause for projector warmup) but you could easily use the CQC supplied driver. I sourced everything on eBay (T1B, RP6, CM232, RM433) and spent circa $300 for the lot.
This is a bulletproof solution. I could control CQC from any room in the three story house. The battery life was greater than two weeks. Once I get my new house reasonably automated I'll do this again.
Mark Stega
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#3
Mark how did you get the "Integration Designer" software to program the RP6? They state on the web site that software is only available to authorized dealers...
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#4
I made friends with a local dealer...
Mark Stega
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#5
So:

RTi T1B --> RP6 --> CM232 --> Global Cache (Serial)

I am not following where the RM433 fits in to this equation

Also, if you have 4 rooms do you need 4 different remotes? I like this remote because it looks (eBay photo) to have backlighting, which is very nice.

[Image: Screen-Shot-2019-08-28-at-16-49-48.jpg]
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#6
The RM433 is the receiver for the RF, so the picture is
RTi T1B ~~> RM422-->RP6 --> CM232 --> Global Cache (Serial)-->CQC
        RF       Proprietary      RS232                    IP

There are the red/yellow/green/blue buttons on the bottom row. You could use each one to indicate the room or you could use a row of source buttons for the same thing. You can also 'overload' buttons. As an example, I had the power button do a 'power on' when pressed and if pressed three time in a three second period do a 'power off' so that an accidental press wouldn't do power off. (All of that logic happens inside of CQC). You need only as many remotes as concurrent users if you follow this scheme.

The backlight is really neat. It is responsive to movement. Pick up the remote and give it a little shake and it turns on.
Mark Stega
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#7
Thanks. I'll have to think this through some more. I have 5 areas for TV viewing: Patio, Family Room, Master Bedroom, Bedroom 2, and Office.

As for concurrent viewing. There would be at least two places/scenarios where I would have concurrent viewing.

1) During parties: Family Room and Patio
2) During normal: Family Room and Master Bedroom

I don't want to rush through this so will need to do more research. I've already picked up additional GC-100's from eBay and can get that sorted out first.

All of my TV locations have Chief PAC525 Series wall boxes so there is room for the stuff. All TV locations have:

- Apple TV
- HDMI over Cat5e/Cat6 receiver (I distribute my NVR HDMI feed to each TV location using AVUE HDMI Extenders)
- MicroSmith Hotlink Pro
- Harmony Hub (yuck.. want to get rid of these things badly)

Soon, each one will have the Global Cache GC-100-06 for RS232 control via CQC, at which point.

Open to input from others.
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#8
The nice thing about something like the RP6 is that it's serial to CQC, which means you can create nice parameterized actions for it to run and avoid a lot of work. I.e. you can have one action that let's a TV channel and just takes a number to set, or once action that does appropriate power on/off stuff for each room based on the room and off/on state passed in.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#9
I'm a little late to reply, but for anyone else interested I use the same basic methodology with URC equipment.  I have MX-880 remotes (getting a little dated, but have been running strong for seven or eight years), one dedicated per room or area.  The remote sends RF back to an MSC-400 (way underutilized, but converts from RF to serial string of my choosing), and the serial command is received by the CQC serial trigger to take some action.  Most of my devices are serial, a few are IP, and IR only stuff uses a Global Cache box.  The MSC-400 also has sensor inputs, so things like my cable box that are toggle only can be tracked for state and kept in sync.

The nice thing about this solution is that all logic is in CQC.  The remote just says "I want to watch the Roku in the bedroom", and CQC does everything necessary to make it happen.  That way, asking for an event to happen allows any device (handheld remote, tablet, wall switch, etc.) to request the same actions without recreating them in different environments.  It also allows me to add things lighting, shades, and ceiling fan control (UPB and Somfy in my case) to the handheld A/V room remotes since CQC is issuing commands and can call anything under its control. I even have a lanai remote that in addition to A/V on the patio can control the spa, retractable awning, and sprinklers. The remotes get recharged about once a month depending on usage.
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#10
I actually use the Harmony Hub and remote in my Den and really like the system. The remotes are modern looking, have hard buttons as well as a programmable touch screen, and use rechargeable batteries and a charging station. Because the remote communicates with the hub via RF, I can have everything hidden and I no longer need an ugly IR receiver sitting on my TV. The fact that there is two way communication between CQC and the hub with regard to the current activity is a plus and is something that was never possible with the older IR system I used.

I will say that I use CQC for all of my logic however.

This means my Harmony remotes are not set up with the actual equipment that I own. For example, I have Sharp TVs, but I generally don't have the remote set up with a Sharp TV device. Instead I use random DVR devices (because these devices have all the buttons I need - numbers, inputs, transport, D pad directions, volume, mute, special buttons, etc) that I don't actually own. To start an activity (like watch SageTV), the remote only sends out a single RF command (like "Input 1"). I have a wired connection from the Hub to my USB-UIRT which allows CQC to receive this single input. CQC will then make all of the changes needed to change the TV, stereo, HD Switcher, source devices, etc to make it all work. I'm lucky enough that all but one device is RS-232 or IP controlled, so I avoid IR commands almost completely.

Yes this means that I had to train and program CQC with every single remote button. That does take some planning and time to execute, but the end result is well worth it. However it isn't as bad as it might seem because every remote command is the same across many different activities. For example, a "Play" button press is always the same from the remote - it doesn't matter what activity I on. When CQC reads that "play" command, it goes through logic in my programming to determine which source device I am currently using (several SageTV extenders, DVD player, music, etc) and sends the "play" command to the correct device. This means I only have to train CQC once for every possible button and also for each "activity" command that is used to kick off each different activity (again I typically use the "Input" command to do that. So Input 1 is start watching SageTV1, Input 2 is start watching SageTV2, Input 3 is start watching DVD, etc).

The exception to the rule for this is with some of the Media sticks we use like FireTV or Roku. Because these generally connect using bluetooth, I let the Harmony Hub handle those devices and CQC isn't involved. So the activity to "Watch FireTV" has two devices - the random DVR and the actual FireTV device. The activity still sends out a single DVR device command (like Input 7) to change everything to be able to watch that device and have sound, but then the remote uses the real FireTV device to make further changes like transport, navigation, etc.

Because the remote only sends out a single RF command each time, it means that.....
- Only RF and hard wired connections are used for CQC to receive commands making it very reliable
- changes are very quick
- I don't have to point the remote at a certain spot until the entire activity is finished (more of an IR thing than RF, but still.....)
- My remote always reflects the current activity (so the buttons work as expected) even if I changed the activity using CQC somehow (touch screen, etc) instead of the remote.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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