Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Interesting Lunch and Remote Training

The weather was decidedly unpleasant this morning and yesterday evening we had made the decision to go shopping before lunch.  We held off leaving until 11am but the weather only got nastier so in the end it was a case of wrapping up and braving the conditions. 

We had just reach the centre of Nantwich when Jan ran out of energy and got the “shakes”.  She clung to me as I led her towards a food outlet where she could get a sugar hit.  On a previous visit I remembered there had been a tea room beside the craft and knitting shop down Mill Street.  What I didn’t know was it has been rated one of the top 10 tearooms in England.   Nor did I know they only sold food made on site from local produce.

20151221_122255 

I took a quick snap with the phone.  The tea room is next to the ‘STITCH’ shop.  The place was packed with locals and it was Monday morning!  We both opted for the Cheshire Breakfast (sausage,bacon, mushrooms, tomato, egg and toast) and afterwards realised why the locals were dining there.  The eggs were particylarly tasty.

Once Jan’s energy level had recovered we walked on to Aldi for a few essentials before returning to Waiouru.  Whilst Jan restocked the pantry I walked up to Nantwich Marina and checked their red diesel prices.  I’ve been thinking we should refill the reserve containers.  We don’t need any fuel (all three tanks are almost full) but at this time of year I do like to keep a reserve.  The fuel was 71ppl (domestic) which is about the median price.

In the afternoon I trained the remote for the Network Media Tank (NMT) to work with the Raspberry Pi.   It wasn’t too complicated.  I do like Linux operating systems because they are compartmentalised rather than integrated like Windoze and iOS.  The Linux infra-red moduel is LIRC and the configuration commands are in a file named lirc.conf.  All I had to do was run a configuration program (irrecord) which would record all the inputs from the remote.  during this process I had to enter the command from the selected and pressed remote key.  The irrecord program then produced an lirc.conf file in the Raspberry Pi.  The Raspberry Pi now recognised the specific remote key commands from the NMT remote.

IMG_8668

Above is the Samsung TV remote on the left and the Network Media Tank (NMT) remote on the right.  The Raspberry Pi now accepts all the commands from the NMT remote.

THE EASY WAY

If making your own IR receiver and teaching your remote to work with the Raspberry Pi seems difficult then there is an easier way.

Since the mid 2000’s many electronics manufacturers built their devices to comply with the CEC protocol.  CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control which allows HDMI connected devices to control each other.  If your devices comply with the CEC protocol (check your user manual) and are connected together with a HDMI cable then it is possible to control connected devices using a single remote control.  I have the Raspberry Pi connected to the Samsung TV using a HDMI cable.  The Samsung TV is CEC compliant.  Samsung’s proprietry name for CEC is Anynet+.  Using the Samsung remote I went into the TV system settings and turned on Anynet+.  Then I pressed the ‘Tools’ key on the remote (see next photo).  This listed all the CEC compliant devices attached to the TV via a HDMI cable.  The Raspberry Pi was on the list.  I scrolled down to the Raspberry Pi option and hit ‘Enter’ to select it.  The Samsung TV remote now controls the Raspberry Pi. 

samsung remote 

‘Source’ key is used to select the HDMI port connected to the Raspberry Pi.  ‘Tools’ key enables me to select and control the attached CEC compliant device.

3 comments :

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Tom, A propos your reply to my comment of a couple of days ago: you HAVE to constantly remind Jan how lucky she is because the stress of living with you is so great that she forgets to remember her luck and good fortune ...

Glad you have done your remote training - is that what is aka long distance learning, perchance?

Cheers, Marilyn

nb Chuffed said...

Hi Tom,
I thought you might find this interesting now you have a raspberry pi - http://www.spinellis.gr/blog/20151129/
Dave and I met while working for ICL in Bracknell in the 70s, which then had the largest computer room in europe - the size of a football pitch. So, much more advanced than the Elliot but not quite what we are used to today!
Best wishes to you both for a Happy Christmas,
Debby

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Debby,
I remember doing my first computer familiarization course in Wellinton NZ with Trainer from ICL. NZ Defence department had a small ICL mainframe and the ICL Trainer was amazed at the amount of computing work Defence was getting it to do. This was back in the late 70's