Monday, 21 December 2015

Nantwich and the IR Receiver

Jan confused the hell out of me when she said “Well when are we leaving for Nantwich?” Yesterday there was a comment about not cruising on the weekends!  It was certainly ideal weather to move with a slight wind, mild temperatures and a blue sky.  We topped up the water tank above Hurleston Locks and deposited our rubbish in the CRT bin.  The top lock was empty, but the other three were in various stages of being full.  At one point we could see a boat at the bottom of the flight however it continued on towards Nantwich.  This is the first time we’ve done the flight without passing another boat.  Jan stopped to talk to a man out walking.  When she caught up with me Jan told me he was an Aussie who had been living in the UK for 18 years.  His abbreviated story was “I was at a beer festival in Brisbane where I met a backpacker.  Be careful who you sleep with when you’re pissed!”
It may be some time before we next go up the Hurleston Flight
At the bottom of the flight we turned south and headed towards Nantwich.  This is a very familiar part of the network so no need for the canal map and gps.  On reaching the moorings at Nantwich we noticed how full they were.  This is in marked contrast to our last two months on the Llangollen.  Nantwich must be a winter “honey spot”.  It was our lucky day because after passing a long line of moored boats the prime mooring adjacent to the walkway into the town was we moored up.  Jan needs to clean the carpet in the boat after tramping inside wearing her muddy boots.  She went inside to check the diesel stove which was emitting more smoke than usual.  It was probably my fault because I’d noticed the excessive smoke and asked her to check if the stove was still alight (it was).  However I’m not going to admit to any error or responsibility on my part.  Besides I know Jan loves housework!  I try not to make too much of a mess in the boat because I know you can have too much of a good thing.
Nerdy Bit
Reader Ade asked for the links to the project components
The Infra-red Receiver
My homemade IR receiver and remote will consist of an IR receiver; an old cable from a CD Rom drive and the existing remote control from the media tank.  I’ll replace the remote control with another old remote at a later date.
The first thing I had to do was remove the plugs from the end of the CD Rom cable.
I did this by borrowing one of Jan’d sewing needles and prying up the small plastic clip on each of the three wires.  Each wire can then be pulled out of the plug.  The wires already have a pin terminal crimped to the end.
The above photo is blurred but you get the idea.  The cable terminals are just the right size to fit onto the IR Receiver pins.
IMG_8636 Now you know why I wanted an old CD ROM drive audio cable.  And you thought I was just a pretty face! Smile
I used three small pieces of insulation tape to insulate the bare terminals.  Then I pushed a short piece of shrink wrap over the insulation tape and used Jan’s hairdryer to tidy up the wires.
I will probably apply more heat at a later date and shrink this slightly more.  My plan is to find a short length of 16 gauge steel wire and attach it to the IR sensor as a support wand.  The wire will be secured to the cable using a second layer of heat shrink.  The wand will then be bent to allow the IR sensor to be positioned on an edge of the TV (probably under the lower edge) where it can receive the signals from the remote control.
I then drilled a hole in the RPi plastic case and fed the other end of the cable into the enclosure.  Once there was sufficient cable inside the case I tied a cable tie around the cable to act as a stop.  This will prevent the cable from accidentally being ripped out of the case.
The three wires were then attached to the Raspberry Pi GPIO connector.
This isn’t my RPi but the GPIO pin layout is the same.
The last task was to test if the IR sensor was receiving commands from the remote.  I pushed a few buttons on the remote whilst pointing it at the sensor and the LED on the RPi blinked.  So the sensor is wired correctly and receiving commands from the remote.  But the Rpi doesn’t understand the remote control commands.  That’s the next step.  The IR Receiver has cost me 43p.

1 comment :

Ade said...

Many thanks Tom, another interesting post.