Andrew Morris decided the usual wireless volume controls donít offer enough functionality, so he created the ultimate volume control that connects between a computer or MP3 player and an amplified speaker system.
Volume can be controlled up to 50 feet away and through walls. It doesnít require line-of-sight, and you can set a default setting for your favorite level. You can also adjust multiple volume controls in the sound system. Morris is now setting the gadget loose on the world, hoping readers will try it out and give him feedback for improvements.
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It has to be an amplified speaker system connected to the TV (i.e. line-level or headphone-level signals). The volume control cannot control the speakers directly. If it is a line-level signal, delete the 100 ohm resistors at the input.
I built two remote volume controls and one of them is connected to a TV volume regulator, which has a line-level output. If the remote volume control is being connected to a headphone jack, the 100 ohm resistors are needed to allow the TV, or whatever, to sense the load and switch its internal speakers off. Most electronics nowadays use electronic means to detect a load on the headphone jack and switch off the built-in speakers. Gone are the days of having a mechanical switch in the headphone jack.
Thank you, yes, I have been thinking about asking you about programmed PICs. I am currently trying to source all the parts without paying too much shipping. If that is not too much hassle I may get a pickit2 and program it myself. If it's big hassle I may ask you for PICs to save some time. I'll let you know via email.
Contact me for a minor bug fix to the remote decoder PIC ASM code in Gadget Freak Case # 192, the remote volume control. The BITST subroutine was rewritten for better noise immunity. Alternatively, you can get the updated BITST subroutine from the remote fan control in Gadget Freak Case #198. Don't use the whole program, as it will slow down the volume control response.
Alternate sources for the remote control to be hacked up:
Home Depot Westek Model # RFK306LC Store SKU # 567861
Home Depot (Christmas season only) Home Accents Holiday Model # RC-009A-1 Store SKU # 202620 (Same as above units, but has two outlets).
Lowe's SKU # 0357410 (Christmas season only) It is the same as the Home Depot Christmas version, but has a smaller remote, that is electrically identical to the remote used in this gadget.
Both seasonal remote control systems will work in this project, and both cost $10.
You're right, Jack. We're all so used to line-of-sight -- and nobody walking through that line. Seems like the whole world of remotes could be revampped on this principle. Our remotes -- which are in everyone's home by the armful -- still operate on 70s technology.
On of the interesting things about this device is that it doesnt' require line of sight and it goes through walls. With all of the changes we've seen in consumer electronics, the one device that hasn't changed substantially since the 70s is the remote.
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