Andrew Morris decided the usual wireless volume controls don’t 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 doesn’t 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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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.
I think the most interesting function of this gadget is that it remembers your favorite volume level. I am always fussing with my iPod and speakers trying to get the right volume so this would be great.
Sounds like he might have a captive audience for this for parents who want to control the volume of their teens' music or Xbox games from behind the scenes. Might help avoid some of the daily conflict. Sign me up!
Eleven years ago one of those rare, brilliant moments emerged from the crack staff of Design News: Let’s put the tinkerers among our audience community to work in designing and building some truly wacky devices. And Gadget Freak was born.
Followers of Design News’ Gadget Freak blogs will have the opportunity next week to take home a wireless remote demo package that can be used to build garage door openers, tire pressure monitors, keyless entry systems, and much more.
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