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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
A parent's dream
Beth Stackpole   8/17/2011 9:05:21 AM
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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!

Lauren Muskett
User Rank
Platinum
Remembers Your Settings
Lauren Muskett   8/17/2011 9:07:35 AM
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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.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Line of sight
Rob Spiegel   8/17/2011 10:59:33 AM
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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.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Line of sight
Jack Rupert, PE   8/31/2011 3:28:16 PM
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I might actually have to try this one.  Like Rob, I'm impressed with the fact that it goes through walls.  50' is also a great advantage....

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Line of sight
Rob Spiegel   8/31/2011 3:46:28 PM
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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.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Additional info
armorris   8/13/2012 11:40:52 AM
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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.

Andrew R. Morris morr3763@bellsouth.net

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Additional info
Rob Spiegel   8/13/2012 5:02:15 PM
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Thanks for posting this, Andrew. I'm sure our readers appreciate it.

dgrant
User Rank
Iron
Re: Additional info
dgrant   10/10/2012 6:02:07 PM
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This project is awesome, and it's just what I've been looking for so my parents can control the volume of the external speakers attached to their TV.

What was the total resistance of the DS1809 that you used? Thanks.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Additional info
armorris   10/10/2012 11:41:39 PM
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The resistance of the pots is 10K. See this link for further information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyes_H9zIc8&feature=youtu.be

Let me know if you need me to send you programmed PICs. My email address is in the article.

 

dgrant
User Rank
Iron
Re: Additional info
dgrant   10/11/2012 1:42:02 PM
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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.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Additional info
armorris   10/11/2012 2:21:35 PM
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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.

dgrant
User Rank
Iron
Re: Additional info
dgrant   10/11/2012 2:32:20 PM
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Great, thanks for the heads-up. I will have to remove the 100 ohm resistors because I will be connecting to the line-level outputs of a TV.

dgrant
User Rank
Iron
Enclosure
dgrant   10/11/2012 2:39:52 PM
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1 saves
Is that a Hammond enclosure?

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Enclosure
armorris   10/11/2012 3:04:15 PM
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No, It's not a Hammond enclosure. It's Radio Shack 270-1803. The link I sent you earlier has the part numbers and sources of parts not available at Allied. Since Allied sponsors this blog, they don't like people to mention the sources of parts they don't sell. That's why I sent you to my YouTube page.

dgrant
User Rank
Iron
Re: Enclosure
dgrant   10/11/2012 3:06:35 PM
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Aha! Sorry I didn't see the extended text beneath the youtube video.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Enclosure
armorris   10/11/2012 3:48:55 PM
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The volume control has an auxiliary output for an optional audio switch to turn a subwoofer or audio system on and off with the incoming signal. If you are not going to use that, you can delete R2, R3, R8, D1 and D2. Add a wire in place of the diodes (between U4 pins 1 and 2).

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Enclosure
armorris   10/11/2012 4:34:22 PM
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Also, if you're not going to drive a low impedance load like headphones, you can delete transistors Q1 and Q2. I would leave R7 in place as the capacitors C1, C2, C3 and C4 could make U4 unstable.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Using a different remote control system
armorris   2/4/2014 7:36:41 AM
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A reader wanted to use a different remote control system with greater range for outdoor use. I redesigned the pot controller chip to accomodate two momentary inputs (UP and DN). I also rewrote the remote receiver code to produce two momentary outputs, originally to test the pot controller. My email address is in the article.  Please email me if you would like a copy of this code or preprogrammed chips.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
A PCB is available
armorris   9/27/2014 12:23:10 PM
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One of my readers has designed a PCB (printed circuit board) for my gadget. He designed it to accomodate multiple configurations. That means what you do with the extra op-amp. For example, he uses it as a third channel for his high-end subwoofer. If you want a PCB, email me and I'll hook you up to him. I'm not making anything off of this project. I just want people to enjoy my gadget.

Jimmy Weaver
User Rank
Iron
Re: A PCB is available
Jimmy Weaver   2/12/2016 9:35:17 AM
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Great build very interested in it would love to know how to get a PCB for this thanks alot 

 

Jimmy

 

PS  ever think about doing the same project but be able to control it from a Blue Tooth app on a phone or tablet?

 

email is weaverjim1@gmail.com

 

Thanks

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
3-pack remotes
armorris   6/18/2016 1:10:48 PM
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I recently discovered that the Chinese factory that makes these remote controls also makes a 3-pack version with a 6-button transmitter and 3 receivers. They are completely compatible with the units I've been using. I'm currently working with a person who wants to use one of the extra channels to turn his system on and off and another channel to switch signal inputs. I have already written code to decode the other transmitter channels. Please email me if you want further information.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Spontaneous volume changes
armorris   7/15/2016 2:32:24 PM
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One builder, using his volume control in a commercial setting had trouble from spontaneous volume changes. I made a change that fixed the problem, but slowed down the response of the volume control. While developing another Gadget Freak project, I revisited the remote control system and saw something I missed before. Using this new information, I rewrote my receiver decoder software to greatly improve speed and noise immunity.

If you don't have the means to program a PIC yourself, give me your mailing address and the "channel" your remote is on, and I will send you a PIC programmed with the updated software. If your "channel" is something other than A B C or D, then I will need to know which jumpers are cut in the transmitter or the discarded receiver unit.  If you can program a PIC yourself, tell me so and I will email you the updated software.



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