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[vdr] Re: Ready: IR Controller with remote power on
----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas Breuer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> easy. You can have a look at some info right now, it's here:
Seems you've done a nice Job. I had a quite similar thing in my mind, but
with the new PIC16C745 (build in lowspeed USB 1.1) to support those new
mainboards without serial interface.
Nevertheless I'm very interested in the schematics and the source code for
the PIC controller. It would be nice if you provide them on your website
too. (maybe you can create a pdf or something for the schematics, because I
use a different layout program.)
> If the rain continues (well, actually even then I don't have that much
> time left ...) one could think of the following:
> - Making the communication to the PIC micro bidirectional via RS232
> - Using a PIC with some more I/O pins
> - Adding an RTC, an LCD-Interface, and some spare I/O lines
> - Adding some software in VDR (plugin-version ...)
I'd like to see the clock feature as the next improvement ;-) If you really
want to add an RTC, I'd suggest the PCF 8583 because it's cheap, small, easy
to access (I2C) and provides battery backup possibility. But maybe there's
no need for the additional RTC, as we can use the clock of the PIC itself.
This way, you don't have to extend the hardware, and for most timers the
less accurate quarz clock is still sufficient. Of course, if AC power is
lost while VDR is switched of, the PIC will loose the current time if no RTC
is present. But we can handle this by automatic power on the VDR box if AC
power returns. VDR will then get the exact time from the satelite, reprogram
the PIC with current time and next timer events through serial interface,
and shutdown the box more or less immediately.
Of course, the other extentions are also welcome :-) They provide the
missing hardware functionality to turn a standard PC into a set top box. I
really like to have additional keys at the box itself 'in parallel' to that
ones on the remote control.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christian Berger" <einStein@donau.de>
> work, but I see 2 Problems right now.
> I do have a little idea on how to improve it. You might load one of those
> gold caps to power the reciever. That way you don't have to use expensive
> and power-hungry ATX power supplies.
Well, I assume that most of us already use a ATX power supply for their VDR
box - espeacily when unsing the dower down feature via shutdown -h. If you
want to avoid the standby power consurption of the ATX supply (approx. 4W at
my machine), you had to use an old AT one and switch it on/off by using a
relay. But anyway - you'll need power to keep the PIC/RTC alive and activate
the relay when it's time to start the VDR box. Where do you want to get it
from? (those gold-caps are much too weak for driving a relay - and please
dont say somthing like "lets use a NC-accu with intelligent charge
circuit"... ;-) )
> Problems I currently see:
> 1. It's SMD, that's hard to build at home, unless you are experienced.
I agree with this one. The small outline of the PCB is nice, but most people
might prefer the "through hole" alternative. Additionally the original IR
controler prototype seems to have a double sided PCB, which is also not easy
to build at home.
> 2. It seems to be really complex, I mean the PIC is a complete computer in
> a chip. I personally don't like the philosophy of using more and more
> deciated processors. I'm personally more a fan of using the CPUs already
> found in a normal computer.
Well, you can't use the CPU of the computer if it's switched off ;-) Waiting
for the right IR signal to power on the VDR box is the ideal task for a PIC,
because it only needs a very small amount of power. (usally less than 10mA @
4MHz / 5V)
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