Instructables

IR Remote Control Station for Android - TURN THE TV DOWN

Picture of IR Remote Control Station for Android - TURN THE TV DOWN
NOTE: THIS GUIDE CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON TECHBITAR.COM

UPDATE
Nov 28, 2013: Featured on Dangerous Prototypes http://goo.gl/FjwNoQ

INTRODUCTION

In this guide I will explain the making and operation of a simple Arduino-based IR Remote Control Station (IR Station) circuit that will be used to take commands from Android over Bluetooth then translate and send out corresponding IR remote control commands. You can use the IR Station to automate most IR remote controlled gadgets to turn gadgets on/off or to increase/decrease volume, brightness, speed and so on. 

For this guide, as an example, I will use the IR Remote Control Station to fight back against loud and annoying TV and radio commercials by sensing the audio level with Android/SensoDuino then sensing remote control commands to turn down the volume.

In more technical terms, I will automate the process of monitoring the volume coming out of a TV or stereo with the help of an Android app SensoDuino to automatically reduce the volume during abrupt loud commercials or even when teenagers around the house blast the TV or stereo. You can apply the concepts discussed here to almost anything with an IR remote control. With the use of a potentiometer you can control the threshold of noise. 

SENSODUINO

Think of the SensoDuino Android app as a dozen or more free virtual shields for your Arduino each supporting a different sensor and function. All you need is your Android phone, Arduino, and a $10 HC-05 Bluetooth module. SensoDuino captures data from sensors built into your Android mobile device such as GPS, audio, gyro, date/time then transmits this data over an HC-05 Bluetooth (or comparable) module to Arduino or any device equipped with Bluetooth capabilities be it Windows PC, Mac, or microcontroller.

MAJOR PROJECT STEPS

There are four major steps to building and operating the IR Remote Control Station.
  1. WIRE THE IR STATION: Gather the components and wire them according to the diagrams in the next section.
  2. CAPTURE YOUR REMOTE CONTROL IR CODES: Capture & decode your remote control Volume Down button (or any other remote function). This feature is included in the IR Station.
  3. MODIFY & UPLOAD ARDUINO FIRMWARE: Update the Arduino IR Station sketch with the remote control button codes captured from step 2 and upload the program to your Arduino.
  4. OPERATE THE IR STATION: Power the IR Station and place it next to your TV or any remote controlled gadget. Make sure the transmitter LED's top is facing your TV's IR receiver. Use the potentiometer to determine at what point you want the IR Station to kick in and start sending IR codes such as Volume Down, Off/On, Mute, Forward/Rewind, etc. Fine-tune the parameters of the Arduino program and the potentiometer until you get the desired results.
A while ago, I published another project the "TV Loudness Guard" using a dedicated component for the Audio sensor. The beauty of the IR Station for Android is that any function/sensor in your Android device can become a trigger for IR remote controlled action such as light level to turn room light on/off or Time/Date value to turn heater on/off or the orientation sensor to trigger an alarm if movement is detected. Your Android device is a powerhouse of sensors and functions that are harnessed by SensoDuino for easy use. 


 
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