Need a remote control while exercising? Some elliptical machines / treadmills in gyms are equipped with add-on remote control. Depending on the remote itself some only allows you to switch between channels. The remote in this picture are able to do much more with 8 extra buttons, and is compatible with almost anything that uses IR (infrared) signal , be it TV, BD/DVD Player, HTPC or even amplifier.
At first I bought this steering-wheel infrared remote control for my honda but it doesn't work as expected. That is not surprising given the factory remote sucks too. Long story cut short, I got a better idea for the remote.
What you need:
- Steering wheel remote control that learns using IR ($12 from ebay)
- Anti-slip / non-skid foam tape
- Television, BD/DVD players or HTPC that has IR receiver and original remote
- Elliptical / Treadmill / Stationary bicycle with straight or rounded handle
- White paint / permanent marker / correction fluid
Putting it together:
First and foremost, the remote that I used in the instructables are flawed. This model has rear buttons but are seriously flawed that they do not come with any IR reflector and thus the signal is very weak. I opened the remote, I painted the LEDs surface white so it becomes a reflector, and removed the transparent plastic cover at the bottom.
After the LEDs are fixed, it's time to let this remote learn commands from the desired remote control. Obviously you would need your original TV / equipments remote for this process. Just put 2 remotes LEDs facing each other and perform learning processes according to the manual (hold set button and press the desired button on original remote). After all buttons are set it is time to try the new remote. If the signals are weak, ensure the IR receiver in your equipments are have clear surroundings.
Now to the mounting. There are 2 common types of handles found in typical elliptical or treadmill machine. It is either straight or rounded. The remote was designed to be mounted on steering-wheel, so certain things have to be added for the straight handle. I used a cheap anti-slip foam tape on the remote bracket and the handle itself (even when the grip is rubber) so it is tight and does not slide when I press any buttons on the front and the back.
After some trial-and-error testing, you should have a fully working remote at your elliptical or treadmill. Make sure it is tight and secured so it does not wiggle when pressed from either directions. Now you can change your music with ease while exercising.