Introduction: Remote Control for Lava 'mMotion Swing' Mounting Bracket

My television is mounted on an fancy 'mMotion Swing' mounting bracket made by Sweedish 'People of Lava'. The mMotion Swing is motorized and by using it's remote control, I can bring my television into any angle between 0 degrees and 90 degrees (probably even more).

I have however had problems with the remote control being unstable. I have been changing batteries, cleaning the battery terminals, cleaning the PCB, tearing my hair out,.... nothing helped.

A replacement remote control is not terribly expensive (https://buylava.com/collections/other/products/mm...) but would be too easy, right? So I made a replacement remote control.

Step 1: Build Remote Control

The images above shows a simple proof-of-concept construction. This is what you will need:

  • Arduino (I used a Nano)
  • IR tx LED
  • 220Ohm resistor
  • Push button
  • 3 position switch
  • 9V battery
  • Battery connector
  • Some wires
  • An enclosure (e.g. a used jewel box like on the photo)

Step 2: Software

The software is very simple, and can be found here: https://github.com/LarsWH/arduinoLavaRc

It does however require a modified library as well, which can be found here: https://github.com/LarsWH/Arduino-IRremote

The software can be build with a standard Arduino IDE, but has been developed using Microsoft VisualStudio with the 'VisualMicro' plugin.

People of Lava have been kind enough to published the IR commands as a PDF here: http://www.peopleoflava.com/info/mMotion/IR%20Code. But unfortunately the instructions only partly workded for me.

These commands are the ones that did work for me:

  • Auto: RC5 code: 0x0C (as per the documentation)
  • In: RC5 extended code: 0x1B 0x5E (unlike the documentation)
  • Out: RC5 extended code: 0x1B 0x5F (unlike the documentation)

More information about the RC5 protocol here:

Step 3: For the Record...

Looking at the project now, it all seems very simple, but in fact it took many many hours of reverse engineering:

  • Building up a general-purpose IR monitor (arduino based) to record signals. In the end I did not really need this - just the oscilloscope
  • Capturing IR signals on oscilloscope, to learn that the Lava documentation must be wrong.
  • Getting the timing right. Especially a silence period of approx. 80ms between repeating signals seems important
  • Trying to do all the above with a semi defect Lava remote control, that only sometimes would output a signal.
  • Develop an extesion to the existing IR library in order to have support for 'RC5 extended'

Step 4: Build Into Box

Since this a very simple construction, there is no need for a PCB. The few wires can be soldered directly onto the Arduino Nano.

Fitting everything into the jewel box is a bit tricky, but doable. The used jewel box is a temporary solution (has been for many months now....), but my daughter thinks of it as her contribution to the project, so it stays like this a little while longer.

Step 5: Future Improvements

When I get around to it, I would like to make these improvements:

  • Range: Increase the IR LED output to get more range of usage. If the IR LED is driven more directly from the battery (controlled by a transistor), a higher current can be provided, and thus more light emitted.
  • Power on: Decrease the power-on time of the Arduino, so commands are sent without any noticeable delay. The current power-on delay is around 3s.
  • Buttons: Replace the current 1 switch + 1 button with 3 dedicated buttons
  • Enclosure: Something nicer than a used jewel box

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