Introduction: Remote Computer Volume – So You Don’t Have to Get Off Your Exercise Bike

About: “There's always something.” - Violet Baudelaire:

I ride my exercise bikes, both 30 plus years old, wearing headphones and listening to an online music channel. I wanted to be able to adjust the volume and mute without having to stop and go over to the computer. In the past, I tried inline volume controls and they were a crappy solution.

When I went looking for a solution, I found many interesting instructionals on building volume controls, programming volume controls, etc. It was just that none of them fit my needs.

Fortunately, I already owned a couple of simple solutions for remote volume control of a computer. I had just never thought of them in the context of online music. They are also pretty non-technical. One is a Windows infrared Media Center Edition (MCE) remote and the other is a mini keyboard.

The mini keyboard works on radio waves and is more forgiving on where you locate it. You don’t have to be able to see the receiver for it to work. The Windows infrared Media Center (MCE) remote control is just like a TV remote and has to be pointed at the IR receiver or bounced off of something reflective like a picture under glass.

I prefer the HP MCE remote because it is easier to one-hand than the mini keyboard and it is more tightly integrated with the Windows Media Center..

Yes, I do not tell you how to make something here, but hopefully, telling you how to do something is of value to you.

Step 1: Windows Infrared MCE Remote

I have the HP Windows Media Center (MCE) infrared remote control and a Lenovo MCE. The both work pretty much the same but the HP is more tightly integrated with the Windows Media Center. I have seen some problems reported with non-name brands not working. Then again, it could have just been which USB port was being used. I had a USB light stick that wouldn’t go out when the PC was off. I swapped it to another port and, voila, it was “fixed”.

The install was on a Windows 7 computer, but it should work elsewhere. Put batteries in the remote, plug the IR receiver into a USB port, and let Windows install the drivers. Fire up your streaming sound and adjust the sound level remotely using the volume and mute buttons.

Step 2: Mini Keyboard

I have a Rii i8 Mini 2.4GHz Wireless Touchpad Keyboard and the equivalent HausBell H7. I can’t see any difference between the two.

The install was on a Windows 7 computer, but it should work elsewhere. Charge the keyboard, plug the wireless receiver into a USB port, let Windows install the drivers, and turn on keyboard (top right, slide switch). Fire up your streaming sound and adjust the sound level remotely.

Volume   Location         Key

Up       Left navigation    Up arrow

Down     Left navigation    Down arrow

Mute      Left key column   Third key down – lined thru speaker icon

If you open the Volume control (speaker icon), so the Volume control shows on the desktop, there are more volume options. This only works if the focus is on the volume control.

Volume      Location         Key

Up          Left navigation    Up arrow

Up          Right navigation   Up arrow

Up          Right navigation   Left arrow

Up          Right touchpad    Slide up

Down       Left navigation     Down arrow

Down       Right navigation    Down arrow

Down       Right navigation    Right arrow

Down       Right touchpad     Slide down

Mute        Left key column    Third key down – lined thru speaker icon