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Asked — Edited

Controlling A Remote Control Device With A Ez-B

So I got thinking(Oh no, not again...) and I thought about how to control a remote control device with the ez-b, much like the roboquad. I know that the roboquad has too many versions to get one that works, but what about other things like cars and other things that may operate by either IR, 27mHz or 49mHz signals.

1. How would you connect the device, generally speaking? Connect to the signal wire of the ez-b to the signal wire of the, lets say, RC car for example?

2. How would you send the commands? Serial? UART?

3. How would you get the signals needed to operate the device? Could you use the EZ-b to sample the signals?

This is just a conversational thread as its something I wanted to investigate.


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The ir frequencies that toys and such use are generally common, but the actual protocol (i.e. commands) are unique per model and manfuacturererererer. So no, you cannot simply "reproduce" the signal without a great deal of effort. Hence the discontinued support of wowwee products by emulating the IR signal.

What you can do is connect the ez-b to the remote control with physical wires. If the remote control has a push buttons, connect the digital ports to the push buttons. If the remote control has a joystick, you may be able to use PWM to emulate the joystick.
This is WAY too complicated and I am sure there is a better way, but...

Get an Android phone with an IR blaster (recent Samsung or HTC are best for this).

Get Tasker app, IFTTT plugin for Tasker App, and Anymote Smart Remote app (note, these are not free apps).

In Smart Remote, define buttons for your device (it knows thousands of devices, and is a learning remote if it doesn't know the device).

In Tasker, create tasks to activate the button functions.

In IFTTT create a recipe using the Maker channel and the Tasker plugin channel to execute your Tasker tasks using HTTP Get requests.

Create ARC scripts to make the HTTP Get requests as needed.

Put EZ-B in client mode so ARC will have Internet access.

Mount android device on robot with IR device pointed forward, and Wifi or 3G/4G active so it has Internet access.


(I strongly suspect you we can figure out a way for ARC to talk WiFi directly to Tasker and cut out a lot of the middle, but I am just spit-balling an idea here. This will absolutely work. I also think we could probably find a TTL to IR adapter that could run off a digital port using send serial commands, but as DJ said, trying to figure out what to send is tricky. There are definitely USB to IR devices with good code libraries, so if you are building a bot with embedded computer, that would be a lot easier too.)

Actually, it is a bit easier. Anymote Smart Remote can respond to Android Notifications using the IFTTT android app, so removes a few steps and doesn't require Tasker.

An ifttt plugin is on my todo list. If I can find appropriate hardware, and irda device plugin might be somewhere on the list too.

Hi Alan,

I had a r/c transmitter (27mhtz ) which I wanted to use as a slave to run some servos. I wanted to connect a pwm signal into the wires which were connected to the joystick pot. I didn't work. It was quite a while ago, so I don't remember exactly what was wrong. The idea was to go from an arduino to the TX joystick wiring, then signal the RX to the servos. I assume the EZB is the same pwm output. I think I was going to have to use a digital pot, or something like that to have the correct input to the TX wiring.

Will your proposed plugin do this kind of thing?

Ron R
It would likely do send serial instead of pwm. Would need to find the right hardware. I certainly don't know how to design the circuit but I know it is possible. Certainly doing a plugin for a USB device, specifically http://www.usbuirt.com should be fairly easy, but that would only be valuable for embedded PC robots.

So emulating is out of the question then? The ez-b cant be used to sample the commands? I could imagine using an ez-b to control the remote, but if you want an all in one robot solution it would be a bit of a pain lugging the remote around as well...

To what length would one have to go to emulate? The way I said in the first post?
As DJ said, way too many codes and protocols to have direct connection be supportable. Unless the device uses irda (serial over ir, which you would be able to just use send serial to emulate, but unlikely for any device you would want to contrl) DJ would need to build the support in since you would need to directly address the digital port with signals of just the right timing.

If we can find a uart to IR device, could probably cut the LED off and wire to the LED inputs on the device you want to control and drive it with send serial, but I have been searching casually for a while this evening and haven't found anything useful.

Great! Thanks Alan and DJ. Looks like remote piggybacking is the answer!
Was looking for a PICO projector for telepresence bot and need a way to control it (Turn on, adjust keystone. change modes etc). I found this thread and was about to order an anymote but looks like they discontinued it :-( Seems to be a few other products like it, Broadlink, Harmony Hub. I don't have an old phone with IR blaster so will need to buy some type of universal remote control that will work with IFTTT or some other way to transmit requests from home to office and control projector (and maybe interact with other IR devices).

Anyone doing this ? Any ideas?