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rock
2006-04-03, 09:36
After searching I see there are threads with a similar theme, however I started a new one to jump start this discussion again.

First off, I don't yet have my Squeezeboxe(s). They are on order and I now regret not upgrading to faster shipping as I am all fired up. I've got Slimserver running and I've played around with Softsqueeze to the point where I've written some experimental plugins. My point is that many of my questions below can be answered with some simple hardware experimentation, but I thought I'd get a bit of a jump start.

I'd like to link the Squeezebox IR system in with my existing Xantech system to 1) pass along IR commands and have Squeezebox act like my Xantech IR receiver; and 2) so I can have Squeezebox turn on my already remote amp.

I'm guessing that the IR blaster plugin is capable of "passing along commands" from what I've read. I'm also guessing that Squeezebox can use my Xantech IR flashers as long as I do the stereo - mono mini jack translation (although in the long run this will not be relavant, but I may need this for experimentation). And I'm making a third guess that the Squeezebox IR system is a 5V one.

If the above is correct I suspect I could link the IR blaster output of the Squeezebox to a receiver input of my Xantech system with the circuit on page 4 of this doc.

http://toddjreed.home.comcast.net/ToddsHAproject.pdf

Now given that I'll probably use the analog outputs of the Squeezebox, unless I can find an economical (read cheap) DA converter to send the audio all the way back to the amp, I'm not thrilled with sharing a ground between the systems. I could easily mod an optoisolator into the above circuit, but I also found this:

http://tinyurl.com/qyzfg

which looks like it may be just the ticket.

So bottom line, anyone have experience with what I propose doing?

fcm4711
2006-04-03, 11:21
Hi rock
I'm guessing that the IR blaster plugin is capable of "passing along commands" from what I've read.
Correct.

I'm also guessing that Squeezebox can use my Xantech IR flashers as long as I do the stereo - mono mini jack translation (although in the long run this will not be relavant, but I may need this for experimentation).
Not sure about this, but I guess so.

And I'm making a third guess that the Squeezebox IR system is a 5V one.
No, it's 3.3v

If the above is correct I suspect I could link the IR blaster output of the Squeezebox to a receiver input of my Xantech system with the circuit on page 4 of this doc.
I guess this also works with 3.3v.

Cheers
Felix

bobharp
2006-04-03, 11:57
rock,

In the summer of 02 (this was pre SB) I hooked up my system as follows.

Upstairs AV closet.
Harmon Kardon (HK) avr 320
HK pa 4000
xantech 291-kit (http://xantech.com/products/p_folder/p_291kit.htm)

Zones downstairs.
HK kp 1 (wall key pad) for each zone
xantech 490 microlink receiver for kp 1

For the moment I have 2 SB2s.
One hooked to a Cabmbridge Soundworks CD Radio
and the other into my AV closet upstair for multi-zone audio.

While my focus has not been to use my SB to pass IR info (I did not know of the plug-in till your post) to my amp and system, I should be able to replicate your setup.

I am using a combination of 'Music Sense' and keypad controls to turn on music to my zones. Does your amp have any similar features?

rock
2006-04-03, 12:15
Bob,

My "4 zone amp" is actually 4 separate receivers. They sit in my basement and speaker wires run to remote locations. For control at those remote locations I use the remotes that came with the receivers over a Xantech 4 zone system.

In the old days I had a CD changer as my common source. I like having individual receivers as zone amps as I still like to listen to FM.

Enter the SqueezeBox.

If the SB had a "head" and "body" unit like the Sonos (or if I could buy a Sonos head and body unit for $200!) and also relayed IR signals (see my other thread) I wouldn't be writing this. So you can see where I am headed.

There are multiple ways to accomplish what I want, I'm just trying to figure out the best options to get there.

kefa
2006-04-03, 12:53
surely this is where we roll on with a wi-fi head such as nokia 770 (or the new mobile phones that are about to grace us with their presence) to control any ir devices via the squeezebox. With this in mind I have created a plug-in that enables any ir device (cd player, amp, tv, etc)to be controlled using the irblaster plug-in and output.

at the moment the plugin requires the IRBlaster plugin to be installed with the appropriate remote *.conf files (these can be created for any remotes using the 'learning' facility available with the plugin from Slimserver v6.2.2).

It also requires an HTML template file to be manually modified with the button layout and commands required for your remote, but this should be pretty straightforward if you have more had more than a sniff of HTML experience. Just modify the appropriate section in the following file:

WebIRRemote/HTML/Default/plugins/WebIRRemote/index.html

(scroll down to the comment lines that start with // for instructions)

There are probably a few things to be ironed out, someone with plug-in expereience could probably point me in the right direction as to adding some appropriate checks and balances. However, for me it all works fine. To-do is to remove the need to edit the HTML template and make the layout manually configurable from within the web interface itself (much like within the IRBlaster plugin configuration).

Anyway the following image should provide you with an overview of what's possible:

http://www.avdv70.dsl.pipex.com/webirremote/image.gif

and the the following url provides a download of the plug-in itself:

http://www.avdv70.dsl.pipex.com/webirremote/webirremote.zip

bobharp
2006-04-03, 12:56
How do you ir controll your diff. zones now?

As you have seen, the SB hardware and Slimserver OS is quite extensible. Sit back think out of the box with your current setup. There are a miriad of ways to control your SB/Slimserver network. I thought that I would quickly move to a wireless handheld gui for my SB. I have been very contenet with the SB interface. With Slimserver I can sync my internet radio stations across my zones. Oddly FM reception is spotty at my house.

rock
2006-04-03, 13:07
surely this is where we roll on with a wi-fi head such as nokia 770 (or the new mobile phones that are about to grace us with their presence) to control any ir devices via the squeezebox. With this in mind I have created a plug-in that enables any ir device (cd player, amp, tv, etc)to be controlled using the irblaster plug-in and output.


I shoulda combined this with my other post...

Actully this is the inverse of my application. I want to use the SB as a contoller. I have no desire to purchase a Nokia 770 or other web pad. I've actually gone this route before and am trying to simplify.

I've got the whole "how to control thing" down. My problem is getting the control signal (and the audio signal, but that's another story) to the device to be controlled. They are located away from each other. I've already go the Xantech system in place and could buy the ir blaster from Slim and mate it with my Xantech receiver in a big ball of electrical tape, but that seems less than elegant. If I can make a neat little interface from the blaster out port on the SB (yes, I know this is also the headphone jack) to the receiver port on the Xantech connector block (remember the wiring is already in place) I can also save the cost of Xantech receivers in the future.

rock
2006-04-03, 13:17
How do you ir controll your diff. zones now?


It's a 4 zone Xantech system. Think about 4 of what you have, in a single package.
http://www.xantech.com/products/p_folder/p_79520.htm



As you have seen, the SB hardware and Slimserver OS is quite extensible. Sit back think out of the box with your current setup. There are a miriad of ways to control your SB/Slimserver network.


Like I said before, there are multiple ways to accomplish what I want, I'm just trying to figure out the best options to get there.



I thought that I would quickly move to a wireless handheld gui for my SB.

Like I said in this and my other post, I've gone the wireless handheld route before, I'm trying to simplify. I like the SB as a controller, and I like it as a device to stream audio two as directed by that controller. Now if those two functionalities were in different boxes (but the functionality between them still linked) AND I could pass my IR signals from controller to remote streamer where it could then be blasted at my remote receiver / amps (I still need FM) I'd be happy.

AND.... all of the above can be done over CAT5. Wireless has it's place and it ain't on fixed mounted devices (IMHO).

kdf
2006-04-03, 13:31
Quoting kefa <kefa.25pf1o1144094102 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> WebIRRemote/HTML/Default/plugins/WebIRRemote/index.html

you might want to consider making this
WebIRRemote/HTML/EN/plugins/WebIRRemote/index.html

to allow for skins other than Default to use it. If you create an EN
template, then all other skins will find it and use the
headers/footers and stylesheets for that skin.
-k

bobharp
2006-04-03, 15:05
rock,

I can appreciate your pain in describing you situation. My ir setup connects trough cat 5 as well, but I digress.
Have you looked at cheap ir to rf?

I will try and diagram your setup tomorrow to see if I can find a cheap and easy fix.

rock
2006-04-03, 19:11
kdf,
Sorry I'm not sure what you are getting at, your posted URL seems to be missing a domain.

Bob,
I don't think you understand. Wires are not my problem, but if it is a diagram you want, then a diagram you shall get.

whatIhaveNow.jpg is, well... what I have now. Well, almost. I only drew 2 zones here (you can extrapolate) and I no longer use a CD changer, I use a music server, and how I control it is not worth getting into.

The wires connecting the IR receivers to the Xantech connecting block are indeed CAT5. It doesn't have to be as they only use 3 conductors, but I got alot of CAT5 laying around.

withSqueezebox.jpg is what I am probably going to do when I get my SBs. The SB to Xantech circuit are the things in the URL of my post that started this thread. Nevermind that line level or digital audio has to run all the way back to the receivers in the basement, that's a whole other ball of wax that is best left to the other thread I have running.

So what does this buy me over what I have now, IR wise.
1) The ability to control the receiver with commands sent to the SB, like turning the receivers on when the SB goes on.
2) I'm going to mount my SBs on the wall, or at least I think I am. With what I have pictured here I am using the IR receiver of the SB essentially as the IR receiver of the Xantech system. This means only one receiver mounted to (and in) the wall, not two.
3) If my SB to Xantech circuit is under $50, then it is a cheaper receiver than the $50 Xantech receivers.

Forget what I said about the Sonos and "head" and "body" stuff here. That topic is part of another thread and encompasses more than IR which I would rather focus on in this thread.

bobharp
2006-04-04, 09:28
It seems like your setup will work. So once you get your SBs, test with one SB (IR receiver) jacked into your ir zone controller with the other SB (RCA out) feeding your receiver. You could sync or Shadow Play (plugin) depending on your testing. BTW the AMX NetLinx plugin looked way cool.

Good luck