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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    5

    Remote Control with FLIRC, Jivelite, Headless

    My goal is to use an existing Pi running Picoreplayer with an infrared remote control and no screen. My pi works great. I just want to be able to do play/pause and track advance from a remote of some sort.

    Jivelite supports keyboard control and a FLIRC emulates a keyboard and turns IR remote control commands into keyboard sequences. This should work great. The only issue for me is that the Pis I want to do this with do not have any kind of display. They are completely "headless". So, when jivelite starts, it can't find a frame buffer. Worse, it wants me to select language and other preferences before it will respond to keyboard commands.

    Is there a way to tell jivelite to use no display (like /dev/null for frame buffer maybe?) and to ignore the initial setup sequence? Is there maybe a way of specifying a configuration file with the preferences already there? Or environmental variables I can set to select everything that would normally be done "by hand" on first start?

    If you are thinking that this seems kind of a long solution for just remote control, I agree. But I do not want to buy a bare IR receiver that requires soldering to implement. I do not want to mess with GPIO pins. Further, I would really like to repurpose several existing IR remotes, and that means I need to use "custom" IR codes. FLIRC makes this very easy.

    If there were some other piece of utility software that listened on the USB keyboard (console) for key presses and used those key presses (single keys) to control the squeezbox client, that would be even better. But I haven't found anything like that just yet.

    Thanks for any advice and pointers.

    Brian.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    UK/London
    Posts
    5,479
    How about controlling Squeezelite rather than Jivelite?

    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post983475

    Otherwise ... if it has to be Jivelite then once you go through the language set-up and connect to your LMS then you should find that Jivelite remembers that for the future and no longer prompts for it (might need to force a pCP backup for it to be retained over boot).
    Others might have ideas about getting it to start when there is no real screen but my guess is that you would have to tell the hardware to pretend that there is one. In the days before KMS (when RPi used fkms) you could do it via settings in config.txt (hdmi_force_hotplug=1 perhaps).
    There is probably an equivalent in the KMS world but I have not looked.
    Paul Webster
    Author of "Now Playing" plugins covering Radio France (FIP etc), PlanetRadio (Bauer - Kiss, Absolute, Scala, JazzFM etc), KCRW, ABC Australia and CBC/Radio-Canada
    and, via the extra "Radio Now Playing" plugin lots more - see https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...Playing-plugin

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Webster View Post
    How about controlling Squeezelite rather than Jivelite?

    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post983475
    I had seen that post before, but the warning about it being "hard" stopped me. I just read more and it's not SO bad... hmmm... I think I'll give this a try soon.

    Otherwise ... if it has to be Jivelite then once you go through the language set-up and connect to your LMS then you should find that Jivelite remembers that for the future and no longer prompts for it (might need to force a pCP backup for it to be retained over boot).
    ...and you've solved another mystery for me! I played with jivelite on one of my Pis that has a display, but when I rebooted it, jivelite re-ran setup. If I could just get it to save the config (probably with a pCP backup like you said), this whole thing might get a lot easier.

    I'll mess around with these options and see what I can do.

    However... I've been thinking about maybe using a touch screen on the two Pis I want to remote control. Touch screen should be kinda nice actually. Are there any relatively baked hardware devices that are not a bare screen? Meaning no exposed electronics and hopefully some kind of stand so the touchscreen would be usable sitting on a flat surface (like a table). If a device like that isn't too expensive that might be a better alternative for me.

    Thanks for all your suggestions.

    Brian.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    5
    I've had some really good success today.

    I spent about an hour and seemingly have my 2 pis working the way I want them. I was surprised that Jivelite really doesn't care that there's nothing connected to the HDMI. I just plugged in a keyboard and did a blind initialization by pressing a few keys. Then Jivelite was happy and the keyboard worked for control. Spacebar does a play/pause toggle!

    From there the big deal was figuring out how to save the Jivelite config. It turns out that just doing a PCP backup from the main screen works. Also, under the Jivelite settings, if you update the autostart setting, it saves the config to the SD card. Either one seems equivalent. With that done, you can reboot the pi and Jivelite's configuration comes back without having to do a keyboard setup again.

    I took a FLIRC I have in another system and programmed 3 keys (pause, next, previous) with an existing remote and it just worked. Awesome!

    I've got a couple of FLIRCs ordered and will install and configure them soon. Thank you very much for the pointers and keys to making this work for me.

    Brian.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Conwy, uk
    Posts
    28

    any tips for preserving Jivelite settings?

    Quote Originally Posted by bgentry View Post
    I've had some really good success today.

    I spent about an hour and seemingly have my 2 pis working the way I want them. I was surprised that Jivelite really doesn't care that there's nothing connected to the HDMI. I just plugged in a keyboard and did a blind initialization by pressing a few keys. Then Jivelite was happy and the keyboard worked for control. Spacebar does a play/pause toggle!

    From there the big deal was figuring out how to save the Jivelite config. It turns out that just doing a PCP backup from the main screen works. Also, under the Jivelite settings, if you update the autostart setting, it saves the config to the SD card. Either one seems equivalent. With that done, you can reboot the pi and Jivelite's configuration comes back without having to do a keyboard setup again.

    I took a FLIRC I have in another system and programmed 3 keys (pause, next, previous) with an existing remote and it just worked. Awesome!

    I've got a couple of FLIRCs ordered and will install and configure them soon. Thank you very much for the pointers and keys to making this work for me.

    Brian.
    Hi, I followed this thread as I have been in a very similar position. Markiii very kindly helped, so I understood then that to use a keyboard emulator (Flirc + Touch Remote) I needed Jivelite. My experience was different to yours. PiCore 7 (on RPi 4) remained unresponsive with keyboard alone. I had to add an HDMI display. Adding my HDMI monitor + keyboard + mouse, I could save a display setting and then the keyboard (and Flirc) worked brilliantly. I saved via autostart, and did a PcP backup. Removed keyboard and monitor, all works great ... until a reboot! The Jivelite config is lost and the whole process has to be repeated. Incidentally (and I have seen this somewhere in another thread), on PcP 8.0.1 Jivelite wouldn't display - the Picore logo appears briefly on boot up, then disappears to a blank screen. So I can only install Jivelite using a monitor on PcP 7.

    If anyone has any further tips or advice as to where I am going wrong, I would be delighted.

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