Monday, March 26, 2007

Turning a Dynavox Into a TV/VCR Remote

As promised I am spending my afternoons this week teaching myself how to program a Dynavox DV4 as an environmental control unit. I tried to set up some x10 commands first, but was unsuccessful (missing a part).

Since you don't need any extra parts to control an infrared remote control I tried that next. We don't generally watch TV or movies at school, but what the heck, I can learning how to program them with one remote and it should generalize to another remote.

It was crazy easy to turn the DV4 into a remote control! I went into the Dynavox Knowledge Base and found the info I needed, by searching for "ir". I followed the first part of the directions there (setup -> tools -> ir browser) then I checked tv power and start IR learning. As soon as I clicked start I pressed the power button on the remote, which I had aimed at the top of the DV4. Then I pressed "stop learning" and "test". It worked! I could turn the TV on and off from across the room!

I repeated the same steps for channel up, channel down, volume up and volume down. I learned that when you press the remote as you aim it into the DV4 you only need to press it once or else the Dynavox will learn to change a whole bunch of channels fast or jack the volume up. Although, seeing as this is a teenager's device, maybe having it fly through the channels and blast the volume isn't such a bad idea, at least as far as being age appropriate.

I was so excited to get the Dynavox working as the TV remote that I wanted to show someone, but I felt like a bit of a loser envisioning myself bringing it into the hallway to show the teenagers lurking around waiting for their music lessons in the room next door. So I had to settle for a blog entry.

So there you have it, easy as pie, programming a Dynavox series four as a remote control!

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