Tag Archives: all-in-one remote

Hacking an ultimate all-in-one remote with ATtiny85


Maker adds RF control, command sequences and USB power to a Griffin Beacon. 


It’s always exciting to see once discontinued, obsolete products brought back to life with a simple hack and a little DIY ingenuity. Added to the growing list of reincarnated devices is this Griffin Beacon Universal Remote, which has recently been modded to include RF controls and USB power. After finding his former state-of-the-art remote lying around, a Maker by the name of “Joedefa” had decided that it was time for it to stop collecting dust. With the number of wireless devices on the rise, it was clearer than ever that he needed a better, much more efficient way to control them all at once.

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“I always have my cell phone so the Beacon seemed like the perfect thing. But a lot of the lights and outlets in my house were RF controlled. Which sparked this project,” the Maker writes. “After fiddling with different projects to control them such as making an Arduino connected with an Ethernet to display a webpage and programming a small remote. I found that I needed a better user interface and the ability to connect to it easily.”

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With that in mind, Joedefa devised a simple circuit that could relay the signal of the IR remote, while USB power eliminated any need for batteries. In addition, the project is based around an ATtiny85 that controls the communication between the infrared LED and RF transmit module. Meanwhile, a pair of red and green LEDs allows him to know if the remote has received commands successfully.

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The Maker has also appended an IR LED to the build which would enable him to send IR sequences, such as entering sleep mode and a Netflix selector for his Apple TV. To streamline these actions, Joedefa added the sequences to a single button, while the ATtiny85 was tasked with executing the commands. Interested in learning more? Flip over to the project’s official Hackaday.io page here.

SPIN remote is the simplest remote you will ever need


This smart knob wants to bring simplicity to your device-filled world.


Did you know that the average household has three remote controls lying around the living room, with about 40 buttons on each? That’s 120 buttons in total — quite a bit if you ask us. Well, a Netherlands-based team of Makers has set out to simplify the way in which you interact with the world around you starting with the remote control.

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“Over time more and more technology has found its way into the living room. The once simple task of watching TV has become a joint effort of our HD television, our interactive set-top box and our AV receiver. While those devices kept getting smarter, the remote control has stayed the same ever since the introduction of infrared technology in 1980. It never evolved into something more than a plastic box with buttons, we just ended up with more buttons,” the team writes.

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From turning on your lights to changing radio stations, SPIN remote is the only device you will ever need in the era of constant connectivity. While it may not eliminate buttons altogether, it does converge the ones that you really use. And, with over 120, that can surely come in handy!

The smart gadget is packed with a number of components including an Atmel | SMART SAM D20, along with a capacitive touchpad, 360° infrared LEDs, a low energy Bluetooth module, color LEDs, motion sensors and a buzzer, all enclosed in a shockproof metal casing. Its embedded series of sensors enable the remote to detect motion, rotation, orientation, touch and even proximity. Imagine how easy it’ll be to change the TV channel by merely turning a dial.

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“Your SPIN remote knows how you are holding it (straight, sideways or upside down), how you are rotating it (clockwise or counter clockwise) and how fast you are rotating. All of this information is analyzed by our innovative software in realtime, allowing SPIN remote to seamlessly transform rotation into commands.”

This compact and convenient device can easily be customized using its companion app as well. The app, which is for both iOS and Android, takes a user through the setup process in a matter of a few steps. All a user must do is select the function he or she wants to add, then press the button on their old-school remote control and presto! Those looking for more functionality can use the app to create their own presets, add new devices, customize the touchpad and combine function with rotation to fit their needs and desires.

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Not only does it have brains, it’s beautiful as well. Users can choose from a variety of different shells for their personal SPIN remote, including aluminum, brass, and our favorite, the Kickstarter special.

Those wishing to have the simplest remote ever can head over to the project’s official Kickstarter page, where team has already successfully achieved its €100,000 goal. A smart world calls for a smart remote!

Building an all-in-one remote with the Uno

An electronic engineering student with the handle “Victor8o5” has designed an all-in-one remote control using a number of basic hardware components, including an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (Atmel ATmega328 MCU), LCD keypad shield, infrared LED and infrared sensor.

Victor8o5 kicked off his AiO project by gathering the codes of the various remotes around the house using the infrared sensor.

“Once the code has been uploaded and the sensor connected we go to ‘Tools’ and we click on ‘Serial Monitor’ [in the sketch]. You will see a message that says ‘Ready to decode IR!’ now, by pressing any key of the remote while facing the sensor, we will be able to obtain the code,” he explained in a recent Instructables post.

“Once you’ve finished with the code it should be able to work, make sure you place the infrared LED from digital pin 3 to ground, pin 3 is a PWM pin, other pins won’t work. Left and right buttons control the menus, up and down control the submenus, select sends the code attached to the corresponding submenu inside the menu.”

As Victor8o5 notes, several LEDs and a transistor can be used to boost power and range.

“This is because the power supplied by a digital pin is limited to 40mA, enough to light one or two LED’s but not enough to light an array of 5 LED’s for example,” he added.

“The resistor value for the base (middle pin of the transistor) should be around 1-2k. Due the high frequency switching a resistor may not be needed since the LED’s will handle the power. I’ve tried this myself with a standard IR LED and a 5V supply from the digital pin 3 with no problems.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s Instructables page here.