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Part II: Home Entertainment > Remotely Control Your Computer

Chapter 5. Remotely Control Your Computer

What You Need
  • Prepunched perfboard, .100" x .100" spacing, 0.042" hole diameter

  • LIRC-compatible IR receiver module

  • 4k7 (4.7 k.Ω) resistor

  • 1N4148 diode

  • 4.7 μF capacitor

  • 78L05, 100mA voltage regulator (TO-92 casing)

  • 9-pin or 25-pin D-Sub connector

  • Three-conductor cable

  • Soldering iron and solder

  • Rotary tool (like a Dremel)

For a list of specific parts used in this project, refer to Exhibit A at the end of this chapter.

If you've skipped ahead and completed either of the HTPC projects, you've already gotten a taste of what it's like to control your PC using an infrared remote. But what if you don't like the remote that came with the TV tuner? Maybe you'd prefer to use the remote from your TiVo, or the one that came with your stereo that has ten trillion buttons. Or maybe you have a different application you'd like to control using a remote. An audio player like XMMS or MediaPlayer would clearly benefit from remote control. If you build the IR receiver module described in this chapter, you can do all this and more.

And if that's not enough, by training your PC to understand the remote you choose, you can cause complex scripted actions to occur in response to a single button press. For example, pressing the play button on your remote can not only start a DVD, it can also dim the lights prior to starting the movie. You can even have it start the popcorn!

Figure 5-1 shows the components of the project we'll be building in this chapter.

Figure 5-1. Conceptual diagram of the infrared computer control system.



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