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Ultimate Universal Remote

Improving a Griffin Beacon to add Bluetooth RF control, Command sequence sending and USB power

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When I first got my Griffin Beacon it was the most state of the art universal remote, with severe limitations. After Griffin discontinued the product and stopped updating the app it became a dust collector. As my collection of wireless devices increased the more I needed an all in one remote. 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.

With so many wireless devices around the house, I wanted a better way to control them. After fiddling with different projects to control them such as making an Arduino connected with an Ethernet to display a web page and programming a small remote. I found that i needed a better user interface and the ability to connect to it easily. Enter the Griffin Beacon, i found a few online very cheap and it is a good backbone for a smart remote.

BEFORE BUILD

If you haven't already, decode your RF switch remote controller and IR remote. If you need to decode your RF remote or IR remote

Find a random remote in the Beacon app and test the remote to make sure none of the button commands interfere with the devices near it. Once you found a good remote rename it as your RF remote and use an Arduino and IR receiver to record the button commands value. You will use those button commands to assign them to the RF commands.

MAIN BUILD

The circuit is simple in that it acts as a relay from the signal of the IR. The USB power eliminates wasting batteries. Using at least a 1 amp USB power supply is recommended. There is a sleep function that is built into the Beacon which will still work.

Schematic

Below is a basic schematic of the circuit. The LED I used was a three pin common cathode RG LED to indicate the Attiny received and sent commands.

Code

Below is my Arduino sketch that you can use and modify depending on your remote codes. I used an Arduino to program the Attiny85 using this guide and set the programmer board to ATTINY85 @ 8 MHz (Internal oscillator, BOD disabled)

Ultimate Universal Remote Code and Libraries

  • 1 × Attiny85 Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, DSPs / ARM, RISC-Based Microcontrollers
  • 1 × Griffin Beacon
  • 2 × 100 ohms resistor
  • 1 × 8 pin DIP socket
  • 1 × RF TX module

View all 10 components

  • * NEW * Added Sending IR for Command Sequences

    joedefa02/15/2015 at 16:08 0 comments

    I added an IR LED to the build to be able to send IR sequences. For example to get to the sleep mode on my TV you have to press Menu, Click down 4 times, select, move right 3 times to select 30 minutes and press menu 2 to close. To stream line this i added that sequence to a single button and the Attiny executes the command. Other sequences i have added are AppleTV Netflix selector, which sends the proper sequence to get to my NetFlix account and brings me right o my recently watched or My list sections in NetFlix.

    IMPROVEMENTS*

    - In this version I have added a few capacitors due to the pulsing of the IR LED interfering with sending RF commands

    - Added IR LED

    - Moved IR codes to top so that changing codes is done in one place

  • Improving Sending Time

    joedefa11/20/2014 at 18:34 0 comments

    The Delay needed for the RF module is very short but the code that I use is making the delay longer. Adding some compopnenants to smooth voltage when sending the signal seems to improve the delay and recovery time when the signal is received by the Attiny.

    - Removed delay time in status LED blinking

    - Need to add the use of interrupts in code if a signal is received while processing another signal to be executed later

  • Future Improvements

    joedefa10/25/2014 at 19:23 0 comments

    Some of the IR controlled devices I have are in a different room. Ive been sketching a way to use the RF from the main Beacon to communicate with a small IR Attiny85 node that would translate an RF signal into an IR code and transmit it.

View all 3 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    1.) I first decoded a random remote that the Beacon had in its list of devices. Those recorded values is what is used to tell the Attiny what code to send

  • 2
    Step 2

    2.) Cut Positive and negative lines from battery compartment

  • 3
    Step 3

    3.) Remove battery terminals

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

View all 13 instructions

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Discussions

lkglass wrote 02/17/2015 at 06:51 point

Where is the code?

  Are you sure? yes | no

joedefa wrote 02/18/2015 at 23:41 point

code is up 

  Are you sure? yes | no

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