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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use a Logitech Harmony Remote with XBMC - Printable Version

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- bodhi - 2011-12-07 07:11

SteveMA Wrote:I am occasionally having an issue(error message from XBMC) which I think may be due to the PC not being ready for the Win+5 command to launch XBMC. I don't have a delay added to the command. When adding the Win+5 command (three radial buttons to check: one for command, one for delay, don't remember third). It isn't clear how to add command and delay. If I checked command and added Win+5 and then attempt to add delay the command button is unchecked. How to do both? Do I add the -d 10, eg, to the command itself?

Thanks again,
SteveMA

The delay -d 10 I mentioned was for Startup in Windows. Not the delay in the Harmony activity startup sequence. Some users like to shutdown the PC completely. And an XBMC shortcut might be added to the Startup folder in Windows so that XBMC can be started automatically when the PC is powered up. And during this time, XBMC tends to loose focus to other programs, so a delay is usually needed in that shortcut.

It is not possible to add a delay and a command in Harmony activity startup sequence. If you want to do that then you must get around it by more advance programming. For example, a delay from a completely different device can be taught to a Harmony button, and then it can be included as a regular command among many commands in the activity startup. However, I don't think it is what you're trying to do?

What is the error message? perhaps we can help if you post it here and also pastebin the entire XBMC log and post the link here.


- SteveMA - 2011-12-07 08:57

bodhi Wrote:The delay -d 10 I mentioned was for Startup in Windows. Not the delay in the Harmony activity startup sequence. Some users like to shutdown the PC completely. And an XBMC shortcut might be added to the Startup folder in Windows so that XBMC can be started automatically when the PC is powered up. And during this time, XBMC tends to loose focus to other programs, so a delay is usually needed in that shortcut.

It is not possible to add a delay and a command in Harmony activity startup sequence. If you want to do that then you must get around it by more advance programming. For example, a delay from a completely different device can be taught to a Harmony button, and then it can be included as a regular command among many commands in the activity startup. However, I don't think it is what you're trying to do?

What is the error message? perhaps we can help if you post it here and also pastebin the entire XBMC log and post the link here.

When I return to CA after XMAS I'll be able to post the error message (Don't have an XMBC setup here in MN).


- Silvaire - 2011-12-09 21:36

I've been using my Logitech Harmony One remote with the HP receiver for awhile now but I'm still having a big problem in reliably having the PowerToggle command resume the HTPC and put it to sleep.

80% of the time, when I turn on all my devices, I have to use the help feature to issue another PowerToggle command to the HTPC to get it to wake up.

Likewise, at least 50% of the time, the power off command does not put the HTPC to sleep.

I've set up the Harmony to transmit the PowerToggle command from the MCE Keyboard set for both on and off, and it does work, it just doesn't do it reliably when enabling an activity and turning off an activity. For reference, I'm using MCE Keyboard and Media Center SE (For Alt+F4, Win+1). I have the repeat rate set to 2.

Another problem I'm having is sometimes the TV transmits a ton of IR radiation which floods the receiver. During those times, I've put blue painters tape (all I have on hand) on it and it calmed it down, but this problem seems to come and go. The receiver is mounted on the underside of a center speaker that is on the wall about 10 inches below the TV (a Panasonic P50S30).

Any advice? I've reprogrammed the remote numerous times to solve usability problems but I have never been able to get it to start up or go to sleep with any degree of reliability.


- bodhi - 2011-12-09 23:53

Silvaire Wrote:I've been using my Logitech Harmony One remote with the HP receiver for awhile now but I'm still having a big problem in reliably having the PowerToggle command resume the HTPC and put it to sleep.

80% of the time, when I turn on all my devices, I have to use the help feature to issue another PowerToggle command to the HTPC to get it to wake up.

Likewise, at least 50% of the time, the power off command does not put the HTPC to sleep.

I've set up the Harmony to transmit the PowerToggle command from the MCE Keyboard set for both on and off, and it does work, it just doesn't do it reliably when enabling an activity and turning off an activity. For reference, I'm using MCE Keyboard and Media Center SE (For Alt+F4, Win+1). I have the repeat rate set to 2.

Another problem I'm having is sometimes the TV transmits a ton of IR radiation which floods the receiver. During those times, I've put blue painters tape (all I have on hand) on it and it calmed it down, but this problem seems to come and go. The receiver is mounted on the underside of a center speaker that is on the wall about 10 inches below the TV (a Panasonic P50S30).

Any advice? I've reprogrammed the remote numerous times to solve usability problems but I have never been able to get it to start up or go to sleep with any degree of reliability.

You can use the Media Center SE for Power Toggle. It works much more reliably than the MCE Keyboard. I used to have the same problem,and switched to the SE device, and it has been working with no problem. My setup is similar, the IR receiver is right on top of the center speaker and beneath the TV (AQUOS), about 12 below.

Regarding the TV interference, it's harder to solve. You might try to use a piece of black electrical tape on cardboard and make a "shade" to put on top of the HP IR receiver to shield it from the above. See if that helps!


- Silvaire - 2011-12-10 00:09

Great, thanks for the tips. It's really weird. The blue painters tape seems to work well at night (blocking lots of IR red lights from receiver), but during the day, with direct sunlight, I have to take the tape off to get it to function at all. I don't know jack about IR--does ambient sunlight affect it?

I'll switch the PowerToggle over now.


- Silvaire - 2011-12-10 00:26

Seems to be still having the same problem. I guess the next thing to try is fiddling with the inter-device delay.


Key Mapping Harmony one with Eden build - NRF19 - 2011-12-15 01:06

Okay so I'm kind of new to all this harmony stuff, I've managed to set my default keys and created the advanced keys for Waking, Sleeping my HTPC starting XBMC and Close. Now im wanting to set up some keymapping keys such as Watch Movie which opens the movie library and Watch TV which opens the TV library and maybe an update library also.

Now I took a look at a guide which said to obtain the keymap.xml file but theres loads of xml files in a keymap folder now in '.../XBMC' can somebody please help me sort this, if it helps im using a harmony one advanced media remote and am using the eden build.
I've also now lost that guide so if thats all I need to use then please can somebody re-unite me with that
Thanks


- bodhi - 2011-12-15 04:08

NRF19 Wrote:Okay so I'm kind of new to all this harmony stuff, I've managed to set my default keys and created the advanced keys for Waking, Sleeping my HTPC starting XBMC and Close. Now im wanting to set up some keymapping keys such as Watch Movie which opens the movie library and Watch TV which opens the TV library and maybe an update library also.

Now I took a look at a guide which said to obtain the keymap.xml file but theres loads of xml files in a keymap folder now in '.../XBMC' can somebody please help me sort this, if it helps im using a harmony one advanced media remote and am using the eden build.
I've also now lost that guide so if thats all I need to use then please can somebody re-unite me with that
Thanks

Since you've already got to running XBMC. You just need to map a key to an XBMC action/function. In Dharma, the only file needed modification is keyboard.xml. Here is the guide:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?p=735331#post735331

I've heard changes in Eden that might affect the location of this keyboard.xml file. So check to see if you can find the file.


- jhsrennie - 2011-12-15 11:50

NRF19 Wrote:Okay so I'm kind of new to all this harmony stuff, I've managed to set my default keys and created the advanced keys for Waking, Sleeping my HTPC starting XBMC and Close. Now im wanting to set up some keymapping keys such as Watch Movie which opens the movie library and Watch TV which opens the TV library and maybe an update library also.

If you grab KeyMapEdit from http://xbmcmce.sourceforge.net/ this is an easy way to create/edit the keyboard.xml.

However are you sure this is what you want to do? Don't the WatchTV etc buttons on the Harmony execute a series of actions on the Harmony e.g. turn on the TV, turn on the amp, start the film etc? Setting them up is more a matter of configuring the Harmony rather than configuring XBMC.

JR


- pbateman - 2011-12-18 20:29

So I have everything working thanks to the great help on here, but there's one little thing that I cant figure out.

When I choose to start my activity (XBMC), my xbox turns on. When I turn everything off, xbox goes off, and my machine goes to sleep. I dont want my machine to go to sleep, and I obviously dont need my xbox on. How can I fix this?


- Silvaire - 2011-12-18 20:31

I have the same problem with my Xbox randomly turning on sometimes.


- bodhi - 2011-12-18 23:22

Silvaire Wrote:Seems to be still having the same problem. I guess the next thing to try is fiddling with the inter-device delay.

I would go back to the basic. Use the PC Power Toggle soft button on the MCE SE device page, turn ON and OFF the PC a few times to see if it's consistently wakes up and sleeps each time. This way you'll know if the Activity sequence is the problem or just the PC receiver or the Harmony IR signal.


- bodhi - 2011-12-18 23:27

pbateman Wrote:So I have everything working thanks to the great help on here, but there's one little thing that I cant figure out.

When I choose to start my activity (XBMC), my xbox turns on. When I turn everything off, xbox goes off, and my machine goes to sleep. I dont want my machine to go to sleep, and I obviously dont need my xbox on. How can I fix this?

We'll need more information about your setup. Is "machine" the PC? Which IR receiver you use? what type of TV?... How many devices are in the XBMC activity? what do you see in the Review Activity page in Harmony 7.7 software?


- Silvaire - 2011-12-19 00:06

bodhi Wrote:I would go back to the basic. Use the PC Power Toggle soft button on the MCE SE device page, turn ON and OFF the PC a few times to see if it's consistently wakes up and sleeps each time. This way you'll know if the Activity sequence is the problem or just the PC receiver or the Harmony IR signal.

I've kept my setup the same for the last week or so trying to make observations with the PowerToggle set through SE instead of MCE Keyboard. As with MCE Keyboard, I believe the soft buttons always work (as does using the help function to turn on MCE Keyboard or SE device).

My observation is that I have a high success rate (but not 100%) of the PowerToggle command being received and waking up the device on activity start, but only a 40% or so success rate of the PowerToggle command sleeping the device when I use the Off hard button.


- pbateman - 2011-12-19 00:15

bodhi Wrote:We'll need more information about your setup. Is "machine" the PC? Which IR receiver you use? what type of TV?... How many devices are in the XBMC activity? what do you see in the Review Activity page in Harmony 7.7 software?

"Machine is the PC.
HP Media Center Receiver like the one in the pictures.
Sony SXRD Projection TV.
4 devices; Sony TV, Onkyo Reciever, Windows Media Center, and MCE Keyboard.
This is a screenshot of my settings for the activity. You'll have to zoom in...

https://picasaweb.google.com/115936334154192965052/December182011#5687595102052139138