LIRC

Dec 03 2011

Blog - MythTV Reloaded - Day 19

Today was spent primarily on cleanup work.  Most of the time was creating the lircrc file for MythTV to use, which maps the remote control button codes to commands within an application.  Luckily for me I had a backup of the lircrc files that I had been using before the upgrade.  The only problem is that all of the button names changed with the update of LIRC. So instead of "Play" I had to change the config file to act on "KEY_PLAY".  They standardized all of the names on me.  So most of my time was spent figuring out what the proper name was for all of the buttons on my remote and mapping those to the correct commands in MythTV.  

Once that was done I had all of the functionality that I had in my previous install. I figured, however, that as long as I was doing this I might as well go for gold.  There were two scripts that I had found and tweaked early in my MythTV days that I was never able to get working on my previous installation of MythTV.  The first script cycled the MythTV frontend application via a button press - so if it hung I could kill the app and if it crashed and died I could restart it.  The second script suspended and woke up the computer via a button push.  I was able to wake up the frontend via a button push but was not able to get suspend to work prop ferly; every time I wanted to watch TV I would have to wait for a minute or two while the frontend booted.  Annoying, but luckily my wife was very tolerant on this problem.  As luck would have it, the frontend cycling script only needed a couple of tweaks to get it running.  The suspend script ended up using a completely new power management interface to get suspend to function properly as a user and not root, but luckily someone had already figured out how to do it and it was a non-trivial matter of Googling to find the solution.

Nov 30 2011

Blog - MythTV Reloaded - Day 17

Well, it turns out that I'm a moron.  Apparently everything was pretty much working for me already.  I had all of the pieces, I just didn't put them together correctly.  After days of work I finally have LIRC recognizing my remote inputs properly.  Basically what happened is that I configured the startup script for LIRC to load the correct driver for my IR receiver with the correct device and the correct parameters.  I had the correct config file being used to interpret the key presses correctly.  I had it all.  The problem was that I was doing all of my testing by launching the LIRC daemon from the command line instead of via the startup script that I had configured so none of my tweaks were being taken [facepalm].  Needless to say, after verifying this by running the command line with all of the correct parameters and then again verifying by rebooting the system and having it launch automatically, the remote control is now being properly identified and controlled via LIRC.  I can now launch irw and see all of my key presses as they happen.

At this point there seem to be only a few tweaks left to make before the system is ready for use again.  First, I need to setup the MythTV frontend application to automatically launch at login.  Next, I need to make MythTV always appear on top of the screen; it is currently being covered with the top and bottom panels of the window manager.  Finally, I need to configure the LIRC configuration file to interpret the button presses and pass them to the various applications, like MythTV.  Once I've got that in place, I think that all of the major components will be in place and I can put the unit back into service.  Yay.

Nov 25 2011

Blog - MythTV Reloaded - Day 15

I've done a bit more research into this remote control thing and found a couple of commands to use for debugging.  First is ir-keyboard.  If I run ir-keyboard with no options it will show me what device is found, what protocols it is capable of and which one(Drunk it is using.  In my case the output looks like:

Found /sys/class/rc/rc0/ (/dev/input/event5) with:

        Driver imon, table rc-imon-mce

        Supported protocols: RC-6

        Enabled protocols: RC-6

        Repeat delay = 500 ms, repeat period = 33 ms

In addition, I can run ir-keyboard -t and it will put the IR receiver into test mode.  Every time I press a button on the remote it puts up the codes and key names that it decodes.  According to this, everything it being seen properly and should be working.  I guess it's just an issue with the handoff to LIRC that's the problem.  I'm a step closer but still confused...

Again, I can say that the hardware is working fine and it's a software config issue that's holding me back.  Now to figure out what that is...

Nov 24 2011

Blog - MythTV Reloaded - Day 14

Well, I've had a bit of time to look into the new Fedora 15 load and it appears that without doing anything with LIRC at all I have basic directional pad controls on my remote working.  Volume also appears to work.  However, when I install LIRC and point it to lircd.conf.mceusb I get nothing when running irw.  If I do lsmod | grep imon I see that the imon driver is loaded by default, which is apparently what I should be seeing.  Obviously the hardware is connected right and recognized because some of the buttons work.  I guess I have a bit more research to do to figure out what has changed in this new kernel update.

At least I have hope now that I will reach my goal of a working remote eventually.  That's a step in the right direction anyway.  Any thoughts or ideas of things to try?  Leave me a comment!

Nov 21 2011

Blog - MythTV Reloaded - Day 11

Welcome back to another exciting entry into what should have been a well planned out and straight forward upgrade from MythTV 0.21 to MythTV 0.24.  Here's a recap:

1) Upgraded the backend

2) "Upgraded" the frontend

3) Got MythTV working on Windows

4) Performed integration testing

5) Failed integration testing - Frontend no workey.  X-Windows doesn't load, then no remote

At this point I was faced with a decision - get a different IR receiver or load a new OS.  I decided to go with an OS upgrade.  This time around I went with Fedora 15 x64, primarily because it is the most recent version of Fedora that I already had downloaded.  Installation was very straight forward following procedures previously mentioned.  As it turns out, the kernel used in this version is 2.6.38.6-rc1.fc15.x86_64 so this gets me to the 2.6.38+ that I apparently need to get my remote working.  I didn't get so far as to test it out tonight but I did get Fedora loaded, MythTV installed and the graphics driver loaded.  Tomorrow I will verify that what I have so far is working and then dig into the remote some more.  Until then, have a good day/night depending on when you are reading this.

Nov 20 2011

Blog - MythTV Reloaded - Day 10

I've been doing a bit of research today and it doesn't look good.  Getting the remote working a matter of installing LIRC (either with yum install lirc or else building it manually).  In the past, once it's installed, I've had to load the lirc_imon kernel module which is the driver for my Antec Fusion 430 Black IR receiver.  Then I would copy the correct lircd.conf file - in my case lircd.conf.mceusb - into /etc/lirc/lircd.conf.  Once the module is loaded and the config file is ready, you start the lirc daemon and then run irw.  At this point every time I press a button, it should register on the screen.  But that isn't the case this time around.

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