DIY: Control your PC with a remote

March 23, 2013

Parts Express – WBT Audio Connectors

If you use your PC to watch TV, movies, listen to music or as a part of your home theater a remote control interface is a must have. For a reasonable price you can control your computer with a remote, or use a universal remote to control your TV, stereo, computer and even lights.

 

The first step to controlling your PC with a remote is to purchase a infrared receiver. If you would rather not open up your PC case you can purchase an external receiver such as this one:
DIY: Control your PC with a remote

for less the $10. You can either use the included remote, or purchase a universal remote in order to control all your devices with a single remote. I personally use the Harmony One remote, but any of the harmony remotes, or numerous other universal remotes are a great addition to any setup.

 

For a seamless install, an internal infrared receiver is the way to go. For this example I will be installing a CIR (consumer infrared  receiver) based remote, but a USB based remote should work just as well. The most important point to consider is if you will be using the Sleep function of your Pc. Many USB based receivers cannot wake a PC from sleep, while most CIR receivers can, check your motherboards manual to see if you have a CIR pinout on your motherboard.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

I purchased a custom made IR receiver for my Asrock motherboard, but you can purchase general CIR receivers, or USB receivers from  sellerjim54 on eBay for $20-$30 depending on your choice. Remember this receiver does not come with a remote so you will need to provide one.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

In order to keep the IR receiver from moving around I used tw0 velcro dots, I stuck the softer side of the velcro on the inside of the case around the hole, and stuck the sticky side to the bracket that came with the receiver.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

Here is a look at the hole in the case, you can barely see it but the receiver is about 2mm back from the hole. This does make it a bit sensitive to the signal so the remote has to be pointed directly at the hole in order to work.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

Here is a general shot of the case once the receiver is installed, the hole and sensor inside blend right in.

 

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

On the right side of the image you can see the installed receiver, the circuit board is attached to a metal bracket with the included screws and plastic washers, and then turned on its side. Using the previously mentioned velcro the whole thing is held in place.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

Here is a shot of the Asrock motherboard CIR pinout. You can check your motherboards manual to see if you have one to use.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

Here is a shot of the motherboard connection with the receiver installed. It was very simple, simply use the included instruction to make sure the positive pin and positive jack lined up, and it was done.

 

DIY: Control your PC with a remote

On the software end all that was needed was the installation of the CIR drivers for my motherboard, the drivers must be installed after the receiver is connected. I use intelliremote to remap the remote keys to my liking, but a MCE remote should work straight out of the box once the drivers are installed.

 

 

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