[NTLK] Learning Remote App?

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 25 14:26:15 EST 2012


--- On Sat, 11/24/12, Chris Browder <kcfoxie at gmail.com> wrote:

> Is it possible to take the source from TV PAD and rewrite it
> to be a learning remote? This idea prompted me for a few reasons:
> 1. I have an Apple PowerCD that has a very specific remote,
> and a rodent got to it while in storage and chewed up the buttons [it
> still works...mostly...]

If it's any help, the remote for the PowerCD unit isn't unique.

The PowerCD is a rebadged Philips CDF080 (sometimes written as "CDF 080").  If you can snag a remote for one of the Philips units (which, admittedly, seem to be pretty rare in the year 2012), you'd have a remote that would be compatible with your PowerCD unit.

While the Philips units might be pretty rare, they have the advantage of not having the word "Apple" associated with them.  Perhaps it's just me, but people nowadays seem to think that if they have an item that says "Apple" on it, and the item is more than 10 years old, they can make enough money from selling it to send their children to college.  : /

(For all I know, they could be right, too.)

> 3. Our Stereo system is Samsung; and even the iPhone remote
> applications (and required hardware) don't control it with presets; and
> none of them are 'learning.'

Let me ask: do any of the iPhone remote apps feature codes for Magnavox CD players?  

If the comment at the bottom of this thread:


...is to be believed, the PowerCD accepts the same remote control codes as Magnavox CD players.  Magnavox is a brand of Philips in the same way that Panasonic devices were once products of Matsushita (before Matsushita threw up their hands and changed the company name to Panasonic).   I've heard the same thing said about Magnavox remote controls themselves, but purportedly -only- the ones for mult-disc changer unit will work.  

Naturally, this isn't something I've tested on my own, but if you have a second-hand store nearby, a couple of AAA batteries, and a wall outlet to plug your PowerCD unit into (shoving 6 AA batteries into the base will typically give you a whopping one hour's worth of use), you might be able to come up with a working remote.

> I can also spend a few bucks and purchase a learning remote
> control that could probably handle all of these devices ... but where is
> the fun in that?

Alternately (depending on what your idea of "fun" is, exactly), you might also consider borrowing a fully functional PowerCD remote from someone, hook up a diode to an oscilliscope, and capture the necessary remote codes that way (the remote you have at present might fit the bill if all the functions work at least intermittently).

Then you could program a MessagePad using NS Basic as suggested in this tech note:


...which also includes enough sample code to get you started (the diode/ocilliscope idea is theirs, too).

If you can ftp to this site:


or this one:


...you might even find the code you need there.  Archive.org's Wayback Machine claims to have the latter site archived:


...but I've had no luck in pulling it up; now it's your turn. : ^)
> I'm not a programmer by any means; so this is more of a
> request to see if there's interest (as users and a developer).

I'll be honest here. 

Long ago, I stumbled across a mention of someone using an OMP as a remote control for a PowerCD in 1993 (the same year the PowerCD came out).  Apparently, there weren't a whole lot of devices you could use the OMP's IRDA on at the time, so they hacked a solution.  In fact, given the large number of lurkers on this list, I wouldn't be surprised if the chap who performed the hack is reading this right now. : )

There's even a note about using the Newton as a remote control device dating from mid-1994:


At any rate, while it's always been a minor fantasy of mine to utilize an OMP as a remote for a PowerCD unit, personally, it's just not that big of a deal.  I mean, if I could wave a magic wand and make it happen, I would.  

However, if a programmer were to come up to me on the street and demand to know how much I would pay them to do it on the spot, my answer would be ~US$10, possibly ~US$20 if they were a particularly large programmer and looked as though they might be able to pick me up and stuff me into a nearby trash can or something.  :-O  

(NB: if someone reading this -is- actually gaga enough to want to write a package for the OMP that will fully duplicate a PowerCD remote, I am ready   to prove that I am equally gaga, and will PayPal you the handsome pittance of US$20 in advance to do it; please contact me off-list.  The catch?  A) I have to "know" you from the list/list archives and B) you'd have six months to complete the project.)

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.  However, since it was established earlier in the thread that the MessagePad cannot be utilized as a so-called "smart" remote, I wanted to at least try and give you a few ideas you might be able to use so that you could, conceivably, hack a functional remote from one of them.


James Fraser

Anyone hungry for Apple Gunkies? (.mp3)


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