AVR Control Without Ugly IR Bugs

A couple of months ago I bought a secondhand Yamaha receiver (RX-V371).  My plan was to finally do away with infrared blasters stuck to the outside of all my home theater gear. The plan was to do all the control with HDMI CEC. I was already controlling my TV using the Kwikwai HDMI CEC adapter which I reviewed a couple of posts ago.

 

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the necessary Yamaha HDMI CEC commands to control things like surround mode and DSP settings. Chances are these commands just don’t exist.  I did email Yamaha but they didn’t even respond. The most I could get out of CEC on the Yamaha was power on/off and input select.

I couldn’t bring myself to stick an IR blaster to the beautiful face of this fine receiver.  Equally unappealing was the idea of shelling out cash for a receiver with Ethernet or RS-232 control.

Here is my compromise – putting the IR blaster inside the receiver. It’s not rocket science but here you go:

 

 

After locating the IR sensor I removed the self-adhesive backing on the IR blaster and stuck it to the PCB with the aid of a bamboo skewer.

The only thing left to do was to cut the the 3.5mm mono plug off the blaster, pass the cable through a small hole at the back of the receiver and then re-attach the 3.mm mono plug using a soldering iron and some heat-shrink tubing.

 

The Infrared emitter (blaster) is connected to a Microsoft USB Infrared Receiver/Transmitter.  I’m using my own home brew c# .NET application to do the automation but there are a number of options, Girder, HIP, EventGhost etc.

The result – a reasonable level of control, no ugly IR bug visible (I can’t even see it flashing) and zero cost.

 

 

automation, blaster, control, emitter, infrared, yamaha

7 Responses to AVR Control Without Ugly IR Bugs

  1. George June 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Hi Rhys,

    Loving your work – very sleek!

    I have taken the same approach but rather to be able to turn on a machine which is completely off using the usb 5v + mce ir sensor to trip a relay. Works a treat and one would not see the ir sensor if you went searching for it :)

    Take good care,
    George

  2. RhysGoodwin June 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi Dad, fortunately the IR detector is not totally enclosed so putting the IR emitter next to it is sufficient. Also worth noting that signals from an external remote are not blocked.

    This method won’t work on all receivers it just depends on the accessibility of the IR detector.

  3. Richard Goodwin June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Looks interesting. If the IR detector is inside the receiver, how does the IR light get in there?

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