Remote Control

Ross Werner ross at
Sun Apr 30 10:55:55 MDT 2006

On Sat, 29 Apr 2006, Hans Fugal wrote:
> I know some of you are into MythTV and probably have run this gauntlet 
> before.
> I'm not afraid of a DIY kit, provided it's something I could handle (no
> experience in EE-like stuff whatsoever). I'm not afraid of a wireless
> keyboard provided it's A) compactish, and B) affordable (<= $30).

I've gone both routes. I started out with a serial IR receiver from here: (they have USB ones for twice the 
price; those are $20 apiece). Setting it up is rather poorly documented, 
(it uses LIRC)  but not really very tricky, so let me know if you decide 
to go that route.

After a while, though, I eventually (a) wanted keyboard control and
(b) got annoyed by the line-of-sight requirements of IR. So recently I 
bought this keyboard:

which is absolutely stellar. It does have a non-detachable wrist support 
and funky keys along the side, but it's super-thin and comes with a RF 
remote (that just presses keys like the keyboard) so you could, say, use 
the keyboard and mouse at your desktop, and then only use the remote to 
control TV-ish stuff.

I'd recommend the IRA-3 over doing it yourself, since it's probably going 
to be around the same price as buying the parts and soldering it on your 
own (although perhaps not as much fun if you really enjoy that sort of 
thing). But at the end of the day, I think you're eventually going to be 
annoyed at the line-of-sight requirements of infrared and go RF.

If the expense of the media wireless set (the one with the RF remote 
control) is enough to be a dealbreaker for you, there's another RF 
keyboard that I use on my own desktop machine:

It's $27 at newegg at the moment. The wrist-rest on this one is 
detachable, and although it has a handful of special media keys at the top 
the keyboard footprint is still relatively small. You probably won't be 
able to find a much smaller footprinted wireless keyboard.

Anywho, hope this helps. LMK if you have any other questions!

 	~ Ross

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