HOW-TO PC and Apple Remote unibody (MC377LL) XBMC
#1
Hi all,

I am long time looking for a solution to getting work my new unibody Apple Remote (not the old one) MC377LL . I tried everything, 3-5 ir sensor, but either works with the Apple Remote.
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Ok, first. All credit goes to Mark de Leon, read his articles here, and here. I am only writing this small how-to because his article is not well known (I think so).

What you need?

1, you need the most beautiful remote of the world. It's so simple, thin and nice, I love it. Price: 19$. It's totally worth it. (The Boxee Remote is 39.99USD, but I can't find anymore in shops).

2,you need an IR module from a Macbook (or iMac). You can buy it from eBay. Price is around 10$. (I bought mine locally from a Macbook with bad motherboard for 10€). Mine is exactly the same model as in the another article: 820-2155, this was from a MBP late 2008. BUT! I think you don't need the exactly same module! It should work with all IR module produced later than 2005. From the Apple Store: "Compatible with Apple products introduced in 2005 or later that have a built-in infrared (IR) receiver."

The big luck, what the guy in the original article found the IR module connects to the system via internal USB bus. Connect the IR module to a USB connector by matching up the colors on the wires with standard USB color coding (changing only yellow for white). Nothing special. Read more about this in the original article.

Driver

You need to find the module on the USB bus:
lsusb

Bus 002 Device 003: ID 05ac:8242 Apple, Inc.

(remember the number after 05ac)

sudo apt-get install git-core libusb-dev pkg-config

sudo apt-get install g++

git clone git://github.com/Evinyatar/atvclient.git


Wee need to modify the driver a little bit to getting work with our IR module (I love nano editor, I use this now):

nano atvclient/src/atvclient.cpp

Search for "8241" (without quotes - key combination CTRL-W). Change this to the digits you noted earlier after the “05ac:”:

#define VENDOR_APPLE 0x05ac
#define PRODUCT_IR 0x8242


cd atvclient

./configure && make

sudo make install

sudo cp atvclient /etc/init.d/atvclient

sudo update-rc.d atvclient defaults

sudo /etc/init.d/atvclient start


Tada.wav! You have a working unibody Apple Remote under PC and Linux!

If you find this article useful please move to the HOW-TO section. Sorry if there as any typo, English is not my mother tongue. Angel
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#2
Hi I wrote the article linked to here . I just wanted to clarify that as I understand it any IR module from a MacBook Pro will work (Pro models!) . If for instance you look at the Apple IR sensor on the Apple TV it has I believe 6 wires . I think however that the other two are for controlling the LED which shares the same board.

Furthermore one person had problems with mac hardware and buily in IR sensor using the ATVClient. If this is true I believe I may know why. According to the creator of ATV Client Stephan I believe it is , he said that there is other functionality written into the code of the atvcliet for LED control (it blinks yellow on ATV when remote battery is low) , as well as some PRAM settings for Mac. I suspect that some of this other functionality may cause it to not work on some Mac hardware but I would really like to know if that is the case .


I would also like to see if someone knows enough about coding the Product IDs into a new version of this. I might be able to do this with a few pointers but it looks to me like there is nothing in the code making it capable of selecting from varios device IDs . For all I know it might be amazingly simple. It would be nice to also disable those ATV specific features when not needed but not sure if they might be applicable to Apple Hardware.


I am collecting product ID strings for all Apple IR sensors for this purpose, so please post them and whether it worked or not and (if a Mac, Model please)
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#3
(2012-12-07, 19:45)tekno Wrote: I would also like to see if someone knows enough about coding the Product IDs into a new version of this.

Hi tekno, it would be the best to contact with the author of the atvclient?

Atvclient should work on a raspberry? Huh
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#4
(2012-12-07, 19:52)adriankoooo Wrote: Hi tekno, it would be the best to contact with the author of the atvclient?

Atvclient should work on a raspberry? Huh

I was in contact with him some time back and he was kind enough to write me back, and indicated he was not interested or did not have time to make any other changes (I do not recall which) . He was quite helpful and directed me where to look. He however called it, if I remember right, "A roundabout way to get remote suppoert" and I think he eluded to LIRC. I tried to make him understand the value in this project. Maybe he will come and see this thread and realize that I am not some oddball farting smoke, and that ATVClient really IS better than LIRC when it comes to Apple Remotes under Linux for XBMC! We can only hope.


Dont know about raspberry PI all I know is I got a LOT of runaround trying to order them and in the end gave up entirely on RAspberry PI. The nice thing is the apple Remotes are so tiny that they should fit nicely on a RasPi or Android, assuming one can get software support
I know I have seen threads where people use LIRC for Apple Remotes and battle with long keypress support . Even when they get it to work it makes the remote somewhat "laggy" according to what I have read while ATVclient is not.

In my opinion Apple Remote on XBMC is the remote that Gramdma can use. It is so easy and intuitive that you never even need to look at the remote. I have tried numerous remotes on numerous XBMC systems and after using an Apple Remote on an Apple TV realized it was by far the easiest. ATVClient emultes that perfectly and my kudos again to Stephan and for his wonderful work on ATVClient and his email that helped me to figure this out . I had sat on his email for several months before trying it out, and I was quite surprised how well it worked and how easy it was. I have known for some time tthat ATVClient worked perfectly on AppleTV
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#5
Hi Tekno,

I tried ATVClient and found that I couldn't get it to work on my Macbook Pro running xbmc under ubuntu. I didn't spend time trying to fix it, but instead hacked together my own solution that relies on LIRC.

I've been using this for about a year, and never had any trouble with it. It doesn't seem laggy to me, but maybe I'm just used to it. For long press there must be a minimum time. This is adjustable. For me it is set to three repeat events (which are about 100ms seconds apart.. so its approximately 300ms). For short presses it will respond once its sure that the button isn't being held down (i.e. there is no repeat events from LIRC -- I have this set to 130ms). This is also adjustable, but there is a minimum limit being the time between LIRC repeat events.

Admittedly I have spent no time packaging this solution for easy install. If I have time I'll package into into a .deb package at some point.
One advantage over ATVClient is that you get long press on every remote button.
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#6
Looks like the TVClient was recently updated to include a couple of other Apple IR receivers. Why more were not included is beyond me as I have identified others.
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#7
Works well with Linux Mint and Kodi 17.6, (Harmony 650 using the Plex profile in MyHarmony), on a C2D MacMini

....except it doesn't register as a remote in the System Settings>Input>Devices section, so I can't start Kodi with the Remote
Is there another way of ensuring that the Kodi helper is always running and allows the Remote to start Kodi?
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