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Air Conditioner Remote Control

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MrAl

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Hi,

Anyone do one of these yet (any model)?
The pulse patterns look a little different than with the TV remotes, but similar idea.
I also have to wonder if a TV remote would work with an air conditioner.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
IR remotes use various different coding schemes (SIRC's, RC5, NEC etc.) and also use specific device and instruction coding, so you need one that matches on all three requirements - but a TV remote should NEVER work an air-con unit.
 

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
IR remotes use various different coding schemes (SIRC's, RC5, NEC etc.) and also use specific device and instruction coding, so you need one that matches on all three requirements - but a TV remote should NEVER work an air-con unit.
Hi there Nigel,

Thanks for the info. I had done a lot of TV remotes but this is the first time for me for a AC remote.

I happen to have the existing remote so i can read the codes with a scope or maybe later with a microcontroller, but i was hoping someone already did this for GE type AC units. Those little remotes are pretty expensive to replace, GE wants 56 bucks for one for example.

Do you happen to know why a TV remote would not work? Is it because the AC protocol is so different? It doesnt look that different though, although it is somewhat different. Do they think it is a safety issue or something?

When i look at the TV patterns i see the AC unit looks like the Daewoo TV patterns just with 2 more 'bits' per group, so there are just more bits really. What could be so hard for a TV remote to act like a AC remote, because some TV's and other devices have 16 bit codes.
I might also note that the TV remote works on a whole number of entertainment devices such as VCR's, Cable Boxes, DVD players, etc., and they dont all have the same carrier frequency either.
 

Wade_Hassler

New Member
I think that what Nigel G meant was that it would be a certain PR disaster and possible actual disaster if the TV remote turned on/off the AC.
If you are making your OWN transmitter, it should be doable and you are one who could do it
 

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I think that what Nigel G meant was that it would be a certain PR disaster and possible actual disaster if the TV remote turned on/off the AC.
If you are making your OWN transmitter, it should be doable and you are one who could do it

Hi,

What makes you say 'disaster' ?

I know several people who would love to be able to use their TV remotes with their AC units. Look on the web too, people wishing they could do it, and ever one FAKE where the kid pretends to be able to program his TV remote for his AC unit, where the technique was clearly fake and would never work. People commented that they would love to do that, but others commented that it did not work (no surprise there).
"One For All" remotes and similar are able to do a LOT of different devices, why not an AC unit. They even control computers now and lights and all kinds of automation for the home.
 

Wade_Hassler

New Member
Hi,

What makes you say 'disaster' ?

I know several people who would love to be able to use their TV remotes with their AC units. Look on the web too, people wishing they could do it, and ever one FAKE where the kid pretends to be able to program his TV remote for his AC unit, where the technique was clearly fake and would never work. People commented that they would love to do that, but others commented that it did not work (no surprise there).
"One For All" remotes and similar are able to do a LOT of different devices, why not an AC unit. They even control computers now and lights and all kinds of automation for the home.
Pardon me... I meant that a TV remote should not accidentally affect the A/C.
If the subject is universal/learning remotes, then there's no good reason it should not be allowed or possible.
I live 5 miles from the ocean with no need of an A/C, and am thus a little out of touch about this.
 

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Pardon me... I meant that a TV remote should not accidentally affect the A/C.
If the subject is universal/learning remotes, then there's no good reason it should not be allowed or possible.
I live 5 miles from the ocean with no need of an A/C, and am thus a little out of touch about this.
Hi,

Hey no problem. I like to hear other peoples views on stuff like this and why they think that way about things. So i do appreciate your input on this.

I might tackle this as a project, i am not sure yet. What i might do first though is make a 'reader', a device that can read the codes on any device that way i dont have to keep using the scope every time i get a new remote :)
I have a timing circuit now all i have to do is connect the pin photo diode with maybe a transistor amplifier so the microcontroller can read it.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I have a timing circuit now all i have to do is connect the pin photo diode with maybe a transistor amplifier so the microcontroller can read it.
No, use a proper IR receiver IC, they do all the demodulation for you and give you a nice clean (low frequency) pulse train to decipher, you don't want to see the carrier.

From there you can use various methods to read the data, such as:

Digital storage scope.

Logic analyser (such as this: http://www.banggood.com/LHT00SU1-Vi...C-SPI-CAN-Uart-p-988565.html?cur_warehouse=CN)

Input on sound card, and audio recording software (such as Audacity).

Write a microcontroller program to read and analyse it.

Write a PC program to read/analyse it.

Historically I used an old DOS laptop to do it, and wrote a Turbo Pascal program to sample it via the parallel port. More recently, I've used the Logic Analyser function of a PicKit2 - which while limited in memory has enough to do what's needed.
 

Les Jones

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hi Mr Al,
I found that Googleing "ge air conditioner remote control code" gave a large number of hits. There were links to reverse engineering the codes and cheap remotes on amazon, On ebay searching for "GE aircon remote" gave sellers with universal aircon remotes at prices that make it not worthwhile building one.

Les.
 

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
No, use a proper IR receiver IC, they do all the demodulation for you and give you a nice clean (low frequency) pulse train to decipher, you don't want to see the carrier.

From there you can use various methods to read the data, such as:

Digital storage scope.

Logic analyser (such as this: http://www.banggood.com/LHT00SU1-Vi...C-SPI-CAN-Uart-p-988565.html?cur_warehouse=CN)

Input on sound card, and audio recording software (such as Audacity).

Write a microcontroller program to read and analyse it.

Write a PC program to read/analyse it.

Historically I used an old DOS laptop to do it, and wrote a Turbo Pascal program to sample it via the parallel port. More recently, I've used the Logic Analyser function of a PicKit2 - which while limited in memory has enough to do what's needed.
Hi Nigel,

Some good ideas there, especially that link to the logic analyzer. Looks cute.

The Arduino makes a somewhat decent logic analyzer too if it is programmed correctly. Since i only needed one channel, one i/o pin. I used i/o pin 12. Resistor and capacitor for roughing it for demodulation with the pin diode, and with a little practice could read the code timing. Sample reading looks like this:

HIGH,LOW (high/low milliseconds, P, rough hi/lo)
604,19312 high pulse from last frame 604us, low sync 19.3ms
8500,4292 8.5/4.3 (high start pulse, 4.3ms frame sync)
520,1624 0.52/1.6 P1 0.5/1.6 (520us high, 1624us low)

I know what you mean about the ready made receivers, good idea, and i have a few around but not sure if i have a 40kHz model or not. I am pretty sure i have 38kHz and 44kHz models. That would make a more permanent receiver. Doing this however means it would be dedicated to that one remote due to the carrier frequency, unless i had several devices with the same carrier. I know i have devices with 38khHz and 56kHz already, and this one looks like 40kHz.

I'll take a look at that logic analyzer on BG site, or maybe consider making a permanent one from a Nano.
 
Last edited:

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hi Mr Al,
I found that Googleing "ge air conditioner remote control code" gave a large number of hits. There were links to reverse engineering the codes and cheap remotes on amazon, On ebay searching for "GE aircon remote" gave sellers with universal aircon remotes at prices that make it not worthwhile building one.

Les.
Hi,

Thanks Les, I have read that some of those cheapies dont work so i was hesitant.
I may turn this into a combination TV and Air Conditioner remote, so it does all my devices with just one remote.
I was hoping that someone already did the reverse engineering that way i'd just have to program the codes into the Arduino with no testing and whatnot :)

I know someone did a Panasonic AC unit but that has entirely different codes then the GE unit, so that didnt help.
I'll check around again.
 

MrAl

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Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
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The Arduino makes a somewhat decent logic analyzer too if it is programmed correctly.
An Arduino is obviously perfectly fine, and I'm pretty sure you could simply download a sketch to do exactly what you want, and of course there are IR libraries available.

I know what you mean about the ready made receivers, good idea, and i have a few around but not sure if i have a 40kHz model or not. I am pretty sure i have 38kHz and 44kHz models. That would make a more permanent receiver. Doing this however means it would be dedicated to that one remote due to the carrier frequency, unless i had several devices with the same carrier. I know i have devices with 38khHz and 56kHz already, and this one looks like 40kHz.
It really seems to make little or no difference, I've never found an IR Receiver that didn't work with any remote I've tried, and I usually aim for 38KHz in any transmitters I build.

The receivers aren't sharply tuned to their specified frequencies, nor do they have accurately tuned PLL detectors.

I'll take a look at that logic analyzer on BG site, or maybe consider making a permanent one from a Nano.
I ordered one, although I've not had need (or time) to play with it yet. I'm busy today working on my wireless temperature/humidity project, I've got one remote sensor fitted in a box now, and most of a second one built - my current plans are for four channels and sensors.
 

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
An Arduino is obviously perfectly fine, and I'm pretty sure you could simply download a sketch to do exactly what you want, and of course there are IR libraries available.



It really seems to make little or no difference, I've never found an IR Receiver that didn't work with any remote I've tried, and I usually aim for 38KHz in any transmitters I build.

The receivers aren't sharply tuned to their specified frequencies, nor do they have accurately tuned PLL detectors.



I ordered one, although I've not had need (or time) to play with it yet. I'm busy today working on my wireless temperature/humidity project, I've got one remote sensor fitted in a box now, and most of a second one built - my current plans are for four channels and sensors.

Hello Nigel,

Well, that gives me incentive to try out my 38kHz units to see if it will work on my 40kHz remote. I thought they may be sharply tuned because i see an internal bandpass, but who knows, maybe they leave some leeway in the tuning. I have a feeling it wont work with the 56kHz model, but hey, might as well try that one too.

The wireless temperature monitor sounds interesting too, i wouldnt mind hearing more about that, like what are you using for the transmitters, and how good do the transmitters work?
One thing i might note here is that if either transmitter and/or receiver is battery operated, i would suggest putting the uC chip to sleep and only come on once every 10 minutes or so. I did that with my refrigerator monitor (PIC not Atmel) and the two AA cells last for 2 years!
On the contrary, i had a store bought unit that had both transmitter and receiver run on two AA cells each, and that thing ran the batteries down in 2 months! That's why i ended up building my own. Dont know what you get when you buy one these days.
Oh yeah, if the transmitter is separate from the uC, it will have to be shut down during that 10 minute period.

So will you post a project thread on this on ETO or somewhere else on the web, as i would like to follow the progress if you dont mind. For one thing i still did not build my automobile-to-house telemetry that i planned long ago, and that would help there too i believe. Main point is i need a good 50 feet distance with the transmit/receive pair, and duplex would be really nice although i 'could' get away without it.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
The wireless temperature monitor sounds interesting too, i wouldnt mind hearing more about that, like what are you using for the transmitters, and how good do the transmitters work?
I'm using HC12 modules, they are extremely easy to use, and give up to 1000m range in open air :D

They aren't full duplex, but they don't need to be - and doing so would make the modules a LOT more complicated and expensive, and probably cripple the range as well.
 

MrAl

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Most Helpful Member
I'm using HC12 modules, they are extremely easy to use, and give up to 1000m range in open air :D

They aren't full duplex, but they don't need to be - and doing so would make the modules a LOT more complicated and expensive, and probably cripple the range as well.
Hi again,

Sounds reasonable. Have you actually tried them yet to see how well they communicate at say medium distances?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Hi again,

Sounds reasonable. Have you actually tried them yet to see how well they communicate at say medium distances?
They work fine all around my house and garden, which is all I'm bothered about :D

I'll probably get round to doing some longer range tests eventually, but I'm in no rush.
 

hyedenny

Active Member
IR remotes use various different coding schemes (SIRC's, RC5, NEC etc.) and also use specific device and instruction coding, so you need one that matches on all three requirements - but a TV remote should NEVER work an air-con unit.
Why not? A programmable TV remote should be able to learn any code. And conversely, an air conditioning remote receiver could be built to use any code you want.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Because a remote control uses a specific device code, a TV one uses a TV device code and an AirCon one uses an AirCon device code - so unless something was incredibly badly designed they couldn't ever work each other.

A programmable TV remote should be able to learn any code.
It wouldn't be a TV remote in that case, and a 'programmable' one wouldn't be able to do an AirCon unit - unless it was specifically designed to do so, which seems unlikely. As for 'learning' remotes (rather than programmable) it's quite likely a learning remote could be used to record from an AirCon one, but it still wouldn't be a TV remote as it wouldn't work a TV.

And conversely, an air conditioning remote receiver could be built to use any code you want.
It 'could' be, but it wouldn't be - it would be pretty stupid building an AirCon unit that turns OFF every time you turn the TV volume up :p
 
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