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Friday, 17 December 2010

Control your Mouse cursor with your Logitech Harmony remote control

I saw an interesting post on The Green Button here that linked to another interesting post on the Logitech Harmony forums here. What was being discussed was two additional Microsoft Media Center devices that are listed in the Logitech Harmony device database, one is called “Special Edition” Windows Media Center which is a Media Center PC device that has an extended command set, the other device is an MCE Keyboard which maps all the keyboard keys and commands.

I wasn’t aware these two additional devices existed and when program Logitech Harmony remote controls for use with Windows Media Center PC’s in the past I’d used the standard Windows Media Center device from the Harmony database.

I recently purchased a second hand Logitech Harmony 555 as I really like this particular discontinued model and I’d used the 550 USA version of the same remote before in the past. The newer Windows Media Center SE device in the Harmony database has support for mouse cursor!

The new device can be added as follows:

Device type: Computer -> Media Center PC

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Model: Windows Media Center SE (Copy and paste in this device name in the Model field)

Add the new Windows Media Center SE device to your device list in the Harmony software

Click for larger image

The below instructions are from the Logitech Harmony forum post, I will go through each number below and add a few things as well.

Below you will find the instructions to create a mouse control activity.

1: Create a Generic activity only using the Windows Media Center device.

Answer Title: Adding an Activity that does not fit into any category in the Logitech Harmony Remote Software

Answer Link:​ch_en_amr.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=121...

For the input select the following option

I don't need to set the input on my Microsoft Media Center PC

2: Program the activity to leave on the unused device.

Answer Title: Setting a Harmony remote to not power off devices when switching between Activities

Answer Link:​ch_en_amr.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=123...

3: Rename the activity to Mouse Control

Answer Title: Renaming Devices and Activities on a Harmony remote

Answer Link:​ch_en_amr.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=378...

4: Change the button mapping

Use the Map the Mouse Up,Down,Left<Right to the direction buttons.

Map the Mouse Left Up and Mouse Left Down to the Volume Up and down buttons.

Map the Mouse Right Up and Mouse Right Down to the Channel Up and down buttons.

Stuart’s instructions -

1. Add custom Activity

In the Harmony software go to the Activities tab and add a new Activity.

Select No - manually add an Activity to my setup and click on the Next button

Select the Activity category Utility and click on the Next button

Select Generic Activity and click on the Next button

Confirm that you would like to add a Generic Activity by clicking on the Next button

Choose the device(s) you would like to add by clicking on the Add button. When you have finished adding all of the devices, click on Save

I just added the Media Center PC device at this stage.

If you would like to have the Harmony remote set the device to an input when you select the Generic Activity, then choose the input for the device, otherwise select I don't need to set the input and click on the Next button.

Here I selected I don’t need to set the input on my Microsoft Media Center PC

Review the settings for the activity. If the settings are correct select Yes, these settings are correct and click the Next button

Complete the setup of the activity by clicking on Done

After adding a Generic Activity, when you select the Activity on your Harmony remote, none of the buttons will be programmed. You will need to customize the buttons in your Generic Activity. For more information on customizing the buttons on your Harmony remote, please search our knowledge base with the term "Customize buttons in an Activity"

Once completed, you will need to update your remote. Click on the Update Remote button and follow the onscreen steps

On this screen click Next and then Done

Your new Generic Activity will now be listed under the Activities tab in the Harmony Software, click the Settings button.

Select Rename Generic Activity and call it Mouse Cursor and save this change.

Go back to the Generic Activity settings and then select Change Options and select Leave On, save this change and click Done.

From here click Customize Buttons

In here you need to assign the mouse cursor commands to the various buttons as shown below.

Change the button mapping

Use the Map the Mouse Up,Down,Left<Right to the direction buttons.

Map the Mouse Left Up and Mouse Left Down to the Volume Up and down buttons.

Map the Mouse Right Up and Mouse Right Down to the Channel Up and down buttons.

Logitech’s instructions mention nothing about left and right mouse buttons! So on my 555 remote I assigned the Mute button as LeftClick and the Prev button as RightClick

That’s it your done!

Now you can select the Activity called Mouse Cursor and use the Harmony remote controls directional / volume / channels buttons to move the mouse cursor around the screen and if you also added left and right mouse buttons as I did you can select items and right click.

I am sure there is much more scope for other new customisations with these Windows Media Center SE and MCE Keyboard extended command sets.


Roland said...

Hi Stuart

A really great blog you have, very interesting and informative. I like that you really go further than all others with your media center.
Special thanks for the logitech harmony setup, I haven't read anywhere else that ther is a possibility to enter just media center se and voilĂ  there are keys you can use. Finally I can setup a one-button-start-all-my-wife's-favorite-songs with just one click, she was asking for this feature a long time. It will improve the WAF through the roof (till next crash :-)).

On question I have, with this setup, it seems that there is no command for "Green Button", which one do I have to use instead?

Best regards,


Stuart Harrison said...

For GreenButton the command is called MEDIA or possibly START look for those!

Hayseed said...

Howdy Stuart,

This is an awesome tutorial, thank you!

I've programmed my model 550 and have a dongle coming for it.

Meanwhile, I'm curious as to how you would use your remote to control the mouse cursor when you already have another activity running, i.e. your HTPC / TV. I must be missing something on that point.

Thanks again,

Dan P

Hayseed said...

Oops, sorry Stuart, I forgot to check 'email follow-up comments'...

Thanks again.