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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Issues with my MCE IR remote control and OpenElec – HELP!

I am currently testing out a build of OpenElec with a view to moving to that platform from Linux Ubuntu Minimal. OpenElec is described as..

Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC) is a small Linux distribution built from scratch as a platform to turn your computer into an XBMC media center. OpenELEC is designed to make your system boot fast, and the install is so easy that anyone can turn a blank PC into a media machine in less than 15 minutes.”

I have an OrigenAE M10 HTPC case which has a SoundGraph IR/VFD unit – Model: VF310 15c2:0036. I am using a standard HP MCE remote control, like the one pictured below. I will be using my Logitech Harmony 895 remote, when /if I have the standard MCE remote control working properly first.

Here is what I have done so far in OpenElec / XBMC in an attempt to get the IR remote control and the LCD screen on the HTPC case working.

OpenElec – Settings – System – I have selected the imon driver for the LCD/VFD.


XBMC Settings – System – Video – Video Output – Enabled the LCD/VFD in here


If I look under Input Devices – Peripherals I can see the iMon HID device listed


Before the remote control would do anything at all, I had to install an add-on from the OpenElec MediaCenter OS add-ons section


Then under Services


I installed the imon-mce add-on, there are no settings that can be configured in the add-on it seems.


Once I had done this the remote control started “working” at least basic functions were working like the directional arrows and the OK and back buttons etc.

Also the LCD screen started outputting and appears to be working as expected.

Please excuse the dust in the photo!


There is another setting I was not sure if I should enable or not? I’ve tried it enabled and it didn’t seem to make any different.

XBMC Settings – System – Input Devices – Remote Control sends keyboard presses.


The Problem

Perhaps the problem is my lack of knowledge with Linux and setting up IR remote controls, but I always find it difficult and with many issues. Traditionally I believe it was LIRC that was used for IR remote control setup under Linux. Then some drivers like for imon were moved in to the actual Linux kernel and this could then conflict with LIRC setups. Now yesterday I discover something new to me, called eventlircd and this is what OpenElec uses apparently, which sounds like a combination of LIRC and use of the in-kernel drivers.

At the end of this page is a YouTube video I created demonstrating the “Double Press” issues, or that’s what I call it anyways. I had this same issue in Ubuntu Minimal 12.10 when trying to use LIRC and in the end the only way I could fix it and to get the remote working properly was to uninstall all the LIRC stuff completely and only use the IR-Keytable and in-kernel drivers / modules. This meant I ended up needing to edit only two files for the remote control setup, one called imon_mce which is a keymap file, in the etc/rc_keymaps folder and the other file was the XBMC keyboard.xml file which I tweaked in places.

I am unsure what files I should be editing for eventlircd?

It seems I cannot uninstall or purge LIRC from OpenElec as there is no apt-get command available in OpenElec. So I think I will have to read more about eventlircd and try and get to the bottom of things.

I have created two forum posts about my problems with the remote control, one here on the XBMC forum and one here on the OpenElec forums.

This is how I described the “Double Press” issue:

“If I press the guide button on the remote control in a normal manner, i.e. press it and then release, the context menu in XBMC will then always appear and then disappear and then you can not access it.
The only way to bring up the context menu in XBMC with the remote, is to hold down the guide button for a longer period of time and let go, if I am lucky the context menu will stay on screen. If not the context menu will disappear. Pot luck really.

If I press the pause button in a normal manner, when playing a video, in the Confluence skin a thing at the top of the screen will appear briefly showing a progress bar and the video is paused for a split second, but because of the double press issue the video is then resumed and not paused and continues to then play.

Again if I instead hold down the pause button on the remote for a longer period of time and let go, sometimes I get lucky and it will pause it, sometimes not.

Same with pressing play, if the video is currently paused and I press the play button in a normal manner and let go, it briefly switches to playing and then back to paused.“
If any Linux / IR remote control experts can help? Please get in touch.

YouTube Video showing the problem:


Anonymous said...

i get the same type of issue, seems to send double pressess
im running homebuilt PC with standard windows MCE remote and USB reciever latest openelec. if i press the button quick this seems to work.

must be a timeout / response type issue. was working fine in earlier versions of openelec

CW-KID said...

I can also confirm that if I press the guide button on the remote quickly then the context menu will appear on screen OK.

However if I press the guide button in a normal manner, the context menu appears and then disappears again.

CW-KID said...

I am using OpenElec 3.2.3 if I was to try a previous version if they are still available for download which version should I try ?


Daniel Blacklock said...

I am not sure if this will help but this is what I had to do to get my RPI working with a Nwazet IR receiver and ATV remote (silver) on OpenELEC 3.1.3:

I had to create my own remote config (lircd.conf) and edit it to stop repeats:
min_repeat 4
suppress_repeat 4

I used these instructions:

I hope this helps as there is a lot of conflicting information on the forums which had me confused for days.

Anonymous said...

Adding a couple of lines to the advancedsettings.xml seems to work for me.


Afaik this doesnt stop the double presses from happening it just stops xbmc reacting to them.

CW-KID said...


What you just added ?


In what context, can you post those lines from your advancedsettings.xml ?


Anonymous said...

that's strange, I actually posted the full lines that need to go into advanced settings not just their values.
Obviously some thing doesn't like the characters used.

Anyway .
Look here
Look up remotedelay I gave that a value of 15 and the other is remoterepeat which I gave a value of 1200


CW-KID said...

OK thanks I think I previously tried those settings in the advancedsettings.xml file already didn't seem to make any difference.

In the end I have disabled eventlircd and I am just using the in kernel modules with ir-keytable and a keyboard.xml file.