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Remote control your Pi

From time to time somebody asks how to add a infrared receiver to the Pi with one of our boards. While this is possible, in many cases there are better remote control options than infrared remote control.

Use the remote control in your application

Many applications today come with their own App for your smartphone to control it. Fr example, the Spotify application on your mobile phone is the best way to control Spotify as you can not just skip to the next song, but also select any song of your choice. Some systems might need software for external developers. For MPD based systems like Moode, Volumio or Max2Play, there are lots of remote control applications available for both Android and IOS. For Logitech media center based systems (piCorePlayer, Max2Play), you might check out iPeng (IOS).

CEC – control your Pi with your TV’s remote control

If you mostly use your Pi with media center software like Kodi or Plex, you usually have a TV connected to it already. The Raspberry Pi supports “Consumer Electronics Control” (CEC) that allows you to control your Raspberry Pi software with your TV remote control. While this can be tricky with DVD players and cable boxes, it usually works out-of-the-box on the Raspberry Pi without any additional configuration. Just try it!

Wireless remote control with USB dongle

Wireless Remote control (USB)

A wireless remote control with an USB dongle is an affordable alternative if the previous methods don’t work for you. It basically emulates a keyboard and/or mouse. Therefore, it works out-of-the-box with many applications. You might check with the developers of the distribution of your choice how to configure it.

Infrared remote control

Ok, you still want this. In most cases, the application of your choice won’t support this directly. You need to use LIRC to monitor infrared commands. You will find a lot of tutorials in the web (e.g. here) what hardware is needed and how to connect it. Make sure you don’t use any of the GPIOs 19-22, as these are reversed for the sound interface for your HiFiBerry board.

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Posted by Daniel on August 12, 2019