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I have not seen a whole lot of information here at HTS on the iRule app to control one's theater, so I decided to start this thread to detail my journey through it.

After reading through a slew of build threads and seeing what was used to control the room, I decided to follow Simon's (raZorTT) and Moggie's steps and use iRule to control the room. Main reasoning was we already had an iPad that could be used (as well as a couple iPods) and it had the ability to tie in with the Lutron GE well to handle lighting. It did not hurt that I could ask Simon questions too. ;)

I tried the free 2 week trial earlier this year to see how intuitive it was. TBH, I was a bit nervous about it because there is a learning curve involved and the trial did nothing to sway me from that opinion. However, for those considering iRule, using the trial does not give you a real good idea of building panels.

I took the plunge and purchased the GC-100-12 a couple weeks ago. Once I got the modem, router and switch set-up earlier this week, I purchased the iRule license. I decided to go with the Pro license as opposed to the basic - for $50 more, you get 2 additional handsets, the ability to use the feedback functionality, and you can share panels, etc.

The GC-100 is a communication device as far as I can tell. You connect it to your network (it needs a direct connection - I used one of the ports on my switch) and all communication is done through it. You can use IR emitters which plug into an IR port on the GC-100 and the emitter side is placed on the unit you wish to control over the IR point. Fortunately, it seems like most of the newer equipment has an IR port that you can plug a TRS jack into instead of taping the emitter to your equipment.

When I installed the Lutron unit, I ran a length of Cat6 from the Lutron into my AV closet (using cat6 was suggested by Simon). The Grafik Eye has an IR Com and Data connection point - these are used to send commands to the GC-100. I used the Orange and white/orange lines. I put a TRS on the other end.

Yesterday, I used one of the Panels that was already there called LIGHTING and, using iRule's iBuilder page (you need a Google account to do this), set up the panel that would allow me to turn the lights on and off. It was a simple matter of using the database codes that were already provided for the Lutron units and dropping them onto the buttons.

Once that was done, I installed the iRule app to my iPad and configured it using my Google account. Once that was entered, I clicked the Sync button so that it could pull any panels I created using iBuilder.

Then, I set up the equipment. I connected the GC-100 to my switch and plugged the power in. I then plugged the TRS jack from the Lutron unit into IR Port 1.

Now, it was time to create the Gateway so I grabbed the iPad, tapped the Gateway icon, and it brought up a list of the different unit types (mine is the GC-100). Then, I clicked on the EDIT buttion which allows you to search for gateways for each device. Once I clicked on ADD for the GC-100, it started a search for an existing gateway and found the unit I had just powered up. Then, I selected IR Port 1 which brought me to the ADD DEVICE screen. There were several to choose from - the first was Lutron. I selected that and it brought me back to the previous gateway display screen. I then renamed the gateway and saved it.

Finally, I touched the Panels tab - it brought me up my list of panels of which LIGHTING was one. When I selected that one, it took me to the panel display I created. Be sure to check in the lower right corner for a green "wi-fi-like" icon. If it is green, it is connected to the gateway; otherwise, you have an issue. I then touched my LIGHTS ON button and VOILA! The lights came on. I was so excited. ;)

That is as far as I have made it thus far - I spent the next 30 mins or so creating scenes on my Lutron unit so I could program those into iBuilder when I next had a chance.

I realize this is an incredibly lengthy post - thanks for bearing with me. I will do my best to get some screen shots or pictures when I can. If you have any questions as I go along - fire away!
 

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I was trying to figure out how to set a different background image and was struggling a bit to get it figured out, but I just got it set. In order to make a background layer, you have to make sure to switch from all layers to background layer only.

I was not seeing it right off because it is in the lower left corner of the display panel which you need to scroll to see.

I uploaded a picture of my HT as it is right now and set that as a background - we shall see how it looks.....
 

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I bought iRule and a POE glocal Cache IP2IR device a while back. I'm quite excited about the software and what not, but I have yet to build an interface for it! It's certainly going to be an accomplishment when I finally do.

I had a similar issue with the backgrounds. I think my biggest issue is I want it to look REALLY professional and sleek so that means I have to edit all the backgrounds, buttons, and what not and create overlays and so on that all work together on the resolution the device will be. At some point I'm really going to tackle this but the only place I found decent information was over on AVS and I can't get anyone to help me out! People post in the threads, but when you ask a question it's like it's invisible or something.
 

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I bought iRule and a POE glocal Cache IP2IR device a while back. I'm quite excited about the software and what not, but I have yet to build an interface for it! It's certainly going to be an accomplishment when I finally do.

I had a similar issue with the backgrounds. I think my biggest issue is I want it to look REALLY professional and sleek so that means I have to edit all the backgrounds, buttons, and what not and create overlays and so on that all work together on the resolution the device will be. At some point I'm really going to tackle this but the only place I found decent information was over on AVS and I can't get anyone to help me out! People post in the threads, but when you ask a question it's like it's invisible or something.
I have found it quite handy so far - I am sure I will be tweaking screens and such over time, so I used a lower res pic for the life right now.

I completely understand - AVS is the only place I have found discussion to this point which is why I started this thread. Feel free to ask questions here Harold - if I cannot answer them straight off, I can at least start poking around at it too so we can figure it out.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to get a good screen shot.........
 

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Yeah, I was mostly asking questions about how to size and place overlays and boxes and stuff on the background to make them line up with the buttons and what not in photoshop. I think I'll likely start a bit basic and start adding things I go like feedback and what not. I just have to get up the motivation to sit down and do it haha.
 

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As far as screen shots, I'm not sure about iOS apps but there are gestures to use with android to take a screen shot I believe. You can also print screen the panels from the iRule builder.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As far as screen shots, I'm not sure about iOS apps but there are gestures to use with android to take a screen shot I believe. You can also print screen the panels from the iRule builder.
That is probably what I will have to do - take them from iRule builder I mean. I will try and get the lighting one posted in the next couple days.
 

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OK, remember this is just a first run at a screen so no laughing! :bigsmile:



One thing I have to figure out - for some reason, the gateway IP changes periodically so I have to find a new gateway and change the IP in my existing one. Definitely need to figure that one out as it is very tedious having to update it.
 

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Not bad, better then my first run hah.

Since I have someone else on here learning I may start tackling mine soon here. A lot of the reason I waited is I was trying to pick up a refurbished 8.9" Galaxy Tab to use as a dedicated remote device for the most part.
 

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Finally got back to working on this a bit last night as I finally got the wiring I needed to get the AV closet squared away.

We left off with a screen created to handle lighting - just something quick and kind of klunky. I decided to do this with the rest of the equipment as well to allow me to at least ditch the remotes for now. Plus, it helps to learn a bit more about moving around and such.

So, I created screens for the OPPO-93, the Onkyo 809, and the Panasonic AE-7000. I still need to create one for the DVR. Klunky they are, but at least the functions I need are there.

Some of the stumbling blocks I ran into are:

1. There seem to be several device version floating around - make sure you have the right one. I ran into this with both the OPPO and the 809.

2. Dropping a code onto a button does not overlay the code that was already there - it adds a delay and then will execute that second code. You have to clear any codes first before you add a new one.

3. I connected my projector via serial cable. I used the codes from the PTAE series device, but I was not getting any functions to work. So, I searched for other devices under iRule and found the AE-7000 R232 device. Aha!, that is the one! Unfortunately, still no functions working. After further digging, I found a suggestion that the baud rate would need to be changed to 9600 from 19200 on the Gateway Controller. To do this, open a web browser and enter the IP for the gateway. This will allow you to select the serial connection you are connected to and change the baud rate. Once I did that, everything functioned as it should.

4. Some of the device codes are generically named - there was some trial and error to get the correct code. If the button does not work how you intended, try a different code.

Here are the screens!

Projector:



Onkyo 809:



OPPO 93

 

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I love it! Keep the posts on iRule coming. I am a LOOOONG way from setting mine up but I did pickup 2 GC-100-6's for $29/each off ebay. Still quite a few there if you need more. I was wondering how you control the GE with it. Thanks for the clarification. Did you use any wallstations with your GE? I'm thinking I might need at least one as my GE will be on one end of the room and I have my office 30' from the GE. Do the wallstations operate like 3 way switches?
 

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I didn't go with the GC stuff because from what I understood it could only be used by once device at a time (tablets phones and such) So I went for the iTach route. Although right now I have 2 devices that even need IR and shortly that will go down to 1 lol.

I still have not messed with it much. I really wanted to find a nice tablet that I could use strictly as a remote and finances haven't allowed that recently.
 

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If you're looking for a cheap solid tablet go get a refurb Nook Color and root it. It's an android tablet at it's core and more than enough power for this stuff. Google Cyanogen mod for Nook Color. Tons of FAQs and videos on it.
 

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Yeah but I was looking for something more along the lines of a 9" or so tablet like the Samsung Galaxy 8.9 but they are getting hard to find. I ordered a refurbished one a while back from walmart but they canceled my order due to stock or something.
 
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