Adding Ethernet Control For A 5.1 Speaker Set

[HuB’s] set of 5.1 surround sound speakers was gobbling up a bunch of electricity when in standby as evidenced by the 50 Hz hum coming from the sub-woofer and the burning hot heat sink on the power supply. He wanted to add a way to automatically control the systems and offer the new feature of disconnecting the power from the mains.

The first part was not too hard, although he used a roundabout method of prototyping. He planned to use the IR receiver on the speakers to control them. At the time, [HuB] didn’t have an oscilloscope on hand that he could use to capture the IR protocol so he ended up using Audacity (the open source audio editing suite) to capture signals connected to the input of a sound card. He used this to establish the timing and encoding that he needed for all eight buttons on the original remote control.

Next, he grabbed a board that he built using an ATmega168 and an ENC28J60 Ethernet chip. This allows you to send commands via the Internet which are then translated into the appropriate IR signals to control the speakers and a few other devices in the room. The last piece of the puzzle was to wrap an RF controlled outlet into the project with lets him cut mains power to the speakers when not in use. You can see the video demonstration embedded after the break.


12 thoughts on “Adding Ethernet Control For A 5.1 Speaker Set

  1. “50 Hz hum coming from the sub-woofer and the burning hot heat sink on the power supply.”
    Sounds more like his sub is broken, there should be no hum and when not in use the heatsink should be cold.

  2. Let me explain some more details. There’s no warm heatsink but the transformer is heating a lot in a stand-by. That’s typical for devices without switching power supply. That hum is coming from that transformer because is really big one, no one can really hear that, but I’m too sensitive when I go sleep, so it annoys me a little.
    But the point of project it’s not control just the speaker but I can control any device/light with remote plugs and send IR signals to TV etc..

  3. I have one a set of a similar type. Here is the service manual with inside schematics if anyone would need it . I was fixing it few weeks back. It got a 230V hit into the input line and all I needed to replace is the first input switching IC that was in the way at the cost of $2. I am also interested in the IR protocol codes as I dont have the remote anymore.

    PS: another greetings from the czech rep.

  4. with lwat on this one. Either find a power strip with a switch and so forth or a lamp style cord has switch built in and can be found at hardware stores cheap. Also useful are the remote AC outlets. You plug it in, plug in the device and ya get a nice lil fob thingy to control it with and tape to your main remote. see here:,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9668350966394341543&sa=X&ei=z4vSTbqhH4XWgQfm-MHMCw&ved=0CHQQ8wIwAg&biw=1024&bih=614#

    I was lucky enough to find one in a thrift store bin for 50c :) Works great!

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