Control Anything with an Apple Remote

If you’re like us, you probably have more than one Apple Remote kicking around in a parts drawer, and if you’re even more like us, you’re probably really annoyed at Apple’s tendency to use proprietary hardware and software at every turn (lightning connector, anyone?). But there’s hope for the Apple Remote now: [Sourcery] has completed a project that allows an Apple Remote to control anything you wish.

The idea is fairly straightforward: A device interprets the IR signals from an Apple Remote, and then outputs another IR signal that can do something useful on a non-Apple product. [Sourcery] uses an Arduino to do the IR translation, along with a set of IR emitters and detectors, and now the Apple Remote can control anything, from stereos to TVs to anything you can imagine. It also doesn’t remove the Apple Remote’s capability to control Apple products, in case you need yours to do that as well.

[Sourcery] notes that sometimes working with RAW IR signals can be a little difficult, but the information on their project and in their 25-minute video discusses how to deal with that, so make sure to check that out after the break. Don’t have an Apple Remote? You can do a similar thing with a PS3 controller.

22 thoughts on “Control Anything with an Apple Remote

    1. Maybe because non-Samsung TV’s are compatible with Samsung remotes because they contain Samsung guts, or perhaps use a common protocol that’s the same across a variety of brands? Seriously?? You don’t understand how Apple is proprietary?

      1. “The Apple Remote uses an NEC IR protocol[1] which consists of a differential PPM encoding on a 1:3 duty cycle 38 kHz 950 nm infrared carrier. There are 32 bits of encoded data between the AGC leader and the stop bit:[12]”

        Sounds like is is just about as “standard” as any other remote which is to say non-standard because there is no universal standard for IR remotes.

      2. I just tried my Samsung remote on a Sony TV. Surprise surprise it didn’t work.

        The Apple remote is no more proprietary than any other remote out there.

        Hackaday have featured this exact same thing before, about using an Arduino to decode and resend IR signals. The only difference in this story is that the test remote is made by Apple.

        It’s an interesting enough article/video. I just don’t understand the random “proprietary” bash.

  1. HaD your niveau is falling. It was something special to get a post on HaD. But nowadays I just see things like this. This is just a simple IR receiver and a normal IR remote. So whats special about it? Because it’s an Apple remote? Pah..

    1. Thats the new way of HaD: Everyone, who can touch an iron on the right side, is now able to post on HaD to explain how not to burn the fingers…
      HaD will start a series of how to blink an LED on Arduinos. This series will then be only for experienced Sup3rH@ck3rZ….

      Ist time to delete the HaD Bookmark…

      1. Hi there, actually a good takeaway from this (my) video was how to easily handle raw code. As I researched this video I found on the arduino forum, the comment on Shiriffs blogpost and other places, a lot of different and mostly wrong assumptions on how the RAW format should be handled. I go through that quite well (i think) and even made a function to speed up the coding process… :) I am also aware that “this” has been done thousands of times before. I still like having my small and beautiful Apple remote in my pocket instead of a huge ugly 100-button Universal Remote Control :) Also, I thought I showed that Apple actually ISNT proprietary, and can be used as any other product (as someone said, just normal NEC-formatted IR-codes), a fact that most people dont find out, because of the “hype” around Apple… Anyways, my videos arent rocket science, just fun and useful stuff you can do with your Arduino. Glad it made it to HaD….

        1. Bravo HAD and congrats Sourcery, please post the hell out of any loose hack that you want, along with the more technical articles, and retrotechtacular, and red-neck adventures in rigging, as long as you guys find it interesting I don’t care if it makes it to front page. I just scroll past what doesn’t interest me, but I appreciate being able to pick and choose. Some days I’m in the mood for something light, then that could lead to a deeper rabbit hole or not. Inspiration comes from many sources, I’m open to them all.

      2. Hi there, actually a good takeaway from this (my) video was how to easily handle raw code. As I researched this video I found on the arduino forum, the comment on Shiriffs blogpost and other places, a lot of different and mostly wrong assumptions on how the RAW format should be handled. I go through that quite well (i think) and even made a function to speed up the coding process… :) I am also aware that “this” has been done thousands of times before. I still like having my small and beautiful Apple remote in my pocket instead of an ugly 100-button Universal Remote Control :) Also, I thought I showed that Apple actually ISNT proprietary, and can be used as any other product (as someone said, just normal NEC-formatted IR-codes), a fact that most people dont “know”, because of the “hype” around Apple… Anyways, my videos arent rocket science, just fun and useful stuff you can do with your Arduino. Glad it made it to HaD….

          1. so THAT’s where it went!

            Seriously. Those things are designed to get lost. I’ve wrapped a rubber band around it just so it doesn’t slide into the couch.

  2. HAD is getting dumber by the minute. It used to have a few good articles per day, in an easy to read format. Now the new kiddos that tun HAD made the interface a lot worse (ah! but it is more “modern”), and put so much really basic articles out…. Sad. Sad. Sad.

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