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Control all your IR appliances through Bluetooth (or internet)

A Bluetooth enabled remote that will help you control one or more IR-controlled electric payloads. In this post, we are going to present a project for emulating an IR remote control composed of a RandA board (an Arduino that has connectors to interface with Raspberry Pi on one side and connectors for Arduino shield on the other) and a dedicated shield (ArdIR), that allows to control house appliances by reproducing the signals emitted by respective controllers. The peculiarity of this project is the possibility to control them remotely, via the internet, thanks to a dedicated web interface that can be accessed via the browser of devices connecting to it. Given that we had used an Arduino shield for that project, we thought it could be a good idea to use it again by reviewing the entire project from an Arduino perspective, that is by taking off Raspberry Pi and RandA and applying the shield directly to an Arduino Uno board. And…voilà! In these pages we will see how to control the ArdIR shield through a Bluetooth connection, therefore a close range one; this means that the “remote” controlling device will have to operate inside the same building of the system’s, at a distance not over a few meters, especially if there are big walls interposed between transmitter and receiver. This requirement may appear as a limitation and may lead to asking why did we choose this system. Well, if one needs to manage some devices inside one’ house although out of line of sight of classic IR remotes (e.g. if you want to listen to the music on your Hi-Fi which is in another room, and you want to be able to control volume, track, etc.), Bluetooth communication may be the most convenient because it doesn’t need an active LAN (with router and Wi-Fi to connect to mobile devices); connection between devices is direct (point-to-point), provided that each is equipped with Bluetooth interface. This is (almost) always true nowadays for tablets and smartphones, which in this project act as controlling devices; in the controlled device, that is the system composed of Arduino and the ArdIR shield, this is not the case because generally, Arduino doesn’t have this interface. We opted for a shield available as a kit (code FT1032M).”

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