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HouseLinc's can be upgraded with JP1

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  • HouseLinc's can be upgraded with JP1

    HouseLincs use the guts of a programmable remote made by UEI who makes the One For All (OFA) brand remotes and some Radio Shack remotes.

    I have been involved with the JP1 group (a user supported group that figured out how to upgrade these remotes to do some pretty amazing things) for several years. A year ago or so, I traded a spare Ocelot for a HouseLinc, just to see if it could be converted to JP1. That project fell by the wayside, but a few days ago I ran across a schematic that provided the answer.

    The schematicI found was for a conventional remote with the same chip that is in my HouseLinc ( and I suspect, most others). It’s the biggest chip on the board and has SC410971P and a Motorola Logo. My HouseLinc also has the same EEPROM. (FYI,on the schematic the big chip is numbered from the top, the EEPROM from the bottom and the JP1 connector from the top.) I created a JP1 6-pin header using the same attach points. I also created, with a little help from my JP1 colleagues, an RDF file (attached) and now the HouseLinc can be upgraded with the JP1 tools. For more information about JP1. I have done limited testing but so far all seems to work as expected.

    Basically, you can use most of the JP1 tools the same way they are described in the documentation, so I won’t try to cover all that here. I will try to focus on the few differences. If anyone takes the bold step to try this I will help out, but it really is a very simple process. To make a long story short any Pronto ccf file, Pronto hex from the discrete section at Remote central and just about any other IR command from any of the IR libraries can now be programmed into your HouseLinc. That includes things like TiVo and Replay commands

    The first thing you should do once the cable is made and working, is download and save the image from the EEPROM, since I think at one time upgrades may have been put in there. The chip is socketed so, I assume, that when they offered upgrades they sent a new EEPROM. If nothing shows under the devices or protocol then there are no upgrades. If you are not using the upgrade(s) then you can delete them since you have a copy you can get them back. Also the JP1 group has extensive files and if these are erased we can find or create another copy.

    The JP1 tools can read and write to the EEPROM and can create device and protocol upgrades. While the EEPROM in the HouseLinc is only 1KB, the device upgrades for most situations will be only about 10 Bytes. In an actual remote (which this device thinks it is) you would also need to assign commands to keys but there is no reason to do waste the EEPROM space with the HouseLinc based on Geoff Epstein’s post where he explains that you can send any command with the magic key + 3-digit code known as an EFC or advanced code.

    The other major difference with this device and most of the newer OFA/JP1 remotes is that the newer ones use a four digit setup code known as a “device setup code” in the Plato software where the HouseLinc can only use a three digit code.

    While there are a lot of different device types listed the remote itself only thinks of four:
    TV, Audio/CD, VCR/DVD, Cable/Sat. This differentiation is used in real OFA remotes to designate which button sets will be used. In this case it has no relevance, unless you’re using the little buttons in Plato, but it will matter when making an upgrade so a short explanation is in order:

    Audio/CD:
    Audio Amplifier
    CD Player
    Misc Audio
    Tuner
    Home Automation Device

    Cable/Sat:
    Cable Box
    Satellite Dish
    Video Accessory

    VCR/DVD:
    Digital Audio Tape Player
    VCR
    Audio Cassette Deck
    Laser Disc

    TV:
    TV

    You can create the device upgrade in any section, but you must select the correct device type (TV, Audio/CD, VCR/DVD, Cable/Sat. When you do a device upgrade, you need to add your setup code to one of those sections in ircodes.ini in the Plato program files located in C:\PLATOW. You can make up any sort of device brand or just add the number to an exist brand. The device doesn’t care about anything other than the device number. If you don’t want to bother to edit the ini file then pick some unused device and use one of its device numbers.

    The number you pick for the device upgrade isn’t important unless you use the same number as one that you are from the built-in device library. Lets say you have a Sony Receiver and use Audio/158 if you were to create an upgrade for your JVC CD player and call it 158, then the Sony receiver would quit working (it would be sending JVC CD commands) since device upgrades in the EEPROM take precedence over the built in codes in the SAME four categories (TV, Audio/CD, VCR/DVD, Cable/Sat). You can have a TV/158 and that would be no conflict with Audio/DV/158.

    If you do modify the ircodes.ini file don’t change the top section that looks like this or the headers ain any section in [braces]. (It’s probably good to save a copy in case you need to restore it):

    [DEVICES]
    Audio Amplifier=8226
    Cable Box=8206
    Audio Cassette Deck=8222
    CD Player=8207
    Digital Audio Tape Player=8222
    Home Automation Device=8207
    Laser Disc=8228
    Misc Audio=8207
    Satellite Dish=8232
    Tuner=8227
    TV=8221
    VCR=8222
    Video Accessory=8206
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Thanks Jon!

    Finally, some one who can help me upgrade my HouseLinc.

    This is the info I needed!

    Rick Higgs

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    • #3
      Jon,

      I'm fairly new to JP1, but familiar the basics and the various web sources (I'm a member of the Yahoo JP1 group). I've also built my own cable for use with my RS remotes - so I have some actual experience. I am however totally new to HouseLinc. I just got it today. I can already tell it's pretty useless without the JP1 functionality. I've been to all the sites looking at related info on creating a 6 pin JP1 connection were there are no existing pins. I've studied the schmetic you posted and I've been over the my Houselinc with a fine tooth comb. I even see JP1 etched into the circuit board on my 12/98 Rev-C board in two places - but I still can't tell just were each 1 thru 6 PIN connection should go. Could you possibly post some pictures or diagrams or directions/details ? I'd really like to pursue this, but I'm gonna need some hand holding and some help. I certainly appreciate your time and effort and I'm guessing others will as well. Thanks -hope to hear from you

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      • #4
        Attached is a picture of the upper right hand quadrant of the board on the reverse side with the serial connection at the left and battery at the bottom. I have labeled it with very small print, but you can zoom it in and see what goes where. (I use a free program IRFanView just google it and it will come up)

        I mounted the 6 pin JP1 header connector in an unused portion of the board. I just drilled the 6 pins with a small drill bit. The solder holds it down. BYW, the JP1 Pin 1 is not connected to anything.

        Let me know if this doesn't show you what you need. BTW, my board is 4/97 Rev A
        Attached Files

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