Some people e-mailed me and wanted to know more about how I control my home entertainment network with my iPhone (see my overview article with screenshots). So still, quite off topic for this blog, but here we go…

I got OpenRemote, the open source remote control software, running on my iPhone (also works on iPad, Android) with my Global Cache WF2IR iTach and wanted to program it to remote control my Mac Mini (this scenario will create a button pressing DOWN on my Apple Remote to control Plex). One, maybe easier, alternative is to use iRule At Home which is a commercial product but since I like Open Source and like playing around myself, I decided to give it a try.

I started out checking the Navigation Tutorial video to figure out the basics to create some buttons. Then I went into Online Designer and Building Modeler and choose New -> New Device and name it whatever you like. Then select it and choose New -> New Command. Choose TCP/IP protocol and set the name to the command, I called it “MAC Mini Down”. IP-address is the IP of your WF2IR and the Port is 4998.

Then the complicated part, Command, which is not very obvious. For some more technical details, check this thread. But for me it turned out to be:


Red: Is <mod-addr>, and for me that’s always 1.
Green: Is <conn-addr>, the port on the WF2IR which is 1, 2 or 3 (counting from left). I have the IR-blaster for the Receiver connected to 1, the TV to 2 (and this is a combined RF sender aswell which allow me to switch the lights on/off with Nexa – more on that in another post) and MAC to 3.
Yellow: Is <repeatcount>, the number of repeats it should perform.

Now how did I figure out the rest? Well, I used ILearn.exe, choosed iTach Learner in the dropbox, put the IP of the iTach and choosed Connect. Then I pointed my Apple Remote towards the iTach and pressed DOWN. I put “DOWN” in the Button Name and pressed Save Data. Keep on doing that for all your commands. The iTach is pretty picky so make sure to place the remote on a flat surface and keep it still while pressing the button.

Don’t forget to save in Designer, Sync with modeler from your controller and kill the OpenRemote on your iPhone and restart it and it will reload the config.

Then you have to setup OpenRemote in your server and on your iPhone but their website has pretty good documentation for that. Also, check out the OpenRemote Tutorial for iTach.

Also see, Part 2: How to turn lights on/off using an iPhone/Android, OpenRemote, iTach WF2IR and Nexa.