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How to disable IR on XSight / ARRX18G?
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rsbrux



Joined: 25 Dec 2015
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:02 am    Post subject: How to disable IR on XSight / ARRX18G? Reply with quote

I am using an ARRX18G to control my living room TV & HiFi constellation via a Marmitek PowerMid and IR Control Pro blasters. Unfortunately, the setup does not work reliably, apparently due to multipath interference from the ARRX18G's own IR emitter(s). It works quite well if I cover the remote's IR emitter end with my hand, but this is rather impractical for ordinary use. I have tried covering the emitter end with tape, but even thick black electrician's tape is not sufficient. The RF output of the remote can easily be disabled or enabled, but I haven't found any way to control the IR output. Is there any way (short of opening the case and physically disconnecting the emitter(s)) to disable the remote's IR output and use only RF?
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to suggest electrical tape but I see you have already tried that. I can't imagine that IR is getting through the tape, so I wonder if you have a leak around the edges of the tape. Try this, put the tape back on the remote and then watch the remote using a cellphone camera to see if you can see where the IR is coming from. You can see IR when viewed using a digital camera.
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yaworski



Joined: 22 Jun 2014
Posts: 450
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, even if the tape is black in the visible light, it may still pass (maybe partially) IR light.

Try doing what Rob suggested with the phone's camera to check if it's the tape that is transparent to IR or if there's a leak around the tape.
I think that maybe some kind of a paper based tape would work better than a vinyl one.
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Marcin
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mdavej
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Joined: 08 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nail polish and aluminum foil block IR very well. So try either painting over your tape, or putting a slightly smaller strip of foil under the tape, or use foil tape like is used on HVAC ductwork.
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rsbrux



Joined: 25 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions. If it weren't for the fact that even pointing the remote away from the equipment helps reliability, I would have though my interference theory was totally off-the wall.
I tried paper (masking) tape before moving on to electrical and duct tape (applied over the electrical tape!) However, still not as reliable as the hand over the end of the remote, even though my Galaxy's camera doesn't see any leakage, even in a darkened room. Right now I am trying a piece of thin cardboard. If that doesn't work, I'll try a thicker one. I haven't yet tried aluminum foil or nail polish. I am saving these as a last resort, as they seem trickier to apply without permanent effect on the remote.
Thanks again for the tips!
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mdavej
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you not using the RF base designed for the Xsight (ARRE433B or REX-433)? And if not, how does your repeater work if you block the IR from the remote?

I recommend a different approach. Get a REX-433 and stick the blasters directly on the the eyes of the equipment that's giving you trouble. I've never had any multipath issues using the REX as it relays the signals instantaneously.

The REX is a nice unit that comes with 6 blasters, each on very long wires.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=ARRE433B%2CREX-433&_sacat=0
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My recommendation would be aluminum foil held in place with electrical tape.
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rsbrux



Joined: 25 Dec 2015
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@mdavej
The Marmitek PowerMid decodes the RF from the ARRX18G and resends IR, ether directly or via IR extenders. In my case, the PowerMid is faced away from the controlled equipment and I am using the IR extender output of the PowerMid. The output goes to the IR input connector on my Onkyo receiver, which has a loopthru connector which then powers the corresponding Marmitek IR extenders pasted on or near the IR receivers of the other equipment to be controlled. However, the extenders are translucent and do not completely block extraneous IR, which seems to be causing the problem. It is also physically impossible to paste one directly on the IR sensor of my TV; the extender is attached to the base, a few centimeters away from the sensor.

@The Robman
Thanks for your usual cogent advice. 0.3 mm cardboard didn't work, but 1.7mm cardboard is doing a pretty good (if not perfect) job, at least better than the combination of duct tape and electrical tape. In the interest of a more esthetic solution, I will try a cardboard and aluminum foil sandwich.
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rsbrux



Joined: 25 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aluminum foil and electrical tape didn't work so well. The cardboard and aluminum foil sandwich work a little better, and aluminum foil and duct tape work better still. Nonetheless, none of these is reliable, putting my hand over the remote's IR emitters works better.
At this point I see no alternative to opening the case, although I have read that I risk destroying it in the process. Any tips on how to do this would be welcome.
Another of my (newer!) Xsight Touch remotes already has a defective key, which I have read cannot be fixed at all.
I can no longer find any source of additional Xsight Touch remotes which ship to Switzerland (where I live). I found https://www.amazon.de/gp/offer-listing/B004GU3WM8/ref=dp_olp_new_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=new a Nevo C3 offered from Slovakia for EUR 149, but I would probably have to pay import duties in addition, and the supplier has only one rating.
What is the next best remote with RF, which I could program with RMIR?
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mdavej
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may help:
https://making.arantius.com/nevo-c2-remote-control-reverse-engineering-part

I just removed all the screws I could find, then tried to pry open at a corner, then slide a credit card around. You'll probably break at least the first clip, but you may be able to save the others using a flathead screwdriver to unlatch.

As you can see, the remote has 2 LED's - one at each corner. So whatever cover you use must cover the very edges as well. You may want to try black nail polish before opening the remote.

Unfortunately Xsight/Nevo is the last RF remote that UEI made, as far as I know. Would an IR repeater work for you in place of RF?

I'll look into how complicated/expensive shipping to Switzerland would be if I were to sell you one of mine and PM you my findings.
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you open up the remote, wouldn't the goal be to remove the IR-LEDs rather than just cover them up?
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MaskedMan
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Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Posts: 722
Location: Des Moines, IA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On URC made remotes when the IR goes out, so does the RF. Many of water-proof mxw920 have problem with IR going bad, rf won't work either. It tells you the IR is faulty.
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Edmund
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mdavej
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
If you open up the remote, wouldn't the goal be to remove the IR-LEDs rather than just cover them up?
Of course. I meant to try painting over before resorting to opening.
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rsbrux



Joined: 25 Dec 2015
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@mdavej,
Many thanks for your extensive advice and offer of shipment to Switzerland!
Since you have already opened such a remote, perhaps you can tell me which side of the shell the tabs belong to. This will give me a better chance of releasing them without breakage.
I am reluctant to paint the front end:

  1. Since there was leakage even with aluminum foil wrapped around the front end, I doubt that I will be able to cover it adequately with nail polish.
  2. I have 3 Xsight Touch units in differing states of (dis)repair and may need to rotate this one into an application where the IR is needed again.

Assuming that "an IR repeater" means something that receives and retransmits IR, it will not help. The source of my problem appears to be multi-path interference between the IR from the remote control and the IR from the extenders. If I want the extenders to work reliably, I have to eliminate the IR from the remote, hence I will have nothing to drive an IR repeater.
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The Robman
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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an IR repeater that works by replacing one of the batteries in the remote.

https://www.amazon.com/d/B000C1Z0HA
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