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Observations on the RCA RCRP05B Remote's Behavior
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WagonMaster



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Observations on the RCA RCRP05B Remote's Behavior Reply with quote

This thread was started in order to document the behavior of the RCRP05B remote and to correct some seemingly erroneous information about it when it was discussed in the "Experts please help: multimacros, device-mode macros" thread.

Note that these observations are taken from use of the bare, original remote, without any extender loaded.

Also, all of my programming was done manually, via the remote's own keypad, with no use of 'IR.exe' or RMIR to program it. In light of some of the confusion about how all this works (or fails to work in some cases) with the respective utilities, I thought this was an important technique/point.

NOTE: For brevity, I will use the terms "DSM/978" for a device-specific macro, i.e. one programmed with the 978 code and "DIM/995" for a device-independent macro, i.e. one programmed with the 995 code.
  • It supports ordinary, DIM/995 macros on many keys.

    (No surprise there since many other remotes do as well; it's mentioned here for completeness.)

  • It supports DSM/978 macros on many keys (probably the same keys as any DIM/995 macro, but I only tested it on a few keys).

    (This is the 1st remote I've owned which supports DSMs... without using an extender, that is.)

  • You can simultaneously have a DIM/995 macro and a DSM/978 macro on the same button. Interesting....

    It actually works as you'd expect. For example, program the yellow "A" button with a "CBL"/"SAT" DSM/978 macro of "44" and a DIM/995 macro of "22" and when you're in CBL/SAT mode, a "44" is sent. In all other modes, a "22" is sent.

    In fact, it goes even further than that. You can program more DSM/978 macros for different devices. For example, I had 1 DIM/995 macro and 3 DSM/978 macros (all on different devices, of course) on the same key and it all works as you'd expect.

  • It supports multi-macros (entered via the normal DIM/995 method) only on the "Macro1", "Macro2", and "ON DEMAND" keys.

    Just for the record: Like 'wnewell' did, I can confirm Binky's corrected addresses for the multi-macro bytes (where the high nybble is the count of macros assigned to the same key and the low nybble is [theoretically, but not in practice due to the overhead of writing the flash memory] the number of the next macro to fire):

    • 0x001E (relative), 0x061E (absolute) = "Macro1"
    • 0x001F (relative), 0x061F (absolute) = "ON DEMAND"
    • 0x0020 (relative), 0x0620 (absolute) = "Macro2"

  • It does not appear to support creation of a device-specific multi-macro (DSMM).

    I believe there was a claim in another thread that it did support DSMMs, but I see no evidence of this as of yet.

  • The "POWER"/"MASTER POWER" key is a bit special. It can be assigned to an ordinary DIM/995 macro, but it will only play back if the active device mode is "CBL"/"SAT". That CBL/SAT check must've been hard-coded in this remote because otherwise, this button would seem to have acted like an ordinary DIM/995 macro! In fact, it's encoded like a DIM/995 macro (0x8F in the 2nd byte of the macro definition), but it doesn't act device-independent at all!

    Neither the RS 15-135 nor the URC-8820/URC10820 remotes work anything like this. This "DIM/995 macro that works only in CBL/SAT mode" is a very odd sort of thing, IMHO. Do any other remotes work like that?

  • This remote defaults to locking the channel and volume control to the "CBL"/"SAT" device mode. In other words, volume commands and channel commands (the latter of which includes the entire numeric set and the "LAST" key) will always be sent as a "CBL"/"SAT" device command.

    WARNING! This can lead to a lot of confusion if you're not aware of this!

    Before testing, it's wise to "unlock" them both from "CBL"/"SAT" mode as follows. Steps 1-4 are "Channel Unlock" and steps 5-8 are "Volume Unlock". (The phpBB forum software seems broken and cannot render 2 lists seperately within another list, it seems.)
    • Press the "CBL"/"SAT" key.
    • press and hold 'SETUP' -- 2 flashes of "CBL"/"SAT" LED
    • press 9,7,3 -- 2 flashes of "CBL"/"SAT" LED
    • press the "CH -" key -- 4 flashes of "CBL"/"SAT" LED

    • Press the "CBL"/"SAT" key.
    • press and hold 'SETUP' -- 2 flashes of "CBL"/"SAT" LED
    • press 9,9,3 -- 2 flashes of "CBL"/"SAT" LED
    • press the "VOL -" key -- 4 flashes of "CBL"/"SAT" LED

    Notice the different codes used. One is 973 the other is 993. Also notice the different buttons used. One is "CH -" the other is "VOL -".

    Finally notice that both the simpler '980' reset and the more-complete '981' reset will revert to the default whereby the volume and channel selections are locked back to the "CBL"/"SAT" device! This is especially annoying during testing and caught me off guard at first. I think it was clearly the source of at least one incorrect statement (not by me Smile) about this particular remote in the thread linked to above.

  • This remote has a key labeled "FAV", but I cannot figure out how to make it work in any reasonably useful way as a "favorite" key!

    In other words, it won't take a 996 "Fav/Scan" setup command. It's not even a multi-macro key ( la the "HD" pseudo-"Fav" key on the RS 15-135)! So how can this thing claim to be a "Fav" key when, at best, it can only be programmed with an ordinary DIM/995-style (singular sequence) macro? I must be missing something here! The manual even says:
    RCRP05B printed manual wrote:
    FAV cycles through your favorite channels on your cable box or satellite receiver

    Can anyone enlighten me on this? I even specifically tried programming it in "CBL"/"SAT" mode, based on the printed manual quote, but that was fruitless.

    My URC-8820/URC-10820 remotes do support "Fav/Scan", so I know I'm doing the manual programming correctly -- it just doesn't work on the RCRP05B!
In general, there seems to be an (odd, IMHO) affinity in this remote for the "CBL"/"SAT" mode, as several of the manufacturer's design decisions seem to assume that you'll have that mode active primarily.

I'll edit this list/post as I find out more (whether from my own testing or from corrections and/or additions from others).

It's clearly possible that I've made a mistake in my testing, so if anyone sees anything that looks wrong, please don't hesitate to speak up. I'd like this list to be as correct as humanly possible, especially since this remote may be the driving factor for some required changes in how 'IR.exe' and RMIR operate on macros.

Thanks in advance for any comments or ideas!

Bill
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Capn Trips
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Observations on the RCA RCRP05B Remote's Behavior Reply with quote

WagonMaster wrote:
[*]The "POWER"/"MASTER POWER" key is a bit special. It can be assigned to an ordinary DIM/995 macro, but it will only play back if the active device mode is "CBL"/"SAT". That CBL/SAT check must've been hard-coded in this remote because otherwise, this button would seem to have acted like an ordinary DIM/995 macro! In fact, it's encoded like a DIM/995 macro (0x8F in the 2nd byte of the macro definition), but it doesn't act device-independent at all!
Bill
I believe that this is a pretty common condition for many Cable company remotes. I'm pretty sure that the Atlas family work this way, but I have not used mine without an extender in so long and am not sufficiently motivated to actually test it.
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gfb107
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Observations on the RCA RCRP05B Remote's Behavior Reply with quote

WagonMaster wrote:
This remote has a key labeled "FAV", but I cannot figure out how to make it work in any reasonably useful way as a "favorite" key!

In other words, it won't take a 996 "Fav/Scan" setup command. It's not even a multi-macro key ( la the "HD" pseudo-"Fav" key on the RS 15-135)! So how can this thing claim to be a "Fav" key when, at best, it can only be programmed with an ordinary DIM/995-style (singular sequence) macro? I must be missing something here! The manual even says:
RCRP05B printed manual wrote:
FAV cycles through your favorite channels on your cable box or satellite receiver

Can anyone enlighten me on this? I even specifically tried programming it in "CBL"/"SAT" mode, based on the printed manual quote, but that was fruitless.

My URC-8820/URC-10820 remotes do support "Fav/Scan", so I know I'm doing the manual programming correctly -- it just doesn't work on the RCRP05B!

This is all conjecture, but maybe this is for use with a settop box (satellite, cable, FIOS, etc) where the favorite channels are programmed into the box, rather than the remote. So the box cycles through the list of favorite channels when it gets the "FAV" command. So there's nothing special about the FAV key, it's just has a label (FAV) that UEI has historically also used for SCAN.
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WagonMaster



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capn Trips wrote:
I believe that this is a pretty common condition for many Cable company remotes.

Based on that comment, I took a look at the cardboard insert which is part of the remote's packaging. Sure enough, under the "UNIVERSAL REMOTE" line, it says (in pretty large, red lettering) "Cable Replacement Remote Control", which I think explains a lot about this remote's affinity for "CBL/SAT" as the usual mode and the unique way the "POWER" key works.

gfb107 wrote:
This is all conjecture, but maybe this is for use with a settop box (satellite, cable, FIOS, etc) where the favorite channels are programmed into the box, rather than the remote.

Based on what I note above, I strongly suspect you may be right on this issue, Greg. I'll probably play around with programming the "FAV" key a bit more at some point, just to be sure I didn't miss anything, but now I won't be too surprised if my tests come up short.

Thanks for the comments, guys -- much appreciated!

Bill
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3FG
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have Comcast, and the Fav key on the 1067BX3 calls up a favorites menu which appears to be part of Comcast's Channel Guide system. I infer that the favorite channels are not stored in the cable box, but rather in the cable system.
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unclemiltie
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Observations on the RCA RCRP05B Remote's Behavior Reply with quote

Bill

Thank you for all of this, you've made some sense for me of all of the JP1.3 remotes as I've not quite understood how some things worked and this helps me out.

WagonMaster wrote:


NOTE: For brevity, I will use the terms "DSM/978" for a device-specific macro, i.e. one programmed with the 978 code and "DIM/995" for a device-independent macro, i.e. one programmed with the 995 code.[list][*]It supports ordinary, DIM/995 macros on many keys.

(No surprise there since many other remotes do as well; it's mentioned here for completeness.)


This will help in understanding a bunch of stuff. I've never quite understood how to set up DSM's on remotes that do it. I will say that some of the other JP1.3's do have the processing of this command, I guess I'm going to have to try it


WagonMaster wrote:

[*]You can simultaneously have a DIM/995 macro and a DSM/978 macro on the same button. Interesting....

It actually works as you'd expect. For example, program the yellow "A" button with a "CBL"/"SAT" DSM/978 macro of "44" and a DIM/995 macro of "22" and when you're in CBL/SAT mode, a "44" is sent. In all other modes, a "22" is sent.

In fact, it goes even further than that. You can program more DSM/978 macros for different devices. For example, I had 1 DIM/995 macro and 3 DSM/978 macros (all on different devices, of course) on the same key and it all works as you'd expect.


Oh, this is going to be interesting. the JP1.3 extenders that I've written won't quite know what to do about this. I'm going to have to re-code the macro processing to deal with this.

Question: with remotes that can do DSM's within the normal macro processing, should we leave the DSM special protocol in? how would we enable DSM's in IR for those remotes that can do them from the normal remote processing? (DSM's with the special protocol are essentially a keymove)


WagonMaster wrote:

Just for the record: Like 'wnewell' did, I can confirm Binky's corrected addresses for the multi-macro bytes (where the high nybble is the count of macros assigned to the same key and the low nybble is [theoretically, but not in practice due to the overhead of writing the flash memory] the number of the next macro to fire):

  • 0x001E (relative), 0x061E (absolute) = "Macro1"
  • 0x001F (relative), 0x061F (absolute) = "ON DEMAND"
  • 0x0020 (relative), 0x0620 (absolute) = "Macro2"



This helps as well. Whe the remote powers on, it copies the setup data from the E2 area into a set of registers, so now I know what those registers do!


WagonMaster wrote:

[*]The "POWER"/"MASTER POWER" key is a bit special. It can be assigned to an ordinary DIM/995 macro, but it will only play back if the active device mode is "CBL"/"SAT". That CBL/SAT check must've been hard-coded in this remote because otherwise, this button would seem to have acted like an ordinary DIM/995 macro! In fact, it's encoded like a DIM/995 macro (0x8F in the 2nd byte of the macro definition), but it doesn't act device-independent at all!


This is identical to the Comcast DVR JP1.3 remote, so this is behaving like it's a cable box remote

WagonMaster wrote:

[*]This remote defaults to locking the channel and volume control to the "CBL"/"SAT" device mode. In other words, volume commands and channel commands (the latter of which includes the entire numeric set and the "LAST" key) will always be sent as a "CBL"/"SAT" device command.


This will be/should be a feature of the RDF so that you can set this with IR. I can't remember if it's in the base RDF that I did when this thing first surfaced.

There isn't much that can be done about the 981 reset behavior, those settings are burned into the remote and then are copied to the E2 when the reset happens.
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Capn Trips
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could it be that the JP1.3 Atlas remotes have this as well? Would that portend a future update to the rdfs adns extender?
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WagonMaster



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

unclemiltie wrote:
Question: with remotes that can do DSM's within the normal macro processing, should we leave the DSM special protocol in?

Assuming you're referring to the extenders, I'm not experienced enough to offer an opinion here (not that it was directed specifically at me anyway).

unclemiltie wrote:
how would we enable DSM's in IR for those remotes that can do them from the normal remote processing?

Actually, the "internal"/"native"/978 DSMs can already be enabled in 'IR.exe' with the addition of "DSM=Internal:0" to the RDF. In fact, I was testing this at Graham's request a bit yesterday and it seemed to work, but I need to do some more testing because I wasn't too thorough yesterday. Basically, my RCRP05B RDF has been modified to look like this:
Code:

[SpecialProtocols]
Multiplex=01FE
DSM=Internal:0


unclemiltie wrote:
[When] the remote powers on, it copies the setup data from the E2 area into a set of registers, so now I know what those registers do!

Just FYI, there are still 3 small ranges of memory in that 1st block that I don't understand the purpose of:
  • 0x061A - 0x061D : ???
  • 0x0621 - 0x062C : ???
  • 0x063D - 0x0648 : ???
However, I've made no real efforts (yet) to figure that out, so I might stumble across their purposes eventually.

unclemiltie wrote:
This will be/should be a feature of the RDF so that you can set this with IR. I can't remember if it's in the base RDF that I did when this thing first surfaced.
It is in the base RDF you released. I haven't tested changing those settings via 'IR.exe' or RMIR, but I will eventually. I see no reason why they wouldn't work.

unclemiltie wrote:
There isn't much that can be done about the 981 reset behavior, those settings are burned into the remote and then are copied to the E2 when the reset happens.
Thanks for the info, Bill. I sort of suspected as much, but it's always good to hear the confirmation from an expert like yourself. In practice, I've simply taken to doing my own "pseudo-980" reset by saving a flash memory image with the channel- and volume-locks disabled which I then just upload to the remote with a simple command-line utility.

Glad to hear my observations were useful to you. As I'd said in that recent large "macro" thread, I'd like to get some of these JP1 workings better documented and the best way I can do this currently is to start documenting in detail how my own remotes behave.

Thanks for your inputs, Bill -- much appreciated!

Bill
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3FG
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Finally notice that both the simpler '980' reset and the more-complete '981' reset will revert to the default whereby the volume and channel selections are locked back to the "CBL"/"SAT" device!


I bought one of these today, and a 981 reset on mine sets VPT to the TV device. Channel lock is set to CBL, as befits a cable oriented remote.

I have posted the behavior of the VPT manual programming (which is quite different from the instruction sheet) here.
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mikek



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the good info on this remote. Now I know why the power button that I programmed to power down everything only works in cable/sat mode.

One question: how do you get this remote to control more than 5 devices?

I got it working great for 5 devices, but I can't get the "phantom" devices to work. I made a macro for "shift dvd" to go to "dev4" for example, but it seems like nothing happens. It is still in regular dvd mode.

Thanks for any help.

-mk
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you assign the desired device code and type to dev4 on the general tab? If so, and it still doesn't work, post your IR file so we can have a look.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikek wrote:

One question: how do you get this remote to control more than 5 devices?

I got it working great for 5 devices, but I can't get the "phantom" devices to work. I made a macro for "shift dvd" to go to "dev4" for example, but it seems like nothing happens. It is still in regular dvd mode.

I loaded my upgrades with rmir, set general tab to point to them, then made macros on the shift keys. On shift-tv I have Dev4;Power, and Dev5;power on shift Audio. They work fine, but there is no led flash when you press the buttons.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the dev4 does not exist on the keyboard there is no led to blink.
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mikek



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, that is what was wrong with my remote. I was pressing buttons and nothing was happening and I thought it wasn't working.

Thanks. I tested it and I can get the phantom devices to work.

Excellent work everybody!

-mk
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jrf2027



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Observations on the RCA RCRP05B Remote's Behavior Reply with quote

WagonMaster wrote:
In general, there seems to be an (odd, IMHO) affinity in this remote for the "CBL"/"SAT" mode, as several of the manufacturer's design decisions seem to assume that you'll have that mode active primarily.


I'm currently noticing this...I'm trying to reassign the CBL button to another function because I don't have a cable/satellite box, but I'm not having any luck. I've even tried following the directions on unlocking the CBL button from http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11675; I get the four blinks that would seem to indicate success, but when I try to reassign the button with 992, I get one solid long blink instead of two quick blinks, and the reassignment fails.

Has anybody else been able to unlock the CBL button manually? Is it possible? Or should I use this as an excuse to buy a JP1 cable? Wink
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