Which mode am I in?

03Jul11

The Nyxboard Hybrid has 2 modes, RF (Radio Frequency) and IR (Infra-red)

The RF talks via a USB dongle to the PC and tells XBMC or Windows Media Centre what to do. The IR is programmed by yourself and tells your TV what to do.

Simple right?

But you can’t do both at the same time, there is only one set of buttons that carries out both jobs. Toggling between each mode is done by pushing the top left button labelled MC/TV

A lot of our development effort has been spent around what seems like a trivial feature, but making sure it behaves just right has been very important for us.

The first issue was the mode (i.e. what function is the remote performing IR or RF), originally we just had a white light LED underneath and we quickly realised that you had no idea which mode you’re in. So our next thought was let’s make it flash, once for IR and twice for RF. This seemed great, but then you quickly forgot or would have to toggle it again each time you picked up the remote to work out which mode you’re in. So we then tried making it flash twice when you pushed a key for RF and once for IR; again, getting better but still not perfect and when in RF mode it felt like you were pushing key’s twice.

Then on one of the samples from the factory they had run out of the red only LED and so shipped a Red/Blue LED, we realised at this time, this is what we had been missing. It sounds simple now, but when we had so many other things going on, we missed the simple fix and complicated the situation more and more.

We still had issues, and in fact this issue is one of the reasons the Nyxboard Hybrid got delayed. Red is easy to power, it requires fairly low voltage to come on  brightly, blue on the other hand is a bit harder, it requires more juice and this is where we started to have issues, after a while the light wouldn’t come on, as the batteries started to drain the light would just stop coming on at all. So we moved to something a little simpler, Red / Green, they require the same voltage and don’t require as much of it. But just to make sure, we’ve swapped out the batteries for stronger ones.

So now, back to the point. If you’re in RF mode the light will be green, if you’re in IR its Red. When you push any key on the RCU side then you will know which mode you’re in. The keyboard side is always RF, so you don’t need the light to tell you what mode you’re in.

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One Response to “Which mode am I in?”

  1. 1 LTourist

    I can’t wait too discover this myself !!! This is the perfect media center remote :p



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