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Remapping remote keys for OpenELEC/XBMC

January 10th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

This past week, I set my Parents up with a Raspberry Pi-based OpenELEC unit, which I built for them to replace an extremely dated Buffalo product. (So far I have been pretty surprised as to what this little RPi can do!)

After getting a stable setup going, the last piece of it was getting a remote that they could manage. I was nervous at first because of compatibility concerns and "bleeding edge" software. However, I picked up an "Adesso ARC-1100 Media Center Remote" - which I had seen as being compatible on the XBMC forums, and out of the box, it works great. Truly plug and play.

I wanted to pick up something reasonably priced and locally (just in case I had to return it, I didn't want to hassle with RMA processes.)

The main issue with the remote is that some buttons are a bit confusing - which is tolerable, but the main offender is the power button. It works out of the box, as one would expect, except that once you power down the OpenELEC/RPi combination, you can't power it back up again (at least not with a USB-powered IR receiver...)

To solve that issue I looked into figuring out how to do some key remapping, to make the power button do something different, or nothing at all. The documentation seems straightforward but made me dizzy for a moment (and is slightly incorrect where remote.xml is), but on the first try I had success. After that, I decided to mess around and see what other buttons I could "disable" essentially (and I decided to see if <null> could be used to map the key to nothing - it seems to work)

Here is the output of that work, it looks simple enough. Put this under /storage/.xbmc/userdata/Lircmap.xml (or via the userdata SMB share)


Sure enough, it all works - now I have a remote solution for them that won't let them get into trouble, and confidence now on how to map keys in the future.

After playing with XBMC on a Pivos AIOS DS, Intel NUC, and OpenELEC on an RPi, I have to say I am happy to see the extensive community involvement in the XBMC project and its derivatives.

Now, I just wish skinning it was as easy...

Categories: Toys