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Author Topic: IconRemote Tips & Observations  (Read 10928 times)


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IconRemote Tips & Observations
« on: May 25, 2009, 10:06:07 PM »

After spending a great amount of time finally deciding to see what I could get out of my IconRemote, the new RF one, I must say it is a lot better than I and thought they were, turns out I never really invested the time needed to really get the most out of it, and take my work for it TIME is a big element.

All in all by the time I was done, at least to where I am now, I have to say I really can set aside a number of remotes, prior to this, I could use the IconRemote to do a few things in one but still needed enough things off the original remote that I had a table full of them, this was clearly my problem not that of the IconRemote.

As with all unuversal remotes, they are by nature  not going to be optimized for a given unit, makers of remotes for middle to high end gear go to great lengths to group things in ways that a universal just can't do, but that is the nature of the beast and not a fault of this unit at all. OK, enough PR and whining, on to the tips...

Tip #1 -- Read the entire manual first, even if it is a fast read, it will demystify many things and save you a lot of time, the read as you go approach will just cause you pain, well time.

Tip #2 -- They are not kidding at all about fresh batteries, both in the IconRemote and any remote you want to learn from, it does not matter how well that remote might control your device, slap in fresh batts before using it to teach the IconRemote, in fact, I rotated a set between these remotes: Home Theater (Sony), TV (Panasonic), Blu-Ray DVD (Panasonic), DVD Recvorder w/Hard Disk (Panasonic), DVD Changer (Sony), and Cable Box (Motorola).

Tip #3 -- Before you fully configure any unit, go through just a few basic things on each one, make sure to use "Learn" on at least 2-3 thinks on each unit to ensure it can Learn right. I would suggest the most critial are cursor controls, left/right/up/down for each device you have that uses them to move around on-screen menu's and I will say why next.

Important Note: Under "Home --> Set-Up ---> More --> Advanced --> Options" there is a setting called "Key Transmit Time" and this can make a major difference on cursor and other learned and even auto-set-up buttons working from one device to another.

Now obviously you don't want to have to go mess with that every time time pick another things to control, which is the reason for Tip#3, it is these kids of operations most sensitive to "Key Transmit Time"

I would say it took a good couple of hours to get it at the right balance so all buttons for all functions worked and the cursors controls worked right for all of them, the cable box and TV combo were the worse for me, after enough trial and error, I finally found the sweet spot in "Key Transmit Time" to make them all work. had I thought it all out before I tried to set things up and did Tip#3 first, it would have saved those hours.

Tip #4 -- Unless you place to use the IconRemote in only the most basic ways, you really need to think out what you need under each control mode, I suggest doing what you normally do with you individual remotes and make notes.

Tip #5 -- Think out an list your "global" commands, for example with the exception of using the Home Theater, I want Volume to control the TV's volume, not matter what device I am controlling, I consider that a "global" command. In addition to Volume you may find others like Picture Size and Picture Mode, I wanted these available under all remotes.

Tip #6 -- Just because you are setting up your say, DVD, player, there is nothing stopping you from mixing in commands from other remotes, like your TV and Home Theater receiver, this all happens under "Learn mode"

Tip #7 -- Forget about this being a 5 minute job, if 5 minutes is all you have then don't even start.

Tip #8 -- This is mentioned in the manual, but is worth repeating, when teaching it a command you often will have to "play" around with it a little to get some things dialed in right. For example, on my TV, the cursor Left and Right needed to be just tapped as fast as possible, not even waiting for the Success screen. If it fails, just tap it a little longer. What I found is that if you always wait for the success screen, you may find that instead of one cursor move you get 5. This can also be messed with using the "Key Transmit Time" I mentioned after Tip #3.

Tip #9 -- I found that at best at least for my stuff it "self-configured" less than 25% of the functions right. Yes it might get on/off, Vol Up/Down, but would often not work for "Info", "Display", "Skip", "Guide", "Quit" and many others, on one remote I even had to teach it all of the numbers on the numeric key pad.

Tip #10 -- On/off when you are using multiple device "Set Numbers", like between my Panasonic DVD Recorder and Panasonic Blu-Ray Player. I have one Panasonic at the factory default, the other is set to "Set 2", this way if does not confuse commands from the remotes. If this is the case, don't bother looking for an alternate code for that product, that is not how that feature works, it uses the same code base but has a set# preamble. Which brings me to tip 11...

Tip #11 -- If you look at the button programming options in the manual you see the side buttons, and the buttons on the bottom in red boxs, the "Power" button at the top is not shown in either group, to program the Power Button, pick Main Buttons and when it asks to pick a key on the Icon Remore to Program, pick the Top Power buttom and you will be able to program it just fine.

Tip #12 -- When teaching the IconRemote from another remote, it suggests a certain distance, well the angle can be important also, I found that with my Cable Box remote, it programmed best at a slight down angle and a little further away than with my other remotes and with my DVD Recorder, it wanted to be right up against the IconRemote during learning, so consider the instructions as guidelines.

The best thing to use is the learning indicator at the bottom of the LCD panel on left, it flashes faster when it is getting a better signal. which leads me to tip #13.

On my TV cursor Left/Right I found that if I held the remote far enough arwat, the learning icon would only blink once when I pressed cursor Left or Right, this turned out the be the best way to teach it so it did not learn multiple cursor moves on one press, another big time and frustration saver.

Tip #13 -- Using the macro's can really make some things the original maker did a bad job on, like for me to pick the input source for my TV, I hade to press one button, then get a menu, press the button for the source I wanted, then enter. You can make macros to combine all of these a lable them to what they now do. Now I can just Pick Cable, or HT, or DVD, it the macro does the 3 / 4 commands it takes to really do it.

Tip #14 -- If you are teaching a lot of things, it is going to take some time, have an extra set of batts for the IconRemote also, I found I had to change them twice in my final session, which was about 4 hours to keep the IconRemote optimized for learning. The batts are just fine, they were just not at 100% peak, I did not even consider them used and put them in other remotes I had finished with or back in the box of batts.

Well that is enough for now, I have only two things left, some really advanced macro's for my home theater and to try to mix X-10 and other stuff in a macro, I am not sure that is possible yet.

Well I hope this saves some of you some time and frustration, if my IconRemote ever loses it's contents I would likely just trow it away before doing this all again, thankfully it survives battery changes without an problem, at least the new one does.

I am still looking for my ideal remote, it would be nice if the IconRemote would let you clone already learned commands from one device to another, this would make the global commands a lot easier to deal with but I think the untimate remote is going to be one where everything can be done on a PC and then transferred to the remote and I sure wish the IconRemore had a Back-up ability to save all the work I have in this one.

In then end I still give the IconRemote a major Thumbs Up, as I said a few times, it is just the nature of the beast that some of this stuff takes a lot of time, think how much time each product maker put in to the layout and options on their remotes!


Brian H

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Re: IconRemote Tips & Observations
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 06:57:07 AM »

 :)% Thank you for the great tutorial on your adventures with the New RF Icon remote. I know it will be a big help to others.


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Re: IconRemote Tips & Observations
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 07:43:05 PM »

Let me add something else, if you have multiple X10 devices like I do, the iconremote RF is the ultimate. I have a lot of X10 remotes to control all my X10 devices and other devices, but this is the first one that can do it all. I was really pleased to find out that it can control a CM19A PC transceiver. I have mulitple stereos in my place that I transmit music to from my PC, so it is imperative that I'm able to control PC media players remotely. And the ability to write macros is extremely handy.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 08:48:39 PM by rchupp »
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