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There Are Learning Remote Controls ... and Then There Are Learning Remote Controls
Old 05-26-2019, 11:17 AM   #1
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There Are Learning Remote Controls ... and Then There Are Learning Remote Controls

The other day, I found that one of the power buttons on my learning remote control for my TV is a bit iffy. So, this led me to searching for hours upon hours on Amazon for another remote.

One thing I learned is there isn't really any consistency in Universal and Learning remotes. Some remotes seem arbitrarily labels with a function that may never be used or not recognized. On learning remotes, often there isn't enough buttons to assign functions that a device may need.

Got me thinking, if I was to design a learning remote, I'd create one with somewhat generic buttons and add a lot of extra buttons so the user can assign whatever function is needed.

Apparently someone came across a similar thought as upon more searching I stumbled about a learning remote called the Marantz RC2000 MkII. I've never heard of it before but guess it's a learning remote that's been around for some time. Supposed to able to learn remotes and have ability to assign labels. The remote looks like something from the mid-1980s. Big, beefy and a battery hog. Now I want one .

Don't know if I'll ever really use, but reminds me of the days of using a programmable calculator. I made an offer for one on ebay.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:36 AM   #2
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Our remote on the TV started acting badly as some buttons became less responsive, probably worn out

I so much wanted to avoid a generic learning remote, as it would have all those buttons I don't need, etc.

Fortunately I found on Amazon for $9 a tv remote exactly like our LG remote, and it works perfectly, and is exactly like the old one.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
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Used remotes are a popular item on ebay.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:01 PM   #4
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My ebay offer got accepted. Bought a used Marantz RC2000 MkII for $19.99 .

I may actually have a use for the thing when I figure out how to use. I have a cheap remote control for a fan. The power button is already wearing out. So may be a good idea to make a copy of the IR signals before the remote dies on me.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:44 PM   #5
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The Pronto remote was the other one like that Marantz. I think they were actually very similar functionally. We went through a few of the Prontos.

My favorite now is the Logitech Harmony Hub, which can be bundled with various levels of companion remotes starting about $70. But it's primary use for us is with Alexa voice control. We can ask Alexa to turn on whatever activity we want, even just "turn on Netflix" or "turn on NBC". Alexa also controls volume and channel, and will pause our Tivo or Roku. Alexa does not (yet) navigate menus. The remotes that come with the Hub can do the navigation, but we usually use the normal Tivo or Roku remotes. DW is particularly wedded to the Tivo remote.

The Hub also has a phone app. I use it on an Amazon Fire 7" tablet. I can have buttons for all possible functions using the tablet, and the layouts can be customized. The basic setup is easy, and customization is easier than the Marantz/Pronto.

There's a new version of the Hub that has an integrated Alexa, but it seems pricey and doesn't add much for us. It does control 16 devices, I think, instead of our 8 device limit. Something to watch for if you have lots of equipment.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:25 PM   #6
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To extend the life of a favorite or irreplaceable remote (or other keypads), the conductive carbon surface on the underside of the keypad can be restored.
One method is painted-on conductive solution.
The other method I have used is little round cut-outs made with a hole punch and aluminum foil tape, then applied to the underside of the keypad with a needle.
Here is an example of the paint-on product ----


https://www.amazon.com/Keypad-Restor...nductive+paint
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjorn2bwild View Post
To extend the life of a favorite or irreplaceable remote (or other keypads), the conductive carbon surface on the underside of the keypad can be restored.
One method is painted-on conductive solution.
The other method I have used is little round cut-outs made with a hole punch and aluminum foil tape, then applied to the underside of the keypad with a needle.
Here is an example of the paint-on product ----


https://www.amazon.com/Keypad-Restor...nductive+paint

Oddly, the remote which I thought the power button was iffy ended up only a battery issue. I changed the batteries from alkaline to rechargeables and the on/off button works as good as new.

Even more strange is I used a good tester to test the alkaline batteries and they checked out fine as 75% power remaining. have a flashlight that also acts odd. It works with alkaline or eneloop rechargeables but not rechargeables of another brand.
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Happy With The Remote Control
Old 06-01-2019, 10:54 AM   #8
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Happy With The Remote Control

Here's a picture of the Marantz remote control I got off ebay.

I saved the remote signals from the remote control for a fan I use in my living room. A button of the fan's remote is already wearing out after about one summer and I can't find anywhere to by a replacement.

Now if the fan's remote takes a dive for good, I can pull out this bad boy to use instead .

p.s. Amazon FireTV remote pictured also for frame of reference.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:15 AM   #9
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I remember the first time I saw a universal remote. I thought to myself--this changes everything.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:33 AM   #10
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I use these, MX-880, I have the programming software and they work great. You have to program them to your requirements, but it is fun to learn and do. Great easy to see colour screen too.

The added benefit is that they are RF or IR and can work with a receiver so you do not need to point them, or have you components in the same room..

I designed a 3D Printed stand / Charger for them.

I would be glad to share my print file, if you have a 3D Printer.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:36 AM   #11
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Thanks. I don't have a 3D printer, but that MX-880 you have with color LCD with stand looks sweet!
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:28 PM   #12
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Thanks. I don't have a 3D printer, but that MX-880 you have with color LCD with stand looks sweet!
Thanks, I have 4. Originally they did not come with a stand, just an AC Adapter charger. So I designed the stand, added a slot for the OEM Charger, now they have charging stands. IMHO that was their only weakness. The Newer ones (MX-980) are much harder to program and really need a trained person to do it (They Charge $200 to do it). These MX-880s) are cheap on eBay. Whenever I see one for around $30 shipped, I snap it up, then just copy my program to them.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:49 PM   #13
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Thanks, I have 4. Originally they did not come with a stand, just an AC Adapter charger. So I designed the stand, added a slot for the OEM Charger, now they have charging stands. IMHO that was their only weakness. The Newer ones (MX-980) are much harder to program and really need a trained person to do it (They Charge $200 to do it). These MX-880s) are cheap on eBay. Whenever I see one for around $30 shipped, I snap it up, then just copy my program to them.
I especially like the tailored stand that you created. Wouldn't have known that was a self-creation if you didn't mention that.

That's kind of ironic a complicated remote (like the MX-980 you mentioned) requiring a cost to program. That reminds me of having a scanner (to listen to police, CBs, not computer scanner) as a present years back. There were so many button and settings I had no clue how to set up. Eventually, gladly traded the scanner for a simple one I was familiar with.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:28 PM   #14
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I especially like the tailored stand that you created. Wouldn't have known that was a self-creation if you didn't mention that.
Thanks it certainly took a few tries to get it right.


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That's kind of ironic a complicated remote (like the MX-980 you mentioned) requiring a cost to program.
It took me a while to learn the program. The URC Complete Control software is not very intuitive. I leant it enough to program my remotes. I upgraded form MX-810 which are nowhere near as good, but I did have a little programming knowledge from them.

I love these though. I have one in every room.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:51 PM   #15
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Thanks, I have 4. Originally they did not come with a stand, just an AC Adapter charger. So I designed the stand, added a slot for the OEM Charger, now they have charging stands. IMHO that was their only weakness. The Newer ones (MX-980) are much harder to program and really need a trained person to do it (They Charge $200 to do it). These MX-880s) are cheap on eBay. Whenever I see one for around $30 shipped, I snap it up, then just copy my program to them.
I had an AV person upgrade my AV system about 4 years ago-part of it was the MX-980. He charged quite a bit of money to do the job. I've been really unhappy with it. Every time a component of the system changes the thing has to be reprogrammed and I can't do it myself-I don't even have the software. It's also difficult to decide how you want it programmed-which buttons to program and how to assign them. At this point, it's basically an on-off button for my TV and then I use the individual component's remote

Some AV guy I spoke to recently proposed changing the remote to something that would be controlled on an iPAD. This sounded interesting-anyone have any experience with a system like that?
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:24 AM   #16
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I ended up liking my Marantz learning remote so much that I just scheduled a snipe bid for another one so I can play with the clone feature to make a backup of all my settings.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:29 AM   #17
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I just scheduled a snipe bid.
How do you do that?
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:34 AM   #18
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How do you do that?
There are various snipe services around.

The one I use is Gixen.

http://www.gixen.com/

I don't snipe bid often (and am cheap ) so I go with the free (there's a paid tier for about $6/year). I prefer the desktop program than web. Just a personal preference. With the desktop version, I can wait until the last 6 seconds to bid. I think with the paid and free web, you can wait even closer to the final few seconds.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:00 AM   #19
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Won the bid (hooray for snipe bidding ) on a better condition Marantz RC2000 II learning remote. Plus shipping, was about $35. The thing was listed as pretty much new and from appearance looks that way.

Going out on a limb and saying that I don't think I'll ever need to buy a replacement remote control for my electronic devices again my entire lifetime .
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:11 AM   #20
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That was my FIRST programmable remote (RC2000) but I ended up moving to RF so no more pointing at anything and they work in every room. Also those old LCD screens are really hard to see. I now do as you do and buy used MX-880s on eBay. I paid $21 + shipping for my latest one.

Maybe you should look into RF, it is a great upgrade, as once you go there, you will never turn back. It does depend on your equipment of course.

Read up on the MRF-350 receiver and you will see what I mean.
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