Using Logitech Harmony Remotes with the RemotePi Board


The Logitech Harmony remote controls are universal remote controls that are capable of emulating almost any remote control brand and model, and storing multiple of these configurations to replace separate remotes. They are well suited for use with a RaspberryPi Mediacenter as all XBMC/Kodi functions can be accessed and no additional remote is required.
The following instructions should work with any Logitech Harmony Remote, they were tested on a Harmony 600 and a Harmony One.

Logitech Harmony Configuration

The first step is to configure the Harmony. Start the Harmony configuration program or Web-configurator and add a new device. Choose
Device : ‘Media Center PC’
Manufacturer : ‘Microsoft’
Model : ‘Windows Media Center’
Upload the new configuration to the Harmony remote and select the newly created Media Center PC device.

Configure OpenElec (tested with OpenElec 6.0.1) and RasPlex

For the new Kodi builds which update the firmware of the Raspberry Pi, i.e. OpenElec 5.0.x or higher, you will need to do the following first to enable LIRC. In RasPlex this is already configured :
    • Put your SD card in a card reader and access it on a PC or Mac
    • Check, if there is a folder with the name 'overlays'. If there is not, you can ignore the next step
    • Edit the file config.txt located in the root of the SD card and add the following line at the end of the file (if it is not already there), then save the file. Note : You cannot use Windows Notepad to edit the file as it uses Linux convention for new line characters, it will show without linefeeds under Windows Notepad. You can use Notepad++ or another Linux-compatible text editor.
      dtoverlay=lirc-rpi
    • Put the SD card back into the Raspberry Pi and boot
CEC HAS TO be disabled for any IR remote to work in XBMC (Kodi). In OpenElec go to menu System>Settings>System>Input Devices>Peripherals>CEC, press enter again to access the CEC settings and disable it.

    Finally, in order for the Media Center PC remote to work properly with the RemotePi Board, the default power button function has to be disabled.

    Use PuTTY or similar to log on to your Raspberry Pi, Default user name is root, password openelec

      • Key in :
        cd .config
        cp /etc/lirc/lircd.conf.rpi ./lircd.conf
        nano lircd.conf
      • In the nano text editor now find every line that contains KEY_POWER and put the # character at the beginning of each of these lines, there should be 4 lines containing KEY_POWER.
      • Press ctrl+x to exit, y to confirm, enter to save the file.
      • Reboot from the OpenElec GUI 

    Configure the RemotePi Board to use the power button on the remote

    In the last step, the RemotePi Board needs to be configured to use the power button on the remote to toggle the power. 
    Make sure the RemotePi Board shutdown script is already installed according to the support pages. Then press the pushbutton on the RemotePi Board for about 10s to enter learning mode. Once the LED flashes red/green, press the power on command on the Harmony for the new Windows Media Center device. The green LED will flash once to acknowledge the learnt power-on command. Now press the command for power-off on the Harmony. The LED will flash green twice. 

    Now you can use the Logitech Harmony remote to navigate the menus in OpenElec and use the power on/off function on the remote to shut down and power on your Raspberry Pi with OpenElec !

     

    This page was last updated 13-Feb-2016