The Raspberry Pi 5 Case by Flirc – Coming Soon!
October 02, 2023

We are excited to announce that Flirc’s legendary collection of silent, passively cooled Pi cases will be expanded once again to support the Raspberry Pi 5. In fact, pre-orders for the Flirc Raspberry Pi 5 case are already available at Flirc.tv.

If you haven’t heard the news already, the Pi Foundation is releasing a newer, far more powerful Raspberry Pi 5. You can find a full specs rundown of the Pi 5 with a focus on media center issues over on LibreELEC’s site. And if you’d like a video review of the Pi 5’s abilities, thermal issues, and more, check out the video by Jeff Geerling, a friend of the site.

Preliminary tests of the new Pi 5 board show that the new Flirc case looks great, ensuring your Raspberry Pi 5 runs at peak efficiency at all times without the annoying whir of a fan.

With that said, what you will not find available for pre-order yet is a Kodi edition of the Flirc Raspberry Pi 5 case. That’s because we need your help. Samfisher, from the Kodi Foundation, has put together a series of awesome new designs for the case, and we need help picking the best one.

You can vote for your favorites over at the Kodi forum. Be sure to vote to vote, and let us know your thoughts on the new designs in the comments! Currently, boxes 4, 5, and 6 are the top voted boxes, so we’ve created some 3D renders to give you an idea of how awesome they look!

We are excited to announce that Flirc’s legendary collection of silent, passively cooled Pi cases will be expanded once again to support the Raspberry Pi 5. In fact, pre-orders for the Flirc Raspberry Pi 5 case are already available at Flirc.tv. If you haven’t heard the news already, the Pi Foundation is releasing a newer, […]

Making a Better Remote Control Library
August 11, 2023

When we first launched the Skip 1s, we thought it was clear that the state of the universal remote control industry was lacking. We listed many problems, but the most prominent one was that the existing marketplace didn’t understand the power of the community.

If you’ve recently visited the forum, you may have noticed a growing community of people who have found most of their devices showing up and working just fine with the existing Skip App Library. However, there might be a small problem with an existing entry, like a device that’s missing a button.

Before the latest release, the Skip App could only import new devices. This could result in duplicate entries in your local database, which didn’t really address the problem mentioned above. But with the most recent 0.9.93 Beta, we’ve taken steps to address that. Now, you can make changes to your existing devices locally and share them with the community, and it’s really easy.

How to Add and Remove Buttons from a Device

Before proceeding, make sure you’re familiar with our JSON file formats for adding custom devices. When added, these devices seamlessly appear in our software.

Adding, removing, or modifying existing devices is extremely easy. You can do this on two levels: the device level and the button level.

A prerequisite is to first match the Manufacturer and Device fields exactly for this feature to work.

“collision”: “DELETE” || “REPLACE” || “MERGE”, // Default is “MERGE”

Device Level

  • Delete – will remove the entry from the database entirely. If you have buttons defined below this field, they wont matter. They are removed.
  • Replace – This essentially removes the entry in our software and replaces it with yours. Any buttons defined in our original entry, will no longer show up. Only yours shows up.
  • Merge – This puts all the buttons it finds in both entries into one list. Any buttons in the imported file that are identically named will get the entry from the imported file, essentially overwriting our entry.

Below is an example of a Device Level JSON file that would remove the Apple TV Gen 4 from the library.

A Skip JSON file that removes a device

Button Level

  • Delete – will remove the button entry from the database entirely. If the button is not found in our entry, nothing happens.
  • Replace – This essentially removes the button entry in our software and replaces it with yours.

Below is an example of a Button Level JSON file that would replace the POWER button on a Topping PRE90 device.

A Skip JSON file that replaces a button

Don’t worry. Even without this field at either the device level or button level, imports will still work. We will apply the specified defaults, which is the least destructive approach.

Smarter Updates

Prior to v0.9.93, adding and updating existing devices was extremely cumbersome. The process involved importing a JSON file and then walking through the wizard to update codes on your remote, even if these codes were already assigned to buttons.

However, this is no longer the case. Now, if the existing manufacturer/device is currently assigned to any remote in your ‘cubby’, you will be prompted to update these codes directly.

Next Steps

We plan to provide better and easier tools within the Skip app for recording new devices, modifying existing devices, creating your own devices, and directly sharing and receiving feedback from the community. However, the next major update in development aims to unlock learning without the need to create and import files. Like everything else, we are working hard to simplify what has always been a challenge. As always, thank you for the support, feedback, and stay tuned.

When we first launched the Skip 1s, we thought it was clear that the state of the universal remote control industry was lacking. We listed many problems, but the most prominent one was that the existing marketplace didn’t understand the power of the community. If you’ve recently visited the forum, you may have noticed a […]

Remote Buddy 2.0 Is Here!
December 03, 2019

It’s with great excitement to finally announce a partnership that was years in the making. Felix, the creator of Remote Buddy, and I have been working for over a year on an extensive collaboration. While I give him the majority of the credit for the bigger piece of the collaboration, I am nevertheless honored to have worked with him.

Remote Buddy 2.0 is available for download, and packs a punch of features. It’s not only powerful, extensive, but it’s beautiful.

Exclusive Features

Remote Buddy 2.0 is built on an incredible architecture, with support for a number of receivers, and a number of remotes. But being the creators of each, gave us the unique opportunity to work on features together not found anywhere else. Flirc and Remote Buddy work together in concert and with incredible integration and advanced features.

How It Works

Flirc has a number of USB interfaces. The normal ones you are already familiar with. The pairing interface, and the HID (keyboard/misc) interfaces. Alongside this interface sits the new remote buddy interface, and it’s been there since version v4.6.0 of the flirc firmware. It’s been shipping for 9 months, and is already enabled on all existing and new devices. When the remote buddy interface is active, the HID interface is not, so only one interface is supported at a time. The Flirc GUI will not interrupt Remote Buddy’s operation, and allows easy upgrades without the need to quit Remote Buddy.

Lowest Latency

Since most post processing is done through remote buddy, Flirc passes up the data as quickly as possible for the lowest latency and best experience on the market.

Beta Features

New to Remote Buddy and Flirc is a new feature for customizable wake support. You can pair a single apple remote, a range of apple remotes, or a unique key from any remote to wake up a computer From S0/S1/S3 sleep states.

To try this out, grab the latest beta firmware from the forums here. Remember to give us feedback.

Upcoming Features

We’re already hard at work on adding more new features, but would also love to hear your ideas. Leave a comment here or through the forums, or send Felix an email.

Discounted Flirc with Valid Remote Buddy 2.0 License

We worked hard to create the best IR receiver for Remote Buddy. And we want as many people as possible to enjoy the level of detail, functionality and integration we’ve achieved.

So we’re making an offer so good it’d be financially stupid to pick a different, inferior product:

Remote Buddy users with a license valid for version 2.0 will be able to purchase one Flirc for only $9.95 (excluding shipping). This offer will not expire and only be valid through the flirc.tv store.

Felix and I are working together to make this offer available through a new Benefits page that will roll out as soon as possible.

Should you have eagerly purchased a Flirc in advance from our store, around the time of this announcement, please get in touch and we’ll work together to extend the discount to you.

It’s with great excitement to finally announce a partnership that was years in the making. Felix, the creator of Remote Buddy, and I have been working for over a year on an extensive collaboration. While I give him the majority of the credit for the bigger piece of the collaboration, I am nevertheless honored to […]

New Pi 4 Cases!

It is with great excitement that alongside the Raspberry Pi 4’s release today, we are announcing two brand new Raspberry Pi cases to accommodate all the changes of this amazing new hardware.

We’ve been hard at work and have started high volume manufacturing of a brand new case. We kept all the details that made the original case one of the top selling raspberry pi cases, and along side our own case, we’re releasing a newly designed and limited edition Kodi case, for the same exact price.

We expect to ship both in roughly 3-4 weeks. Pre-order now for special pricing and save 30%.

Grab em’ here: Kodi Raspberry Pi 4 Case and Raspberry Pi4 Case

It is with great excitement that alongside the Raspberry Pi 4’s release today, we are announcing two brand new Raspberry Pi cases to accommodate all the changes of this amazing new hardware. We’ve been hard at work and have started high volume manufacturing of a brand new case. We kept all the details that made […]

New Linux Repo

Today, I’m saying goodbye packagecloud. They had an amazing unique service that solved a huge headache. I spent a lot of time trying to host my own repositories, and it was too much of a headache to constantly keep up. Packagecloud was an amazing, affordable service that solved this problem with elegance. But they decided to tripple their price which made the service no longer worth it.

So today, I’ve changed my build system, installation instructions, and scripts to use gemfury. A great alternative and free for public packages.

You can head over to the linux downloads section, and re-run the installer script to add the new repository. Sorry for the inconvenience. More announcements next week, stay tuned.

Today, I’m saying goodbye packagecloud. They had an amazing unique service that solved a huge headache. I spent a lot of time trying to host my own repositories, and it was too much of a headache to constantly keep up. Packagecloud was an amazing, affordable service that solved this problem with elegance. But they decided […]

Bay Area Maker Faire!

Come visit our booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Were previewing some unreleased products and we love chatting.

 

 


 

 

 

Come visit our booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Were previewing some unreleased products and we love chatting.          

Flirc Just Got a Shit Load Cooler

Long Presses and Macros Released

By far the coolest update for flirc, was today. Everyone’s flircs just got a lot cooler. Today, I’m happy to announce the addition of long presses and macros. Two features that I’ve been planning on for quite some time, and they are definitely worth the wait.

Macros

Macros allow you to assign more than one function to a single remote control button. Basically, I can have a string of text or a bunch of commands, etc, all execute when I press a single button on my remote. That’s now possible with todays firmware. There is currently no limit on the amount of buttons, but you might see some issues with anything more than 16. We can always change that, the limit is artificial right now.

Long Presses

Some of my favorite remotes don’t have a lot of buttons. Specifically, the apple remote. This update will allow you to assign a second function on any remote control button if you hold it down for more than half a second. Tapping on the button as normal will do the first function, holding it for half a second will not send out the first function, but send out the second.

Long Presses + Macros

You can also combine the two features. Press a button and have a single action, press and hold that same button, and do a macro. Check out the short demo video

 

Worthy Notes

  1. There is currently no GUI support for these two features. This is going to be quite tricky to do, so although the software and API’s are all well thought out, I’ll need a bit of time before these can be standard in the GUI. For now, you’ll need the command line utility, and documentation on how to do these features can be found in the current manual.
  2. To do a long press, you have to hold down the button for half a second, this is currently hard coded, might change this in the future
  3. Macros keys are all sent out as soon as possible, may update this so users can change these timings
  4. Deleting a key that has macros or long press functionality will delete every single key associated with that remote control button.

 

Other Updates

Plugin Support

One of the coolest silently released features was plugin support. All thanks to Yawor who did all the work. He did a fantastic job, and has posted a few items on the forums. This will be formalized into the release soon, and more documentation will be created. Basically, this allows you to create an SVG and XML file, and the graphics and functionality will be dynamically loaded into the GUI. Users will be able to share theirs to help other setup unique setups.

General GUI Improvements

Also thanks to Yawor, a lot of the important GUI items have been re-written to be a bit more dynamic and cleaned up a lot of issues. I’m in debt for his help, he’s a fantastic engineer.

Hosting Updates

I’m giving up on hosting packages. It’s a pain in the ass and took a lot of time and work. I found packagecloud and they take a lot of the work out all the security related issues. If you have the old repo in your distro, make sure you remove that and install the new ones. You can find instructions on the downloads page.

Build Updates

I’ve migrated all the build and release to travis, which although a bumpy start, was absolutely the right thing to do. It’s not a great idea to do build releases on a development machine for many reasons, but I held all the tools on my laptop. No other employee or partner could do a release without me, that’s no longer the case.

SDK Fallen Behind

Because we have everything built on Travis now, the SDK library build and release tools have fallen behind. I should have these built into travis by next week or shortly after.

Raspberry Pi Version Behind

Not quite sure how to do pi release yet on travis, so those have fallen behind. I’ll manually update these versions soon.

Happy Holidays

A very happy holidays and a happy and healthy new years to everyone. Feel free to leave comments, shoot me emails, or start forum discussions.

 

Long Presses and Macros Released By far the coolest update for flirc, was today. Everyone’s flircs just got a lot cooler. Today, I’m happy to announce the addition of long presses and macros. Two features that I’ve been planning on for quite some time, and they are definitely worth the wait. Macros Macros allow you […]

New Product Up and Running

A ways to go, this is the bring up board. But it’s up and running, and I’ll be excited to release it. Code name Rogue1.

Any correct guesses, and you’ll get one for free.

A ways to go, this is the bring up board. But it’s up and running, and I’ll be excited to release it. Code name Rogue1. Any correct guesses, and you’ll get one for free.

Software and SDK Updates

Software v2.6.0 Released

Version 2.6.0 of the GUI has been release. In this version there are two updates, new firmware version, and the ability to enable / disable built in profiles. Under advanced, you can now enable and disable each profile independently. This feature was done and promised for nearly a month, and we decided the feature, problem, and solution were novel, so we filed a patent. In order to try and protect anything globally, we couldn’t release the software until after the patent filing.

Firmware v4.2.1 Released

Also included in this version is a new firmware which will allow sending of RAW IR signals as outlined in the previous blog post.

SDK Updated

Kinda botched the original release with a ton of garbage commits as I got all my build software working. So I scratched it and started over. Also included in this version are static and dynamic libraries for Windows.

Software v2.6.0 Released Version 2.6.0 of the GUI has been release. In this version there are two updates, new firmware version, and the ability to enable / disable built in profiles. Under advanced, you can now enable and disable each profile independently. This feature was done and promised for nearly a month, and we decided […]

SDK Release, Linux, RPi, IR Transmit Support