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Topics - jamo

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Hi Everyone

I've been hacking around with this for a while. I would like to purchase a USBUIRT or similar but we've been foolishly squandering our funds on food and shelter so when I found this very cheap RS232 IR receiver/transmitter I thought it was worth a shot, esp as it was purported to work with LIRC and mythTV.

Incidentally, it's quite a neat little device- it's a serial port transmitter receiver that gets extra power by having a USB plug as well.

Anyway, my first attempt went along the lines of the LIRC wiki page but of course I needed to setup my own remote with irrecord, which was not interested in responding to any remote - so I tried running mode2 which also didn't respond so clearly something wrong.

Take 2 (after breaking the media director and rebuilding the image). This time I thought I'd follow the instructions for setting up a homebrew receiver in ubuntu here.

That went rather better... at least to the point where I was able to run irrecord and generate a bunch of (raw) config files for my various remotes.

I then tried to continue with the LIRC wiki above by creating a new template for my remote, pasting in the config codes I'd generated, adding the template as a remote to my media director, and setting the media director receiver to "default" as described in the wiki.

After the requisite dcerouter quick reloads etc the MD started up fine and there seemed to be a device starting up to receive commands but it doesn't respond to my remote. In fact, even the little homebrew receiver isn't flashing it's LED when I point the remote at it and hit buttons.


I've done this on two different MDs. The first, I followed the instructions above which involve basically rebuilding the modules for the kernel and modprobing them in. Once I'd done that I was able to use irrecord to generate my remote configs so I then used that on the 2nd MD (which hadn't had any of the module rebuilds done) to follow the LIRC wiki directly. So it's really the 2nd MD that I'm trying to get right- the first I may have compromised with my module rebuilds etc.

I get the impression on the 2nd MD that it hasn't actually installed any LIRC packages at all- I never saw anything happening. Is there any way I can check this? Problem is, there are so many places it could be going wrong- lirc might not be installed, I may have messed up the template config, etc etc. Where do I start?

Are there any logs associated with this that I can check? Should I do some kind of aptitude check on the media director to confirm lirc is installed? Typically when my MD starts up it says some devices didn't start correctly. I've never had a problem with it so I've always ignored it but that could now be including my IR receiver device. How can I look and see what devices didn't start and why?

Any suggestions welcome. Sorry I haven't given more useful information but I'll keep tinkering and post what I find.

(PS - next step, and actually the *main* reason I wanted the receiver/transmitter was to control my settop box and TV source switching... but I thought I'd start with the receiver part, thinking that would be easier!)

Continued from related post.... split off other thread because it was getting off topic.

I can screen shot and post my setup screens on my photobucket, no problem.
OK, no sweat, since you're using advanced IP Camera template I guess that covers it so I have and idea how you've set it up. I may try to set mine up with that one as an exercise. As I said, I imagine I could do both at the same time... shouldn't cause any problems, I would think, unless there's a PK on the MAC or something....

One nice feature though is that although its not associated with LinuxMCE, it is up and running right now.  To view it I just open a browser and click a bookmark to view the feed.  With it on my external network, I can also still use all the MyDLink iphone and remote browser features like zoom etc.
Exactly the same with mine... very nice if you're constantly tinkering with LMCE and bring it to it's knees occasionally. I have my internet connection setup to forward ports from the IP camera so I can connect remotely from anywhere and view the feed without going through LMCE at all.

normally you specify a image location and a video location.  It was my understanding that the still image was used by motion and was what is getting pushed to Web Orbiter 2.0
I don't think this is correct. Certainly, some cameras may have a still and motion image location (mine doesn't) and perhaps the advanced template allows you to specify these but certainly motion wrapper and generic camera templates don't require it and motion itself doesn't require it (since mine works without it).... it must work with the video stream itself, likewise weborbiter. Presumably stills and snapshots are generated via motion / the generic camera device from the video stream.

Users / AV Switching to settop box with Wiimote
« on: August 28, 2012, 10:32:37 am »
Baby steps here....

Currently I have my TV-room media director connected to my TV as a VGA input. My settop box connects to the TV as composite video input. Very simple.

So to watch TV, I have to use the TV remote to switch input source, then the settop box remote to change channels etc etc. If I want to go back to linuxmce, I have to switch the TV source back to vga.

The big step would be to stream the output of the settop box to a capture device (would have to be usb because the MD is a laptop) and then into MythTV (afaik VDR doesn't do USB capture devices or am I wrong?)

But if there is a rule #4 that I've personally discovered with linuxmce it is to take baby steps. Learn how one bit works before trying to throw it all together in one go. That also works nicely with my wallet.

So, with that in mind, my next step is to carry on with the AV Switching method but try to make it a bit more seamless and cut down the number of remotes! I'm waiting for an IR receiver/transmitter device to arrive that I hope will work to control the settop box and TV. But my question is this-

Obviously, if I'm using my media director to tell the STB and TV what to do, I won't see any onscreen feedback like I do with UI2.... so that means that trying to use a remote like the Wiimote I'm currently using is going to be a Wii bit difficult? No, I take that back, it is going to be impossible. Without seeing the pointer on the screen I can forget about it. So, that means my only option with AV Switching is:

  • Switch to a single IR remote that can send a code like "Vol up" that can be received by the IR receiver and transmitted to the appropriate device (the MD if I'm watching media off that or the STB if I'm watching Sat TV)?

Thoughts? Pity, because I'm rather enjoying using the Wiimote but I guess I'll be able to come back to it when I go to the streaming input option and I'm then watching the STB output via a LMCE device?

Thoughts and advice welcome please...

Users / System and surveillance videos ending up in video list 10.04
« on: August 14, 2012, 02:22:45 pm »
OK, so I have two HDDs on my system- the system drive where LMCE is installed and my media drive.

All was working well until the other day on boot of one of the media directors I was told that a new drive was detected. Huh? So I presumed it was seeing the system drive or, if not, it was a drive I didn't know about (!) so I chose to ignore every time (I should probably have noted the details but I think it referred to my system drive).

Anyway, since then, and I therefore presume it's related (post hoc ergo propter hoc) I'm seeing all the system videos (sarah clips etc) and surveillance videos from my motion cam listing when I go to browse videos! These videos obviously reside on the system drive so somewhere/somehow the system has scanned and indexed these.

1. My existing videos are still accessible although to see them I have to jump to a letter in the alphabet or presumably adjust the default filter.
2. The system videos aren't viewable (file not available or something) when I try to play them. Mostly that doesn't matter to me as much as I enjoy the sarah clips... but I did think it would be interesting to view my surveillance clips here but they don't view either. Not surprising since I told the system not to use that disk.

But it is surprising that these have been indexed.

So is it a faulty radar/media updater somewhere that for some reason has indexed these avi, mpg etc files on the system drive? Or is it the fact that I've done a fair bit of "resynchronize" on the media files sync admin section while sorting out my music collection, or something else? Any ideas?

At the moment, my plan is to fix by finding where in the database these exist and deleting them with a few well chosen sql commands.

Incidentally I have tried "Delete files that exist only in database" from various points on the media browser tree on webadmin but no luck there.

Any thoughts/comments?

Users / Onscreen keyboard 10.04 keystrokes not going to web browser
« on: August 10, 2012, 09:35:06 am »
Hi All

Any tips here? I might just be doing something silly. When I open the web browser from my onscreen orbiter in 10.04 (UI2-medium), I can use my remote (wiimote) to "click" anywhere with no problem but when I want to type something and I bring up the onscreen keyboard, the keystrokes don't end up in the browser window, even though the keyboard registers the presses (the key highlights when it gets clicked on).

I tried, for example, filling in the address bar as follows:

you can click in the address bar and the cursor appears there, but then when you click on the onscreen keyboard keys, no letters appear in the address bar. A bit as though the focus has been lost.

Anyone else have these problems?

Developers / - logic questions
« on: August 07, 2012, 04:25:10 pm »
Hi guys

As a result of my issues with my 2nd media drive in a related thread, I got to looking at the script and I have a question-

Regarding the use of the CacheSet and CacheGet function. I see that this is used to "remember" the online flag of a storage device, the last time the script polled the devices. This makes sense because it means that the script doesn't have to query the database every time to get this value... it only has to do that the first time the script polls and there is no stored value.

However, where this logic appears to fall down is that the script will often be running on more than one machine on the LMCE network (all mediadirectors and the core) and since the scripts don't share the cached value(s), they can't know if another script has changed the flag or not because they never re-check the database. This is exactly what happened in my case- When the core started the StorageDevices_StatusRadar script, my media drive was (correctly) marked online as a local, mountable drive. The value was cached and as far as the core instance of the script was concerned it stayed that way.

Then when a media director started up, it ran the same script locally, but this time it determined that the media drive was not online because it couldn't access the samba share (another issue) so it marked the device as offline in the database.

So now there was a situation where the two scripts carried on merrily "polling" every few seconds and remembering the status of the same device differently. I'm not even sure which was right in the end because, granted, the samba share wasn't available, but the drive was still accessible-> I could still *play* the videos... I just couldn't see them in the datagrid, so as far as I was concerned it was online.

In summary-

1. "Should" the media director consider the media drive to be offline if it can't access it as a samba share?
2. Does it make sense that the script runs on each machine and "remembers" a flag for the same device that is not shared between them? What are the alternatives?

Any thoughts/ comments?

Users / sambahelper credentials 10.04 [solved]
« on: August 06, 2012, 12:54:22 pm »
Related to my post here:,12721.msg91271.html#msg91271

I haven't fiddled with Samba previously because I don't have windows machines on my network officially.... but now I'm having to understand it because it may be at the bottom of my media drive being marked offline (see above post).

My question is-

The credentials that can be found in the file:


Which appear to be used to mount smb shares across the various MDs and the core, in my system, appear to differ at least between the core and one of my MDs. Is this normal? Is the password randomly generated at install time and differs for each MD or should these all be the same password?

I'm just wondering if the differences mean I have a problem with my installation or if they're to be expected.

I've raised this in IRC but haven't been able to hang around long enough to troubleshoot with any of the devs. I'm keen to help with the troubleshooting here but I need a wee bit of guidance. I'll outline where I've got to so far. Let me know if it would be better to open a trac ticket for this.

I have a 10.04 system with headless-core and a few MDs.

I recently added a second SATA hdd to the system to store my media. I followed the wiki entry and all went well (aside: I created an ext4 filesystem as the xfs filesystem wasn't available as an option? Perhaps this is outdated?) up to the point where I expect a message to pop up on the orbiters saying a drive had been detected, do I want to use it. No message.

I then, as per L3MCE's suggestion, manually ran /usr/pluto/bin/ (or similar) but still no message.

I hacked the above script to figure out what was wrong and as far as I can tell, the script is doing what it's supposed to do- basically figuring out that there is a new internal hard drive on the system that is not currently used and then sending all that as a message using /usr/pluto/bin/ with all the appropriate parameters (eg. device template, size, path etc etc).

L3 seems to think there is something wrong with this script but I don't think so because it is working fine on the MDs (exact same script)... I couldn't test with a HDD but I tested with a USB flashdrive and it pops up the alert perfectly. The same USB flashdrive plugged into the core does not pop up an alert.

So my thinking is there is something wrong *after* the message is sent and it is something specific to my core or to headless cores in general.

What I'd like to know is this-

What device/plugin/script/code is supposed to deal with/listen to/respond to the message that is sent? I can see the message in the dcerouter log... it gets sent every 10min... but I don't know what is supposed to happen then so I can figure out why it isn't. If someone can point me in that direction I can do a bit more digging. I can post the message that is sent when I get home as well if that will help but from what I recall the "from device" is 1 (core) and the "to device" is -1001 which apparently is used for events where it isn't really aimed at a device per se.... the device template is 1790 (int hard drive) and a few other parameters.

Any pointers welcome.



The issue is this- the gamepad detection and install scripts use the existence of /dev/js0 as the trigger for adding this device. Unfortunately /dev/js0 is also added for at least one other device (internal notebook accelerometer as per above post).

I would like to modify the detection and install scripts to use another method to find the gamepad. I'm thinking the output of lsusb for example... but I don't have a gamepad to test. If anyone has one, please can they assist with testing and post the output of
Code: [Select]
lsusb -v
(obviously this will be executed after sshing into the media director to which the gamepad is connected) for me.


PS, if anyone else with actual skills wants to take this over, feel free ;-)

Here's an interesting one... I've had some issues with a USB Gamepad device appearing on my MD (HP 6710b Compaq notebook).

I didn't even notice the device being added until it caused problems - It got into a loop at one stage and just kept adding devices and, then when I wanted to configure a Wiimote it caused havoc with that - they don't like to co-exist, it seems.

Anyway, the issue seems to be the following-

The detect scripts for the USB Gamepad device check for, among other things, a joystick device- ie the existence of a file /dev/input/js0.

Well, in my case, that file is created by the X configuration because the configuration detects an internal accelerometer in the notebook (apparently it is there to protect the harddrive or something... not sure how, maybe it yells "CATCH MEEEEEE" over the PC speaker if it thinks it's falling or something) and sets it up as a joystick device. Jeepers, so I suppose you could play games by flinging the notebook around. Anyway, the point is, that sets up the /dev/input/js0 device which then triggers the USB Gamepad device creation.

At the moment I'm testing a bazooka-hack to stop this but we'll probably have to look at a cleaner method. Will report back...

Xorg.0.log entry:
Code: [Select]
(II) config/udev: Adding input device ST LIS3LV02DL Accelerometer (/dev/input/js0)

Users / IP camera view blue screen..... occasionally...
« on: June 22, 2012, 09:55:09 am »
My IP camera on my gate is working nicely. When I use the security Scenario from the orbiter to pop up the camera viewer, it works well....

But, on occasion, the camera view disappears- The "wrapper" with all the command buttons like "speak" and the pan and zoom buttons etc is there but no camera stream in the middle. Now the camera stream is still working (can confirm by going directly to the camera's IP and it's built in view) and, I think, even the motion clips are all being recorded and the events fired on motion during this time.

Rebooting the core sorts it out and, I may be wrong, but I think occasionally a reload of the core sorts it out.

Any ideas where to troubleshoot?

Users / MD wake on Lan not working
« on: June 22, 2012, 09:51:16 am »
After sorting out the shutdown on my other two MDs, I'm now trying to sort out the wake-on-lan for my HP compaq 6710b notebook. It has definitely worked before and definitely has the capability (hardware) but at the moment is not working.

What I've done so far-

* Tried the "power on"  from other orbiters and that doesn't work.
* Tried running /sbin/ (or something similar) with --dev and --mac options, no dice.
* Tried using ethtool -g to check that wake-on-lan is configured when the MD is up and that looks correct.

Hmmm... will probably have to do a bit more digging to find how wake-on-lan works at a lower level and see if I can do it with a crescent wrench... then if that works I will try to figure out how/why that is not happening via the normal channels! Any suggsetions/troubleshooting tips welcome.

It is a bit of a pain not being able to start this puppy remotely.

Two of my old hardware media directors (ibm t30 notebook, hp xw4100 workstation) are not halting when I tell them to shut down (power off from UI). They reboot instead. I haven't tested with my 3rd MD (newer) but I was wondering where to start troubleshooting.

Hi All

When I put an audio-cd or DVD into any of the drives (2 media directors, one core) on my 10.04 setup, the media plays happily but is not picking up the disk info - titles, names etc. I'm pretty sure these disks have done so before. Anyone else having this behaviour on 10.04?

Any tips on trouble-shooting? I gather it's an app called id-my-disc that runs but I haven't done any more digging than that apart from a cursory glance at some logs that hasn't yielded any epiphanies.

Edit: note, I haven't tried an apt-get update/upgrade so perhaps scripts have changed or been fixed since my snapshot but I'm a bit nervous to do that on an otherwise working system.

Users / Hardware spec questions
« on: May 29, 2012, 09:24:48 am »
Been trying to plan and spec the hardware for a Media Director/ Hybrid and I've been having the following thoughts and questions that I'd love to get some comment on....

Firstly, the departure point here is to USE SUPPORTED HARDWARE. Most of my setups so far have been with hardware that is, to some degree inherited or lying around or just cheap and available or whatever. Often when people use such hardware and try to get it working I've noticed they get advised on the forums etc that it would be a lot easier just to use supported hardware. Of course, that makes a lot of sense, but it is a wee bit more tricky than it seems! Unless, of course, I'm missing a bunch of obvious things that I hope you gentlemen will point out.

I'll explain my thinking here and the assumptions I'm working with and I'd be most obliged if anyone can point out where I should look/ what assumptions are wrong or questionable or how I'm overthinknig or overcomplicating things... many thanks in advance.

OK, so this is what I'm trying to do-

I want to spec a machine that can be built as a Hybrid or (with some components left out or swapped for lower spec) a Media Director. I'm thinking it will be a machine that sits in the TV Room/ Home Theatre, probably visible so it needs to be pretty slick looking and quiet.

In full configuration it needs to achieve the following goals-

1. Store media (1 or more hard drives required)
2. Playback HD content 1080p video and HD surround sound audio to satisfy a medium level audiophile
3. Read and play DVDs and audio CDs
4. Capture High Def video from a settop box for streaming to MythTV or DVR
5. Act as a hybrid (ie dual NIC)
6. Be controllable by gyro-type remote

So.... the first thing I think is I need a neat HTPC Chassis. Not cheap but I think I have one that sounds nice - Antec Fusion 430. I think it comes with a power supply but it is ATX PSU so if necessary I can swap it for a bigger one if required. OK... main thing the choice of Chassis determines is the motherboard form factor- micro ATX.

OK, so the next step, I imagine, is the motherboard. This is really tricky. There are many, many out there and all I know at this stage is that I need it to be micro ATX (or smaller?).

So Mobo choice:
  • Form factor: micro-ATX/mini
  • CPU socket?
    I don't really know how this affects things... I'm presuming any relatively new motherboard will support a powerful enough CPU to do the hybrid/MD job and most are going to be compatible with Kubuntu 10.04.
  • Memory format/capacity/speed?
    Again, I'm not thinking I need much more than 2Gb and that is pretty much stock standard minimum these days so I don't think this will drive mobo choice.
  • SATA drive support
    Needs to support DVD drive and 1 or more hard drives. Presume this is pretty standard.
  • Onboard Nic (1)?
    Definitely needs to be Gigabit speed. Chipset? Something to check on... I've had some issues with an Atheros chipset on the Sony VAIo and some other one on my HP Probook... but probably not critical at this stage.... likely to be supported/supportable.
  • Onboard Nic (2)
    Some mobos do come out with dual lan ports on board but they seem to be pretty pricey and overkill if this is to be used just as a Media Director. So I need to reserve a PCI port for a 2nd NIC if this is to be used as hybrid. So requirement at this point grows to at least one PCI slot.
  • Graphics GPU
    This is a big one. The questions are - chipset (Nvidia, ATI, Intel?) and onboard/ card. Firstly, I know Nvidia has been traditionally strongly advised for Linux and LMCE support. Is this still the case... I know l3mce is doing great work with the other chipsets. Should I still go for Nvidia at all costs? And, if so, what version? Then, what about onboard vs card based? The reading I've done seems to indicate that a decent pcix16 card will generally outperform onboard graphics. Is that still the case? The main reasons I like the onboard option are
    • You know it's compatable with the mobo (not going to get any conflicts or strange issues)
    • Doesn't occupy a PCI slot that could be used elsewhere
    • Doesn't require potential additional power
    • Sound over HMDI assumed to work without having to connect S/PDIF headers or do any special config?
    Which brings me to my other point Graphics card/chipset selection- HDMI out. I'm presuming that HDMI is pretty much the standard that is emerging so I'd like to ensure whatever card / onboard GPU is used, it has HDMI out and, ideally, that the sound can be output over that as well.
    If Onboard Nvidia is the way to go then I'm now looking for a mobo with an Nvidia chipset (version?) with HDMI out. That does cut down the number of boards quite a bit.
  • Video Capture ?
    I know you can get USB based HD capture units like that Hauppage one but I want to go for an internal one so as not to have extra clutter around the TV station. So this requires an extra PCI card and therefore slot

So... the above questions make quite a big difference to the type of board I go for... If onboard video and nic2 are out I need at least 3 additional PCI slots available and then to find appropriate cards to fit the appropriately sized slots and I can go for a motherboard with slightly lower onboard specs but still with gigabit lan, decent onboard sound with S/PDIF headers that can connect to the video card, micro-atx form factor and a few usb slots where I can plug in IR blasters/ receivers, bluetooth dongles etc. Phew....

And then, after finding that ideal motherboard (which is jolly difficult because most sites don't allow you to search on the above criteria), I then go after the component cards which must, in turn, be linux/LMCE compatible if possible.

Am I over-complicating things? Is there an easier way to approach this. Any comments/ suggestion welcome.

I have to say, using this type of thought process it is no wonder I end up with a bunch of pieces that may or may not work and then I just do my best to make them work at the risk of getting the "why not just use a compatible bit of hardware" comment ;-) In some situations it may actually be easier to get an incompatible bit to work than to upset your whole selection process because the last piece is a problem !!

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