View Full Version : Multiple remotes, multiple GC's, and Serial controlquestions

February 11th, 2010, 06:26 PM
Hi All,

I'm researching a way to control my components (in a closet) from around the house using wifi and multiple remotes.

To make things more complicated, my main processor is a Cary cinema 11a which has serial control and lots of interesting possible status queries.

I don't plan to use Girder since I don't want to leave a PC running all the time. Instead just a few instances of NetRemote 2.0 and a pair of Global Cache iTach devices (one serial, one IR).

Here are some questions. I apologize if they have already been answered!

1. Can I have multiple instances of NetRemote running at the same time using the new GC iTach devices (these GC's allow multiple simultaneous connections where the old GC-100 units didn't.)

2. What about connecting to multiple GC devices from a single NetRemote instance. Is this possible?

3. Inside NetRemote, is it possible to do periodic updates of status variables from the Cary's serial connection -- like on a page I would like to display the current volume level and selected input, and update this information once a second. I assume I can use the LUA socket connection code, and store the result in an NR variable, but it's unclear to me that I can have a background task running once a second or so.

4. Lastly, what happens if I have 2 instances of NetRemote running, on two seperate PPCs, and both are accessing the serial connection to the Cary simultaneously. Does anyone know whether there is some way to lock the serial connection for the time it takes the first device to finish? Something like a semaphore would be great...

Thanks a lot for any info!

Rob H
February 11th, 2010, 07:47 PM
I don't think anyone has attempted what you're interested in doing.

I don't know the answer to #1, but it sounds possible.

#2 & #3 are possible, for #3 you could use a timer

#4 may be okay if you're trying to do it through a GC iTach if they have serial ports - I haven't seen one of these yet.

Having said all that, I really wouldn't want to do it that way. I'd go for Girder every time for this sort of thing - you could use a low power PC fairly easily, e.g. one that uses less than 20W.

February 11th, 2010, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.

How does Girder alleviate the problem -- do all requests (serial and IR, volume up, check input selected, change channel, etc) go through Girder?

Initially, if I don't want to use girder, I suppose I could use one "main" remote that uses the serial connection, and the other remotes could just use IR connections.

If I were to go the girder route, is there an easy way to wake the PC up from sleep from a wifi connected PPC, if I would want to have the PC in sleep mode during the day?


Rob H
February 12th, 2010, 06:05 AM
Yes, everything would go through Girder - it opens up far more possibilities, it's also probably a lot easier to debug any issues with a serial controlled device using Girder.

It's pretty straightforward to get NetRemote to send a Wake-over-LAN magic packet to your Girder machine, as long as that PC correctly and reliably supports WOL then I don't foresee any problems there.