Hacking environmental protection features

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com


Well, it turns out that all this environmental friendliness is starting to trip over itself, because most devices now start up in standby mode. So you can’t just power them on to power them on, you have to power them on and hit a button on the remote. Some devices, by pure dumb luck I assume, will accept the switch already being pressed in when they start. If that’s the case, you can hack the behaviour you want if you figure out a way to hold the button in permanently. I may or may not have a G-clamp affixed to the sound system in the loungeroom.

…But then it suddenly hit me. If it looks like an audio jack, maybe it sounds like an audio jack! I don’t need to understand the protocol, I just need to be able to replay it. So I plugged some earphones into the IR-out port and damn near blew my eardrums. Turns out digital signals are not designed for casual listening. Still, that’s definite progress! I eventually managed to hook up a USB sound card and a line cable, recorded the “sound” of me turning the amplifier off and on, swapped the cable to the IR-in port and played it back.

And, would you believe it? It worked! I don’t think in my entire life I’ve ever had something deserve to work less and still work. I am gobsmacked by my own hillbilly ingenuity. I am now controlling my amplifier by playing sounds at it from a tiny ARM box that detects when the TV is turned on via HDMI-CEC. I put the remote control audio files up on Github. So if you have an HK-series amplifier, or you just want to hear what a remote control sounds like, that might be useful to you.