TV remote as an IR throttle : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Can a TV remote be used as an auxillary throttle, e.g. forward, reverse,throttle-up and throttle-down?

-- Jan R. Chancellor (, December 06, 2000


At one time Digitrax was going to offer a device that would allow using a TV remote as a throttle. They withdrew the idea because there are too many variations in the data streams used by TV remotes to make such a device practical to design and manufacture.

The data stream produced by remotes varies not only from manufacturer to manufacturer but even between models from the same manufacturer.

Dale Gloer

-- Dale Gloer (, December 07, 2000.

But it can be done!

Weeder Technologies ( sells a universal IR remote control receiver kit, WTRCR, for about $35. This device has 7 logic output channels that can be configured to be momentary or toggled in response to signals from a typical TV/audio IR remote control. Programming the unit consists of aiming your remote at the unit while it learns the transmitted IR code for each desired key press. It will work with most 40 KHz remotes. I have used it with the $9 3-in- 1 Remote from Radio Shack. Working distance limit is about 30ft.

So how can this control DCC? Dig out the October, 2000 NMRA Bulletin. On page 48 S.Morrill and M.Tylik show how to get automatic DCC reversing from a train position detector relay.

You will still need an 'extra' DCC cab throttle that matches up with the cab buss of your DCC command station (brand sensitive). Must be one that uses increase/decrease push buttons rather than a potentiometer knob for speed control. Open it up and wire the WTRCR outputs to emulate the appropriate cab control push buttons. LED opto-couplers could be used to translate the WTRCR open collector outputs to matrix type PB switch closures if necessary. The loco selection will still be done at the DCC cab but speed, direction and lights, etc. can be from the IR remote.

Be sure to pick an IR code that is different from your TV!


-- Don Vollrath (, December 11, 2000.

Well, yes, it can be done. I guess I showed my bias and assumptions by thinking inthe realm of DCC products and not expecting Jan to be interested in a major do-it-yourself project. Possibly I was wrong on both counts. So if you want a DCC do-it-yourself project, check out this site

If you are interested in conventional DC control, then there are a few throttle designs that use pushbuttons for speed and direction so the Weeder box would fit in real nice.

Dale Gloer

-- Dale Gloer (, December 12, 2000.

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