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Topic:
Newbie on MX500
This thread has 10 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Sunday September 16, 2007 at 20:17
ed_robyn
Lurking Member
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Just got a used MX500 and am new to universal remotes. I am building a HT and got the MX500 because based on the description it sounded like it could do everything I wanted. I just figured out that to program something like a TV I must use the space on the remote that is designated for TV regardless of what it's labeled. I would have thought if you key in the code it wouldn't matter where it was on the remote. Like I said I was a newbie at this.

I have Lutron spacer lighting which the MX500 has the codes for ( I was hoping not to have to buy the remote for the lights) and was one of the reasons that I got the remote. Anyway when I enter the code for Lutron (I have tried them all) the remote will turn the lights off & on and I have to use the channel button to make them dim ( I thought I could type in a command for "brighter & dimmer" . I also want to be able to program lighting "scenes" into the remote and don't know how to do that.

Also, I have an electric draper screen that I want to use the remote for and before I knew that you had to have the device in the correct space I edited where one of the VCR slots was and wrote the word "screen" , I typed in the words " up, down" & stop on the next page of the remote and tried cloning my screen remote "up, down & stop" commands. The screen goes down , but not up or stop. I also tried cloning a TV remote but all the MX500 will do is turn the TV off and change the channel.

My questions at this point are: 1) if I have more than one "aux" ie the screen & lights, will the mx500 work for me? 2) Can I type in the command that I want in the device buttons on the sub page of the device and program it to do that command, i.e. light scenes, or screen up.

I was hoping to be able to just type a command in a slot, copy that command from a remote or code and have it work. Is that too much to ask?

If I am having this much trouble with just "on, off, up, & down" how much pain will it be when I want to program my receiver? Everyone talks about how easy this is to use so I have to be missing something.

Last edited by ed_robyn on September 16, 2007 20:25.
Post 2 made on Sunday September 16, 2007 at 20:40
edmund
Elite Member
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April 2002
13,753
First, the mx-500 is 8 years old technology, including the code library.

Any device can be programmed with the code from any other device. But during programming say a TV device, the code will always come from the upper right device slot. It first asks what device key you want programmed, then it asks from what device you want the code to come from. If you didn't move the TV, then you hit the upper right device key twice, if you did move it, you hit the current device key location, then the upper device for the code.


You can name a key whatever you wish, upto 5 icons long. But it isn't automatically that command, you need to teach it from the another remote. And you can't move commands from one key to another on the mx500. If the mx500 has preset command you want, but it is in the wrong place, you would have to teach it to another remote and back to the mx500.

watch out for hidden punch-throughs, ones that you didn't enable yourself, punch-throughs supersede preset and taught commands, even commands taught after the punch-through was enabled.

OP | Post 3 made on Sunday September 16, 2007 at 21:24
ed_robyn
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Thanks Edmund for the info. about the device keys if the device label has been moved . If it says that in the owners manual I missed it. I didn't realize that the MX500 was that old in technology. Am I asking too much of this remote? If so, is there a better one? If not, I guess I need to be prepared to spend a lot of time & patience getting it to do what I want. Maybe that's the way all universal remotes are? Having never had one, I really thought it would be easier to program. Thing of it is, it is not that hard, I just thought when I clone another remote I thought it would pick up the commands without having to fuss with it so much.
Post 4 made on Sunday September 16, 2007 at 22:50
8ate8
Advanced Member
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November 2005
778
An MX-850 is a PC programmed version of the MX-500.. You also get the added benefit of RF control, meaning you don't have to point the remote at the devices to use it. The other added benefit is you get to take advantage of the massive IR database in the remote, as well as all the devices located in the Files section of this website.
OP | Post 5 made on Monday September 17, 2007 at 16:07
ed_robyn
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Would it be easier to program than the 500? I guess since it is PC based it has some sort of IR receiver that hooks to the PC for cloning other remotes?
Post 6 made on Monday September 17, 2007 at 16:43
OTAHD
Super Member
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4,679
Yes...definitely easier.

It's not an IR receiver, the remote is directly connected via serial port to the PC.
LET'S GO BUFFALO!!!
OP | Post 7 made on Tuesday September 18, 2007 at 14:15
ed_robyn
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If it is RF & not IR how does it learn from other remotes?
Post 8 made on Tuesday September 18, 2007 at 15:43
8ate8
Advanced Member
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November 2005
778
It's both. It doesn't have to operate via RF. If you want, you can use it IR only like the MX500.

Don't be fooled though, the MX850 cannot learn FROM an RF remote (as in a ceiling fan or fireplace remote). The MX850 can only output RF to one of URC's basestations (MRF-250, 300, 350), and from there, the basestation converts the RF signal back to IR and sends the commands out to the devices via IR emmitters (just like an IR repeater system does).
Post 9 made on Tuesday September 18, 2007 at 15:48
OTAHD
Super Member
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October 2005
4,679
It has an IR receiver built in to learn, but it interfaces to the PC directly (unlike IRclone for the MX-500).
LET'S GO BUFFALO!!!
OP | Post 10 made on Monday September 24, 2007 at 11:05
ed_robyn
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What is an IRclone?
Post 11 made on Monday September 24, 2007 at 14:50
gcoville
Long Time Member
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April 2006
35
The IRClone-MX was a device that you could use to program an MX-500 (or MX-600) from a PC. It relied on the MX-500's ability to clone itself to another MX-500. Mike (the developer of IRClone) captured the IR data stream between the two MX-500's during the clone operation. First, he was able to backup an MX-500's configuration onto a PC. Then after careful reverse-engineering, it was determined how to edit the data before sending it back to the MX-500, thus giving the ability to PC-program the MX-500's configuration.

Mike teamed up with a fellow named Dave who wrote a windows editor for the device. They went into business selling the IRClone-MX and the 500e editing software.

This was back in 2002. After shipping about 1500 of the devices, they stopped making them around 2004. By that time, the URC PC-programmable remotes such as the MX-700, MX-800, etc. had really taken off and they figured (or perhaps witnessed) that the market for PC-programming MX-500's had tapered off. They put up a final version of software onto their website that didn't need an activation key, and have since disappeared.

The website stayed active until the summer of 2006, then it went offline. However, you can still see a bit what it looked like by using archive.org.
[Link: web.archive.org]

Every once in a while, an IRClone-MX box will come up for sale in the Marketplace forum or on ebay. They tend to go for about $75. The software is still available, but is not useful until you obtain an IRClone-MX device.


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