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UCommand 515 Remote Control Review
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Crisp Solutions UCommand
Click to enlarge. (70kb)
There’s no indication which buttons already contain a signal and which do not, but if the button has been removed from view (as we’ll cover later) the learning process will skip over it. When you’ve finished learning everything you want, you can exit "Learn" mode by pressing the [LEARN] button. The [LEARN] button is also used in other programming modes as an "exit" button. When pressing a button in normal operation mode, an "OK" symbol appears at the top. If the button has no function assigned, the "ERROR" icon flashes.

Macros Everywhere!
Next on the roster is the macro function, which is quite advanced for a remote at this price level. Every user button can hold a macro of up to 25 steps. Although this is quite impressive, it does lead to a sticky problem: there are no dedicated macro button labels, and no buttons that remain the same throughout the entire system. So, if you want a "Power Off" macro that you have access to on each component, you’re out of luck unless you can dedicate a single button under each component for that specific function. Another limitation is that adding a macro to a button overwrites any learned function underneath, meaning they can’t be accessed from, say, another macro. In addition, macros cannot switch component screens. They can access buttons from other components, but if you start a macro under "TV" it’ll end in "TV", even if the last command was under "DVD".

Crisp Solutions UCommand
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Programming a macro is quite similar to learning signals. You enter the component to which you want to add the macro, hold the [MACRO] button at the top of the screen for three seconds, select the button on which you want to place the macro, then navigate the remote selecting components and buttons in order. The UCommand allows you to add a delay between each command, either 2, 5 or 10 seconds long. Wherever you’d like to add the delay, press the [MACRO] button. A little "2" will appear beneath it. Press again for "5," then "10" seconds, and again to cancel the delay. Although not mentioned in the manual, the default delay between steps is 0.5 seconds. When you’re done, press the [LEARN] button. If you want to program another macro you can begin right away, or press the [LEARN] button again to save.

As mentioned, one of the problems with macros is that there are no macro specific labels. Fortunately, the UCommand allows you to customize the label on each button, and one of those options is a blank square. To change the button layout, hold the component’s icon for three seconds. Then press the confirmation numbers as described earlier. For some reason the screen will start flashing, touch it to stop. At this point, each time you press a button you change it’s appearance between "removed", "outline only", or one of the preset labels. Each button has quite a few labels – not counting "removed" or the blank outline, 85 labels are possible. When in label mode you can preview all possible labels by holding the POWER button (which, incidentally, cannot be removed from view).

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