Using the OneForAll Simple4 remote

Remote-URC6440
The OneForAll Simple4

When I first started getting OneForAll remotes, years ago, they came with comprehensive instructions, which showed you what they were capable of doing. Nowadays they come with a single bit of paper, which barely scratches the surface. For example, this remote is able to accept one TV, one PVR (or set top box), one DVD/BLUray/VCR type, and one Extra, which can include an amplifier. But it’s possible (and quite simple) to reassign each button so that you can put a different device type on it. It’s ridiculous that URC/OneForAll, don’t tell you how to do this, either in the instructions that come with the device, or anywhere on line! You can also set the duration of the back light to Off/3sec/6sec/9sec.  I found that doing this cures an occasional problem of the backlight staying on indefinitely. Both of these issues resulted in some poor reviews of the item at Amazon.

More of that later. The other thing they don’t tell you, which I guess is more justified, is that unofficial software exists that can completely transform what you can do with this remote. I have seven devices to control, and when I had to get a new OneForAll remote a year back, I bought a different one that handles eight devices. However, it’s black, no backlighting, hard to see let alone operate in a darkened room, and has a rotational device button, meaning that I have to press it up to 7 times to change the device. Had I known that there was unofficial software available for the Simple4 that could extend this remote to operating 12 devices, this is the one I would have bought, and now I have!

So where do I get this software?

Bear in mind that all remotes are referred to by their serial numbers at the site, in this case URC-6440. The basic software is a program called RMIR, which runs in Java, so your computer needs either Java, or the Java Runtime Environment, to run this. Most computers, be they Windows, Linux or Mac, will have this loaded. Just make sure that you have the latest version. The site where you can find out how everything works is known as the JP1 site, which you can reach at http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/. Any queries about the working of the software should be raised on the forum. I’m just a user like anyone else, not an expert!

The RMIR program, which enables you to more easily set this (and many other) remotes, with or without the extender, can be downloaded from here.

The extender software, which, in conjunction with the RMIR program, releases the full potential power of this remote, can be found here.

How does it all work?

You would normally need a special lead to connect a remote with 6 pins inside your battery cover, called a JP1 lead, but with this remote you don’t need it, just a standard USB cable (similar but longer than the one supplied!).

What I would do, however, to begin with, is run the RMIR program, and start a “New” device with the standard URC-6440 and see how devices are entered, how key moves can be stored, how macros can be stored and so on. After you’ve had a good look around, you can try another “New” device, this time use the URC-6440 with extender 1.04. Just look at all the new features! Don’t actually upload any of this to your remote, or try to understand it too much at this stage. What you should do, is to unzip the extender file, and read the file from it, “URC-6440 Extender v1.04 Manual.pdf”. Have a good read. This will explain to you, how to use the remote both with and without the extender, and with and without RMIR.

And the stuff about changing device types for the 4 device buttons? And changing the backlight timeout? It’s in that manual, the first in paragraph 8.1, the second in 11.3. You’ll also see other undocumented features in it. It’s worth the download, just for that, even if you never go on to use RMIR or the extender.

Linux (and possibly Mac) Users, special note

Windows users skip this section. Although the RMIR program works on all systems, using the extender involves initally uploading an alternate “settings.bin” file to your remote. Linux and Mac use a fast copying method that introduces timing problems which prevent a simple drag and drop from working on this device. What you will need to do is run a terminal, change the directory to the one where your various settings.bin files are kept, and issue this command (all one line):

dd bs=512 conv=notrunc,fsync oflag=sync of=/media/OFA\ REMOTE/settings.bin if=Settings_reset_6440extender104(2570A1).bin

Other file names can be used after if= depending on which file you intend to upload.

Still to come

I would hope that the stuff I have pointed you to, will enable you to learn how to program your remote to do far more than it was ever meant to do. I intend to write a further part to this, which will feature using Phantom Buttons, and Long Key Presses, and other extras that your extended remote will be capable of.

Next page: How to work Remote Master programs

Following page: Using RMIR to add extra functions

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