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HTPC Control Over a TAGtronic Bus

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by edward, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. edward

    edward
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    Does anyone have any experience of programming an HTPC to synch with a TAG processor using the TAGtronic bus? If so, would they care to share them here?

    Basically, I want to have the same kind of synch I have between my DVD32FLR and my AV192R.

    Where do I even start?
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    edward....given your interest in UVEM HTPCs,it may be worth your while having a chat with Phil Hale,and seeing what might be possible,but you would also need some details of exactly what goes over the bus in terms of signals and protocols,possibly from someone here who would know!

    At least that way you should get some advice from someone who knows his own range of PCs inside out.
     
  3. edward

    edward
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    Thanks Alex.
    I've just started talking to Phil and I've downloaded the PDFs on the specification and definitions but I want to know how much of a headache this is before I raise the matter with him.

    I don't even know what kind of interface card I need to start with.

    I had thought about bothering Steve and John by email but then thought others might also find this of value. There might also be others who have dabblled in this space and can give me advice. Sound advice is sound advice and I'll happily listen to any that might help me crack this one.
     
  4. Mike192

    Mike192
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    Edward, when you talk about synchronising your HTPC with your AV192R I assume you mean producing an integrated control system and not synchronising digital audio as you currently do with the TAG sync link.

    Assuming this is correct then I suggest using the RS232 output from your AV192R rather than the TAGtronic bus. The TAGtronic bus is a multi-drop RS485 connection so would require the appropriate hardware in the PC in order to allow the HTPC to share the TAGtronic bus with your TAG gear. The PC would also have to be programmed for the TAG protocol, probably not a trivial task. But the RS232 Controller board in your AV192R is just what you need for this type of application.

    I started playing around with some HTPC ideas earlier this year although lack of time has prevented much progress. However, I have got as far as setting up the PC to act as a PVR and this is fully integrated with my TAG system and in almost daily use. I have a Nebula DigiTV card in the PC and I use an application called Girder in the PC to intrepret RS232 commands sent from the AV192R and convert them into actions which control the DigiTV application. I control the whole system with an iPronto (any type of Pronto would do or you could probably even use the TAG remote although it would be less user-friendly). Basically, the remote sends RC5 IR commands to the AV192R. The AV192R relays these commands on its RS232 output and these are sent to the PC where Girder does the rest. You can also program macros into the AV192R to generate any commands you may want to send to the PC when you, for example, select an input on the AV192R.

    So, assuming I've understood what you want to do, it is possible but one word of caution: it is quite time consuming to set up, especially when things don't quite work as you expect and you have to find out why.
     
  5. edward

    edward
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    Many thanks for this, Mike.
    I think I recall seeing articles here about working with the synch link and I don't think I'll go there.

    I'm also planning on using Girder and possibly the DigiTV (I'm being guided on the good & not so good on this option).

    I'm already controlling my scaler and projector using RS232. As I recall, I can also output on the RS232 input socket too. This could well be adequate.

    Again, many thanks for this.
     
  6. Mike192

    Mike192
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    Yes, the RS232 connectors are labelled "input" and "output" but they both have Tx and Rx data connections. I'm doing exactly what you want to do, using one to control my projector and the other to control the HTPC.

    The DigiTV board has worked well for me, using the Nebula software application. I have heard there can be compatibility issues when using other software although I have no experience of this.
     
  7. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    If we are talking the TAG SYNC LINK on the digital audio between the DVD32R and AV, then I wouldn't bother trying to get that to work with a HTPC digital audio output, just use a good sound card (a very good one), I got it to work and it made bugger all difference and was not reliable either.... As for RS232 control, things like Girder are well known and work well. Personally i just stick an IR repeater on the HTPC, works fine for me...
     
  8. edward

    edward
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    Yeah, well, I've thought better of having any control flow from the HTPC to the AV192R now. Given that my brood will have access to the HTPC at times, what one Earth was I thinking???

    I would agree with the Synch Link bit - quite a subtle change and not worth a lot of buggarance.
     

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