A server and mobile web app to control a video projector from a smartphone.
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README.md

README.md

Projo

Logo

A server and mobile web app I made to control my video projector without a remote.

I can now switch the projector on/off, navigate the menu and blank the screen using my phone (or other web-enabled device).

My current setup is a Benq W1070 projector that is linked to a TP-Link TL-MR3020 wireless device via a RS-232 cable. Additionally a 12V trigger cable has been wired between the projector and the motorized screen so the screen is now automatically controlled by the projector (no more remote either).

This device delivers a RESTful web-service as an interface to the video projector via serial commands (Crestron protocol) and a web app that I use on my mobile devices to replace the remote.

I made it to fit my own needs but it should pretty much work out of the box for other devices (any *nix running computer with a RS232 connector) and the Crestron protocol seems to be common to multiple brand of AV equipment.

A version made for the Raspberry Pi (or other "generic" *nix for that matter) is available in its own branch.

Roomie

Because it uses REST-JSON as supported by many clients, I was able to integrate it into Roomie. A configuration file is provided in the Roomie directory. Follow the directions in its official documentation to activate it.

Software

Screenshot

Bonjour is used for auto-discovery so I just need to go the http://projo.local/projo url on my mobile devices and optionally add the App to the Home Screen.

Once launched there is a few buttons on the top and bottom. The dark area in the center is a gesture interface to the menu. Swipe left/right/up/down navigate in the menu, a tap select an item. The back button goes back one level.

AngularJS has been selected because I needed an excuse to play with it. It's used in conjunction with CoffeeScript, Compass, Yeoman, Grunt and Bower.

The server side part is now in Lua (from Python) to drastically reduce the footprint needed. It went from ~150M to ~150K. It's also now packaged as a native Opkg package.

Hardware

Serial cable on projector below ceiling...

Serial cable on projector below ceiling...

...that goes upstairs to the device

...that goes upstairs to the device

TTL to RS232 board and wiring

TTL to RS232 board and wiring Tight fit inside

The base block is a TP-Link TL-MR3020 router. I selected it for the following reasons: it's cheap, runs OpenWRT, has UART pins readily accessible, enough (albeit barely) room inside to fit the serial board and did I mention it's cheap?

It's comparable in price to the Raspberry Pi but comes with wifi, internal storage (incredibly small), a case and a power supply.

The board is a simple MAX232 based TTL to RS232 adapter. The UART on the router works at 3.3V so the MAX232 converts it to signals compatible with other RS232 devices. You can find them on eBay for a pittance by searching for "TTL to RS232".

Wiring is simple:

  • 5V pad from the router goes to the 5V pad on the board (I added hot-glue to secure it after soldering)
  • Ground from the router goes to the ground pin on the board
  • RX on the router goes to TX on the board
  • TX on the router goes to RX on the board

And that's pretty much it, drilling the holes in the case took longer.

Here is the pinout on the router: MR3020 pins. I did add a 10K pull-up resistor between VCC and TX as recommended on the documentation but I'm not sure if it's necessary.

Do note that you'll need a straight DB9<->DB9 male-female cable (or you'll spend a few days wondering why it doesn't work with a null-modem cable, not that it happened to me...).

Installation

An opkg file is provided for easy installation and there is a detailed installation guide that covers the setup needed to get it up and running (mostly base OpenWRT setup information).