I've adapted the IR Remote portion of our software code to enable the use of the Apple Remote. The pic below shows the basic mapping of the Apple buttons to the functions of our Tortuga Audio remote. Since our remote has 15 buttons and the Apple remote has only 7 we had to be a bit creative to squeeze it all in there.
The one disappointment I have with the Apple Remote is its apparent inability to issue repeat commands while holding down either the Raise or Lower Volume buttons. You have to make repeated presses which for a 70 step attenuation range can be a bit annoying. In reality few of use move up and down the full volume scale so it's only a minor inconvenience but I have to wonder what Apple was thinking leaving out this easily implemented feature.
Since the Apple doesn't have individual channel input select keys, we use the Left and Right keys to switch ("roll") to the next lowest or highest input respectively. So if you're already at input #3, pressing the Right button will roll you over to Input #1. If you're at Input #2, pressing the Left button will roll you to Input #1 etc. Once you've selected the desired input, you press the Center/Enter button to lock in the change and unMute the unit.
Figuring out the Channel Balance Adjust was a bit tricky but I think we came up with a workable solution. When the unit is muted the Left and Right buttons function differently to handle balance adjustment as follows.
Pressing the Right button while Muted will switch the LDRx unit into Balance Adjust Mode as evidenced by a now rapidly blinking Status LED. While in this mode, you UnMute the unit, adjust volume as needed, and then use the Left and Right buttons to trim the channel balance. When you have the desired balance, you press the Center(Enter) button to lock in the setting. To undo any balance trim, pressing the Left button while Muted resets any previous balance adjustment to zero.
After a bit more testing to double check everything, we will probably include the Apple Remote functionality in all subsequent passive preamp units we build and ship.
We are still sorting out if we'll sell the Apple Remote as an option or in place of our Tortuga Audio remote. The Apple Remote retails for $20 and is widely available including Best Buy and numerous online stores. To the best of my knowledge you can't find it anywhere discounted. It's a very slick little bit of design.
Anyone who already has a Tortuga Audio preamp product who can't live without being able to use the Apple Remote to control it will need to get in touch with us to discuss upgrading their software. In the case of the LDR3x board, this could be done by shipping a replacement microcontroller chip with updated software. For users of our LDR1/LDR6 preamp products, you would have to ship the units back to us for this upgrade. Details on all that, including upgrade cost, to be worked out.
Any thoughts or comments welcome.