Church Tech Lessons: RF Control

Last week, we talked about making IR control more convenient, removing the need for a line-of-sight and increasing maximum distance.

What you might not know is there are ways to do this wirelessly as well. Well, you know it, but you might not know that you know it.

If you have an electric garage door opener, you’ve used RF control. RF (short for radio frequency) uses radio waves instead of infrared light to control certain devices.

Clearly it’s the way to go for controlling something that’s behind a big door because there is no line of sight. This is where it really excels as a technology.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take an IR signal and turn it into RF, so you didn’t need to run a wire to your projector to control it without getting the angle just right? What about turning off all the TVs in the atrium after church? Wouldn’t it be great if you could just use a remote to do that?

Turns out you can. The remote control at the top of this post is actually a programmable RF control with a base station that converts the RF to IR.

If that’s a little too much for you, try something like this RF extender that takes IR in from your current remote, converts it to RF and spits it out as IR on the other end, increasing range and putting the IR receiver in a more convenient location.

Devices like this can really solve some problems, but one thing they don’t do is tell you if what you did actually worked. For that, we need one of a couple of other solutions, which we’ll talk about next week.


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