Pronto TS1000/RU890/RC5000 & TSU2000/RU940/RC5000i RF Conversion

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The components shown above are all to the same approximate scale.

My TS1000 only has about a 1V¹ signal which is too low to drive the RF transmitter so a small SMT signal conditioning board amplifies this to a level sufficient to drive the transmitter.

The SAW controlled transmitter is available in the three RF frequencies used by X-10 around the world (310, 418 & 433.92MHz) as well as other frequencies. In North America, X-10 uses 310MHz for lights, appliances and security RF. They use 418MHz for the Powermid. In Europe, they use 433.92MHz for everything. In the UK, they did use 418MHz for everything but are changing to 433.92MHz.

To remove the rear cover, remove the batteries and remove two Torx T6 screws from the upper left and right corners. Remove the third Torx T6 screw that is under the label at rear bottom center of the Pronto just right of the word Reset.

The illustration on the left shows the main circuit board of my TS1000/01, shown with the touchscreen face down. Mine is one of the early models with a light sensor. Later models may have a different circuit board and may require connecting to the signal in a different spot.

In the upper left corner of my circuit board there are some unpopulated solder pads. The illustration shows the two leftmost pads. The number 3057 is silkscreened on the circuit board just left of the pads.

The blue (signal) lead from the signal conditioning board connects to the leftmost, topmost solder pad. The black wire connects to the negative battery terminal and the red wire to the positive battery terminal. The green wire functions as the antenna or can be connected to an external antenna like the stubby one illustrated above.

The transmitter/signal conditioning module (yellow rectangle) is positioned behind the Contrast and Backlight controls, perpendicular to the main circuit board. It can, however, be positioned on the opposite side behind the hard buttons. Range is best with the antenna on the opposite side from the hard buttons and thus less susceptible to detuning when handheld.

Use a low wattage soldering iron like the 15W RadioShack #64-2051B and support the battery terminals from behind when soldering to them.

With the wire antenna external (passing through a 1.5mm hole drilled in the top left of the rear case section), I get 40+ foot range when handheld. Two possible hole locations for the antenna wire are illustrated below.

The larger circle on the left shows the approximate location for the 21/64" hole for the stubby antenna. I recommend starting with a 1/4 inch diameter hole, approximately centered between the edge of the battery compartment and left edge of the case. You can enlarge the hole with a tapered reamer or a tapered round file. The hole in the side of the case is for a 6-32 screw. Both holes may need to be slightly elongated (I used a Dremel burr.) to help position the antenna.

Replace the 6-32 x 1/4 screw in the antenna blade with a 6-32 x 3/8 screw. A 1/8 inch spacer goes between the blade and side of the case. A ring terminal crimped and soldered to the antenna lead goes between the spacer and blade. Insert the screw through the side of the case, spacer and ring terminal into the tapped hole in the blade. Tighten snugly.

Linx makes the stubby antenna in 315MHz, 418MHz & 433.92MHz versions. The Digi-Key part numbers are ANT-315-PW-LP-ND, ANT-418-PW-LP-ND & ANT-433-PW-LP-ND. The stubby antenna has a narrow bandwidth and is not available cut for 310MHz. I compared the 315MHz stubby antenna, the external wire antenna and the wire antenna coiled up and stuffed into the upper left corner of the case. Best range was with the external wire. The internal wire had very poor range. While the range with the stubby antenna was a bit less than with the external wire, it still gives moderately good range (better than I get with an HR12A Palmpad). It may do even better at 433.92MHz where the antenna is a better match but I will leave that testing to others.

CodeGen™ will generate hex codes for control of X-10 via transceivers like the TM751 and RR501 or with a BX24-AHT. CodeGen™ can also generate codes for other RF devices as well as for other IR and RF remotes. There are several non-X10 European systems that use direct RF control. The codes for these can be captured as .wav files using an RF receiver connected to Line-In of a soundcard or laptop. The .wav files can then be converted to CCF using Wave2CCF.

The RF conversion will work with the TS1000/RU890/Marantz RC5000 and the TSU2000/RU940/Marantz RC5000i/Yamaha RAV-2000 although the exact details will differ from one basic model to another and even between versions of the same model as Philips may have used different circuit boards at various times during the production cycle. In all models, there should be a transistor that gates the signal to the IR emitters. We want the signal on the base of that transistor. As people with different boards send me pictures or illustrations, I will publish them here.

The RF conversion has no effect on the Pronto's IR capability. It sends both simultaneously. When a code is for IR (0000 learned code), the Pronto generates a modulated signal. This reduces the power in the RF signal because the RF transmitter is being switched on/off at the modulation frequency (usually 38-40KHz) so, while the receiver can receive and decode the signal, RF range is significantly reduced. When a code is for RF, the Pronto generates an unmodulated signal (0100 learned code). The RF transmitter sends at full power and has maximum range but the unmodulated IR has very limited range (1-2m) and will not be understood by IR receivers designed for a modulated IR signal. With the unmodulated IR, the receivers will output pulses only at the leading and trailing edges of the unmodulated IR pulse. This is because the sharply rising or falling edge contains frequencies for which the IR receiver bandpass filter is tuned.

The above screen shot shows modulated bursts of 38KHz in the top trace and unmodulated pulses in the bottom trace.

Sending AV IR Codes as RF to an RF2IR Converter/Repeater

A converted Pronto can be used to send IR codes as 310MHz (or 433.92MHz) RF to the RF receiver used with the BX24-AHT. A Fire-Stick II connected to the BX24-AHT will repeat these as 38KHz (or 40KHz) Infrared. The advantage is that you have a single, universal RF remote that controls both X-10 and AV gear. If you use a central, preamplified antenna, range can be as much as 200-300 feet. See the BX24-AHT schematic or this link for how to connect the Fire-Stick II.

You can do the same thing using an RF2IR Converter/Repeater but you will probably need to build or buy a better antenna for the RF receiver.

You will need to convert the CCF hex codes so that the converted Pronto will send them as RF. Conversion instructions are given in this text document.

Thanks to "haav" who made me aware of and provided details on the method for specifying unmodulated signals in the CCF hex code.

¹ Others have told me that they get 3V signal which is enough to drive the transmitter. In that case, the signal conditioning board is not needed and the connections can be made directly to the transmitter pins. I have no idea whether my 1V is unique or whether some models have 1V while others have 3V. In any event, the RF conversion will work with the signal conditioning board even if the signal is 3V. In either case the output from the signal conditioning board will be about 3.5V.