Classic Dishes...

Stupidity Knows No Spectrum

Okay, here’s another one for the geeks in the house.

(“All the ladies in the place say HOOOOO!” “Hooooooooo!” “All the geeks in the place recite pi to 127 places!” “3.141592653….”)

First, a little background: I have this spiffy universal remote that I picked up a while back. It does everything, and because I’m a geek, I made it do a little more; I hacked a JP1 connector into it and soldered a TEENY TINY EEPROM chip to the circuit board so I can program it through my computer. (To this day I don’t know how I pulled off the solder job.)

Well, last week, I took the plunge and bought myself an early birthday present (May 4th, kids, mark your calendars), an Xbox 360. And it occurred to me, as I saw the $30 remote they wanted to sell me so I could have full DVD remote functionality instead of controlling it with the wireless gamepad, that perhaps someone has posted the JP1 codes and I can just program my spiffy hax0red remote to do it and save a few bucks.

So I do some Googling and subsequent checking of the relevant forums, and lo and behold, the 360 Remote Master codes are indeed out there. So I download the file, build the upgrade, and upload it into the remote.

And it works fine…until I try to open the DVD tray, at which point it does nothing until I close the tray manually or use the gamepad to close the tray using the Xbox dashboard. And I’m stymied. I’m absolutely convinced that I’ve done something wrong putting together the remote upgrade, and I post in a panic to the aforementioned relevant forums.

Tonight, I’m playing with it some more (I found a new upgrade with some more functionality, so I figure maybe it has a different open/close tray code), and having the same problem. And folks have since replied to my panicked posts, swearing up and down, to a man, that it’s worked for every one of them and that I’m doing it just right. Well, apparently NOT, since the damn tray won’t close, right?

Oh. Wait.

The vantage point I’m doing these experiments from is above the unit and to the right, as it is located in the storage cubes that flank my television, and I’m sitting at my computer desk.

Go back and look at the picture of the unit again. See that little dark oval on the lower left? That’s the infrared sensor for the remote. The DVD drive tray is the long chrome slot above that.

Guess what gets completely obstructed from an angle of above and to the right when the DVD tray is open?

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