World’s Most Getto Remote Control

As you might have guessed it would, my peculiar madness had me wandering ValueVillage this Saturday. I was looking for cheap USB keyboards to hack together into my ultimate VI keyboard. The keyboards were a lost cause as it turns out…only PS/2 stuff there…but I did discover something: the Toshiba LED Control Module PMD-C0188. It’s this chuky plastic box with two rows of buttons and a volume knob. If I had to guess I would say that it’s likely built to control some sort of fancy telephony app – but this is a guess.

Anyways, I took it home with me ($5) on the theory that it problably was a USB HID device that I could reprogram to control my little TV watching computer.

Altogther too long later, it finally works. Reverse engineering the button’s protocol turned out to be pretty easy (here’s the app that did it). That was the easy part. The annoying part was getting it to control VLC properly, and then getting it installed on my other box. For the most part, not problems you would be interested in.

Anyways, it works now and I’m going to watch a little anime in celebration. Here’s the code that did it.


  1. Matt Brubeck says:

    Hey, if you want more USB HID toys to play with, I have one of these collecting dust somewhere. Great for TV watching. There’s even a patch to make it work properly on Linux. (If you read through that thread, you’ll see that the kernel developers want more information before accepting the patch. Up to the challenge?)

  2. buffalo says:

    Yeah, sure. Based on that guy’s post the problems seem quite straightforward…I’m sure my ruby stuff will be able to handle it.

    Now as to the best way to build fixes into the kernel…that’s going to take a little more scouting around. But it sounds fun.

    Dig it out and bring it to Amazon – I’ll swing by and pick it up.

  3. Matt Brubeck says:

    Okay, I found it. Come visit us at work!

  4. Matt Brubeck says:

    Hey, I’m not in the office right now, but Carrino can give you the Shuttle remote if you stop by there. It’s in or on my filing cabinet.

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