Five years ago, I got a JP1 cable to connect my computer and JP1-compatible remote control. That remote stopped working (some of the buttons wore out, but I was able to remap those functions to other buttons for a while). I was at Mom’s house recently and wanted to help her JP1 remote learn to run her new iPod boom box. The easiest way is just to learn the signals from the device’s remote into the universal remote by pointing them at each other and pressing some buttons. But because I had done this to learn everything for her HDTV to analog converter box, there wasn’t any memory left for the boom box.
So I knew the best solution was to program an upgrade from scratch. It was nice having my instructions, but I also used the instructions at the JP1 Forums. I took her HDTV box and remote home along with the boom box and its remote. Unfortunately I forgot her universal remote, but I was able to come up with an upgrade using my remote at my house, test it out on the HDTV box and boom box and then bring the software and cable over to her house to install the upgrade.
Doing the upgrades is like figuring out a puzzle. You read the original remote and then download those learned signals which should all fit into a pattern. If they don’t then the remote probably didn’t read the original correctly and you do it again until you get all of the buttons. You don’t have to get all the functions at once (in fact you can’t because of the limited learning memory), so it takes a few iterations.
Sadly, the days of the cheap and simple JP1 remote is over. The company changed the design and now a differnt cable is required ($29), but the newer remotes can still be found for less than $20. Because I don’t need another remote yet, I haven’t looked into it much, but one of the remotes all these JP1 people are using now is a cable set-top box remote called Atlas made by UEI, the same company that makes all of the JP1 remotes. These can be bought on eBay, but aren’t available in stores since they are distributed through cable companies. They control 5 devices.
Anyway, the upgrades worked great except for the volume on the boom box. So I had the remote learn those functions into those buttons. Then I had it learn the fan functions, so Mom is now controlling all of these things with one remote: TV, HDTV converter, DVD player, VCR, boom box, and fan.