As other owners have also reported, you have to take some care to aim the Vistron remote at the radio to be able to operate it. The infra red beam emitted by these slimline remotes have very limited power and an extremely narrow operating beam.
On the recommendation of a friend, I ordered a SRM-403E 4 device universal learning remote on eBay for less than £5 inc P&P (from Hong Kong). There are a number of ebayers offering this remote for sale. I bought mine from '999Vista'. The packaging wasn't particularly good. It arrived in a poorly sealed A4 envelope (The postal services must have added a strong elastic band around it to stop the contents falling out). The remote was wrapped in some bubble wrap to protect it against drop damage. It nevertheless arrived undamaged and I was even more astonished it was delivered in less than a week by airmail. I advised the seller of the poor packaging.
Important: Please ensure you have access to a fully functioning Vistron remote before you consider purchasing a universal learning remote. The learning remote is not a substitute for missing or broken Vistron remote controllers.
Additional photos here for the localised chinese version.
The SRM-403E can handle up to 4 devices. For each device, you can program (learn) a maximum of 32 codes. The remote does NOT contain a library of standard codes - it is purely a 'learning' remote. It is pleasant to hold with rounded edges to the plastic body. The buttons are rubberised and easy to press with light positive action.
Update 16 Oct 08: Contrary to the instructions, the remote appears to store the codes in non-volatile-RAM or EEPROM. The batteries were deliberately removed from the remote for over a week. Upon reinserting the batteries, the remote continued to function normally. No codes had been erased.
Original copy of the 'Engrish' instructions can be found here. Otherwise, the following paragraphs may be far easier to follow:
In this example, I am going to assign the Vistron remote commands to the 'AUX' device key on the new universal remote. I am going to teach the universal remote how to emulate the '1' button on the Vistron remote.
- Press and hold down the key on the universal remote for at least 3 seconds. A red LED will light up and after a further 3 seconds, the LED glow brighter. The remote is now in learning mode.
- Aim the Vistron remote towards the front of the universal remote separated by no more than an inch or two.
- Now momentarily press the button on the Vistron to make it emit a code.
- If the universal remote has successfully learnt the code, the red LED will extinguish. If it does not extinguish, repeat the previous step. (You have up to 15 seconds to complete this step before the learning mode is cancelled)
- Now press the button on the universal remote to which you wish the code to be assigned. ie. I would press the blue button on the universal remote. The red LED will flash very briefly.
- Learning is now complete for the '1' button in this example.
Now repeat the above procedure for all the other buttons on the Vistron remote. With the exception of the red device buttons, all buttons on the SRM-403E remote are programmable in the above manner.
The universal remote can also learn the extended codes for the VOL buttons - simply hold down the VOL button continuously on Vistron remote when teaching the universal remote.
The new SRM-403E is far easier and nicer to use and doesn't require the accuracy of a marksman when aiming the remote at the radio. Best five quid I've ever spent and you won't wear out the buttons on the original Vistron remote in frustration.
I have also attempted to use my other 5 years old OneForAll URC-7740 universal remote (it is Not a learning remote) to control the Vistron, but I have been unsuccessful in finding/searching for the appropriate device code from its built in library of device codes. A friend has though determined the device code used by the Vistron remote, is apparently the same as for a DVD player from an obscure far east DVD player manufacturer.
The Sony RM VL600 Universal remote is also compatible with the Vistron radio. Please note the VL600 is a 'learning' remote so you will need access to a fully working Vistron remote. The VL600 can be purchased from Amazon.
See also OneForAll URC-7555
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