Archive for the ‘Instruction’ Category


The Wandmaker On: Virgin Cable Box Remotes

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Wandmaker Richard Blakesley commented on Virgin Cable Remote problems of a forum user:

There are a few different types of Virgin Media remote controls, and some of them use alternating infra-red (IR) codes which are different with each button press – these are sometimes known as “toggle codes”, and are intended to avoid multiple commands being executed accidentally if the IR beam is broken during transmission (by the cat or your wife walking between the remote control and the Virgin box).

So, the first time you press the “channel up” button (for example, though this also applies to most of the buttons), it will send one IR code (let’s call it “code A”, which will repeat for as long as you hold the button down), but the next time you press the same button, it will send a second IR code (B). On the third press, you’ll be back to the first code A again, and so on. The Virgin box will action a channel change when it sees code A, but it won’t change the channel again if another code A is received consecutively, but is instead waiting to receive code B before it’ll change channel in the same direction.

The wand can only learn the IR code it sees when the button is pressed once during learning mode, which will be either code A or code B. So, repeated gestures will send the same IR code each time, and that causes the problem you’re experiencing.

Fortunately, there is a work-around:

  • Whilst the set-top box is expecting to see A,B,A,B for repeated channel up (and, say, C,D,C,D for channel down), putting any other IR code in between the repeated A’s will also work OK (e.g. A,X,A,X for two channel up changes, or C,X,C,X for two channel down changes).
  • An undocumented feature of the wand is that you can actually learn more than one remote control button onto each gesture (as a kind of macro) if you press two buttons in quick succession whilst the wand is doing the fast pulsing during learning mode.
  • Therefore if you first press the button that you want to use (e.g. channel up) and then quickly press another button which has no effect (e.g. the yellow button on the Virgin remote does nothing most of the time), then the wand will learn two IR codes (e.g A,X) onto that gesture.

Now when you perform repeated gestures for channel up (e.g. flick upwards), the Virgin box will receive code A (to change the channel up), then code X (which will do nothing but make it forget that it had just received code A), then the next code A (on the next flick upwards) should cause the channel to change again as expected. We’ve tested the wand with two different Virgin boxes – on the first one it didn’t use these “toggle” codes so there was no issue, but for the second box we had to do this workaround, then everything worked fine. It might take you a couple of attempts to get the timing right for learning the “macro” of two buttons onto each gesture, but it’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it.

Sorry for such a long-winded explanation – I hope it all makes sense, but please let us know if not.



Richard Blakesley
The Wand Company Ltd


Resetting the Wand

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As several wand owners asked about it and I published the information as a sidenote in a blog post some time ago, it is here more prominently.

I also added it to the online manual.

Resetting the wand

  1. go into learning mode (double tap while pointing upwards)
  2. do any gesture
  3. when the quick pulses start
  4. do a big swish
  5. there should be a big pulse as confirmation
  6. done, all programmed codes gone

Merry Christmas and Lots of fun with your Kymera Wand



Kymera Wand Product Video by getdigital

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The guys from getdigital produced a nice product video of the wand controlling an audio-system. Thanks alot.

They show on/off (big swish), skipping (left, right), volume control (turn), eject cd (pull), switching sources (tap).

Have fun watching it.

They also added a cute picture of the wandmaker Chris Barnardo bespelling you with the Kymera Wand.

Chris Barnardo holding Kymera Wand

Chris Barnardo holding Kymera Wand


Deutsche Übersetzung des Handbuchs

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Nach ein paar Stunden Nachtarbeit, ist es nun geschafft, die deutsche Übersetzung des Handbuchs des magischen Kymera Zauberstabs ist online.

Bald wird dieser Text auf auch als wunderschön gedruckte Variante vorliegen, die wir dann unseren Kunden beilegen.


Move you wand carefully and precisely

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Most people, when getting the wand into their hands start to wave it quite eagery like you would use a sword or club. But a wand is different. It needs careful, precise and minimal movements.

A realy wizard would never move its wand, he or she only does minimal gestures to perform magic just barely enough to support the spells. Otherwise any adversary would recognize spells in advance and could prepare counter spells rendering the wizard powerless.

So keep in mind, move your wand not like a stick you want to hit someone with but gently and precicely.

Wandmaker Chris Barnardo’s daughter India took four videos of him practicing with the Kymera Wand. These were uploaded to youtube.

Opening the wand parcel, looking at the wand and taking out the battery tab

Practising with the wand to make sure you are doing the right gestures

Teaching the wand a code

Using the Kymea Wand

Have fun watching those and give us feedback, how you like them and if there should be more videos of the Kymera Wand.

Perhaps these could go on the blog?


Instructional Videos on The Manual Pages

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We’re glad we could help the Wand Makers to put the Instructional Videos online onto their Manual Page. Just hit the typewriter buttons for the instructional cards to appear.

Flick Down Instructional

Flick Down Instructional

We have also added them at the end of our extensive Manual.


Multiple Signals captured

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Altough the makers stated that it is not intented I got the wand to record two different keypresses of the Apple Remote and also a standard TV remote. So multi sequence gestures are possible. Neat.

All the codes can be erased by putting it in Learning Mode, doing a gesture and then before learing something doing a Big Swish gesture.

Sometimes though the IR code is a toggle code. My PVR uses that which means that only every other flick works.

3 Operation Modes

  • Practice mode: Wand pulses gesture number for each recognized gesture
  • Casting mode: Wand pulses exactly once for each recognized and learned gesture
  • Learning mode:
    • Enter – hold upright (tip on top), and tap twice – 4 quick pulses,
    • move slowly horizontally,
    • then perform gesture, pulses gesture number
    • then rapid pulses, press function to learn on remote control,
    • big pulse for success,
    • repeat learn step,
    • Exit learning mode,  turn wand upside down (with the tip pointing down), tap once, 4 quick pulses

The Full and Textual Manuals are available

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We’re in the process of making the Kymera Wand Manuals available for the public.

First is the large graphical version, shortly followed by a textual version that you can copy and send by mail.

Kymera Wand Manual (5 MB)

Kymera Wand Manual (5 MB)

We just finished the publication of the textual manual of the Kymera Wand.