SENSOR TUTORIAL – IR detector Make remote controls and listeners Making an Intervalometer, Read IR commands from an Apple remote, use for your projects and more!

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Here is a new SENSOR TUTORIAL! IR detector Make remote controls and listeners Making an Intervalometer, Read IR commands from an Apple remote, use for your projects and more!.

What is an IR detection sensor?

IR detectors are little microchips with a photocell that are tuned to listen to infrared light. They are almost always used for remote control detection – every TV and DVD player has one of these in the front to listen for the IR signal from the clicker. Inside the remote control is a matching IR LED, which emits IR pulses to tell the TV to turn on, off or change channels. IR light is not visible to the human eye, which means it takes a little more work to test a setup.

There are a few difference between these and say a CdS Photocells:

  1. IR detectors are specially filtered for Infrared light, they are not good at detecting visible light. On the other hand, photocells are good at detecting yellow/green visible light, not good at IR light
  2. IR detectors have a demodulator inside that looks for modulated IR at 38 KHz. Just shining an IR LED wont be detected, it has to be PWM blinking at 38KHz. Photocells do not have any sort of demodulator and can detect any frequency (including DC) within the response speed of the photocell (which is about 1KHz)
  3. IR detectors are digital out – either they detect 38KHz IR signal and output low (0V) or they do not detect any and output high (5V). Photocells act like resistors, the resistance changes depending on how much light they are exposed to

In this tutorial we will show how to

  1. Test your IR sensor to make sure its working
  2. Read raw IR codes into a microcontroller
  3. Create a camera intervalometer
  4. Listen for ‘commands’ from a remote control on your microcontroller

Read more!

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  1. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been trying to do something like this to make a remote A/C starter (Arduino + Ethernet Shield + IR LED to my window A/C’s IR sensor). Now that summer’s over, though, I’ll have to bookmark this for next year.

    When I was trying to make mine, I was trying to use the Arduino function pulseIn() to get the IR codes, but looking at the code, I see that you didn’t use that. Is it not appropriate for this type of application?

  2. As always, somebody posts a great tutorial right after i finish my project. This is fantastic info all in one place.

    Since you use delay to set timings, you will find if you build a device that has interrupts, etc, the timings will get off and the tx won’t work. The library in this guys blog is awesome.


    I made a project here


  3. Hey wonderful tutorial! Thanks for this. Isn’t the ML-L3 remote made my Nikon? You have it listed as canon in the article. As a D90 user I can’t stand for this haha. Keep up the great work guys!

  4. Awesome projects, build some Halloween remotes to activate creepy props and then use this Android-based sound machine for background: http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-peake-hallowscreamy-jECnC.aspx

    Random sounds, music, etc! Better than an old CD with looping music.

  5. By the way – wow! That resistor-based Captcha – totally original – simply the best!!! Training tool built into a feedback validation mechanism. Very ingenious!

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