This little project was inspired by the need to have a low cost form of communication for a device embedded with the Arduino Pro Mini board. Although I have been particularly impressed with reliable Xbee RF modules in the past, I had planned for the components contained within the device to be permanently sealed for waterproofing. I therefore felt that I needed a more affordable solution, something that I wouldn't be too disappointed if it got damaged. The proposed device is extremely compact and only requires 'line of sight' operation so infra-red seemed like the perfect solution.
Why use Infra-red?
- Much more affordable than other forms of wireless communication e.g. RF
- Only requires single diode component to receive data
- Ideal for projects with limited space available
- Low power consumption
- Control the brightness of an LED using '+' and '-' buttons
- Use the 'play/pause' to switch on/off
- Cycle through modes with 'previous/next' buttons
- Use 'menu' button to reset device
Step 1: Components & Preparation
- Arduino ATMEGA Microcontroller
- Apple IR Remote
- IR Receiver Diode
- 5v 5mm LED
- 220 ohm Resistor
- You'll need to download the 'IRremote.h' library for the Arduino to make sense of those IR signals.
- Click on the link and check out Ken Shirriff's blog whilst downloading the IRremote.zip.
- Extract the file into arduino/hardware/libraries
Chances are that if you've got an Apple Remote, you probably have a Mac too. To prevent accidentally flicking through Front Row or your iTunes library, you might want to disable your Mac's IR receiver for a while.This is really easy to do. Just open up System Preferences / Security / 'Disable remote control infrared receiver'.