DIY Infrared transmitter for iPhone, iPod

Create a Infrared transmitter for any portable mp3 device, ie phones, music players etc.
This tutorial is for creating the Infrared transmitter only.

Can be used with iPhone App DSLR.BOT. 
Used for controlling Canon EOS, Nikon, Penta and Sony Cameras.

The way this transmitter works is it sends infrared on and off signals from the audio playback coming from your headphone jack. Having saved an audio file with the correct on and off timings, you can play back this audio track through your portable music player and trigger infrared devices.

This transmitter works better with a WAV audio playback, however this has been successfully tested as an MP3 audio track.  The WAV track generally produces  a clearer signal as they can playback a 38 KHz modulation (Infrared frequency rate), by dividing the frequency between the two stereo channels. 19 KHz for the left channel and an inverse 19KHz signal for the right.

To better illustrate this the left channel will play an on and off signal ..
The right channel will produce the in-between signals for the off time ..
Therefor each channel will take turns producing a infrared signal creating a higher frequency rate, equal to that of an infrared remote control.

The Items needed for this DIY project are ..
1) Infrared LEDs 940 nm 2x
2) 3.5 mm stereo headphone minijack

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Step 1: Prepare the headphone jack

The first thing to do is strip the wire ends then twist the ground wires together. The ground wire is usually the wire unprotected by a coloured casing.

Blitzblank3 months ago
Trying this on iPhone 4s, iPod 4, iPad mini without success :(

Have 925nm and 870nm LEDs with 1,35V and 100mA each, both do not work. Tried this with green LEDs (visible light): not working either.

What am i missing?
can this be used to trigger an ON/OFF switch?
zokizo6 months ago
one thing i dont understand, i have iphone 5 with ios 7 and i have dslr bot
do i need to play some music in backgrount for use shot and ir transmitter?

and yes, does this work for iphone5 becouse headphone jack its different he have 3 black marks, and this one on picture have only 2

thanks on help :)
with the 3 channel plugs you can solder the wires connected to the the innermost bands together to emulate a simpler 2 channel plug.

The third ring is usually used to carry extra input like microphones or headphone mounted volume buttons etc
snoop9114 months ago
I'd like to use my android to control my tv directly via IR. Would this hardware work for that? (Assuming I create my own 38k carrier frequency wave file in Audacity that has the right pattern).

If so, does this work in the same fashion as all those commercially available ir emitters? I've never opened one up, but they usually have a 3.5mm plug on one end that goes to a pc, with the other end having one or two ir blasters. The blasters are usually very small, so I wouldn't think there's 2 leds back-to-back.

osiris126 months ago
hello. I got the IR to work but what software do I use to generate audio IR codes. I have hex codes for my TV, but how do I encode them into audio???
nenisea6 months ago
any idea of how to change that so that it works with red/green or blue LED?
nodoubtman8 months ago
what is the use of this?

thank you!
ta2dwez10 months ago
i am trying this instructable at the moment but im not getting any output from the LED. I m using this to hack my TV using a .wav file to access a secret service menu, anyways...

i have tested the remote LED and also tried 2 audio cables. im testing if it is functioning by looking through a camera and checking if the LED lights up but no joy. Any ideas on what could be the problem?
pinzon10 months ago
Thank you. I was worried about how to use my Nikon D70 to practice time-lapse and solved! and free. It works fine.
marshal561 year ago
Hi alberto_canvas, I would like to control my TV with this big-eye-zaza(star war), I find the ir code from web, how can I make the ir code into audio? many thanks.
Glenstr1 year ago
I'd like to build one of these, would these LED's work?

tkkg3 years ago
Hi alberto_canvas, how's that other tutorial (capturing and sampling IR code) coming along?

Also, I've seen the same setup elsewhere on the web with a minor difference, there's a 10ohm resistor added. Is that necessary? Here's the source
cgapeart tkkg3 years ago
On the plus side, it's going to limit the amount of current drawn by the diodes, which is probably safer for your audio player. On the minus side, the IR output won't be as bright.

Take the resister out of that diagram, and you have exactly what this instructable is detailing.

A typical infrared diode has a drop of 1.3 volts across it. Based on what I can find, the iPhone should be able to run up to 3.5volts peak to peak -- depending on the audio signal, that means it could do up to 7 volts -- and the internal resistance of the wires and diode will have to take up the slack from the 1.3 volt drop. i.e. 7-1.3 = 5.7 volts to drop.

I don't know if 10 ohms is the right value, and I don't know what kind of current limiting capabilities are built into the iPhone audio output, but I would think that some kind of resistor would be a good idea to protect the audio output of the phone. Any thoughts?

220 ohms is nearer the mark for a current-limiting resistor in this application.
Assuming that iPhone output of 3.5 V peak to peak is correct (I think it is), you can still only get 3.5 V max between the LR channels, as opposed to 1.75 V between one of the channels and the GND.
Of course 3.5V is plenty for IR (or even white) LEDs.

The reason MP3 doesn't transmit as clearly is actually because MP3 is a LOSSY COMPRESSION, which filters out high-frequency, noise spikes, etc. Great for when you want to record audio. Horrible for recording a digital signal. Even using WAV is somewhat an abuse, since wave files generally have at least 16-bit depth, and therefore uses 16 times more space than should be needed to store the signal.
humxa2 years ago
where to connect the ground wire?
bisharam humxa1 year ago
nowhere, just leave it free.
The ground wires are tied together and insulated. The two power wires go to the LEDs and are hooked up opposite of each other. DSLRBOT explains it all.
Thanks a lot. I modified the design somewhat. I used a Radio Shack 3.5 mm mini stereo plug (Part # 274-0869) and soldered the LED directly to that to make the result more compact.
What LED did you use?
pulcinella1 year ago
To me it does not work with iPhone 4S firmware version 6.0 where am I wrong? maybe I got the wrong LED?
The firmware version shouldn't make a difference, all it is doing is pulling current from the audio jack when music is playing. I would check to make sure you didn't make any silly mistakes (not twisting the ground wires, hooking up the LEDs correctly, etc.) first.
iroamz1 year ago
Hi All,

Tried this with a Canon 400D DSLR and it worked, a bit weak but it worked close range...I used the purple colored LEDs (I think they are 950nm).
humxa1 year ago
I've built this and works great but can any buddy tell me any other app that uses this to trigger Television sets, blue ray players and such?
Can this be applied to make a photo-gate timer for physics lab activities?
dcyane2 years ago
I love this app! But why not surport DVs? I need it to control the record status of SONY DV, please add DV functions to it, Thanks!
The app serves a specific purposes. Remotely triggered a DSLR camera from an iPhone/iPod Touch. The app is written with that specific use case.
fbooms2 years ago
i have done all the Things you shown but it dont work. I have a Canon 600D. What is wrong??? You say that sometimes problems in Europe. Why??? What ca i do?
List of camera supported here:
Is it possible to maybe add a battery to amplify the led power? I've got a pretty big amplifier on my computer that if put on maximum will show the led light up (through camera) but on phone it doesn't light up. I can't test my computer because I don't have any ir devices near it. But when I try with my phone it does not function. I've constructed it how it should.
Read the title of the post. This is designed specifically for triggering a Nikon DLSR from an iPhone.
Ok so if I put it close enough to the TV and move it around, it functions, so that means it definitely needs amplification.
santakrooz2 years ago
Hi just built this, but the IR LEDs are emitting white light (and it's not working with my Nikon) - I ordered 940nm but I'm now suspecting that they sent 850nm instead. Can someone confirm that the 940nm IRs should not be emitting any light? thanks
nodoubtman2 years ago
what is the use of this?

its used to remotely trigger function from your DSLR camera which is quite handy.
I was wondering as well about the possibility of using mp3 files as a source as well. I've got a working IR receiver input into the sound card on my computer. I get good signal on an oscilloscope, and can see that same waveform in an audio processing app (I use soundforge). I'm trying to build the transmitter now.

Can I just play back the mp3 and get the desired result? If so,
What should the audio file sample rate and bit depth settings be?
Do there need to be any resistors, capacitors, external power added to the LEDs?

I've testing the transmitting LEDs and I can see the signal on a camera but when aimed right at the tv, nothing happens. Any thoughts? Many thanks.
nodoubtman2 years ago
what is this used for ?

abana2 years ago
Ok, so i've made the transmitter but it has a really poor range, like maybe 2ft max.

Is the length of the cord a matter?

Also, what is it that you guys said about a resistor? how many ohms?

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