Step 1: The Components
Ok, now that we have that out of the way let's look at the electronic components.
- A DB-9 hood (technically DE-9 but who cares) and female solder cup serial connector. These components are optional for the true hacker (but still recommended) since you can stick the components directly into the serial port if you're really anxious or cash strapped.
- An IR receiver module. 38kHz is the most common frequency in the U.S. but it will vary per country and device. These things are actually pretty cool since they handle a lot of compex filtering in a tiny package.
- A 78L05 voltage regulator. There are plenty of other options to get 5 volts but this is the best package when trying to stuff everything into a cramped enclosure.
- A few passive components that you hopefully have on hand, including a 4.7uf electrolytic capacitor, a 4.7k ohm resistor, and a 1N4148 diode.
- A few female jumper wires to make the receiver interchangeable. This also allows the device to be used as a 1-bit logic analyzer. Again, optional.
Step 2: Assembly
Step 3: Using the Receiver
I used the bundled xmode2 program for the capture in the screenshot above but it's only available for Linux. Windows has the text only mode2 though. Rather than duplicate existing instructions for setting up LIRC I'm just going to point you to the site I used for Linux and Windows.