This instructable intends to show you how to create a small & simple infrared (IR) receiver for your computer. The configuration of the software is beyond the scope of this instructable, but I use this receiver with LIRC (Linux Infrared Remote Control) in Linux. You can read more about LIRC and see the circuit diagram I used to build this at http://www.lirc.org/

Note that --I did not design this circuit-- and I wasn't the first to put the circuit into a D-sub connector... but I was the first to post an instructable on it, so hopefully someone will benefit from this : )

My total cost was about $1.50 because I had to purchase an IR receiver, but everything else I had lying around because I'm a computer guy/electronics geek.

Step 1: Parts Needed

Here are the parts I used, all of them were cannibalized from old projects or scavenged from the engineering lab except the IR receiver that I ordered from Mouser.

Parts List:
Vishay TSOP1138 IR Receiver
50v 4.7uF capacitor
4001 Diode
4.7K resistor
7805 voltage regulator (5 volts)

Parts Discussion
TSOP1138 IR Receiver: Most people use the Vishay TSOP 1738, but Mouser was out of those when I ordered and the 1138 is comparable... and it worked, so who cares : )

4.7uF capacitor: I used an axial 50v barrel (electrolytic) capacitor because I had one available and didn't want to spend 75 cents at Radio Shack. But, if you've got a 4.7uF ceramic disc capacitor, it would be a lot easier to fit inside the D-sub housing we're going to use. Also, since I used a 50v capacitor and we're only pushing 5v, it's going to have a pretty long rise time but it shouldn't affect the performance of our device too much.

7805 voltage regulator: I used a big one made by Motorola in the first one of these receivers I made and I had to clip the pins very short and clip and grind the top pole in order to get it to fit in the D-sub (see pictures of completed project). However, when I was digging around for pieces today, I came across a surface mount 7805 that I got from Texas Instruments as a sample years ago. It's tiny and perfect for this project. I'll definitely use it the next time I build one of these as it will cut the footprint of the circuit down tremendously. Both the large and small 7805's are labeled in the electronics closeup picture.

nice circuit
Thanks zshtiwi but I want to make it clear that I did not develop the circuit diagram, the credits can be found at the head of this section. I just crammed the damn thing into a D sub : )
will HYPER TERMINAL display any data (character/HEX value) when a key pressed in remote(any remote).
it work DB9-RJ45???
is there anything significant about the IR reciever? if theres anything special built in to the small package, is there any way i can make a general 2-pin IR detector work for this?
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been traveling.<br><br>You can see here : http://www.vishay.com/docs/82006/tsop11xx.pdf<br><br>That the receiver has some extra innards (preamp, diode, etc) compared to a simple IR detector. <br><br>You could certainly use a regular IR detector, but you'd need to work out the rest of the requirements. And, the receivers run about $1 so it may not be worth the hassle - unless you just want the challenge : )
Hi,<br><br>which remote control should be used to this RS-232 Infrared Receiver in a Serial Connector (LIRC) Computer Remote Control.<br><br><br>is it a universal Infrared Receiver<br><br><br>please reply me
Any remote that transmits an IR signal at a receivable frequency should work. I used a 38kHz IR receiver and that's pretty standard (as is 36kHz).<br><br>Personally, I've used this receiver with an RCA Universal Remote (model RCR815) the most and it works great. I've also tested it with the remote that came with my Logitech PC speakers (5.1 with 10&quot; sub... I forget the model number), my old Sanyo DVD player remote, and a few other remotes from various devices in my home. They've all worked (in that the receiver picked up a signal) but I didn't bother to map the output from the remote to an action in LIRC on all of them... I just wanted to see if they'd pick up. The RCR815 is the one that I've used the most and is the only remote that actually gets used in my house.<br><br>Remember that you'll have to configure your receiver software to make it actually &quot;do stuff&quot; but that the receiver will pick up the signal from a ton of different remotes/input devices.<br><br>Good luck!
can u please tell me how to make in usb version
I'm just going to copy/paste this reply from further down because I'm lazy : )<br>-----------------------------------<br><br>There are USB alternatives, but they're a little more complicated because you have to interface with the USB controller... which is trickier than the serial controller. Because of that, you'll have to have some type of IC or MC to do the communication between the IR receiver and the USB bus. And, with the added hardware, your cost will raise a bit. Of course, I built my serial receiver for about $1.50 ... so &quot;rising cost&quot; may come up to $5, probably less than $10... depend on the IC/MC you use.<br><br>Check out these projects for more info, and for a schematics/plans:<br>USBTiny : http://www.xs4all.nl/~dicks/avr/usbtiny/<br><br>USB-IR-Boy : http://usbirboy.sourceforge.net/<br><br>I'm sure there's probably a few more projects out there, but these are the two I hear about the most often.<br>
in usb Cant we connect<br><br>DCD to red wire<br>RTS to white or Green wire<br>GND to Black wire
I've never looked at the USB options in depth, but if you're talking about wiring the IR receiver directly to USB wires without a microcontroller... I don't think that's going to work out for you.
in usb Cant we connect <br><br>DCD to red wire<br>RTS to white or Green wire<br>GND to Black wire
do i need to restart the computer before i plug it in or can i just stick it in.
You can just plug it in - RS-232 is hot swappable.<br><br>If you're in windows, you may need to scan for hardware changes. Or, the receiver software you're using may be able access it directly... I'm not sure about Windows, I'm a Linux guy.<br><br>On Linux, you just plug it in and then point LIRCD to the correct port (after proper configuration) and alls well.
ok, thanks
is that a 4148 diode? it looks like a 4001
You are quite right! It is a 4001 in the picture above.<br><br>I had used a 4148 zener on a different version of the same circuit and must have gotten them mixed up when I wrote the instructable. I'll get that fixed.<br><br>Thanks catching that!
your welcome, do you know if <br><br>a. either diode can be used<br>and<br>b.does it work with windows 7
A) A zener would be fine if you didn't exceed the breakdown voltage of it... I'd just go with the 4001 to be safe. <br><br>B) It should work with Windows 7 as long as there is software that is supported on Windows 7 to handle IR transactions from a serial port. Unfortunately, I don't know much about what's available for Windows because I'm a Linux geek. So, I'm not too much help there except to say that the hardware should be fine, but you may have to seek out some appropriate software.
ok, thanks
Well, hello there i'm Chris i'm a big computer junky my self but the only computer that has that seral port is very old my new computer only has usb, now do you thing we could make one thats a USB??
You could do a USB one from scratch, ( I was able to get my XBOX DVD Remote to connect to Linux via LIRC). A simple solution may be a USB to Serial device and driver.
Thanks for the tutorial, I found it really helpful, still having some problems though. When I tried to learn my remote, winLIRC kept coming up with errors regarding consistency of the signal<br /> 1. Is there a general discussion forum for these devices where I can post these questions or is this it?<br /> 2. I used the following receiver: The RPM1700 series from jaycar: <a href="http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=ZD1952">http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=ZD1952</a>&nbsp;How does this stand up to the TSOP1738? I noticed the RPM1700 does not filter out flurorescent light and it&nbsp;seems to be&nbsp;having trouble consistently reading the signals from my Panasonic remote but this may lay in other parts of the cirucuit.<br /> 3. Is there a list of compatible remotes or frequencies so I&nbsp;can see if my remote is actually compatible?<br /> 4: I used a 10K pull up resistor instead of the 4.7K, I can't see how this could cause any problems, is this true?<br /> 5. Does it matter if the diode I used is not the same as the reccomended one? I&nbsp;used one which was made for slightly higher currents because it was the only one I had
can i use any infrared receiver?
The easy answer is &quot;yes&quot; but there are things you'll need to take into account. As with all electronics, you'll need to make sure that you're supplying the correct voltage/current to it (you'll be able to find a spec sheet with this info online - <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.datasheetcatalog.com">http://www.datasheetcatalog.com</a> for example). Also, you'll need to figure out the bandpass of the IR receiver you intend to use. The TSOP1138 that I used is a 38kHz, which is a widely accepted standard for IR communication. I've read of people using 36kHz receivers without any problems, but your mileage may vary.<br/><br/>Good luck.<br/>-darc<br/>
i have some from old VCRs, ir control toys, and similar stuff. i don't know the voltage. or the bandpass. or even the part number
There's usually some type of identifying number on the part. Just type that into google along with a brief phrase like "IR receiver" and see what you come up with. -darc
one has 015, the other N 8.
This is awesome! This is exactly what I want to do. The end product looks so neat and tidy, I love it! I excited to get the supplies and try it out. I looked on the mouser website for the IR receiver and saw that they don't have the same model you used or the 1738, what should I look for in the specs to make sure I'm buying something that's about right? I'm new to the whole electronics building thing so I have a stupid question: does this widget need a clear line of sight to my remote control? I'm happy to set it up so that it will, but it would be helpful to know in advance so I can plan accordingly. Also, the remote control I want to use works on other devices at 20+ feet, will it also work on this receiver at 20 feet? Thank you so much for putting together this tutorial. I'm looking forward to following the step-by-step as soon as I get all the supplies.
Sorry, I failed to answer all your questions... let's try again : ) >Does this widget need a clear line of sight to my remote control? No, not necessarily. IR signals will reflect off of most smooth surfaces such as walls. But, they don't behave like RF signals where they radiate from the source and go through walls, etc. >Will it also work on this receiver at 20 feet? Yes, that shouldn't be a problem at all. It depends on more on your remote control's power than the receiver. It the remote can generate a strong enough signal to go 20ft for other devices, then the receiver will have no trouble picking it up.
The original TSOP-1738 is :<br/>38khz<br/>4.5v - 5v <br/>supply current : 1.5 mA<br/>output current : 5 mA<br/><br/>I looked around Mouser a little bit for IR receivers (optoreceivers) and found a TSOP-2238 which looks comparable.<br/>Datasheet : <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.vishay.com/docs/82095/tsop22xx.pdf">http://www.vishay.com/docs/82095/tsop22xx.pdf</a><br/>Specs : <br/>38khz<br/>4.5 V - 5.5 V<br/>Supply Current : 1.5 mA <br/>Output Current : 5 mA<br/><br/>Looks like that matches up perfectly and should work for you. The structure of the receiver itself is a little different from the one in this instructable - it looks shorter and fatter in the data sheet. However, all the specs are the same, including the viewing angle (90) so the only difference will be how to fit the receiver into your D-sub - you may have to do a little more cutting.<br/><br/>They're $1.10 each and here's the link : <br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=PCUyrf2vwzUS3rMJXHv9nQ%3d%3d">http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=PCUyrf2vwzUS3rMJXHv9nQ%3d%3d</a><br/><br/>Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions.<br/>
Dude I have TWO of them And thry are fancy i made it like ages ago if you have something to say about that please replay me dont hesitate
Your Tsop is a good idea too and i´m sure that it works very well. And what sofware have you choose¿?This the wors part of the remote control. Nice work
I've been using LIRC (http://www.lirc.org) on a Linux desktop.<br/>
Hi...i have find other remote control for pc in this page.I do it and it work well...<br/><br/>Link:http://www.instructables.com/id/PC-remote-control/<br/><br/>However you will have problems to find the IR Tsop<br/><br/>Thanks Darc for your project<br/>
Ah, thanks for the link. On the TSOP, the 1738 is routinely the "recommended" receiver, but I used the TSOP1138 with no issues (because I couldn't find the 1738). But, make sure you review the specs for the system you're going to use it with...
As GorillazMiko already said, I am impressed by your ability to keep it so compact. This is really great.
Woah dude, nice job, you do some pretty insane soldering. Really clean and neat, looks nice, small too, about the size of a quarter (as you showed.)! Nice job.
Thanks for the comment! I don't know about "clean and neat" but it got the job done : )
Just wondering, what kind of soldering gun/ iron do you have?
I typically use a really cheap/old radio shack 15w iron. I've filed down the tip to a sharp point (which everyone says you're not supposed to do) and have to refile it every year or so. When I was still in college I'd use one of the beasty 60w irons in the engineering lab, but don't have access to that anymore. One of these days I need to upgrade to a nice 30 or 40 watt iron... but I'm really cheap.

About This Instructable


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Bio: Just a geek with a soldering iron...
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