How to Use IR Remotes With Arduino

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About: 19 year old hobbyiest and future EE.

Intro: How to Use IR Remotes With Arduino

I'm tired of these complicated tutorials on how to use certain things. I like simple, easy to understand, step by step instructions. My biggest problem was with IR and POV*. I've finally mastered how to control my project with any TV remote in a few minutes. In this i'ble I'm going to show you simple, step by step instructions on how to control just about anything with your IR remote.

By the way this tutorial is new and updated and works! Last update [ 10/12/2015 ]

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

With the latest release of the Arduino IDE there is a conflicting library that renders this tutorial void. If you'd still like to use this tutorial delete the library called "RobotIRemote". This file will be in the Arduino program. Instructions for deleting this file is in step 3.

This library is for a specific robot that Arduino/venders sell. Unless you intend on buying that shield you can delete that folder and continue with this set of instructions. You can always download it again later!

Step 1: Ingredients:

Electronics:

  • Arduino
  • Any IR remote
  • IR receiver
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper Cables
  • LED

Step 2: Downloads

Here is the link to all the downloads in this instructable.
(Sorry for some odd reason the link won't work so just copy and paste it in your browser)

http://www.mediafire.com/download/cv0r5191fvtq0y2/IR_I'ble_Package.zip

Step 3: Conflicting RobotIRremote Library

Arduino has been making some changes to the IDE, and now there is a conflicting IR library. I won't be using this library, because I still want to use the IRremote by Ken Sheriff. I've had great success with it in the past, and so have many others. So let's get this file deleted.

Mac: Applications/Arduino (right mouse click -->show package contents) /Contents/Java/libraries/RobotIRremote

Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\RobotIRremote

Once you have located the folder RobotIRremote, delete it. Restart the Arduino IDE and your RobotIRremote library should be gone.

Step 4: All Those Remotes!

TV Remotes, CD player remotes, heater remotes, DVD player remotes, all those remotes! Many people just have old remotes laying around because they item that the went to broke. I have collected quite a few remotes over the past week. I just asked all my friends if they had any old remotes laying around and sure enough I collected about 7 of them. So finding a remote isn't very hard. I good option if you want a professional looking one is to buy the specialty MP3 player remote. I have one because it came with my Arduino kit.

Here are a few good cheap remotes that you can get.

Step 5: Installing the IR Library

The very first thing that we need to do associating with Arduino is to download the IR library. To make things simpler, I have included a .zip of the IR library. Download it to your computer, unzip it, then place it in your Arduino libraries folder. Don't know where it is?

Open up the Arduino IDE and on the menu select Sketch>IncludeLibrary>Add Library and select the 'IRremote' folder. If you are on a PC you need to delete the mac content within the IRremote folder.

For manual placement go to

Mac: Applications/Arduino (right mouse click -->show package contents) /Contents/Java/libraries/
Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\

For resources here is the Github
https://github.com/shirriff/Arduino-IRremote

Here is the IR remote folder

http://www.mediafire.com/download/jd5j7911amju36g/IRremote.zip

Step 6: Recognizing IR Signals

You now need to download the IR decoder sketch.
http://www.mediafire.com/view/6qnsndqp9a838xe/Decode_IR.ino


I totally re-edited the github sketch to make it work. I put all the credits in the sketch. The sketch is attached to this step or you can get if from step 2. Upload this sketch to your Arduino. Now hook up the IR sensor.

The IR sensor's pins are attached to Arduino as so: (from left to right with the sensor's head facing you)


(Vout) Pin 1 to pin 11(Arduino)
(GND) Pin 2 to GND(Arduino)
(Vcc) Pin 3 to 5v(Arduino)


Now open up granola cereal, wait no, I meant serial monitor. Aim your remote at the sensor and press the POWER button. You should see a list of numbers show. Now you can see we got the numbers:

16753245
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295

Notice you if hold down whatever button you were pressing that the second number just repeats itself.

16753245
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295

Note what happens if you press another button

16736925
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295
4294967295

You get a different first number, and the same second number!
Obviously, we just need to use the first number. Try hitting different buttons on the remote. You will notice that each different button has a different first number.

So what you need to do is to open up serial monitor press each button, carefully recording the first number. For example: I press the power button and the mode button, so in my text editor program, I'll type,

Power button = 16753245
Mode button = 16736925

And you do this for every button you need!
With this knowledge we can construct some code!

Step 7: Arduino Test Code

Upload this sketch to your Arduino.
http://www.mediafire.com/view/hmv13ynbihed0eg/Test_LED.ino
/*
 Some Sample code of how to use your IR remote
 
 * Lets get started:
 
 The IR sensor's pins are attached to Arduino as so:
 Pin 1 to Vout (pin 11 on Arduino)
 Pin 2 to GND
 Pin 3 to Vcc (+5v from Arduino)

*/

#include <IRremote.h>

int IRpin = 11;  // pin for the IR sensor
int LED = 13;    // LED pin  
IRrecv irrecv(IRpin);
decode_results results;

boolean LEDon = true; // initializing LEDon as true

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);
  irrecv.enableIRIn(); // Start the receiver
  pinMode(LED, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() 
{
   
  if (irrecv.decode(&results)) 
    {
      
      irrecv.resume();   // Receive the next value
    }
  
   if (results.value == 0)  // change zero to your IR remote button number
     {
       if (LEDon == true)   // is LEDon equal to true? 
         {
           LEDon = false;   
           digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);
           delay(100);      // keeps the transistion smooth
            
         }
         
        else
          {
            LEDon = true;
            digitalWrite(LED, LOW);
            delay(100);
            
          }
          
     }

}


This code is to turn an LED on and off with the same button. Notice this line in the code.

if (results.value == 0)  // change zero to your IR remote button number

You will change 0 to whatever number your IR remote button makes. For instance, my power button's number is 16753245, so I will change the code to this:

if (results.value == 16753245)

results.value is just what you see in the serial monitor. So if I say, if results.value is equal to 16753245, then do such and such. Make sense?! So the rest of the code if for making the same button turn an LED on and off. When the LED if off and you hit the button it turns on and if the LED is on and if you hit the same button again it turns off.

Step 8: More Code!

So what if we want each button on the remote to do a different function? Making a lot of 'if' statements would be way too much typing! So lets simplify this with a switch/case statement.

switch(results.value)

We are going to put this after the void loop and after the first if statement. Here's the whole thing-

void loop() 
   
  if (irrecv.decode(&results)) 
    {
      irrecv.resume();   // Receive the next value
    }
  
  switch(results.value)
   {

So now we need finish the code. If you don't know what the switch/case are see http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/SwitchCase
Here is the final code. You can keep on adding cases. Now where it says 'case 03' you change the '03' to whatever button number you wish. For instance, the first case could say:

case 16753245: 
// do this
break;
And we just keep on adding different button numbers for to do different things.

Here is the link to the code below.
/*
 Some Sample code of how to use your IR remote
 
 * Lets get started:
 
 The IR sensor's pins are attached to Arduino as so:
 Pin 1 to Vout (pin 11 on Arduino)
 Pin 2 to GND
 Pin 3 to Vcc (+5v from Arduino)

*/

#include <IRremote.h>

int IRpin = 11;  // pin for the IR sensor
int LED = 13;    // LED pin  
IRrecv irrecv(IRpin);
decode_results results;

boolean LEDon = true; // initializing LEDon as true

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);
  irrecv.enableIRIn(); // Start the receiver
  pinMode(LED, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() 
{
   
  if (irrecv.decode(&results)) 
    {
      
      irrecv.resume();   // Receive the next value
    }
  
  switch(results.value)
 {

  case 01:
  // do this
  break;
  
  case 02:
  // do another thing
  break;
  
  case 03:
  // feed my dog for me
  break;
  
  default:
  digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);
  
  }
  
}

Step 9: Conclusion:

I tried to simplify this as much as I can so that you can be controlling your projects with your TV remotes tomorrow evening.
If you don't understand anything please ask me!

Don't forget to give me a vote!

Step 10: Troubleshooting

Sometimes things don't go as planned so I've added a this step to help those that can't get their project to work. I want all reader to be able to experience the awesomeness of this!!! :D

If the value you receive for results.value is letters and numbers like this 'FF01XE' then you must put a 0x in front of that code to get it work work, like this: 0xFF01XE. So you project will read:

if (results.value == 0xFF01XE)
{
  feed the dog();
}

"My project isn't working!"

  1. READ THE IMPORTANT NOTICE IN FIRST STEP OF THIS I'BLE
  2. Rewire the sensor. Make sure it is wired properly. You may need to look online for your sensor correct pinout. Every sensor will not be the same as mine. Google the datasheet for your specific sensor.
  3. Make sure your remote is working properly. You can test this by pointing the remote at a camera and you should be able to see a dim blue/purple light flashing. Also try a second remote.
  4. Make sure the code works is the way I uploaded it. If you changed it you may not have the correct code.
  5. Retest all connections.

Well I hope these steps help if you still have problems after going through this list PM me or comment.

15 People Made This Project!

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382 Discussions

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boolf

2 years ago

JUST PERFECT!!!

Best Arduino related tutorial and "instructable" that I read so far, (and I assure you I read a lot).

Well organized, simple, straight forward, contains all what is required and with a light touch of humor.

2 replies
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HavocRCboolf

Reply 2 years ago

Thanks! I'm glad to help where I can!

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Z1745566HavocRC

Reply 2 years ago

You are amazing, made my work so easy. Thanks alot :)

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SteveR4

3 years ago on Step 9

This was SOO much better than Adafruits tutorial that has massive arrays you have to capture and then use for each button. Normally they have the BEST stuff for easy understanding. HOWEVER this was by FAR the easiest for my remotes!! The library is about twice the size of the ada one BUT this is so much better I will take the loss on Flash for this ease!! :)
I only have one small glitch and it may just have to do with the remote I'm using BUT, if you click the remote too fast the read code loops forever. So the led just flashes all on it's own, until you do a long press on the remote. Again not sure if this is all remotes or just the one I chose. But I plan on adding this to my daughters Tiara project seen below. I want to cram a small tiny remote into a cheap wand, so the wand will control the Crown / Tiara.. Thanks AGAIN!! ~Steve~

5 replies
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HavocRCSteveR4

Reply 3 years ago on Step 9

Hey thanks so much! I'm really glad that I was able to help you out!

Yeah actually it does the same thing for everyone. That was the main complaint I got because of the looping- it's not my library!

The fix is really simple, after the if statement {
if (results.value == X) }
add a small delay, like { delay(25); }.

This worked for me to keep it out of the loop, but don't put the delay too high. I forgot the actual milliseconds I used to fix it. If you go too high then sometimes when you press the button at the same time the arduino is frozen because of the delay. If you go too low then it doesn't fix the loop problem. Experiment, you'll get it.

And very nice project BTW!

Instead of cramming a remote into a wand you should just send a signal using an ATtiny85/45/44/24/ and the send feature of IR library.

I'm still here if you need any help with the IR part. . . :D

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giladgbergHavocRC

Reply 3 years ago on Step 9

hi i used:

results.value=0;

on the beginning of the void loop... fixed it for me :)

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SteveR4HavocRC

Reply 3 years ago on Step 9

After beating my head against the wall for 20 mins trying to solve the flashing with the delay (Which I could not get to work) I found the PERFECT solution that works 100% everytime Change this line to:

if (results.value == 16236607) {results.value = 0; //Do something here}
By resetting the "results" back to 0 it cures the looping, because it can't "see" the correct value again until it gets the real code again from the sensor.
Thanks again you may want to update the code you shared with this correction and the problem is gone for good :)

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HavocRCSteveR4

Reply 3 years ago on Step 9

Duuude of course! I can't believe I didn't think of that! I never actually used the code (like in a project) other than testing it briefly for the i'ble. I'll go back and change it. Thanks! You could get really fancy and go with an ATtiny13-20SU. I just got a shipment of 20 in the mail! :D

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SteveR4HavocRC

Reply 3 years ago on Step 9

Awesome thanks for the hints!!
Yeah no clue why I didn't think of just using the ATTiny!?!?!?! Perfect Idea!!!

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tnowroz

3 years ago on Introduction

Really Good Tutorial here bro. Finally made the IR sensor work! :D

But for some reasons, many of the links are not working properly. If would be awesome if you could fix those.

Anyway, Thanks for this! Really appreciate it as a beginner with Arduino! :)

1 reply
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HavocRCtnowroz

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Thanks! I'm not sure what you are talking about the links though. I just went through and checked all of them and they are all working. Maybe you might just have to copy the address and paste it in your browser's address bar.

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KristinH37

Question 4 months ago on Introduction

Hi, it looks like your last update for this was 2015, and Im sure things have changed since then, but I wanted to try this anyways because it seemed really straightforward. Thank you for posting it! The remote part worked -- I was able to get the remote codes and control robot motion with the remote. However, when I tried to add a button to control a piezo buzzer, I kept getting library errors. Here is the type of code I was using:

void sound() {

tone(12,330,500);

delay(500);

}

and I called it by doing this:

case 16:

sound();

break;

Here is the error I was getting. It only happens when I add the sound() case. You said in your instructions to disable the Arduino remote library RobotIRemote. Is that why this is happening ? I don't know how to do that using the new web editor--when I searched for that library I couldn't find it.

./opt/arduino-builder/arduino-builder -compile -core-api-version 10611 -build-path /tmp/399001328/build -hardware opt/arduino-builder/hardware -hardware ./opt/cores -tools opt/arduino-builder/tools -tools ./opt/tools -built-in-libraries opt/libraries/latest -libraries /tmp/399001328/pinned -libraries /tmp/399001328/custom -fqbn arduino:avr:uno -build-cache /tmp -logger humantags -verbose=false /tmp/399001328/Remote_Conrol_Robot

Multiple libraries were found for "IRremote.h"

Used: /tmp/399001328/custom/IRremote

Not used: /home/ubuntu/opt/libraries/latest/irremote_2_2_3

Multiple libraries were found for "Servo.h"

Used: /home/ubuntu/opt/libraries/latest/servo_1_1_2

Not used: /home/ubuntu/opt/libraries/latest/printoo_library_1_0_2

Tone.cpp.o (symbol from plugin): In function `timer0_pin_port':

(.text+0x0): multiple definition of `__vector_7'

/tmp/399001328/build/libraries/IRremote/IRremote.cpp.o (symbol from plugin):(.text+0x0): first defined here

collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status

exit status 1

2 more answers
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HavocRCKristinH37

Answer 4 months ago

I personally have not used the web editor yet. Download the Arduino IDE and follow the instructions in step 3, locate your library folder, and delete the robotIRemote.zip

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KristinH37KristinH37

Answer 4 months ago

I actually found a library called Robot IR Remote, but there isn't an option to disable it.

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DragozV

8 months ago

It was an easy to understand tutorial, however, I found out that not all pins are the same. My IR receiver was a different model and when I tried to use the pins you suggested (I later found out ground and 5V's were switched) The receiver got insanely hot, I burnt my finger badly and broke my Arduino. It wound have been nice if you had made clear that the pins you suggested might be different.

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ArjitS1

8 months ago

how to use attiny85 based 6 or 8 kb board or chip , for this project using software serial ?????

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mpbenoit55

2 years ago

This is an excellent project Works great with LED. However, small motor creates problem. Cannot turn off. I see suggestions of others but I am not sure where to insert it in the code (i.e, delay(25); or results.value=0; Please, help!

3 replies
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HavocRCmpbenoit55

Reply 2 years ago

So. . . what are you trying to do? Add a delay or change results.value?

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mpbenoit55HavocRC

Reply 2 years ago

Change code to stop a flickering LED and also allow the motor to be turned off. It is as if the LED is oscillating between the on-off state. And the switches on but not off. Whatever works...delay or results.value modification. Some of the people following ur project suggested it.

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montagnebluempbenoit55

Reply 9 months ago

Did you try to clear results at the beginning of the loop?:

(results.value) =0; //clears the register before a new reading

Otherwise the old value will stay in the register and will be used over and over again. I did stop flickering leds in this way and I do not need any delay anymore.

succes

Gerard