Infrared Remote Control for Flashlight Lamps

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by caliking, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. caliking

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    3
    0
    Greetings.

    I am trying to make backlights for wooden wall hangings. I hooked up 3 flashlight lamps in parallel to a slide switch and a 9V battery, and it works to my satisfaction. Then I got to thinking..."wouldn't this be awesome if it was remote controlled?!"

    I am an absolute newbie. I have a soldering iron and a Radio Shack close by, which means if you told me what to buy and what to do, I might be able to put it together. I have seen the IR transmitters/receivers at Radio Shack, but have no clue how to use them. I would greatly appreciate any help with this project.

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. DSuliuno

    New Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    8
    0
    I built a similar thing a while back- just from a kit at my local 'Jaycar' store. A chunky little remote powered by a 9V battery and a similarly sized reciever. You have a relay (electrically controlled switch) on the reciever that trips each time you press the button on the remote.

    Not a huge range, and the further away you get the more accurately you have to point it (up to about 5m before it drops out). If you've been butchering flashlights and still have the reflectors, they do increase the range a little. Best on the receivers end.
    Also, as I recall, the receiver wanted 12V input (because thats what the relay wanted) but it should run on 9V if that'll trip the relay- the rest of it was regulated by a 5V zener. Note: a little 9V battery will not last long driving this circuit, even in the off position, but especially in the 'on' position driving three flashlight lamps.

    Any kit (or premade product?) that says anything about an 'IR remote control' should do it. You probably wouldn't need an 8 channel one though unless you plan on one day having lots of lamps [8] all independently controlled by the one remote. Once you've put the parts together according to the instructions just connect the relay on the receiver in place of the switch and you're set to go.

    In terms of putting it together, the instructions that come with the kit should be fine. In terms of using it practically, all you need to know is that the relay is a switch that trips if you put a small current (provided by the rest of the circuit) through the two input terminals of the relay. A switch will toggle from bridging two of the three output terminals (one of which is the middle one) to bridging the middle terminal and the remaining one. Input is totally isolated from output, so if you get a bigger relay, you can switch 240V.
    And remember the relay is a switch, not supplying any voltage.

    Have fun!
     
  3. caliking

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    3
    0
    DSuliuno: thanks for the tips. Sadly, the equivalent (or closest thing to) Jaycar where I live is RadioShack. I found individual components (IR receiver/transmitter diode/LED) but no kit with instructions. Thanks for the explanation about relays. Will probably need to get a book or something and teach myself how to hook the components up.

    I was afraid that the 9V batteries might not last long powering 3 bulbs. I might invest in rechargeable batts.

    Off to tinker...
     
  4. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    613
    0
    Most Jaycar kits are from circuits published in Silicon Chip magazine. They have a website, and you may find the circuit on that.
     
  5. DSuliuno

    New Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    8
    0
    Hi caliking,
    If you want to find the kit somewhere, the kit number that I got is kj8058, and it came from the 'Short Circuits 3' book. It is simply labeled an 'Infrared Remote Link'. Those specific kits need the instructions purchased separately (since it came from a book!) for about AU$3.

    Also having done a little preliminary googling, I found this (please tell me i put the link in right :)) which seems alright to me and includes a good product list. If you want a more detailed explanation of how it works, I can post something up here (although I can't claim to have the deepest understanding of it all).

    Anyway, enjoy tinkering.
     
  6. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
    6
    Remote control kits may also be found on online auction websites.
     
  7. caliking

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    3
    0
    I found a 38kHz Infrared Receiver Module at RadioShack (see link below) as well as a High Output IR LED. Does anyone know if the receiver module can be connected to the battery (is 9V ok?) as is or does it require other components to make a working circuit? Also, could I use an extra remote control from an old vcr to activate the receiver?

    Thanks for your help. My newbie queries must be entertaining:)


    Sorry... I do not know how to embed links.
    (http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...w=ir+receiver&support=support&tab=accessories)
     
  8. DSuliuno

    New Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    8
    0
    You will need more parts than just those. The IR receiver is a preset unit that lowers the voltage on pin 1 when it receives a 38khz infrared signal. Not light of frequency 38khz, but IR light 'modulated' (turned on and off quickly) at 38khz. To do this would require either an IC or some transistors buzzing, turning the LED on and off really fast. So just connecting a battery to your LED would not work- it would just turn it on, rather than giving the appropriate 38khz buzzing. You would want to be able to adjust this frequency with a trimpot so that you can get it to (through trial and error) the right frequency to trigger the receiver.

    What I'm trying to say is no, you can't just rig up the LED to a battery and the receiver to a relay and a few volts. You need a circuit to drive it, and the link I posted above is an example of how to do that.

    In terms of the old VCR remote control, it will be doing what you want to do and more, but it probably won't be much use. It actually sends data through the IR signal that it puts out. You may (maybe maybe) be able to scrounge a few parts from that (like the IR LED in the front), but in terms of using the unit as is, no. Modifications may be distantly possible, but too much for me to bother about (especially with many simpler ways to do it). And hence probably a little out of your league.

    I would recommend getting the components given in the link above (or elsewhere if you can find something), building the circuit given (a breadboard may be the best way for you, unless you want to try to make a PCB- urrgggh!) or buy a kit online to solder together, or a premade one.

    Note: the circuit in the link does not use a 38khz IR receiver, but just an IR NPN phototransistor. This means that you can adjust the frequency that the receiver responds to, rather than the frequency emitted by the emitter. This would make using the TV remote easier, but still very difficult.

    (and to embed links, type what you want between the ] and the final {url} bit).

    [EDIT:] I'm not sure if the circuit in the link will keep the relay on after you release the button on the remote?? You may need to google around a little.
     
  9. techroomt

    Senior Member

    May 19, 2004
    198
    1
    i recently purchased a remote control for a ceiling fan - you receive the remote and the control unit. - which has 3 speed fan control and dim lighting control. i would think it could be converted easily to other duties. but the controller may require 120vac.
     
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