Infrared Shopping Advice

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by blahbleh, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. blahbleh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    Hello. I am interested in recording signals from infrared remote controls on to a computer using an infrared receiver connected to the line-in audio port (as described at http://cyli.livejournal.com/33460.html) and then being able to transmit those codes using Infrared LEDs connected to the speaker port (as described in http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Infrared-transmitter-for-iPhone-iPod/). I am hoping that someone could tell me which IR receiver and LEDs I should buy. I have found both at radioshack but I am nowhere near a radioshack and can not purchase from them. I am hoping the appropriate parts could be found on http://www.mouser.com and you could tell me which I should buy. I need to purchase other items from mouser and it would help me save a lot of money if I could just do one order and pay for shipping once. Thanks for whatever assistance you can provide.

    The radioshack parts that are supposedly perfect for this project are:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049727
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062565
     
  2. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    If you can understand the circuit and optoelectronics involved just go to the website of a distributor that's local to you, even with the shipping you're going to end up ahead in the long run, especially since you'll probably want to buy a few other common components to keep in stock.

    May we ask where you're located? If you've got access to Mouser I highly recommend them over anyone else. I don't have time to go through your circuits to analyze them but I'm sure someone else will in time.
     
  3. blahbleh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    Understand optoelectronics, hell, I don't think I have ever even heard that word before. In theory I understand the projects that I referenced, but I have never worked with infrared receivers or transmitters. The only baseline of information that I have with regard to applicable parts are the parts from radioshack that I mentioned, and when I look at mouser I see dozens of technical variations in mouser's parts that are not even mentioned for the radioshack parts; Radioshack technical specifications are vague, mousers specs are more detailed. I have no idea which parts are comparable.

    Everything would be fine if I could go to my local radioshack and just buy the receiver and the LEDs, but my local store doesn't stock the receiver so I would have to order it online and the shipping would be $6 for an item that costs $4 and is only the size of a thimble. I read gizmodo and engadget all the time and see dozens of cool little electronics projects where the parts should only cost $10 - $20 that I would love to do, but I can't pursue most of such projects because I either don't know where to get the proper parts or the shipping is gonna double the cost of the project if not more. I am unemployed; I do not have an adequate budget to try and fail and experiment with fun little hobby projects; I wish I did, but I don't. The only reason I am pursuing the infrared project is because I already have other critical items I need to purchase from mouser.

    I just spent $9 ($4 for the item, $5 shipping) to buy a triangle head screw driver bit to open the control unit for a set of Christmas lights so I could replace a fuse; turns out the panel that I opened simply exposed the point where the wires for the lights connected to contacts on a circuit board. So now I am apparently the only person in the state of Ohio to own a triangle head screw driver but otherwise the $9 I spent was a complete waste of money, and it kills me.

    I posted my question here because I am hoping that someone with more experience and knowledge than me could look at the various items at mouser and just tell me which ones would be appropriate. I know it is pathetic for me to ask for help but I am too hard pressed for cash to be prideful. My location is Northeast Ohio. The closest thing to an electronics store in the area is radioshack, and it seems like they specialize in selling cellphones, not electronics.
     
  4. Toe Cutter

    New Member

    Jan 6, 2011
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    Well... Ordering electronic parts is hard work. You do have to understand all the parameters of a device to effectively use it. I often spend days compiling an order for digikey or mouser. It requires research. I want to get just the right parts without buying stuff I can't use.

    You are in NE Ohio? I lived in Cleveland once and visited an electronics surplus shop in Cleveland. It was a great shop. I don't remember where they were located though. Yea, radio shack is ****.

    If you are cheap and want stuff to experiment with, you can scavenge parts from dead or old electronics. A TV, VCR, or similar device will have the IR receiver you are looking for.

    If you want to order parts, find an IR receiver and get a IR LED to match it. Same wavelenght. Check power/current handling specs, and power output. Good luck.

    Oh. When I encounter security screws I remove them violently (just drill them out, cut the head, etc) and replace them with normal screws.
     
  5. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    No harm in trying out the RS products, they may work perfectly for the app or if they don't you just have to do a bit more research.

    Security screws? $5 at any local discount tool shop will get you every driver bit you'll ever need.

    Also agreed on the salvaging, if in the US people are constantly tossing VCRs and TVs onto craigslist for free, just don't get into a TV unless you know how to properly discharge the anode and keep it discharged as some can literally throw you across the room - or worse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  6. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    The two links you provided don't seem to be geared to the same end result, and I don't really understand your project. I don't know if you are wanting to transmit stereo audio or if you are wanting to actually turn the infrared signals from a remote into audio and then play the audio over speakers or something else entirely. So, my response may or may not be appropriate.

    The infrared receiver that RS offers is really a receiver in some sort of holder with a clip on it. I don't think you really want the holder. Secondly, I don't think the receiver handles stereo. It does have three pins, but one pin is for the signal, one for supply voltage, and one for ground.

    If what you want is to transmit mono, you need one emitter and one receiver. If you want stereo, you will need two emitters and two receivers - one pair for each channel. In either case, what is important is that your emitter is matched in frequency to the your receiver.

    That being the case, I would order one or two pairs of matched infrared emitters and receivers like the 782-TCZT8020-PAER at Mouser. In fact, I am putting together a mouser order and think I will put some of these on just to play with. I am hard of hearing and have been thinking of building a wireless headset for the TV so I don't have to turn the volume so loud. And besides, there only 84 cents per pair.

    By the way, I have never tried any of this, so take my suggestion for what it cost. As I look back at the specs for the Mouser pair I mentioned above, I am not sure of the distance they will cover.

    Still thinking about this, I now wonder if having two emitters on the same frequency (one transmitting the left channel and one transmitting the right channel) will work. How will the receivers know which emitter to ignore? Maybe it would be better to have each channel on its own frequency. (That's the reason I am an experimenter; I learn by doing.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  7. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    My Sony 36" sitting out in the garage came with IR headphones but it's far too big for my bedroom and it takes 4 people to move. I definitely put the 782-TCZT8020-PAER on one of my project lists which is simply titled "Things to buy in time" because the price is right and it won't kill me to have a few pairs around - thanks for the link.
     
  8. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    That instructables link will produce no decent sound, as LEDs aren't linear devices, and the line out/headphone signal isn't in digital format,

    If you want wireless sound transmission, it will take a bit more work. If that is what you are trying to do, it seems vague due to the two different links, but I figured I'd point that out ahead of time so you didn't waste money.
     
  9. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Can be done but there are times it's easier to buy than build thus you can put your time elsewhere.

    Simple search will provide you with IR headphones, some even in far more than plain stereo.
     
  10. Toe Cutter

    New Member

    Jan 6, 2011
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    From looking at those links I think the O/P wanted to transmit and receive digital remote control codes from his sound card. This could work. Sound cards though are AC coupled, no DC, which makes things more complicated.

    The instructables link might actually work to get a 38 khz carrier from 19 khz audio. Interesting hack. Line level signals into a pair of LEDs. Each Led only conducts at the peak of the cycle. A bit like a full wave rectifier for light.
     
  11. blahbleh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    Wow, no... I am not talking about infrared transmission of sound for wireless headphones. Apologies to tracecom, marshallf3 and thatoneguy. I guess I must have been unclear.

    I am talking infrared remote controls used to control home electronics. The television remote control, the video cassette recorder remote control, the stereo remote control. The links that I included in my original post explain that the signals being sent from the various infrared home electronics remote controls can be recorded by connecting an IR receiver to a stereo headphone plug and plugging it in to a computers line in audio and then recording it in a sound recording application like audacity; then those recorded signals could be sent by connecting together two infrared LEDs to a stereo headphone plug and plugging it in to the computers headphone port.

    The idea is if one takes the time to record all the signals from all their remotes the could use their computer as a universal remote control. Or any device capable of playing .wav files could be used as a universal remote control, which many mp3 players can do.

    The 276-640 radioshack receiver, the part used in http://cyli.livejournal.com/33460.html , operates at 38khz and has three contacts. It seems like 782-TCZT8020-PAER operates at 110 kHz and has only two contacts. It doesn't seem comparable... A better understanding of the variations in the technical specifications was the entire point of posting here.

    tracecom: yeah, I'd imagine you would need two frequencies for transmitting left and right audio; presumably if you were to buy two sets of the 782-TCZT8020-PAER pairs the two receivers wouldn't know which of the two transmitters were transmitting.
     
  12. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Most devices audio output rolls off at 20kHz (high end of human hearing). Attempting to use the line out jack as a 38kHz digital transmitter (e.g. TV Remote) would give poor results, from the frequency involved, and the fact the output is a square wave, but you can give it a shot.
     
  13. blahbleh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    the following is from http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Infrared-transmitter-for-iPhone-iPod/
    The following is from from http://www.codeproject.com/KB/windows/PocketBeamer.aspx
     
  14. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Why don't you build a simple FM stereo transmitter?
     
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