# Need Help With A Project ASAP! -IR Remote Control

#### MattPark965

Joined Nov 17, 2017
2
Ok, i am an 11th grader in marching band. for some of our parades we decorate our instruments with lights. these lights are separate battery operated light strands that are all controllable by one remote, sadly this remote must be facing the battery boxes to control the lights. I do not know much about these kinds of things. I am assuming that i will need to buy a High Powered IR LED with a wide viewing angle but i have no idea how wide. I am going to attach a visual of what we look like while marching, i need to be able to control all of the lights at once immediately and reliably! I can solder the IR LED transmitter i just need to know which one to get (hopefully under $20). Could anyone suggest an IR LED transmitter with a wide enough angle and strong enough signal? Thanks so much! #### Attachments • 92.6 KB Views: 19 #### be80be Joined Jul 5, 2008 2,051 How far away are you from the people say never no more then 100 feet nRF24L01+ could go about 150 feet and there cheap set them up with a cheap uC and light not be a problem. Ir is not that good where there are lights if you use a module it's still limited. Last edited: Thread Starter #### MattPark965 Joined Nov 17, 2017 2 How far away are you from the people say never no more then 100 feet nRF24L01+ could go about 150 feet and there cheap set them up with a cheap uC and light not be a problem. Ir is not that good where there are lights if you use a module it's still limited. Ok, I'm a little confused. these are the lights that we are using (cant post amazon link so im going to attach a picture of the page below). I need to able to connect the transmitter to the existing remote, is this possible? And also, we will never be anymore than 30 feet away from each other. Thanks so much!!! I guess my main questions are: 1) would i still be able to use the remote that came with the lights, and 2) would this work with the receivers that are wired in on the light strands? #### Attachments • 987.1 KB Views: 17 #### be80be Joined Jul 5, 2008 2,051 Post the link #### DickCappels Joined Aug 21, 2008 7,702 #### be80be Joined Jul 5, 2008 2,051 I popped the pic up but I couldn't read it. Link is always better. You could hack thee remote but and add some more ir diodes but your not going to control all of them as you want. It's like watching tv you point the remote some times it works and sometimes you have to point it at the tv better. You really need to use a better way to control them the nRF24L01+ would work. but maybe more then you can put together. #### GopherT Joined Nov 23, 2012 8,012 Ok, i am an 11th grader in marching band. for some of our parades we decorate our instruments with lights. these lights are separate battery operated light strands that are all controllable by one remote, sadly this remote must be facing the battery boxes to control the lights. I do not know much about these kinds of things. I am assuming that i will need to buy a High Powered IR LED with a wide viewing angle but i have no idea how wide. I am going to attach a visual of what we look like while marching, i need to be able to control all of the lights at once immediately and reliably! I can solder the IR LED transmitter i just need to know which one to get (hopefully under$20). Could anyone suggest an IR LED transmitter with a wide enough angle and strong enough signal? Thanks so much!
Use an RF controller instead of IR

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2TD3L...t=&hvlocphy=9006270&hvtargid=pla-317965502067

#### be80be

Joined Jul 5, 2008
2,051
Don't work with his lights

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,702
Does this look like what you are looking for?

http://www.discovercircuits.com/DJ-Circuits/VCRBoost.htm

The advantage to this approach is that you don't have to modify the remote control, merely mount the photo detector on this IR Beam Booster and the signal will be repeated.

Remember, this is light, so the beam will have to be either line of sight or able to bounce off of something so it can hit the receiver. If you intend to control the other lights while in the midst of the band you might have some problem with getting the signal to the receivers.

The Digikey search will give you an idea of the LEDs you can get. These have a half power radiation angle of 120° so three of them will give you 360° coverage, though you might need to use more LEDs in order to get the power to a useful level.

https://www.digikey.com/products/en/optoelectronics/infrared-uv-visible-emitters/94?k=IR+LED&k=&pkeyword=IR+LED&pv551=41&FV=ffe0005e,a0000c&mnonly=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=25

IR systems are usually one of two flavors - 850 nanometers and 940 nm. Your remote control is probably 940 nm or thereabout Using an emitter that is not matched to the receiver can cause a large loss of range. It may be worth some experimentation to see which wavelength works best for you.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Don't work with his lights
It would be easier for the TS to find a way to make this or another RF controller to work with his lights rather than an IR method. Ir is line-of-sight.

Marching bands tend to, well, march around as they perform. Maintaining a direct connection to all targets will be challenging.

Another option would be to us a single microphone capsule as a sensor for each set of lights. A specific tone can initiate a preprogrammed light pattern for each set of lights. A preprogrammed output would be reasonable since they are playing to music and the notes played and beat are quite predictable.

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,702
Agreed RF would be better, but that would require modification of the remote control and all of the receivers, and using something like the nRF24L01 would necessitate adding microcontrollers on both ends. Certainly that is an option but it might be a much larger and more complicated project than MattParker965 had envisioned.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I just wanted to make sure his expectations were not too high because the challenge of line-of-site communication required of IR

#### Raymond Genovese

Joined Mar 5, 2016
1,658
I am not so sure that the remote controller on the product he has is IR at all. I think it is an RF controller like this one. In which case, he could reasonably find a higher powered transmitter or build one or adapt an UNO to decode and then send the codes - maybe even just providing better batteries to the receiver/transmitter and adding an antenna. Of course, I could be wrong.

@MattPark965 how have you concluded that it is an IR transmitter/receiver?

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#### LesJones

Joined Jan 8, 2017
3,490
You could probably use RF rempte control extenders such as these. You would only need one tramsmitter but you would need one receiver for each light diaplay. I think you can only buy them as a pair so you would be buying a lot of transmitter units that you would not need. They would only work if the protocol used by the lights was similar to that used for televisions and set top boxes.

Les.

#### ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
Ok, i am an 11th grader in marching band. for some of our parades we decorate our instruments with lights. these lights are separate battery operated light strands that are all controllable by one remote, sadly this remote must be facing the battery boxes to control the lights. I do not know much about these kinds of things. I am assuming that i will need to buy a High Powered IR LED with a wide viewing angle but i have no idea how wide. I am going to attach a visual of what we look like while marching, i need to be able to control all of the lights at once immediately and reliably! I can solder the IR LED transmitter i just need to know which one to get (hopefully under \$20). Could anyone suggest an IR LED transmitter with a wide enough angle and strong enough signal? Thanks so much!
IR is pretty directional, so you pretty much have to aim it at the sensor - there are license exempt RF bands for remote control. common on things like remote control mains adaptors etc. A laser might scatter enough - but you're probably looking at eye damage.

#### Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,249
Sure it uses IR. Its range is only 12 feet and it says, "please point the remote to the battery case" and a yagi radio antenna is not shown on the transmitter and receiver.

#### Raymond Genovese

Joined Mar 5, 2016
1,658
Sure it uses IR. Its range is only 12 feet and it says, "please point the remote to the battery case" and a yagi radio antenna is not shown on the transmitter and receiver.
Yeah maybe. Maybe even probably, but I would still like to know more.
I already posted a link where that 13 key controller was used for RF.

Look at this one. In particular, this pic, The LED on the controller is designated as an indicator light - meaning that you can see it illuminate when operated.

Is there a Yagi antenna on these ?

Here, you can peek inside...I guess that black three pin chip in this pic could be an IR detector - dunno.

The TS stated "sadly this remote must be facing the battery boxes to control the lights" but that is not proof positive to me.

I guess it is my skeptical nature. Funny that the first link to the product posted doesn't say IR - does it? In fact, none of the Ali links say IR or RF. Weird, but ok, probably IR.

#### Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,249
Of course the black three pin chip with the bulge on it is a TSOP IR receiver IC.
The other system with RF coils has a solder spot for a missing ANT (insect?).

The photos show that the "fairy lights" are bright enough to light up your entire neighbourhood!

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