A while ago we came across a website on infrared remote controls which suggested a simple way to view IR signals using an Oscilloscope. The idea is to use a standard IR Led mounted into a BNC/RCA plug using a spare channel making an Oscilloscope infrared receiver. So we set about ordering the connectors, which arrived in the post today. Another way of looking at this device is as a ‘poor-mans’ IR receiver, but if you have an Oscilloscope to plug it into then maybe you are not so poor after all.
hRecently we have been helping several members on the Arduino forum to record and playback their remote control signals from their Air Conditioners. These signals are typically much longer than those of TVs or common media devices. The 2 most popular libraries for Arduino, IRremote & IRlib are excellent, but have some limitations which we have covered in a previous post. In this post we address one particular issue that is proving challenging to users.
For anyone following the progress of our ‘Custom TV Infrared remote control’ for the SKY+ box, we received it back for some upgrading over the last week and tomorrow (weather permitting – there are lots of high winds in Europe today, with many flights being cancelled) it will be flown back to its owner, with several upgrades on board.
Here are some photos we captured, of a sample of our MCU test rigs and custom PCB for AnalysIR.
The photo above shows some of our test setup for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, TI MSP430 LaunchPad and the (big) baby of them all the USB IR Toy. The small red custom PCBs are ones we had made via Elecrow which worked out great. So instead of just using solderless breadboards we now plug these ‘half shields’ directly into the Arduino header, or in the case of the RPi using a ribbon cable. The USB IR Toy already has the IR receivers on board and doesn’t require this PCB.
We should also be able to hook up the LaunchPad to this board using headers. So once we receive the full set of headers, we ordered on-line, we will have all our test setups much neater and more reliable. Previously, we used solderless breadboards, as can be seen in the photo attached to the LaunchPad. Continue reading Testing AnalysIR with a custom PCB→
We received a V2 USB IR Toy last week from Dangerous Prototypes via Seedstudio. (See early access note for backers below)
After some initial teething problems we set about playing with this new device. Then we went about trying to integrate it into AnalysIR. We found that operating the IR Toy in ‘Sampling Mode’ worked best for our needs. There are several other modes available which are described on the website below. Continue reading AnalysIR integrated support for USB IR Toy→
We purchased a Sega megadrive Arcade style games console which was BNIB for €25 ($35) and disabled all of the built-in gaming functionality. We then wired up each of the 12 available switches (Joystick & Arcade style buttons) to the Arduino Nano which was placed onto an Arduino prototyping shield and mounted to the enclosure using ‘lots’ of hot glue. Note some of these consoles come with an additional 2 buttons, which can bring the total to 14. In addition, the joystick has 8 positions in total of which we used only 4 as it would be too difficult for the user to manage all eight. Continue reading Custom TV remote control using Arcade style console→
Today we tested out the new export feature with one of our backers who had lost a remote control for a cool RGB light, but had previously recorded the NEC (extended) codes using IRremote. As a first test of the new export facility, we were able to read the NEC codes into AnalysIR & then export them into Pronto format because our backer had a smart-phone app & IR blaster that only takes Pronto codes as input.
Getting the codes into AnalysIR was easy, because we happened to have a similar remote in our collection, which had many of the same codes. Otherwise we would have used an Arduino IR library to generate the IR signal for AnalysIR.
What was really impressive is that this all worked first time. Happy us & happy Backers.
We hope to do similar tests with all the other export formats this week, including Global- Cache commands.
Finally, a big welcome & thanks to all our new backers!
Yesterday we successfully managed to import from the RAW/DUMP output of the 2 main Arduino IR libraries (IRremote & IRLib). To use it’s very simple, just copy and paste all of the text output and paste into AnalysIR. Simple! You then get a graphical display of the signal and the option to save it to disk as part of the session History. We will continue to test over the coming weeks and maybe even add another import source. Suggestions Welcome!.
You may ask – why is this feature useful when AnalysIR can just record and decode and save the signal directly. Well there happens to be a huge resource across the Internet of pre-recorded signals from all sorts of tools & devices, and it may be beneficial to import them into one place for comparison or troubleshooting. Another use would be to help others who are looking for help on support Forum(s) etc. Once the signal is imported into AnalysIR, you can then export an image of the signal trace (or plot) which could also have advantages in education.
Now that the end date is on the Horizon, we are finalising our release plans. So if there are any feature requests, from backers we would like to hear about them in the next 3-5 days at the latest, so that we can include them in the initial release(if feasible).
Over the past few days we have focused on improving the serial performance of data coming from the Arduino, which is not normally an issue with IR, except when recording Helicopter RC which can continuously send IR signals. The good news is that this interface is much higher performance now and will be published as part of the project
For the next week we will be focused on putting finishing touches to our 10 IR exhibits for the Dublin Maker Faire, which includes the addition of the Lego Mindstorms tower protocol & we may also get to meet our latest Irish backer.