the right IR receiver
Sunday, April 17 2011
At various times today I kept experimenting with receiving infrared controls from a universal remote using an Atmega168 running in the Arduino environment. I was using IR receivers I'd cannibalized from old VCRs and these seemed capable of doing something, but unfortunately this did not include distinguishing one IR code from another. About all they could do was relay the reality that some sort of IR signal was being received on whatever the preferred carrier tone happened to be. (I was experimenting with universal remotes that had been programmed to control equipment from different manufacturers, and not all of their control signals produce results on the Arduino.) But then, on a whim, I tried an IR receiver I'd bought from Sparkfun that I'd sort of forgotten about. Amazingly, it easily and reliably distinguished the signals from the IR remote, but only when the remote was set to control devices the signals for which the Arduino had been incapable of detecting with the VCR receivers. (You might have re-read that sentence.) With that working, I added added a pin header to the solar controller so I can attach an IR receiver and then incorporated some code on the slave Atmega to read any IR signals and send them to the master when requested. I'm actually running into the limit of code that can be stuffed onto the master (it has a 32 kilobyte limit), so I'll probably end up having to put most of the IR interpretation code on the slave. Since the slave is also running the LCD code, it will, if I ever get to it, probably end up hosting an entire configuration menu system (for use on occasions when configuring across the serial link is inconvenient).
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