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IR Remote Control Modulation Detector

IR Remote Control Modulation Detector

A circuit to extract and measure the modulated carrier of an Infra Red remote control. Note that the circuit does not physically separate control pulses from modulation, but amplifies the completereceived signal allowing the waveform to be displayed ideally on an oscilloscope or a frequency counter. Modulation frequencies between 1kHz and several MHz may be measured.
Fortunately, the control pulses of a typical remote control are long, compared to the faster modulated IR carrier wave. This very fact allows at least a few complete waveforms to be captured and measured, either on an oscilloscope or with a digital counter. As the carrier is continually being modulated, the waveform will need to be displayed with a digital counter has a variable trigger or with an oscilloscopes manual trigger control. Light interference from nearby fluorescent light sources may also interfere with the signal,so, for this reason, I recommend to place the remote control within a few inches of the photodiode.

The detector is an IR photodiode, type TIL100. This is reverse biased via the 22k resistor and produces small changes in current when subjected to light in the IR spectrum. Ambient or steady light will produce a constant current through the photo diode, a remote control produces an alternating waveform. The input signal is capacitively coupled to the first BC549C amplifier stage via a 10n capacitor. The capacitor will stop ambient light from passing,but not changes in light intensity. A signal of a few microamps can be passed from the photo diode into the amplifier. The high current gain of a BC549C and a medium load resistor will produce a voltage waveform that may be suitably displayed on an oscilloscope at this point. The magnitude will vary with the proximity from remote control to photo diode and also with type of remote control, hence an accurate reading is not possible. For anyone with an oscilloscope set the volts/division control to maximum and work backwards to minimum sensitivity.

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