Several motherboards have the necessary hardware for the installation of an infrared transmitter/receiver, requiring only the installation of a module containing the infrared sensor. The great problem, however, is that this module is not easily found on the market and, when it is, its price is high. In this tutorial we will show you how to build this module spending barelly nothing. Any user who knows how to use a solder iron can assemble it.
Figure 1: Homemade infrared receiver/transmitter for your PC.
With this module, which was designed by our friend Alain Gailland, you will be able to make the communication among your PC and other devices that have infrared connection – also called IrDA – such as palmtops, notebooks and cellular phones. But to do so your motherboard has to have this interface. To know whether or not your motherboard has this interface, you should look for a connector called IR, IRDA, IRCON, SIR, SIRCON or something like that in its manual or in the motherboard itself. This connector usually has 4 or 5 pins and you will need the manual to know the meaning of each pin (+5V, GND, TX and RX), because the function of each pin will vary depending on the motherboard model.
On Figures 2 and 3 we give as an example parts of ASUS A7N8X De Luxe motherboard manual. You will usually find the IR header on the motherboard layout page (Figure 2). We’ve drawn a red arrow for you to see it. On this motherboard this header was labeled “IR_CON1”.
The IR header pinout can be found under the “connectors” section of the manual, see Figure 3.Keep in mind that this pinout vary depending on the motherboard, so you need to check on your motherboard manual the correct pinout used on your board.