Building an Infrared Transmitter for Your PC


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.

Infrared device

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”.

IR HeaderFigure 2: ASUS A7N8X De Luxe motherboard layout. The red arrow indicated the IR header.

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.

IR Header PinoutFigure 3: Pinout for the IR header on ASUS A7N8X De Luxe motherboard.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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