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Topic: 2 lead and 3 lead IR LED Confusion (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hi all, i'm attempting to use an old IR remote to control a project of mine. So I would need to use a receiver to record the remote's signals and an emitter to re-send them.

So my problems comes from confusion in the different types of IR sensors. Where I purchased a pair of IR emitters with a clear white cover and 2 leads (which I tested with an old camera and they work). The receiver has a dark tint to it and also has 2 leads like in the following image: http://electronicspk.com/xcart/images/P/IR%20TX-RX.jpg

I've searched all over and most IR receivers i've seen have 3 leads, but the ones I purchased are also called "receivers". Can someone explain if it is possible to still use this "receiver" to record a remote control's pulses? As well as what the differences are between the other receivers.

Last question is how to wire this sensor? Do I use analog or digital? Type of resistor? and how to read the sensor value from code.

Note: I only post here as a last resort since I can't find anything useful as an explanation. Most tutorials include one or the other and call them all the same names.

Any help is always appreciated, DM.

Nick Gammon

This page and the ones following should help:


Example wiring:



Thank you very much, I never thought to look at parallax for tutorials. It was very helpful.


My Goal is to record IR remote signals. Most research leads me to Ken Sherriff's IRremote Library. The only problem with this, is that his library doesn't work (compile). The first problem is that the header files don't turn orange, meaning they aren't accepted and I don't know enough C++ or about creating my own arduino library to modify it safely.

Can anyone suggest another *working* IR send/receive library for the arduino? Or maybe suggest how to fix it or where to get a working version?

Any help is appreciated, DM.

Link: http://www.righto.com/2009/08/multi-protocol-infrared-remote-library.html

Nick Gammon

Don't start a new thread please. This looks to me to follow on from your earlier one.

Nick Gammon

I just downloaded the latest library from: https://github.com/shirriff/Arduino-IRremote

I installed it and compiled the first example without errors.

So you need to do this stuff: Read this before posting a programming question

Show your code.

Show the error messages.


There are 2 common sorts of IR detectors. The simplest is a PIN photodiode, which has 2 leads. It needs an amplifier and signal conditioning circuitry to do anything useful. I use one with an amplifier and an oscilloscope to see what signals are generated by IR remote control units.

The other sort is a 3-wire IC containing a photosensor, amplifier and detector. These are designed to work with IR that is modulated at a particular frequency, most commonly 38KHz (which is what most IR remotes use). This type can be interfaced directly to an Arduino.

So if your detector is a simple photodiode, then I suggest you buy one of the 3-wire 38kHz IR detectors to make your life easier.
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