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Author Topic: Which remote is easiest to use for a beginner  (Read 1123 times)
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I'm about to buy an arduino nano, and I'm shopping for all the parts I need for my first arduino project. Which is simply using a small (roughly keyfob size) wireless remote with at least 3 buttons to move a single servo to 3 predifined positions.  

I have spent hours searching and reading about integrating remotes with arduino, but I'm still confused which would be the best and easiest to use.  I want to keep the cost of the remote under $10, but my biggest concern is the ease getting it working for a beginner like me who is learning completely from scratch.

Here are the most likely choices I've found so far.

1. This $7.50 arduino remote kit from ebay with remote and ir reciever and 2 resistors.  Seems like it might be easiest since it comes with both remote and reciever and is advertised specifically for arduino.  Too bad it has to come from china.
http://cgi.ebay.com/IR-Remote-Control-DIY-Kit-Arduino-MCU-PIC-Infrared-/150515739193?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230b6fea39

2. This TSOP4838 38khz ir reciever for $2.50 shipped on ebay.  I already have a small JVC car stereo remote I could use (if it would work well with this reciever).  This is the cheapest way I've found, and also ships from the US so no 3 week long wait, however I'm concerned it might be much more difficult having to capture the codes from it, or possibly deal with other incompatabilities.
http://cgi.ebay.com/IR-Receiver-Module-38-kHz-TSOP4838-/320620984548?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa67ff8e4

3. This 4 button RF remote/reciever for about $6.  Has to ship from china unfortunately, but I believe RF is normally better than IR.  I'm just unsure of the difficulty of implementing it with arduino, whether it would be easier to hook up and program or more difficult.

4. Perhaps there is another remote solution that I don't know about that would be better than any of those I've found and still be roughly keyfob size and under $10?

Thanks.
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It looks like the 7.50 chinese thingie comes with Arduino sample code to so that would be my choise.

Implementing IR from scratch is possible and have been done by others, but it's not an easy task.

Just remember that IR requires line of sight to your reciever and works over a very lmited distance.

RF has greater range.
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The Sony protocol is the easiest to program. But the best looking remote control (IMO) is the Apple Aluminum Remote which uses the NEC protocol. I just completed a project using the Apple remote. Check my blog.
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Quote
Too bad it has to come from china.

I have no complaints on any of the many orders I've made via e-bay from Chinese sellers. Orders usually arrive in 10 days here on the west coast.

Lefty
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Or make your own IR/RF remote.  You have an arduino controlling the servos now?
Will be a little more than $10, but infinitely more satisfying and can be programmed to do more things for your next project!

I started from this IR Remote for Granny and modified into RF for my needs
http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1283692181
With so few components, you could do that as a beginner.:-)

Or you could try something a little more  complex, like my RF remote.
You will need:
An Arduino (I used a Promini, you can go with less expensive equivalent, such as RBBB from Modern Devices)
Rx/Tx pair from Sparkfun
- MO-SAWR, WRL-08946 TX
- MO-RX3400, WRL-08950 RX
Battery pack from pololu.com - 16 MHz Promini works just fine on 3 AAAs.
(http://www.pololu.com/search?query=battery+holder)
Box to put it in (found mine at Staples)
Keypad - can find 20-button keypad from "surplus sales of Nebraska" for $1, or a more common Velleman 12 & 16 button keypad for $5-6. Or ...
Some diodes.
Board to hold it all together - I used a Velleman "island of holes" board, there are others that do the same. Li battery is secured to it with tiewraps.
I used wirewrap socket strips for mounting the parts and making all connections on the bottom of the board. There are few enough connections that you could do it all with point to point wiring.

The schematic and the working design:
(the Li battery charger circuit can be left off, and the 4 switch block as well - they are wired in but have not been implemented yet, future expansion goal if you will)
(currently uses a 3.3V 8MHz Promini running on 3.7V Li Battery - in powerdown sleep mode all the time, wakes on keypress to send the button pushed, then goes back to sleep)





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I just looked at the ebay links. I just finished code for the NEC protocol based on pulseIn() by measuring the time between pulses. It requires that you redefine pulseIn(). You can read the comments/code here: http://downloadcode.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/code-for-buffalo-ii-dac-vb05/
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