5v motor activated by IR remote control (HELP for scientific project on bird's conservation)

Hi all, my name is Martín (biologist) and I'm new to Arduino. I know the basics and trying to make progress on this. However, I'm running out of time and need of your help. We are working on the conservation of endemic and endangered birds and I'm trying to set up a spraying device that can be activated wirelessly in order to prevent the infestation of a parasite that kills 75% of nestlings. I get my IR remote working and I can see it in my monitor windows. However I need that, once I press a button, a 3-6 volts water pump is activated by the time I have the button pressed. I'll truly appreciate your help and you will be acknowledged by your support when we publish the scientific paper on this.

This is my current sketch (thanks for the suggestion @paulpaulson )

#include "IRremote.h"

int receiver = 11; // Signal Pin of IR receiver to Arduino Digital Pin 11

IRrecv irrecv(receiver);
decode_results results;

void translateIR()


switch (results.value)

case 0xFFA25D: Serial.println("POWER"); break;
case 0xFFE21D: Serial.println("VOL STOP"); break;
case 0xFF629D: Serial.println("MODE"); break;
case 0xFF22DD: Serial.println("PAUSE"); break;
case 0xFF02FD: Serial.println("FAST BACK"); break;
case 0xFFC23D: Serial.println("FAST FORWARD"); break;
case 0xFFE01F: Serial.println("EQ"); break;
case 0xFFA857: Serial.println("VOL-"); break;
case 0xFF906F: Serial.println("VOL+"); break;
case 0xFF9867: Serial.println("RETURN"); break;
case 0xFFB04F: Serial.println("USB SCAN"); break;
case 0xFF6897: Serial.println("0"); break;
case 0xFF30CF: Serial.println("1"); break;
case 0xFF18E7: Serial.println("2"); break;
case 0xFF7A85: Serial.println("3"); break;
case 0xFF10EF: Serial.println("4"); break;
case 0xFF38C7: Serial.println("5"); break;
case 0xFF5AA5: Serial.println("6"); break;
case 0xFF42BD: Serial.println("7"); break;
case 0xFF4AB5: Serial.println("8"); break;
case 0xFF52AD: Serial.println("9"); break;
case 0xFFFFFFFF: Serial.println(" REPEAT"); break;

  Serial.println(" other button   ");


delay(500); // Do not get immediate repeat

void setup()
Serial.println("IR Receiver Button Decode");
irrecv.enableIRIn(); // Start the receiver


void loop()
if (irrecv.decode(&results)) // have we received an IR signal?

irrecv.resume(); // receive the next value

Post your current sketch to see how we can help.

Thanks for the suggestion. I did it already!

Read the forum guidelines to see how to properly post code and some hints on how to get the most from this forum.
Use the IDE autoformat tool (ctrl-t or Tools, Auto format) before posting code in code tags.

Any button?

I don't understand what you mean,
please specify when the pump should start, and what makes it stop again.

There are ready-made 433/866 MHz modules with relays and fobs,
did you consider using one of those?

Hello Whandall, thanks a lot for your help and sorry for not being clear enough.
What I need is to have the remote control in my hand and activate the water pump (that will be 10 to 15 meters high) when a press the button. The pump should work only when the button is pressed (I'm not thinking of an on/off button).
Does it make sense now?

As I live in Argentina, there are many supplies that can not be found but will look at the module you mention, sounds like the perfect solution.

FYI, I already have with me a Breadboard Power Supply Module, a L293D microprocessor, an IR receiver module, and remote control.


IR over 10 to 15 meters will be hard to achieve, did you try it in the open already?

I think the 433/866MHz devices would work better.

You do not plan to put a breadboard into a tree, do you?

My recomandation is to redesign the project to use a bluetooth interface. IR technology is usefull by control your TV set in the living room.

Hi again! Haha, no. My bad about typing a breadboard.
I've been looking for 433/866MHz devices and I can find them in my country. The working range is wide better than IR, so I totally agree that this is the best option.
Input voltage is 12 volts, but this is not hard to reach with batteries. Do you know if A23 batteries maybe or a pack of rechargeable batteries will work to power the module?

1 Like

I think the power consumption and current requirements of the pump
will be the determining factor for the battery size.

A23 sound like a button size format, so maybe suitable for the sender.

What module is "the module" you are talking about?
The 433/866MHz modules are often operated from 12V on the receiver side.

To select a suitable battery/accumulator, you have to provide a lot more information,
about the pump, the wireless module you want to use,
the temperature range, ...

Keep in mind that I'm not a low-power or power supply specialist, by any means.

What serial output do you get if you hold one of the buttons down?

A23 batteries are similar but smaller than AAA batteries but they release 12 volts.

I'm now talking with the seller to know more about how to power the module. He suggests using a 12V 7Amps but this is too heavy to lift it up 15 meters on a telescopic pole. Weight is important here since the telescopic pole bends and moves a lot if the spraying device is too heavy.

Need to keep thinking...

It depends on the current, runtime, and a lot of other factors.

There a many 11.8V LiPo modules in many capacity and peak current variants.
Maybe you could use a solar panel to recharge or at least prolong the time between services.

Apart from "pump on a pole, outside with remote control",
we don't know much about your application.

From the parameters of that cell, I think it can not be used in the receiver to run a pump.

And, if your device is to be mounted on a pole, why don't you just run cables to it?
That way you could place a big battery (maybe from an old car) on the ground.

Why does everything have to be at the top of the pole? I would think that the battery and activation button could be at the bottom. Maybe the pump and reservoir too.

Thanks! Yes, I'm currently thinking in a set of 3u 18650 batteries to reach 11.1 volts.
Re cables, we will be using this in the forest of a remote island in the Galapagos archipelago. Once there, we need to lift the device with a telescopic pole between the canopy and dealing with cables to run the pump is not always easy. I have a older, wired, version of this device that works but wanted to improve this issue.
Sorry I didn't explain this before!
Thanks again!

Thanks, Wilbill! That is a good question, that I should have explained before.
We will be using this in the forest of a remote island in the Galapagos archipelago. Once there, we need to lift the device with a telescopic pole between the canopy and dealing with cables to run the pump and a plastic hose to deliver the fluid is not always easy. Besides, having the reservoir at the base requires me to fill up the system (against gravity) every time (or so) I need to reach a nest. I have an older, wired, version of this device that works but wanted to improve this issue.
The activation button should be at the bottom. That's why I'm now thinking to use a 433/866MHz module (suggested by Whandall) powered by 3 3.7 volts batteries (all on the top).
Any ideas are welcomed!

You are leaving out a lot of information still.
How often will the pump be operated?
How long will the installation be in place?
Where is the link to the data sheet of the pump.

Galapagos has a high solar intensity, so maybe a solar panel is worth a try, even under the canopy.

A note on your original setup,
rather pointless if you use the relay of the ready-made module, but maybe interesting:

I don't think that would be a good choice for an efficiency oriented setup.
I would use a simple low-side N-FET to switch the pump, if it were to be controlled by an Arduino.

Sorry for taking so much of your time and for your patience. I'm a biologist and this is kind of a completely unknown (but very interesting) world for me.

The pump will be operated an average of 300 to 400 seconds per day in the following way: when we get to a nest, we lift up the device and spray 50 times (max). Each spray lasts about 1 second. We then take the device down, walk for an hour or so to the following nest and repeat the procedure. We can not treat more than 6 nests per day.
The good news is that we can recharge batteries every day near field site.

This is what I have of the pump:
Voltage: 3 to 5 V.
Working current: 130mA - 220mA
Power: 0,4W - 1,5W
Is there any other spec that can be of help?

Solar panels are a good option, at least to recharge batteries in between treatments.
Following your advice, I prefer to figure out how to power the 433/866MHz module (power consumption in standby mode: 7mA, activated: 39mA). I'm thinking in 3 18650 batteries (3000mA each), 1 protection module and a step-up power source ( Xl6009).
Hope it works!


I don't see the place for the step-up, you would need a step-down to power the pump.

You could use a 1S3P configuration instead of the 3S1P, use the step-up for the module,
and run the pump with the 3.2 to 4.2 cell voltage.

Test if a single cell gives enough performance.

With a single 3000 mAh cell, you can expect 5+ hours of runtime (a crude estimate).

You are right, I need a step down