Infrared serial to Wiimote IR camera?

Sorry, tried the search function, lots of info about setting up serial IR links, and some about using a wiimote IR camera and getting signals off of it and such, but nothing about combining the 2 principles.

TL,DR Can you send serial data, or even just a pulsing strobe from an IR led, to a nintendo wiimote camera, and decode it into meaningful information (simple enough is just sending 1 8bit number once every second or a PWM strobe)

Long version/ MK1. I've been playing with electronics for airsoft players ever since I started here on the forums. One of my earliest successful projects was the addition of an IR detector inside of a tube mounted under the barrel of an airsoft gun, while having teammates attach outward facing IR leds to themselves. Works great, I point my gun into the woods, and an LED turns on on my gun to show that there is a teammate over there.

MK2. So that's been running great, so I tried to step it up a bit. Rather then just detecting an IR source in a direction, I added a strobing feature. Most of them are a simple 555 timer circuit added. With this added in, depending on the frequency of the strobing light the detector finds, it puts a number from 00-99 on a pair of 7 seg displays, so I know who I'm pointing at. This also works moderately well, especially in night games.

MK3. Another player saw this idea and he expanded on it himself, he instead of a 555 circuit, uses PWM off of the arduino to strobe the LEDs. His is a bit better in that you're number can be adjusted with a potentiometer. Now all of us use that version instead, older ones still have just 2 digit readouts on the gun (Hex readout now). Newer ones have tiny 4 digit ones. Sadly theres no need since theres only about 40 players who use this system.

Mk4. which is still in the works and the other guy is doing is a switch to an IR serial link. He's making it so that it serially sends out 4 8bit numbers. 1 to correspond to player number, and 2-3 will be set by the player in an attempt to send something a little more meaningful, enemies nearby, their directions and range, and other things like that. Thats still a work in progress though.

We've been talking though about going in a slightly different direction for a player who would be a squadlead or such.

On the 1 hand, I've got 1 of these displays on the way and I've gotten wiimote IR cameras to work great before, using the library on this page.

The new idea on that is to take the wiimote camera, and attempt to track any IR signals incoming (camera can only do 4, but thats enough for a prototype). And then send the positions tracked, over to the graphic OLED. Then simply make a little circle or square at the position of an IR source (which translates to a teammate being there). I've done this with other screens before, and it worked alright. But the transparent 1 above will be whats actually built into a helmet for testing. It also has a large single pixel black LCD display mounted behind it so that during daytime, a button will black out behind the oled for better reading visibility. (according to a friend daytime visibility of the screen is poor)

Now that itself probably will have a degree of not working. Mainly due to the close proximity between the screen and the eye, but I think I can get it away from my face about 3.5 in, so it shouldn't be too hard to see.

Next wonder though, is could the strobing, or IR serial be picked up by the camera, and then decoded by the arduino. The wiimote camera runs at 100hz, so a baud rate of 100,50,25 might be readable. On the arduino side I'm just guessing that a source would appear for (using the 100,50,25 baud rates) 1,2,4 frames on a 1, and not be there that many frames on a 0. The problem comes in as to making sure the arduino is starting to read on the correct bit. Which is also proving to be a bit of a problem for the mk4 idea above (however that can work at higher frequencies)

Last thought would be the wiimote detects things, but then go back to the old gun and just have 1 serial/strobe detector, mounted parallel to the camera and done in such a manner that center on the camera/display, corresponds to the direction that the single IR receiver is pointed. (look straight at someone and it would say change the color of their box on the display to show who they are.

Oh well, thats my crazy idea for a while. If anyone can give any insight into properly sending the serial data over an IR camera like this it would be much appreciated. Due to the fact that breaks in LOS would be common, its not so easy to spend a lot of time handshaking and making sure that theres a good signal line, especially for a signal only transferring at a max of 100 baud.

Thanks for any help ahead of time.


Since posting this have you tried your Wiimote idea? Did the camera have enough resolution to give you useful feedback?

Cheers ! Geoff