IR LED Issue

Hi all,

Another noob post, so, sorry in advance.

I'm attempting to follow the tutorial posted here: IR Communication - learn.sparkfun.com

Currently, I have everything up and running fine--except the transmission part. I can't tell if the IR LED itself is being activated or not, but, based on my research (and trying to use my smartphone's camera), it doesn't appear that it is.

I'm fairly new to this whole game, so I thought perhaps my soldering job was bad (I'm not using a breadboard; just solid core wiring), so I tried a second one. Still no dice. And given that my other joins are working, I'm hard pressed to believe that's the issue.

Perhaps it's a contact issue in the header? I'm not really sure how to tell. I've also read that using a multimeter in this case might be troublesome.

As it is, I have the Arduino wired up exactly as in the diagram in the link above. Specifically, the IR LED has a ground (from the short arm of the IR LED) to GND (next to the Digital pins), and the long arm (with the 330ohm resistor) is plugged into pin 3 (for PWM).

When I hit the button, I can confirm that the "sendCode" function (from the sample sketch) is firing.

Any advice on how to further troubleshoot would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any replies, and for your patience.

and trying to use my smartphone's camera

Despite the advice on the internet, this is no longer a reliable way to tell. Modern smartphone cameras now filter out IR light so you can no longer see this in a 'video' of the event.

Have you tried replacing the IR LED with a normal LED and just setting the output to on to see if it lights up? When that works, the IR LED should come on providing the software is correct.

BTW, just because you say you followed the example in wiring, etc, we can't tell. Often it is in your particular setup that there are problems, for which you have provided us no details.

(Tried replying w/ pictures but the site seems to have crapped out on me. Take two.)

Understood re the camera, although my smartphone's camera does pick up my TV remote's IR LED as it glows when a button is pressed. Perhaps this IR LED on my board is a bit different?

I'll have to try the normal LED route, and hopefully it gets me further along by perhaps confirming or eliminating something, as I'd really like to not have to test my wire-resistor-LED connections.

And your point is taken re "taking my word for it". Honestly, I'd hope to avoid having to go down that path and maybe it'd be something obvious, but that's likely hoping against hope. I was prepared to upload photos if it came to it, and, it appears to have.

That said, please find attached a couple photos of what I have going on. I apologize for the state of it as I've just been looking to prototype something and practice my soldering skills (or lack thereof). Hopefully you can see which wires are going into which pins/headers. Again, apologies in advance for the readability.

Looks like replacement of the LED is the easiest to start with.

I notice that you also have a receiver wired up - can you actually receive any IR signal from an existing remote control?

DManTO:
(Tried replying w/ pictures but the site seems to have crapped out on me. Take two.)

Understood re the camera, although my smartphone's camera does pick up my TV remote's IR LED as it glows when a button is pressed. Perhaps this IR LED on my board is a bit different?

No!

DManTO:
That said, please find attached a couple photos of what I have going on. I apologise for the state of it as I've just been looking to prototype something and practice my soldering skills (or lack thereof). Hopefully you can see which wires are going into which pins/headers. Again, apologies in advance for the readability.

Dropbox - IMG_4747.jpg - Simplify your life

Dropbox - IMG_4746.jpg - Simplify your life

You need to understand the difference between citing an image, and a Web page which references the image among a lot of other junk.

marco_c:
Looks like replacement of the LED is the easiest to start with.

I notice that you also have a receiver wired up - can you actually receive any IR signal from an existing remote control?

Yes, I can, actually. Works quite well!

Paul__B:
No!

"No" what? "No" the LED isn't any different? Then I'm curious as to why I can see the glow of another remote's LED with my smartphone camera when that LED is in use and not mine, if not because the LED on my board isn't working/isn't connected properly.

Paul__B:
You need to understand the difference between citing an image, and a Web page which references the image among a lot of other junk.

What's the problem with the images? Is it that I took the images in front of some junk in my work room? Or did you have problems viewing the images in my Dropbox, which can house images in greater detail that exceed the 2MB file upload limit imposed by this forum? If it's the latter, I can try a different file-hosting service, but, I've not heard anyone else have an issue with it just yet. If it's the former, I apologize and can try to take a better picture.

Ok, as it turns out all was well. It was the range. The tutorial linked to said a range of about 10 feet in a dimly lit room. Well, in my case, it turned out to be about half that: I was too far away from the IR receiver.

Thanks regardless for everyone's input.