IR reciver

I have tried to set up a basic IR reciver curcuit, it only consists of the reciver and it should print the values it reads in hex. I managed to fix the liberies and compile the sketch. However, I don’t know if I’m actually reciving anything. At first nothing at all was printed. Then two inputs where displayed, each on eight digits/letters. I tried googeling them to figure out what buttons they came from, thinking the reciver might be a bit slow or that my remote was bad (I haven’t used it before, but the battery is new). I didn’t get any hits even when I found someone who used the same remote as me.
Then I came across this page that said that if you recived random numbers you should try turning the lights of because they might interfer with the signal from the remote. So I did that, and another hex code appeared. So I started turning the lights on and of. Most times, not always, a new code appears when the lighting changed (it seames to take longer when I turn it on though). Anyways, nothing happens when I press the remote no matter what the light situation was. I have tried with a TV remote as well (I don’t know if it’s actually supposed to do anyting) and nothing happens when using this either. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it work or how I could troubleshoot? (I don’t have a spare reciver, remote or battery)
Also, how robust are the recivers? The first time I tried I accidentaly switched the cord to the pin and 5V and it went really hot. That also might be the problem. Although then it really shouldn’t display anything at all right?

This is the sketch I used

#include <IRremote.h>

int RECV_PIN = 11;

IRrecv irrecv(RECV_PIN);

decode_results results;

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);
  irrecv.enableIRIn(); // Start the receiver
}

void loop() {
  if (irrecv.decode(&results)) {
    Serial.println(results.value, HEX);
    irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value
  }
}

IR remotes are not all alike. There are several different protocols and frequencies. The receiver's frequency has to match the remote's frequency. So if the remote is 36KHz and the receiver is 40KHz they won't work together. The protocol must be one that the library can recognize. I use the multi-protocol-infrared-remote-library. Load and run the IRrecvDump example from the library. That will tell you the protocol of the remote, if it is recognized.

If the receiver got very hot it is probably damaged. I have had good results with these 38KHz receivers http://www.dipmicro.com/store/VS1838B. I get remotes from the local thrift store for $0.50 to $1.00 each.