Following the instructables, I managed to map out the remote for my AC unit. I took apart an old remote and stole it's IR LED. Hooked it up to Pin 3 with a resister (I forget what I had on there, but I was using it with a regular LED with no trouble - maybe a 220?). Surprisingly, it worked pretty much out of the box.
HOWEVER, it needs to be REALLY, REALLY close to the IR receiver (say about one foot).
so I am trying to decide on one of two designs, but part of that depends on what you all tell me.
Question 1: Is the short range expected? How can I fix that? Pin 3 should be giving enough power, but should I provide a separate power source to it and feed it via transistor? Should I try dropping the resister level? Is it maybe a bad IR LED (it was pretty old, but I figure the original remote must have had more range than that).
Question 2: My plan is to use this all for home automation. I want to be able to tell me phone to turn on pretty much any IR appliance in the house. So there are two ways I can handle this.
Design A: A private army of little, cheap arduinos each one armed with a small IR led (maybe 2 for devices close together) and wiring the LED's right up against the receivers (like you do with a media closet).
Design B: Strategically placed IR LED's around the house each one covering a swatch of the room. intelligent decision on which IR can hit the device best (for this to work, I need to answer Question 1 above about why the short range).
Figuring that 1 is solvable because well..l. my remote works from across the room and I am sure you will tell me how to fix it... Which design would you suggest?