IR Emitter Module - v0.1

So, as I may have mentioned in a couple of threads, I’ve been working on a project where I’m using my Spider mainboard to output IR codes via an extender control connecting to a breadboarded series of IR LEDs.

I’m hoping to turn this into a Gadgeteer module (BTW - Gus, PLEASE let me know if you’re already working on this, so I don’t waste my time), and to that end, I took some time this evening to move from a breadboarded circuit, to putting the circuit onto a PCB with a 3-pin header for 5v, signal, and Gnd.

I had an extra controller from my IR helicopter which I had already started disassembling, so I salvaged the IR LED array from it, hooked up a 2222 NPN transistor, and a couple of 100ohm resistors in parallel (I didn’t have a 50ohm available), and a jumper to get from base to the appropriate header pin.

Next step is to get a copy of Eagle and design the actual physical module, and get it made. :slight_smile:

Here’s the result:

Lessons I learned making this:

[ol]Double…no, triple-check that you’re wiring it the right way, BEFORE you solder.
Solder wick may be one of the most wonderful things on earth, especially when you forget #1.
Sometimes your circuit is perfect, and it’s the jumper wire you’re using to test it that’s bad.
Test your jumpers BEFORE you unnecessarily unsolder a perfectly good circuit.
Making stuff is awesome![/ol]

Here’s a pic of the back:

Not good. :snooty:
I don’t see the Gadgeteer logo :naughty:

Just kidding. Good start!

Last pic…the module in action, connected to the extender (if you look carefully, you can see the LEDs are lit, thanks to the fact that phone cameras can “see” IR):

@ Architect


Believe it or not, I seriously considered trying to make a Gadgeteer logo with a sharpie, but I’m lousy at freehand drawing, and there’s no font for that G on my label maker. Guess I’ll just have to wait for the next iteration. :slight_smile:

That is some serious gadgeteering you have there! ;D

@ Architect

Yeah, that board is getting a little crowded. Once I get the Tamiya universal plates I ordered, I’ll be moving the Hydra off to its own board, so that should give the spider a little more breathing room.

I may also see if I can figure out how to mount the LCD on an adjustable angle, rather than flat. So many possibilities!

I have a suggestion for your module. Add 3 NPN transistors (1 per led) and another PNP to “rule them all”. ;D

You can even go for 4 leds similar two TV-B-Gone.

What do I get by adding the extra transistors? So far as I can tell, the output with the current setup is plenty for the purposes of flying the heli, which is probably the most demanding task I can think of for the module.

Turning off or on a TV with this should be a breeze.

What am I missing? Keeping in mind, here, that I’m a newb, not an EE. :slight_smile:

If you are happy with range and strength, than never mind.

Here is the logo for you ;D

This is great. Please more “community modules”. This will help everyone :wink:

@ Gus and @ Architect

Thanks for the encouragement!

This is definitely a stretch from my background in software development, but there’s such a huge satisfaction in making stuff with your own hands. :slight_smile:

Looking forward to polishing this into a nicer form and showing it off…

@ devhammer
Btw do you have the protocol description for the S105G?

Nice job! Have you ordered your free socket samples?

This is awesome. Congratulations, Andrew.

I feel like my little electronics geek has grown up and gone off to find his own way in the world :wink:


@ Architect

No, I only have the S107g protocol, which I picked up from the following RC forum thread:

[url]Coaxial IR protocol (SH, Syma, etc...) - Page 6 - RC Groups

Not sure whether they share the same protocol, but I thought there might have been some discussion of the S105 on that thread, either earlier or later than the portion that details the S107 info.

Thanks for the link.

@ Ian

It’s not clear from the thread…is there a special route to order these as samples? I had to dig just to figure out how to add them to the cart, but it’s looking like around $40, including shipping. Not the end of the world, but a bit steep for sockets.

@ Pete From the thread Ian linked to, looks like you picked up some of these…how did you go about it? Did you get them as samples?

Also, thanks to both of you for all the help and encouragement along the way. I can still remember when my Spider starter kit arrived, and I plugged it in and stared at the screen showing “Waiting for debug commands…” and having not a clue what to do next.

Then I discovered the GHI getting started doc in my Start menu, and put together the digital camera sample in about 15-20 minutes. From then on, I’ve been hooked.

To make it even better, the v0.1 module prototype wasn’t my first soldering project today…MakerShed had a special on Netduino and MakerShield together for just the cost of the Netduino, and since I figured it can’t hurt to try different form factors, I couldn’t resist. This afternoon, I put together the MakerShield in around 40 minutes. Relatively simple kit, but satisfying nonetheless.

Two things that helped make that project easier are the needle tip I picked up for my soldering iron recently (the chisel tip heats up the PCB too much), and the small side-cutters I got today for trimming leads. Both make for much cleaner end results.

@ Architect

My pleasure.

If you can’t find the S105 info in that thread, another option is to capture and analyze it yourself. I’m guessing you have a logic analyzer, which should make the job pretty easy, but even if you don’t, an eblock infrared receiver will do the trick, along with this code:

[url]GHI Electronics – Where Hardware Meets Software

which you can use to capture an array of the timings. Before I found the S107 info in the RC thread, I was in the process of capturing and analyzing packets using the IR receiver eblock. I’d just record the input, copy and paste it into Excel, and then run a leveling macro that would show me which timings represented low vs. high. Probably a bit more involved than using a logic analyzer, but since I don’t own one… :slight_smile:

I may still have the project available, if you’d like me to share it.

@ Ian / @ Pete

Never mind on the Samtec thing…finally found the Samples link.

Thanks for the heads-up, Ian. And thank you both for all of your help along the way. I’ve still got loads and loads to learn, but it’s thanks to you and the rest of this community that I’ve gotten this far this fast.