Apple Remote Arduino shield


[Computergeek] made an Arduino Shield in order to use it as an Apple remote. We like the construction technique that he used; taking perf-board and soldering the circuit and using stripped wire to interface with the pin sockets on the Arduino. He’s written the code needed to function as an Apple Remote but this shield has a lot more potential. This is an excellent opportunity to delve into the different IR protocols out there and create a universal remote for all of your random devices. We’d also want to give it a try as a TV-B-Gone.

The parts are easy to find or salvage without putting in an order.  We’re not certain about his design, he should probably have invited a resistor to the party the two IR LEDs are having.


  1. octel says:

    No menu button?

  2. Russ says:

    I think he’s OK without the resistor… judging by the schematic he posted, he’s driving them from the Arduino’s pin 13, which has a built-in current-limiting resistor.

  3. KMD says:

    “he should have invited a resistor…”

    If he’s running both LEDs from pin 13(built in resistor) should he need another one?!?

  4. mukmuk says:

    sounds like Resistor gets to stay at home while Arduino hangs out with two hot IRs all night yet again. T_T

  5. When having LEDs in parallel like that, each LED should have its own resistor (instead of one resistor for both). It still works the original way, but this way is just more electronically correct

  6. polossatik says:

    Vive La Resitance (like spoken in the infamouse “allo allo” series)

  7. WeirdFishes says:

    Woot! LED party!

  8. jamieriddles says:

    If I remember correctly, the resistor is only on the SMD led built into the duemilanove, check the schematics if you don’t believe me

  9. ladz says:

    I’ve refused the Arduino kool-aid before this, but I had a quick science fair timer project to do for the kids, so instead of yet again setting up the PIC C compiler etc I ordered one.
    Man they are soooo easy to use with the simple included libraries and IDE. The project took 1/4th the time it would have with a PIC.

  10. robocat says:

    There is no pullup on inline resistor on Duemilanove pin 13.

    Duemilanove pin 13 is connected to a resistor and LED to ground. Duemilanove pin 13 is directly connected directly to pin 19 on the ATMEGA.

  11. ComputerGeek says:

    I didn’t add use a resistor with the IR LED’s because pin 13 already has one built in. So Russ, KMD, RazorConcepts, jamieriddles & robocat are correct in their thinking.

    I didn’t add a menu button because I didn’t have another button easily assessable & on my apple remote it’s kind of annoying. But it would be easy to add one.

    Thanks for featuring my project!

  12. Casey says:

    As the author of the Arduino Apple Remote library, I’m super excited that my work has (tangentially) made Hack-a-day. I welcome any patches, as well as pointers to other projects using it. Thanks for featuring a project that featured my project.


  13. walt says:

    apple BOOOO!!! instructables BOOOO!!!

  14. blue carbuncle says:

    but does it have an arduino in it?

  15. therian says:

    what you talking about !?
    in MPLAB you can real time debug, calculate each cycle time and use any language you like and most of them come with so large libraries that manual look like encyclopedia

  16. therian says:

    even pic ccs, which considered by many as worst language come with so much build in stuff that Arduino cant even dream about with all its shield

  17. riazap says:

    I’ve come up with a diagnosis for the thing people like therian are afflicted with. It’s A.D.S. (Arduino Derangement Syndrome).

  18. Roly says:

    If not including a resistor in series with a current mode device isn’t wrong, then connecting two current mode devices in parallel certainly is.

    If you wouldn’t do either of these things with power diodes, why is it that people think it’s okay with LE Diodes? Because they *look* like little globes? Is the need for current drive *really* that hard to understand?

    I have examples of LED torches (flashlights) that depend entirely on the bulk resistance of the diodes in parallel and internal resistance of the battery in series – utterly bloody horrible “design”. Some LED’s do expire, and they make very poor use of the batteries. Yes, even manufacturers are getting away with such abominations, but they *are* abominations, not examples to emulate.

    Adding a transistor stage will allow more current to be switched, but current setting resistors then become mandatory. IR LED’s in particular have the lowest cut-in voltage at 1.2 volts, and their V/I curve then rises almost vertically with a slope of amps per volt!


    I don’t think a “reflector” is actually going to help much because most of the light is already being lensed into about a 30 degree forward cone. What does work is a bit more lensing to concentrate the energy into a narrower beam.

  19. therian says:

    Derangement Syndrome mean irrational belief despite all factual evidence(like false imaginary difficulties or unbelievable high cost) so professor, to which side this definition apply more ?

  20. M4CGYV3R says:

    If you need something as huge as an arduino to create an IR remote, you fail at mc building. Look at the TVBGone – who needs an Arduino to pulse IR LEDs?

  21. Jay Vaughan says:

    I think the point of using an Arduino is that when this project gets boring, its easy to take the Arduino off to some other party. Inevitably, the swiss-army knife factor comes into play here a bit ..

  22. ladz says:

    I’m not knocking PICs at all.
    The PIC / MPLab and assorted compilers and certainly have more flexibility and power than Arduino. But for quick hobby projects that don’t require any optimization for manufacturability, battery life, speed, etc (read: actual engineering) it seems like the Arduino environment is ideal.

  23. therian says:

    @Jay Vaughan
    “I think the point of using an Arduino is that when this project gets boring, its easy to take the Arduino off to some other party.

    but this mean you destroy you project, newer leaving working one, isn’t it better to grab new cheap chip from bag and leave working piece for future use ?

  24. riazap says:

    You truly are useless. Are you a libertarian or an objectivist? You certainly sound like someone brainwashed by Ayn Rand.

  25. therian says:

    @riazap the truth is too hurtful ?

  26. Cool, so between Steve’s idea to use your computer’s line-in port and Josh’s idea to use an Arduino, everyone should be able to do the signal measurements even if they don’t have an oscilloscope. Thanks for the tips!

  27. anna says:

    The remote works perfectly! But my Apple react only every 5 sec.

    I’ve checked the code, but nothing seems to be wrong.
    Does anyone have this problem too?
    Or is it the Apple?

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