IR receiver as USB keyboard

[Arthur] built an IR receiver to use with XBMC. Because it’s software specific he identifies the device on USB as a keyboard, and passes the IR commands as keystrokes used by the popular media platform.

Normally, homebrew IR receivers would use LIRC, the Linux Infrared Remote Control software. But this method doesn’t require you to have that running. In fact, it doesn’t need any setup on the PC end of things. Any remote that uses the Sony SIRC protocol will work off the bat.

[Arthur] chose a PIC 18f2550 for the project. It is a popular microcontroller because it has built-in USB handling. We’re a bit skeptical of the hardware design though. We didn’t see specifically which IR receiver he’s using, but many require some type of filtering so check the suggested layout in the datasheet for your module.

Comments

  1. Ben Ryves says:

    Nice work! I built something similar for PowerDVD using an ATtiny84 and V-USB: http://benryves.com/products/powerdvdremote

  2. Gdogg says:

    @Ben Ryves that actually looks really cool, his looks kind of sloppy. Unfortunately I’m a PIC guy and would probably do something more similar to his.

  3. Whatnot says:

    @ben ryves: Very tidy design, and tidy site too.

    I sometimes wish I had the ability to be so organized and contained, but things are like they are I guess.

  4. chango says:

    Direct demodulation in software seems like unnecessary work. A UART at 115200 will emit a few characters for even the shortest pulse in 40kHz modulated SIRC.

  5. steve says:

    @Ben
    I like yours better, might have to build one for my tvpc, though f*** power dvd, I’d stick with xbmc; good thing that this looks like it can be adapted to any software on the pc side.

  6. Headbonk says:

    I had the same idea. Why build a device just to talk to LIRC just so LIRC can translate the device output into keyboard inputs? An ATtiny running USBTiny can do all the work for you.

  7. fartface says:

    Neat if you cant afford the $25.00 Windows media center remote and usb receiver.

    The ones that are 100% MSMEDIA center compatible work out of the box on XBMC live linux installs.

  8. Hugh says:

    Actually I might going to build this one. It seems to be simple and useful.

    LIRC is a piece of trash project, it only support a very narrow range of receivers. If you have built in infrared sensor in your laptop or PC or an external USB infrared tool you have almost no chance to make that work in linux. One of the worst hardware support in linux is definitely Infrared and now that it’s replaced by wifi/wimax/bluetooth won’t be developed in the future either.

    If you have a windows box then don’t bother with this but if you use linux, bsd, solaris etc this project is the way to go.

  9. John Burton says:

    Nice :)

    I did something similar but only on a plugboard. I emulated a USB keyboard and used a remote control to play world of warcraft with it. I don’t have the circuit or software any more but I did make a video of it –

  10. Arthur says:

    Thanks for sharing it for me Hackaday :), and i will put a parts list of the project on instructables(The receiver was a TSOP6238).

    [fartface], i would be happy to buy the windows remote,but as a live in brazil i can’t get anything easily and without paying a lot on taxes (around 100%).Sometimes it’s faster,and sure more fun, to do it yourself.

    I’m sorry about the sloppy construction,it was just a prototype (but it’s working until now and i don’t see no reason to spend more time on it).I think it’s easy to make this thing small,you just need a way to build it (gets hard with handmade PCB,and single sided boards).

  11. Wow! nice!

  12. cde says:

    @HUGH you know that IRDA is not the same thing as Infrared Remote Control, right? Two different frequencies and hardware types. IRDA doesn’t work that way.

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