Prototyping a Bluetooth to IR remote control translator

[James] is one of those guys on a quest to control everything with one device. His tool of choice is an Android phone, which can do quite a lot right out of the box. But he was never satisfied with its lack of IR remote control abilities. He fixed that feature-gap by building a Bluetooth to Infrared translator.

The hardware he used for the prototype is quite simple. A cheap serial Bluetooth modem from eBay lets him connect to his phone. An Arduino board listens for data from the modem and converts incoming commands to flashes on an IR LED. Voila, he can control the tube with his phone.

We love the potential of this hack. The Bluetooth module runs from 3.3V, and reading serial data and flashing an LED is extremely simple. You should be able to use a small uC, say an ATtiny13, and a 3.3V regulator to miniaturize the module. We could see this plugging into the USB port on the back of a TV for power, with a wire extension to put the LED into position. The only shortfall is the inability to turn the TV on remotely when drawing power this way.

Remote codes aren’t particularly large to store either. So this would be pretty easy to extend to full control of all IR-compatible home entertainment devices. You just need a tool to discover the remote control codes.

Comments

  1. Ryan says:

    Call me when you’re driving the IR led with the headphone port.

  2. jaybles says:

    my first thoughts are what about the codes for an ir adapter(nyko) for the ps3 and using the phone as a remote control for blu ray playback and whatever. I would love that!

  3. rhino says:

    I was in the process of doing the exact same thing! Nothing irritates me more than sitting down in my lazy chair after a long day to see my wife or kids have left the remote buried somewhere else. Nice job!

  4. MS3FGX says:

    It’s refreshing to see a project that uses a sensible Bluetooth device, and not one of those ridiculously overpriced ones off of SparkFun.

  5. Shawn says:
  6. Kyrre says:

    This stuff got me thinking. I have seen that most digital cameras can detect ir light. Does this mean that one could figure out the IR codes using the camera on the Android itself?
    Couple that with a IR module connected directly to the phone USB, and we’re one app away from the ultimate universal remote!

  7. randy says:

    @ryan call me when ur pulsing the camera flash to produce ir and have a nokia java app compiled to run on dirt cheap fones

  8. BLuRry says:

    Dr. Horrible vehicle hacking FTW!

  9. Alok says:

    need to control an aerial vehicle using the gravity sensor of the android i.e. i want my android to work as the transmitter (i.e. kind of x bee module)

    any1 got an idea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93,647 other followers