1. Introduction
  2. Preparations
  3. What is IR?
  4. Examples


IR, or infrared, communication is a common, inexpensive, and easy to use wireless communication technology. IR light is very similar to visible light, except that it has a slightlty longer wavelength. This means IR is undetectable to the human eye – perfect for wireless communication. In this lesson, we will show how to use the Infrared Transmitting Module and Infrared Receiving Module with the Osoyoo UNO board .




What is IR?

Infra-Red light is actually normal light with a particular colour. We humans can’t see this colour because its wave length of about 950nm is below the visible spectrum. That’s one of the reasons why IR is chosen for remote control purposes, we want to use it but we’re not interested in seeing it. Another reason is because IR LEDs are quite easy to make, and therefore can be very cheap, thus making it ideal for us hobbyists to use IR control for our own projects. We need to konw there are many more sources of Infra-Red light. The sun is the brightest source of all, but there are many others, like: light bulbs, candles, central heating system, and even our body radiates Infra-Red light. A common modulation scheme for IR communication is something called 38kHz modulation. There are very few natural sources that have the regularity of a 38kHz signal, so an IR transmitter sending data at that frequency would stand out among the ambient IR. 38kHz modulated IR data is the most common, but other frequencies can be used. When you hit a key on your remote, the transmitting IR LED will blink very quickly for a fraction of a second, transmitting encoded data to your appliance. If you were to hook an oscilloscope up to your TV remote’s IR LED, you would see a signal similar to the one above. This modulated signal is exactly what the receiving system sees. However, the point of the receiving device is to demodulate the signal and output a binary waveform that can be read by a microcontroller. When you read the OUT pin of the VS1838B with the wave from above, you will see something like the second.


As everything that radiates heat, also radiates Infra-Red light. Therefore we have to take some precautions to guarantee that our IR message gets across to the receiver without errors.Modulation of the signal on a carrier frequency is the answer to make our signal stand out above the noise. With modulation we make the IR light source blink in a particular frequency. The IR receiver will be tuned to that frequency, so it can ignore everything else. In the picture below you can see a modulated signal driving the IR LED of the transmitter on the left side. The detected signal is coming out of the receiver at the other side.
(Thanks to for the gif and excellent IR resource!)

Technical Details of  VS1838B IR Receiver

The pinout for VS1838B IR Receiver:

Infrared Transmitting Module

This tiny unit allows users to connect to any microcontroller that operates at 5v logic level. Using an IR transmitter module you can send signals, commands or queries from this module. Commonly used for tv remote  control from a distance of 5 feet or more. For robotic usage you need the IR receiver on the other end . Holding the board with the pins facing towards you, the left labelled – is for ground, the middle pin is for 5v power supply and the right most pin labelled S is for digital pin 11. Arduino IR Transmitter Module Keyes KY-005, emits infrared light at 38kHz.



Note: The following library must be installed in your Arduino installation for this to work!

CLICK HERE – IR REMOTE CONTROL: LIBRARY NOTE!! If you have a late version of Arduino with a library IRRobotRemote, it may conflict and you may have to remove that library.Make sure to delete Arduino(root)/libraries/RobotIRremote. Where Arduino(root) refers to the install directory of Arduino. The library RobotIRremote has similar definitions to IRremote and causes errors.


Read codes from IR Remote

This example will show you how to read IR remote codes from any IR remote using the VS1838B IR receiver and an Arduino. Once you can receive codes from individual button presses, your remote control and Arduino become a general purpose, short range, communication interface! The first thing you need to do is make sure the IR Arduino library has been installed, Instructions on how to install an Arduino library can be found here.


Build the circuit as below:

Code Program

After above operations are completed, connect the Arduino board to your computer using the USB cable. The green power LED (labelled PWR) should go on.Open the Arduino IDE and choose corresponding board type and port type for you project. Then load up the following sketch onto your Arduino.
#include <IRremote.h>  // use the IRRemote.h
const int irReceiverPin = 2;  //the SIG of receiver module attach to pin2
IRrecv irrecv(irReceiverPin); //Creates a variable of type IRrecv
decode_results results;    // define resultsas 

void setup()
  Serial.begin(9600);    //initialize serial,baudrate is 9600
  irrecv.enableIRIn();   // enable ir receiver module

void loop() 
  if (irrecv.decode(&results)) //if the ir receiver module receiver data
    Serial.print("irCode: ");    //print "irCode: "        
    Serial.print(results.value, HEX); //print the value in hexdecimal 
    Serial.print(",  bits: ");  //print" , bits: "         
    Serial.println(results.bits); //print the bits
    irrecv.resume();    // Receive the next value 
  delay(600); //delay 600ms

When specific buttons are pressed, you can use the incoming values to do something else in your code, for example turn on and off a motor or LED. The results from each button press can be found by calling the value() method:
You can print the values to the Serial Monitor window:
Serial.println(results.value, HEX); //prints the hex value a a button press

Running Result

The sketch will automatically decode the type of remote you are using and identify which button on your remote is pressed. Open the Serial Monitor in the Arduino IDE at 9600 bps and hit different buttons on your remote.

Transmitting infrared signals

In this example, I will show you how to use the Osoyoo UNO with the ky005 module.

Connection Diagram

Connect the Power line (middle) and ground (-) to +5 and GND respectively. Connect signal (S) to pin 3 on the Arduino UNO or pin 9 on the Arduino Mega. The pin number for the infrared transmitter is determined by the IRremote library, check the download section below for more info.
KY-005 Arduino UNO
S Pin 3
middle +5V

Code Program

After above operations are completed, connect the Arduino board to your computer using the USB cable. The green power LED (labelled PWR) should go on.Open the Arduino IDE and choose corresponding board type and port type for you project. Then load up the following sketch onto your Arduino.
#include <IRremote.h>   // Referring to the IRRemote function library, the header file 
                        //has defined PIN 3 as the signal output, so it can only connect 
                        //to PIN 3. If change, please change it in the header file                                              
IRsend irsend;
void setup()  
void loop()  
  irsend.sendNEC(0xFF02FD, 32);   //The code 'FF02FD' is the received infrared code  
                                  //if you need to use other functions, please 
                                  //use the receiving tube read the correct encoding value.  

Running Result

A few seconds after the upload finishes, open the Serial Monitor of the first example device, you will see the corresponding IR code on the screen.