Infrared Controlled Switch

Introduction

Sick and tired of having to get up from the couch just to turn the lights off? Or have too many remotes laying around the living room with hundreds of buttons when only the channel, volume, and power buttons are used?

WELL HAVE WE GOT THE KIT FOR YOU!!

This month’s kit is an awesome way to control almost anything from the seat of your TV couch (or bed) with the use of almost ANY infrared remote!!
With a push of a button and a remote, you can program the “Infrared-Learning-Box-Thing” to learn almost ANY infrared signal from almost ANY remote.  Once learned, the remote can turn on/off whatever you hook up to the device!

This kit comes with:
Beginner: An Infrared-Learning-Box-Thing DIY kit with one programmable switch and a bright 10mm LED.
Hobbyist: An Infrared-Learning-Box-Thing DIY kit with two programmable switches, a bright 10mm LED, and a Mini Servo.

But don’t stop there!
If you’re the more advance DIYer, you can program the chip to learn even more signals to control even more devices!
And while you’re at it, why not control the other monthly kits?
You can modify our DIY popsi-lock to also open doors with the push of a button!
Or control the LED cubes with the push of a button!
Or even better…program the Infrared-Learning-Box-Thing to learn one signal to control EVERYTHING at once!

Overview

The main player of this kit is the IR Receiver Vs1838B.  This universal sensor can detect all sorts of signals from all sorts of living room remote controllers!

We take advantage of this capability and with the help of some coding and the Arduino IRremote library, we are able to turn this sensor into an awesome Infrared-Learning-Box-Thing!

How it works:

The sensor first detects a signal, sends the information to the Atmega8 microcontroller, the microcontroller then learns and saves the signal.
When another signal is read, the microcontroller compares it with the signal it learned.
If it is the same signal the microcontroller toggles an output pin HIGH or LOW.
We can then add external components such as an LED or servo to be controlled by microcontroller!

What to do:
1) Push and hold a learn button until the yellow learn indicator light turns on.
2) Use an infrared remote and push any button. The yellow learn indicator light will turn off, showing that it learned the signal.
3) Push the same button on the infrared remote to toggle on/off LED/Servo.
4) You can manually toggle the LED/Servo by pushing the learn buttons (quick push).

The beginner comes with an output 10 mm LED and a programmable switch that can also be used to manually turn the LED on.
The hobbyist comes with an output 10mm LED and a servo and two programmable switches.

This simple design and coding allows ease of modification so controlling other things around the house is not a problem!
But keep in mind, although the device turns an LED on/off and can control a servo, it is NOT A POWER SOURCE.  It is a 5V system and anything connected to it that requires a lot of power or not that much may cause damage to something!

This device is a wireless SWITCH so modify it wisely!

 

Materials

Tools you will need

  • Soldering Iron with Solder
  • 22 AWG Stranded Wires or Anything Higher
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Light Bulb
  • Scotch Tape
  • Philip Screw Driver

Tools that will help

  • Helping Hands

Beginner

  • 1 x Atmega8-16PU
  • 1 x 28-Pin Socket
  • 1 x IR Receiver Vs1838B
  • 2 x 1k Ohm Resistor
  • 2 x 10k Ohm Resistor
  • 1 x 10mm White LED
  • 1 x 5mm Yellow LED
  • 1 x 5mm Red LED
  • 2 x 22pF Capacitor
  • 1 x 16Mhz Crystal
  • 1 x Momentary Switch
  • 1 x NPN Transistor 2N222A
  • 1 x 68 Ohm Resistor
  • 1 x 5ft. Copper Wire
  • 1 x Power Jack
  • 1 x Slideswitch
  • 2 x Double-sided tape

Hobbyist

  • 1 x Atmega8-16PU
  • 1 x 28-Pin Socket
  • 1 x IR Receiver Vs1838B
  • 2 x 1k Ohm Resistor
  • 3 x 10k Ohm Resistor
  • 1 x 10mm White LED
  • 1 x 5mm Yellow LED
  • 1 x 5mm Red LED
  • 2 x 22pF Capacitor
  • 1 x 16Mhz Crystal
  • 2 x Momentary Switch
  • 1 x NPN Transistor 2N222A
  • 1 x 68 Ohm Resistor
  • 1 x 5ft. Copper Wire
  • 1 x Power Jack
  • 1 x Slideswitch
  • 4 x Double-sided tape
  • 1 x Mini Servo
  • 1 x 3 Pin Male Headers
  • 1 x Paper Clip

 

Light Bulb Frame

To make our LED light look awesome we will use the 5 ft copper wire provided to craft a light bulb frame!

Step 1)Prepare a light bulb and the 5 ft. wire:
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Step 2)Unwind the copper wire and begin wrapping around the bulb vertically as shown. Use scotch tape and tape the wire in place.
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Step 3)Continue wrapping the light bulb and tape the wire in place on the light’s head.
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Step 4)Finish wrapping the light bulb and use tape to tape it in place.
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Step 5)Use wire cutters to trim the excess wire where the glass and metal base meets.
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Step 6)Solder the ends of the copper wire. Remove the copper wire from the light bulb and set it aside.
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Step 7)Repeat steps 2 through 6 until you have FOUR wire frames.

Step 8)Wrap the copper wire where the light bulb curves to form a circle.
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Step 9)Tape the wire in place and remove the wire from the light bulb.
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Step 10)Solder the copper wires together to form a nearly perfect circle. Then trim off the excess wire.
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Step 11)Wrap the copper wire where the glass meets the metal base and repeat steps 9 and 10 with this smaller circle.
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These next few steps are a bit tricky and requires precision to make the perfect frame!

Step 12)Using the larger circle and one frame, slide the circle in the frame as shown. Then solder them together.
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Step 13)Do the same for the smaller circle. This will be our main structure of the light bulb.
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Step 14)Slide a second frame into the first one.
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Step 15)After making sure the two frames align perfectly solder the head, the base, and the two rings together with the new frame.
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Step 16)Add the last two frames and solder them again on the head, the base, and the two rings. The challenge is to keep them symmetrical!
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Step 17)Finally tie the LED with wires as shown.
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Preparing The Servo

The hobbyist kit comes with an additional learn button and a servo. Here, we will show you how to prepare the servo to toggle your light switches at home on and off!

Step 1)Gather the materials!
Start by gathering the following:

  • Paper Clip
  • Small Philip Screw Driver
  • Scotch Tape
  • Servo
  • Servo Screws (should come with the servo)
  • Servo attachment (should also come with the servo)
  • Double-sided tape

irs1R

Step 2)Servo
First let’s prepare our servo.
Using your screw driver, a screw, and the servo attachment thing, screw and attach the attachment onto the servo as shown.
irs2

Step 3)Servo (continued)
Next use the second screw and enlarge the hole closest to the center.

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Step 4)Servo (continued)
Finish up the servo by placing the double-sided tape EXACTLY as shown. The double-sided tape should be on the left side of the servo, if looking at the servo from the top and the rotor at the bottom.
irs5

Step 5)Paper Clip
Straighten the paper clip as shown.
irs6

Step 6)Paper Clip (continued)
Bend about 1/2 centimeter of the straight end of the paper clip as shown. This part goes into the servo and bending too much will prevent the servo from rotating.
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Step 7)Paper clip (continued)
Position the paper clip to fit tightly around the light switch you want to control.

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Step 8)Paper clip (continued)
Bend the paper clip so it wraps around the switch.
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Step 9)Paper clip (continued)
Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you feel the paper clip is secure. Then, with the light switch pointing down, secure the paper clip in place with a piece of scotch tape.
irs11

Step 10)Adding The Servo
Position the servo so the paper clip fits in the hole we made earlier. The paper clip should be straight and should not have any tension. Remove the double-sided tape and stick the servo onto place. Remove the scotch tape and plug in the servo to test. If the paper clip falls out of the servo apply a piece of scotch tape to hold it in place.
irs12
Hobbyist completed

Beginner Instructions

To guide you on piecing and soldering everything together, lets first identify the components of the device:

ir38

  • Microcontroller – This is the brain of the device that controls, takes inputs, or give outputs to everything else.
  • Inputs – These are the commands or actions the user (YOU!) to give to the device.
    • Buttons – The buttons are switches that the device use to turn something on or off .
    • Infrared Receiver – The receiver input reads wireless signals and sends them to the device for processing.
  • Output – These are the device’s responses from user input.
    • Light Bulb LED – This is our output that we want to turn on and off.
    • Learn Indicator – This output LED turns on when the device is ‘learning’!
    • Power Indicator – This LED tells you the device is on and active!
  • Power – The power component is responsible for powering up our device!
  • Wiring – Connecting components together with wires! -duh!

Alright let’s put this thing together!

1) Microcontroller
The microcontroller component consists of the 28-pin socket to hold the microcontroller, two 22pF capacitors, a 16 Mhz crystal oscillator, and of course the microcontroller!

ir1A) First insert the 28-pin socket onto the board as shown. Make sure the semi-circle of the socket points left!!
ir2B) Next add the two 22pF capacitors as shown. They will share a common hole!
ir3C) Don’t forget the 16Mhz crystal! Place it next to the capacitor aligning the top and bottom pins.
ir4D) The capacitors you have won’t be as big as the ones in the picture and they should fit nicely between the socket and the crystal.
ir5E) On the back, solder the capacitors to the crystal as shown with the grey connections. We also need to solder the two capacitor’s common hole (the lonely red dot in the middle).

2) User Inputs: Infrared Receiver
The infrared receiver component consists of a 10k Ohm resistor and the three-pin infrared receiver.

ir6A)First insert the resistor as shown. One of the lead vertically aligns with the 28-Pin socket’s pin 4.
ir7B)Next, insert the receiver as shown where the front of the receiver points downwards. The far left pin of the receiver should align with the end of the 10k Ohm resistor (not the pin that is already aligned with the 28-Pin socket’s pin 4).
ir8C)On the back, solder the following (shown in grey):
Pin 4 of the 28-Pin socket to one end of the 10k Ohm resistor.
Left most pin of the receiver to the other end of the 10k Ohm resistor.

3) Output: Learn Indicator
The learn indicator component consists of a yellow LED and a 1k Ohm resistor. Pin 17 of the controller turns on the LED if the device is in learning mode. The resistor is used reduce the current going through the LED.

ir9A)Insert the LED as shown with the longer lead vertically aligned with pin 17 of the socket.
ir10B)Insert the 1k Ohm resistor and vertically align it to the shorter pin of the LED.
ir11C)Your LED should sit nicely on the board.
ir12D)On the back, solder the longer pin of the yellow LED onto pin 17 of the socket. Then solder one end of the 1k Ohm resistor to the shorter pin of the LED.

4) Output: Light Bulb LED
The light bulb LED component consists of the LED, a 68 Ohm resistor, and a transistor. We will add the Light Bulb LED last to make soldering a bit easier.
The transistor is an electronic switch. When switched on, the light bulb LED receives power and lights up!

ir13A)First orient the transistor so that the flat side faces upward.
ir14B)Then insert the transistor so that the rightmost pin aligns with the end of the 1k Ohm resistor as shown.
ir15C)Next, add the 68 Ohm resistor and align it with the leftmost pin of the transistor.
ir16D)Much like the learn indicator LED, the 68 ohm restricts the current flowing through the light bulb LED.
ir17E)On the back, solder the transistor pins as shown (in grey).

5) Inputs: Buttons

The buttons component consists of a 10k Ohm resistor and a momentary switch. There are 4 pins on the momentary switch but two of them are actually electrically connected to the other two.
ir18

ir18A)Place the button as shown in the image.
ir19B)Place the 10k Ohm resistor on the top right of the button. DON’T CUT THE PINS UNTIL STEP D.
ir20C)The button size you receive will be slightly larger than shown.
ir21D)On the back, with the long pin from the 10k Ohm resistor, connect and solder it to the left side of the transistor (since the board is flipped to the back we’re referring to the left side on back). Also, solder the top left of the button to the other end of the 10k Ohm resistor.

6) Power
The power component consists of the barrel jack (5V AC adapter) and a slideswitch. The slideswitch controls the barrel jack to supply 5V to the entire system.

ir22A)The barrel jack pins can’t easily fit through the board because of the pin spacing, so we have to place it at an angle. Another thing to consider is that we also have to enlarge the holes(like the buttons) for the barrel jack to go through because the pins are slightly bigger than the holes.
ir23B)Next add the slideswitch as shown.
ir24C)The pin that sticks out on the back of the barrel jack is the 5V and the center pin is Ground.
ir26D)Solder the connections using a piece of wire(shown in grey) from the 5V of the barrel jack to the leftmost pin of the slideswitch.

7) Power Indicator
The power indicator component consists of a red LED and a 1k Ohm resistor. The power indicator is actually connected directly to the main 5V line. So when we flip the slideswitch it automatically turns the light on. Another way to look at is that we’re connecting a red LED in parallel to the entire system. Of course we are limiting the current going through it using a 1k Ohm resistor.

ir27A)Place the red LED as shown. The longer pin should be on the left side!
ir28B)Next, add our current limiting 1k Ohm resistor.
ir29C)The red LED should fit nicely on top of the board.
ir30D)On the back, solder the short pin of the LED to 1k Ohm resistor.

8) Output: Light Bulb LED
Now we will add the LED that we want to control. The image below shows LED directly connected to the board. Your version may be different. Make sure the shorter pin of the LED light bulb connects to the 68 Ohm resistor and the longer pin connects to the 5V power supply.

ir31A)Light Bulb LED with longer pin on left and shorter pin on right.
ir32B)Solder the shorter pin of the LED to the 68 Ohm resistor.

9) Wiring
We will begin wiring so prepare your soldering iron, some solder, helping hands, two 2-inch copper wire, and of course wires!(Use different color wires to make things much easier)

ir33A)Prepare your copper wires and trim them if they are too long for your setup!
ir34B)Add the power rails to the left side and right side (Ground left, 5V right).
ir35C)As shown in grey, solder the light bulb LED’s longer pin to the 5V rail. Solder the 1k resistor for the power indicator LED to ground rail.
ir36D)Using uniquely colored wires, solder all connections as shown. Notice you are soldering two wires onto the capacitor’s common, one wire going to ground and the other connected to pin 8 of the 28-pin socket.
ir37E)Using another set of uniquely colored wires, solder all connections as shown. Notice you are soldering two wires onto the middle pin of the slideswitch, one wire is connected to the power indicator LED and the other connected to the 5V rail.
ir38F)Using another set of uniquely colored wires, solder all connections as shown.

And FINISH!
Just plug in the microcontroller, power, and turn the device on! Don’t forget to check out the awesome light bulb assembly and plug that into your kit!
irb

Hobbyist Instructions

To guide you on piecing and soldering everything together, lets first identify the components of the device:

ir38

  • Microcontroller – This is the brain of the device that controls, takes inputs, or give outputs to everything else.
  • Inputs – These are the commands or actions the user (YOU!) to give to the device.
    • Buttons – The buttons are switches that the device use to turn something on or off .
    • Infrared Receiver – The receiver input reads wireless signals and sends them to the device for processing.
  • Output – These are the device’s responses from user input.
    • Servo – This is our main output that switches the lights on or off.
    • Light Bulb LED – This is our output that we want to turn on and off.
    • Learn Indicator – This output LED turns on when the device is ‘learning’!
    • Power Indicator – This LED tells you the device is on and active!
  • Power – The power component is responsible for powering up our device!
  • Wiring – Connecting components together with wires! -duh!

Alright let’s put this thing together!

1) Microcontroller
The microcontroller component consists of the 28-pin socket to hold the microcontroller, two 22pF capacitors, a 16 Mhz crystal oscillator, and of course the microcontroller!

ir1A) First insert the 28-pin socket onto the board as shown. Make sure the semi-circle of the socket points left!!
ir2B) Next add the two 22pF capacitors as shown. They will share a common hole!
ir3C) Don’t forget the 16Mhz crystal! Place it next to the capacitor aligning the top and bottom pins.
ir4D) The capacitors you have won’t be as big as the ones in the picture and they should fit nicely between the socket and the crystal.
ir5E) On the back, solder the capacitors to the crystal as shown with the grey connections. We also need to solder the two capacitor’s common hole (the lonely red dot in the middle).

2) User Inputs: Infrared Receiver
The infrared receiver component consists of a 10k Ohm resistor and the three-pin infrared receiver.

ir6A)First insert the resistor as shown. One of the lead vertically aligns with the 28-Pin socket’s pin 4.
ir7B)Next, insert the receiver as shown where the front of the receiver points downwards. The far left pin of the receiver should align with the end of the 10k Ohm resistor (not the pin that is already aligned with the 28-Pin socket’s pin 4).
ir8C)On the back, solder the following (shown in grey):
Pin 4 of the 28-Pin socket to one end of the 10k Ohm resistor.
Left most pin of the receiver to the other end of the 10k Ohm resistor.

3) Output: Learn Indicator
The learn indicator component consists of a yellow LED and a 1k Ohm resistor. Pin 17 of the controller turns on the LED if the device is in learning mode. The resistor is used reduce the current going through the LED.

ir9A)Insert the LED as shown with the longer lead vertically aligned with pin 17 of the socket.
ir10B)Insert the 1k Ohm resistor and vertically align it to the shorter pin of the LED.
ir11C)Your LED should sit nicely on the board.
ir12D)On the back, solder the longer pin of the yellow LED onto pin 17 of the socket. Then solder one end of the 1k Ohm resistor to the shorter pin of the LED.

4) Output: Light Bulb LED
The light bulb LED component consists of the LED, a 68 Ohm resistor, and a transistor. We will add the Light Bulb LED last to make soldering a bit easier.
The transistor is an electronic switch. When switched on, the light bulb LED receives power and lights up!

ir13A)First orient the transistor so that the flat side faces upward.
ir14B)Then insert the transistor so that the rightmost pin aligns with the end of the 1k Ohm resistor as shown.
ir15C)Next, add the 68 Ohm resistor and align it with the leftmost pin of the transistor.
ir16D)Much like the learn indicator LED, the 68 ohm restricts the current flowing through the light bulb LED.
ir17E)On the back, solder the transistor pins as shown (in grey).

5) Inputs: Buttons

The buttons component consists of a 10k Ohm resistor and a momentary switch. There are 4 pins on the momentary switch but two of them are actually electrically connected to the other two.
Switch
irh18A)Place the button as shown in the image.
irh19B)Place the 10k Ohm resistor on the top right of the button. Don’t cut the pins until step F.
irh20C)Place the second button, again, enlarge the holes if necessary.
irh21D)Place the 10k Ohm resistor on the top right of the second button. Also, don’t cut the pins until step F.
irh22E)The buttons you receive may be a bit larger than that of the images.
irh23F)On the back, solder the following connections (shown in grey). Connect the resistor’s pins as shown and solder them to the left of the transistor. This entire connection will be grounded.

6) Power
The power component consists of the barrel jack (5V AC adapter) and a slideswitch. The slideswitch controls the barrel jack to supply 5V to the entire system.

irh24A)The barrel jack pins can’t easily fit through the board because of the pin spacing, so we have to place it at an angle. Another thing to consider is that we also have to enlarge the holes(like the buttons) for the barrel jack to go through because the pins are slightly bigger than the holes.
irh25B)Next add the slideswitch as shown.
irh26C)The pin that sticks out on the back of the barrel jack is the 5V and the center pin is Ground.
irh27D)Solder in place the barrel jack and the slideswitch. We will make connections to them in step 9.

7) Power Indicator
The power indicator component consists of a red LED and a 1k Ohm resistor. The power indicator is actually connected directly to the main 5V line. So when we flip the slideswitch it automatically turns the light on. Another way to look at is that we’re connecting a red LED in parallel to the entire system. We also need to limit the current going through it using a 1k Ohm resistor.

irh28A)Place the red LED as shown. The longer pin should be on the left side!
irh29B)Next, add our current limiting 1k Ohm resistor.
irh30C)The red LED should fit nicely on top of the board.
irh31C)On the back, solder the short pin of the LED to 1k Ohm resistor.

8) Output: Light Bulb LED & Servo
Now we will add the LED that we want to control as well as the servo to control the light switches. The image below shows LED directly connected to the board. Your version may be different. Make sure the shorter pin of the LED light bulb connects to the 68 Ohm resistor and the longer pin connects to the 5V power supply.

irh32A)Light Bulb LED with longer pin on left and shorter pin on right.
irh33B)Add the Servo make sure the black wire is on top, the red wire is in the middle, and the yellow is on the bottom. Solder the 3-pin male header in place of the servo to make connecting/disconnecting easier.
irh34C)On the back, solder the shorter pin of the LED to the 68 Ohm resistor. Solder in place the servo. We will make connections to them in steps 9.

9) Wiring
We will begin wiring so prepare your soldering iron, some solder, helping hands, two 2-inch copper wire, and of course wires!(Use different color wires to make things much easier)

irh35A)Prepare your copper wires and trim them if they are too long for your setup!
irh36B)Add the power rails to the left side and right side (Ground left, 5V right).
irh37C)As shown in grey, solder the light bulb LED’s longer pin to the 5V rail. Solder the 1k resistor for the power indicator LED to ground rail.
irh38D)Using uniquely colored wires, solder all connections as shown. Notice you are soldering two wires onto the capacitor’s common, one wire going to ground and the other connected to pin 8 of the 28-pin socket.
irh39E)Using another set of uniquely colored wires, solder all connections as shown. Notice you are soldering two wires onto the middle pin of the slideswitch, one wire is connected to the power indicator LED and the other connected to the 5V rail.
irh40F)Using another set of uniquely colored wires, solder all connections as shown.

And FINISH!
Just plug in the microcontroller, power, and turn the device on! Don’t forget to check out the awesome light bulb assembly and plug that into your kit!
irh
irhb

Resources

Arduino Files
Arduino Code here
Arduino Libraries here

Beginner Schematics

Beginner Circuit Schematic

Beginner IR Control Schematic


Hobbyist Schematics

Hobbyist Circuit Schematic

Hobbyist IR Control Schematic


  • zach

    This looks like a cool kit, can’t wait to buy it later. It is cheaper on shipping to buy many months at once.

    • Did you already build? Post pics!

      • zach

        I was gonna buy the kit, but im saving my money to purchase a 3d printer.

  • Gheorghe Ciobanu

    Love how instead of pictures you have diagrams of the instructions, this will help a lot!!

    • Joshua Post

      I do like how it is very clear what is going exactly where. Although there is something to be said about seeing pictures of a real project as well.

    • Yes we’ve been told it’s alot clearer with the diagrams!

  • aymeric

    Has the kit been sent out already? i have not received mine yet

    • Joshua Post

      This kit hasn’t shipped just yet, but expect to receive an update soon. I usually get an e-mail when it is marked as shipped.

  • Brandon Fa

    Can i buy just the IR Receiver Vs1838B from Kipkaykits without the rest of the kit since i already have all the parts.

    • We should be putting it up soon if we h ave extras.

  • Bryan

    A tiny error in the documentation, the Arduino code referenced above is the code for last months FM radio.

    • Bryan

      It is correct now.

  • Jo

    Hey, I’m new here and I was wondering. Do these kits come with the wire?

    • David Fries

      The materials tab list what the kit comes with, in this case it lists “1 x 5ft. Copper Wire”, but that’s not insulated and not suitable for connecting the components of the board together, because it will short together. In short you will need additional wire.

      • Jo

        Thanks. I’ll get some 22 AWG from radioshack.

        • David Fries

          I’m using 24 AWG stranded, smaller and easier to work with.

          • Brandon Fa

            or for 1 dollar you can buy 1 meter of wire from China it comes with free shipping but the downside is it probably won’t arrive in time to build this month’s kit.

    • You can just recycle old wire – really any wire you have laying around should work. These are low voltage electronics so gauge is rarely the issue. You can always google “wire gauge chart” if you are curious!

  • Matt

    If I have the beginner kit but have an extra servo could just add the servo?

    • David Fries

      Yes and no. If you were comparing the material lists above and saw they were identical except for the addition of servo, 3 pin header, and paperclip for the hobbyist, well I verified from my hobbyist kit that the list is incorrect. The hobbyist kit includes 2x momentary switch, and double the double sided mounting tape as compared to what the list shows. You also may have 5 resistors instead of 6.
      Anyhow at the very minimum you’ll need a pin header to connect up the servo (or some way to connect it) and to update the microcontroller software to control the servo. Even then you’ll need some way to tell it to learn the IR code to toggle the servo. The hobbyist kit has one more push button for that (which also uses a resistor). You could add an additional push button to the beginner kit, or change the software so maybe a long press is used for learning the servo code and just use one button.

    • The servo requires a different set of pins. You can’t just connect it – you’d have to change the code in the microcontroller as well.

  • Skyler

    So I made it and I believe it’s working right. I just had one question, how do I use it? Like what do the buttons do and how do I have it learn my remote?

    • Brandon Fa

      If you have the beginner kit then simply turn on the circuit and press the learn button and press thee button on the remote you want to assign to control the light bulb. For the hobbyist kit it is basically the same except you can assign 2 buttons on your remote one for servo(Light Switch) and the other for the led.

      • Skyler

        Ooohhh ok. That makes sense. Thanks

  • Skyler

    So I said I believed it was working but I guess I was wrong:(. I’ve looked for shorts over and over again but can’t seem to find any. When I plug it in and turn the switch, the power indicator turns on, but then nothing else works. The pics don’t have the servo plugged in but I know that the brown wire goes on top.

    • Joshua Post

      I looked briefly over your pictures. Your solder joints look really nice!

      I’m not seeing anything obvious right now, but will have to rotate pictures around to get a better look. Have you tested your LED separately to make sure that it works correctly? Maybe with a small coin battery or a multimeter just to make sure it is good. Hate to be troubleshooting a board when it is just a backwards wire or something.

      • Skyler

        What’s a backwards wire? But yes I tested each LED before I added them to the board and they were fine. Do you want me to take different pictures from a different angles or something like that?

        • Joshua Post

          I was thinking more the output LED you wired in the copper frame. If you tested it.

          The backwards wire I mentioned was just if one of the wires to that output was reversed, connecting the anode to cathode pin or something.

          • Skyler

            Oooohhh ok. Sorry. I will check that now. One second

          • Skyler

            Alright I checked it. It was correct. I also switched it around just in case and it still didn’t work. while it was off I tested it with a battery and it was working normally

          • Skyler

            Have you found anything yet? I have put my multimeter to it in continuity mode and still haven’t found anything. Is it possible that its the ATmega?

    • Skyler

      Has anybody looked at this? i haven’t heard from anybody since Joshua’s post almost 2 weeks ago. I have tested it with my multimeter and nothing is bridging it seems like.

      • David Fries

        There are a couple people on here that try to help out and answer questions, but the questions have to be what we can answer, these are essentially one off custom builds, no one has your assembled kit but you, and others have had success building it. We can only give suggestions since we don’t know what you did differently. Unfortunately in this kit a good deal of it has to be correct or it doesn’t appear to function at all. This is where you try to test the pieces you can. You wondered if the ATmega8 was functioning, can you remove it, and put it in something that you can reprogram it? That would verify it works. If you modified the program to blink the indicator LED you can put it back in and verify it is running in this kit, if it doesn’t, then that tells you something and maybe gives you some place to look.

      • Joshua Post

        We have often seen problems arising from the oscillator the capacitors not connected correctly, so I would have you double check those, especially since these are in a new location from other builds.

        Beyond that, put your multimeter in DCV mode and report back the readings of the voltage to each pin of the microcontroller to make sure they are getting power and connected correctly. Try measuring the voltage while pressing the buttons as well to ensure they are electrically connected to the microcontroller correctly.

        Troubleshooting these can be difficult and frustrating, but nearly every time is is a missed connection, a bridged connection, or the wrong pin all together. To test the Microcontroller, you would have to do something like David said and be able to move it into an Arduino to debug or reprogram to ensure, but as we haven’t seen a whole host of others reporting problems due to the chip, I believe the problem will be elsewhere.

        • Skyler

          i dont know what happened, but all of a sudden, it started working. It works just like it’s supposed to. Its really weird

          • Joshua Post

            Probably a poor solder joint that after you wiggle around a bit, it connected. I have that problem with my clock I still have to find.

  • Rajesh

    Is it possible to still flip the switch manually without messing up the servo?

    • Hi Rajesh!
      Yes! The learn buttons actually controls the servo and light bulb manually if pushed (and not held)!

      • Rajesh

        I am sorry, I meant the light switch that is being controlled by the servo. Will that get messed up if used manually?

        • Joshua Post

          Kip was addressing that question. There should be no need to manually flip the switch, because you can just press the button on the board quickly and it will move the servo to the other position, which will then lift or lower the switch.

          If you did manually force the switch, you would either drag the servo down, possibly messing up gears or positioning, or forcing it up would possibly do the same or bend the wire.

          So it is recommended to press the button on the board if you wanted to toggle the switch but didn’t have the remote handy to change it.

          • David Fries

            Kip answered the question yes, Josh answered it no. I haven’t looked at the source code yet, but if I were writing it, I would only be commanding a position to the servo for a short period of time after the a toggle was requested (which is what I did it on a previous project of mine). If the servo isn’t actively being commanded it’s as good as off, and the gears work in both directions. That being said in this configuration I expect you’ll bend the paper clip out of shape before you rotate the servo as this servo seems to take quite a bit of force to rotate.

  • Brandon Fa

    Hi When I load up the arduino ide and import the ino file I get this error when I try to upload the sketch to my ATMega 328 from my Kipduino. “C:Program Files (x86)ArduinolibrariesRobotIRremoteIRremoteTools.cpp:5: error: ‘TKD2’ was not declared in this scope

    I downloaded the Arduino Libraries from the Kipkaykits website.

    • Joshua Post

      I was just getting ready to reply about downloading and loading the Libraries in the Arduino IDE, but I see you already tried that. I”ll have someone look at the files on the website and update.

    • Slash

      Hi, I did the same and I still have the same error:

      D:Program FilesArduinolibrariesRobotIRremoteIRremoteTools.cpp:5: error: ‘TKD2’ was not declared in this scope

      can someone help me please?

  • Tyler

    Do we need the lightbulb?

    • Joshua Post

      All you need/want is the LED to do something useful. The copper wire bulb shape is just for looks.

  • Doogler

    ok so im new to the whole wire thing and im just wondering if im able to use 20 awg wire because that’s the only wire I keep coming across

    • David Fries

      I assume you already have the wire as opposed to buying the wire. If you already have the wire, it’s going to be more difficult to bend and solder on to the right contacts without shorting adjacent contacts because the wire is bigger. If that’s all you have you can give it a try, electrically it’s fine, mechanically I think you’ll have a more difficult time.

      • Doogler

        haha its just that this is my first kit 😉 and I wanted to give it a try because I have IT

  • Doogler

    ok thank you I appreciate your answer

  • Lorenz

    Will there be a video tutorial for this months kit?

    • Yes of course! 🙂

      • Lorenz

        Awesome! i am very exited for this project 😀

      • Gheorghe Ciobanu

        Great! Waiting for the video!!

  • nieee

    Step 6 says you need a 5V AC adapter. Shouldn’t this be 5V DC?

    • David Fries

      Great question. The board absolutely takes 5 volt direct current, the more completely specification would be something like DC 5V 500mA AC Adapter, but 5V AC adapter is what it is commonly known as which assumes the output is DC and that you’re going to plug it into 110V AC common household outlet.

  • Gheorghe Ciobanu

    In step 4 B in the diagram, it says to put the transistor on top of the resistor, but in the picture it looks like its next to the resistor, on the left. Which one do I use? There are also some little differences between the board and picture, which one do I belive?

    • Jo

      I stuck with the diagram, you should too.

      • Gheorghe Ciobanu

        Thanks, I did

  • Jo

    Is the power jack ‘positive tip polarity’ or ‘negative tip polarity’

    • David Fries

      Center positive, outside negative, but if it was me I would be using my multimeter to make sure and checking continuity all the way to the power rails before plugging it in. With home made kits like this if your power adapter is reversed it isn’t hard to wire it to work, just don’t get it the wrong way. Also the power jack has three contacts, that’s positive, ground, and one to detect if the barrel connector is plugged in.

      • Jo

        okay thanks. I just bought an adapter and a tip and I didn’t know how I should plug in the tip

  • Gheorghe Ciobanu

    I DID IT!! Finally, first kipkay kit, so glad, and it works (almost) perfectly. That’s where I need help, I have the hobbyist kit, and the LED lamp works great, I can teach it with a remote, and then turn it on and off again. But the serve doesn’t work, when I push the learn button for the servo the orange LED doesn’t turn on, but for the lamp learn button it does. What can I do? I have checked all connection, and it looks good. Please help if you can! Thanks in advance!
    EDIT: I have checked all the LEDs before connection, and there are no bridges in the solder, for sure.

    • David Fries

      Given that the learn LED is working, (because it works for the LED Lamp), if it isn’t coming on for the servo, that means it’s probably in the push button for the servo. Start debugging there. The push buttons have four pins and as listed in the instructions two are connected together, and those are all connected together when the button is pressed. Take your multimeter and you should see half are at 5V and the other half 0V when not pressed. Then hold the button and measure again. It will be a lower voltage than 5V, but still pretty high. That’s how the microcontroller reads that it is pressed. Start there and see if it is operating as expected.

      • Gheorghe Ciobanu

        Thanks, I’ve did what you said, and the servo button is 0V all around, when pressed and when not pressed. Could it be the microcontroller, since the code is different from the beginner to the hobbyist?

        • David Fries

          It’s unlikely to be the microcontroller, but that’s easy enough to test, remove the microcontroller, power it up and test all four connections again with the multimeter, and do the same with the other button for a comparison. The pin each button is connected to should be in what they call a high impedance state, meaning it can read the value, but will hardly change the value, which in the circuit it will give you the same results with the microcontroller in or out. It might help to look at the circuit diagram in the resources.

          Now that I’ve said all that I took what you reported 0V all around, and looked at your pictures again, only one of your buttons is connected to the power rail.

          • Gheorghe Ciobanu

            You sir are a genius! I feel so bad for missing that, it looks so obvious!! Thanks you so much for your help!! Also one more thing, when the servo is down(meaning the light should be off, since the light switch is down) the hand of the servo goes too much back, making the servo un-stick from the wall, and sometimes, when its up, it doesn’t go up enough to turn the switch on. Is there a way to adjust the angles of the servo? Again, thank you very much!!

          • David Fries

            I haven’t looked at the code in this kit, but yes the end positions have to be there someplace.

          • Gheorghe Ciobanu

            IT WORKS!!! Here is a video: http://goo.gl/3xMf08. Thank you KipKay for making an amazing kit, and thank you Daniel for helping me troubleshoot! You guys are amazing!!!

            Keep on making great things!

            P.S. I recomend everyone solder an female conect to the end of the LED so you can plug and unplug it, instead of soldering the LED to the board. This is what I did: http://goo.gl/mw5Z2r

          • David Fries

            I’m glad it worked out, thanks for posting the video!

          • Joshua Post

            Congrats

  • Anthony

    I have a 6 volt ac/dc adaptor. Would that work? Or would it overpower the circuit?

    • David Fries

      The data sheet lists up to 5.5V on the summary, so no I wouldn’t run it that high.

      • Anthony

        Could I put a resistor after the power jack to drop the voltage to 5 volts?

        • Bryan

          Using a resistor to drop voltage is difficult because the voltage you will get depends on the load going through it. As you drive the servo/led the voltage will sag and might cause brownouts (resets) on the chip. A 5V linear voltage regulator would give you the best results.

          • Anthony

            OK. Thanks!

  • Dima T

    How could I attach this to the 3×3 LED Cube?

    • Joshua Post

      In what way are you thinking? Letting an IR remote turn the power to the cube off and on, or something more complex, like different buttons changing to different patterns?
      To turn it off an on, just connect the LED output wires to become the power supply wires to the cube, although you will have access to less current in this way.

      To have it change patterns, most likely more modifications would be needed to both devices to update the program.

      • Dima T

        Thanks I just wanted to know how to make it turn on and off, will having access to less current be a problem? And if so, is there a way to fix it?

        • Joshua Post

          These chips are limited to an output current of 200 ma if I remember correctly. A way to get around this would be to use a transistor as a switch to allow the low current 5v from your IR project to allow more current, like 500 ma or 1 a to flow to your LED cube. I believe you use transistors in a similar fashion already in your LED cube, you would just need one more.

          • Dima T

            Ok, thanks for the help!

          • Bryan

            The current the transistor can pass depends on the transistor. If you source 800ma @ 5v thats 4 watts of dissipation and though a 2N2222 which is only rated for a maximum of 500mw, the magic smoke is going to be let free. I would say based on 5v and the transistors that are included with these kits you could safely source or drain 100ma (0.5W/5V = 0.1A).

        • David Fries

          This kit is already using a transistor for the white LED, remove the white LED and 68 Ohm resistor, connect up the LED cube to the power rail and the transistor (which will be ground), and the transistor acts as a switch to turn the cube on or off.

          • Joshua Post

            Thanks David. I haven’t gotten around to this kit yet, so I didn’t realize it already had the transistor.

  • Karan Dedhia

    Is it a good thing to leave the kit plugged in all the time or would it get fried.

    • Joshua Post

      You could leave it plugged in all the time. it will use a little power, but not much.

  • Karan Dedhia

    Can I use batteries instead of a plug in and if I can how do I make it

    • Joshua Post

      You could use power, but as it is always monitoring for the IR signal, and needs power to turn the servo, etc. I would expect it to drain batteries pretty quick.

      You could start with 3 batteries for 4.5 V, although this is designed for 5v input.

  • Carl Malone Jr.

    Need help. This is my first kit and I got the beginner kit so it wouldn’t be to hard. I still messed up though. Please tell me what I did wrong

    • Joshua Post

      Can you post a picture of the other side as well? What is it doing or not doing?

    • Joshua Post

      Looking at your picture, there are a few places that look suspicious, but I haven’t compared to the schematic in detail yet. Right in the middle, there are two black wire and a yellow wire that appear to all be connected together with a large solder joint. Not sure how that should be, but I have a feeling they should be separated.
      Also, in the upper left corner there is a short black wire and what appears to be a yellow wire laying on top of it. Could be shorting out, although I can’t tell for sure.

  • Tyler

    Where’s the video?

    • Jo

      I believe they have not posted it yet.

      • Bryce Carmichael

        Have you guys found a video yet?

  • Carl Malone Jr.

    There is only a picture. But when I plug it in and power it up, the red led and the big led start blinking rapidly

    • David Fries

      If you look at the schematic under Code & Resources, the red LED is connected with a resistor between power and ground, so if that is blinking something is definitely wrong. To try to trouble shoot, be careful and remove the ATmega8, apply power to the board and see what happens. If it is still blinking disconnect the big LED, if it stops blinking check the orientation of the transistor.

  • Carl Malone Jr.

    I unplugged the ATmega8 and plugged it in. The red led turned on and without blinking and when I pressed the momentary switch the red led blinked and the large led turned on. Then the large led started smoking so I disconnected the power

    • Joshua Post

      If it was doing all that without the ATmega plugged in at all, then something is connected where it shouldn’t, as it is getting power without being directed by the ATmega. As such, it could be bypassing a resistor, and putting too much current through the LED. Going to need to check every wire to see where a connection is that it shouldn’t

  • betty

    i dont seem to have a power cord in the kit for this project am i missing a part?

    • David Fries

      The list of what you should have gotten is up above in the materials. It comes with what gets soldered to the board including the power jack, but not an AC adapter for 5V DC power to plug in to it.

      • betty

        ok thank you i can find somthing around the house

        • David Fries

          I forgot to mention that there is one with the right sized barrel adapter sold in the Kip Kay store, if you don’t find one.

  • betty

    last question about the kit it says to use 22 AWG or higher wire but i have 18 awg is that acceptable im sorry for the questions im new to diy kits

    • Bryan

      It would work technically, but, it will be very hard to use. It will be too thick to easily solder with.

    • David Fries

      There’s a FAQ link up at the left. You might take a look at that. Electrically 18 AWG will do, but it’s going to be more difficult to work with, I’m using 24 AWG, and others are using even smaller sized (bigger number).

  • Federico Carballo

    how do I tell which is the red and which is the yellow LED? they look the same.

    • David Fries

      Good question, here are two answers, take your pick. One LED will always be on when it has power and the other will come on when it is learning an IR sequence, it really doesn’t matter which color is which. The other answer is most multimeters have a diode test, set it to that mode, and it will light in one orientation or the other. Which can also be a good idea to do just to make sure the LED works before you solder it in.

  • Federico Carballo

    i broke i pin on the 28 pin socket (on one of the ends) – will it still work? also, I have a hard time attaching the micro controller to the 28 pin socket – are there any tips on how to do this? also, how tight do they need to attach? In mine case, there is some space between them

    • David Fries

      The circuit diagram is up in resources, if it’s a pin that’s not connected then it doesn’t matter, if it’s a GPIO pin that’s used, you can switch it in software and hardware to one that is still intact.
      I wouldn’t say it takes a lot of force to put it microcontroller in, though normally I have to bend the leds in a little so they line up with the holes. What matters is if it has good continuity and that you can test with a multimeter touching the microprocessor pin and the socket pin from the bottom in resistance mode.

  • hiro

    how would i connect another servo instead of the LED light to get it to work?

    • David Fries

      A servo is best driven by a PWM output, that’s PB1, PB2, and PB3, or pins 15, 16, 17. The existing servo is on PB1, there’s the lern LED on PB3, which leaves PB2 available for another servo. To answer your question you would connect up the additional servo just like the existing servo only using PB2 pin 16. There’s also software work required, as the white LED output is either on or off, but the servo uses Pulse Width Modulation, or a pattern of on and off sequences, so the software has to change to drive it, and it’s on a different pin. There’s really no need to disconnect the white LED, it’s on a different pin. While you’re at it you could change the software so that holding both buttons will learn the 2nd servo IR sequence, that way you could have two servos and the white LED. As the ATmega8 has three PWM outputs you could have three servos, though you would have to move the learn LED to a different pin and update the software.

      • hiro

        Thank you

        In His service,
        Hiro

  • Slash

    Hi, Why doesn’t microcontroller save the learned signal after turning off/on the power supply?

    • Gheorghe Ciobanu

      Mine does the same thing, when I unplug it and then plug it again, it forgets the signal. I don’t know why.

    • Joshua Post

      I believe this is a limitation of the design. These chips store variables like the IR signal in memory but when unplugged, that ram memory is lost and the next boot up refers to the code it is programmed for. Once you get the IR signal you could update the code to hard code it in but you would need the ability to update the chip like an Arduino.

      • Slash

        Thank you, this is what I tried to do, but I have an error in the original code while compiling :

        D:Program FilesArduinolibrariesRobotIRremoteIRremoteTools.cpp:5: error: ‘TKD2’ was not declared in this scope.

        Can you upload the correct code?

  • Kurtis

    Any idea when the video will be up?

    • It should be up by tmrw. I’m sorry for the mishap and my lagging.

      • Kurtis

        No worries! Thanks for the update! Love your kits!

  • Gheorghe Ciobanu

    Will the video be up soon?

    • It should be up by tmrw. I’m sorry for the delay!

      • Gheorghe Ciobanu

        Great video, Kipkay! Thanks!

  • Jack Warden

    The video didnt explain how to use the stored signals to control things, could i get some information on that please?
    Awesome video by the way!!

    • Gheorghe Ciobanu

      To store a signal, hold the big button until the orange light turn on.
      Then push a button on your remote, and the orange light should turn off.
      Repeat for both buttons.
      Then every time you point the remote at the board and push the button you have set before, it should turn the servo/light on and off.

  • evan wilde

    when will the new kit be out?

  • Fanda

    Hi Kip, can i use 2N2222A instead 2N222A

  • Bryce Carmichael

    NEED HELP!!! I am attempting to take the infrared control switch and use the servo part to control a popsicle stick lock switch that I made. In the following statement, I will address 1. What I have done so far, AND 2. What the incompetent results are.

    1. I have the switch working just fine. The problem I am having is that I am a newbie and I don’t know how to change the coding on the arduino code Kip provided. I need the servo to turn 90 degrees and not the full 180. So, I take the code he provided and inserted it into my arduino program. I changed all the numbers that said “180” to “90”. Oh, also, I am using a different AT chip from another arduino that I just bought. I figured that I could just program that IC to do what I want it to do so that way I don’t EFF up the one he shipped to me.

    2. The result was this statement… “/Users/applemac/Downloads/Arduino.app/Contents/Resources/Java/libraries/RobotIRremote/IRremoteTools.cpp:5: error: ‘TKD2’ was not declared in this scope”

    Then, figuring I might have only messed the code up, I inserted the original code that he gave us and hit upload…. AND THE SAME THING APPEARED.

    What am I doing wrong? What can I do to make the code he gave us work on a different chip? And, last, what do I need to do to the code to make it turn the servo piece 90 degrees instead of 180? I greatly appreciate any response from ya peeps. Thank you very much, in advance. And good day….

  • brian

    the pictures are to hard to understand can you please make an in depth video showing all the solder connections. if i can’t understand the pics and there no in depth video i am going to cancel my subscription.

  • Bryce Carmichael

    Still haven’t figured this out yet. Can anyone help? I am trying to get this arduino code Kip gave us to work on a brand new ATMega chip but when I attempt to insert the code into arduino program, it won’t allow the code. Itll allow the example codes from the arduino examples section…. But not the code for this infrared thingie. How can I get it to work? is anyone else having this problem? And, once I have it working, how do I change the servo to turn only 90 degrees instead of 180?

    • Joshua Post

      Make sure you have downloaded the Arduino Libraries from the “Code and Resources” tab in a .zip format. Then in the Arduino IDE go to Sketch, Import Library, Add Library and select the Zip.

      Then try to upload your code again.

      • Bryce Carmichael

        I did exactly as you mentioned and I am receiving an error in opening zip file message. Is it because I am using a MAC? Have any ideas why it’s doing that? Thank you for your help.

        • David Fries

          I’m running Linux and the unzip 6.0 that comes with Debian is able to uncompress it. http://www.info-zip.org/UnZip.html

        • Joshua Post

          I think you should be able to unzip it, but when importing into Arduino IDE in windows you leave it in the zip and the program takes care of the rest.

          • Bryce Carmichael

            When I select the link, I think it automatically unzips it. It downloads as infraredcontrolkit. When I open that, it has Beginnerwithswitch and Hobbywithswitch folders. I can open those to find Hobbywithswitch.ino. Is the hobbywithswitch.ino the thing that needs to be unzipped? or is it the infraredcontrolkit that is already opened when I download it? I don’t know much about this file, let alone computers.

  • Alex Pope

    Here’s a real doozie for everyone smarter than I am (which is most everybody ha). I finally got everything soldered to the best of my ability and plugged it in. Everything seemed to start off alright. The red light turned on. But when I went to push and hold one of the buttons, the Amber light did not turn on.. So I tried pushing the other button and it started to flip my servo. Any ideas on where I may have gone wrong would be greatly appreciated. I am new to soldering and to these kits if you can’t tell so any advice would truly help.
    Thanks a lot everyone.

    • Joshua Post

      When you push the other button and it flips the servo is by design as a manual override in care you didn’t have your remote handy.
      As far as why it isn’t going into learning mode, it could be a lot of things. Let’s start by having you post a picture of the front and back of your project and see where we go from there. If nothing seems to happen with a short or long press, then verify the button is connected to a power source snd that when you press the button it connects to something. Maybe the button is installed sideways.

      • Alex Pope

        Appreciate the help. I assure you there are no shorts that I can see

      • Alex Pope

        Happen to see something I’m missing?

      • Alex Pope

        Hahaha Joshua! After looking over and over and over the instructions I finally found out what I did wrong! I soldered the learning light to the wrong pin! It’s working like a charm now! Thanks for your help! My next ? To you is if you know of a way to add memory to this board so that it can remember the frequencies once I turn the device off? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

        Thanks,
        Alex

        • Joshua Post

          At first I didn’t think it was possible but the Arduino does have a very limited EEPROM memory that could be used. The code would need to be updated and the sent to your chip so you would need something like a full Arduino to move your chip to temporarily.
          See here for details about writing and reading that would lead you down the right path http://m.instructables.com/id/Save-values-in-your-Arduinos-permanent-memory/

  • sura leo

    wtf 19$ = ca 200 in my country.

    its a lot of money in my country.

  • Alex Pope

    Does anyone know of a way to add something that will memory to remember the frequencies after I turn the infrared gadget thingy off?

    • Joshua Post

      At first I didn’t think it was possible but the Arduino does have a very limited EEPROM memory that could be used. The code would need to be updated and the sent to your chip so you would need something like a full Arduino to move your chip to temporarily.
      See here for details about writing and reading that would lead you down the right path http://m.instructables.com/id/Save-values-in-your-Arduinos-permanent-memory/

  • Matt

    How do you tell which LED is which

    • David Fries

      There are three LEDs, the white one is obvious because it’s bigger, as for the other two, if you get the red and yellow switched around your colors will be different, but it isn’t going to hurt anything. It will run just fine. Check if your multimeters has a diode test setting, in that mode it provides a high enough voltage for it to turn on and let you see what color it gives off. Current only goes in one direction for a diode, so you might have to turn it around.

      • Matt

        thanks

  • Matt

    Do you use the copper wire as the power rails? This is my first kit and i’m a beginner.

    • Joshua Post

      That is what I use. I’ve used home copper wire as well as stripped Cat5 cable wire.

      • Matt

        I mean the copper wire that comes with the kit.

        • Joshua Post

          Yes, that is what it is for.

          • Matt

            Ok Thanks. 🙂

  • Chris

    I built the beginner’s kit and am pretty new to this whole process. When I attached power, all three lights turned on, and when I pressed the learning button, the white LED got even brighter. Any ideas as to where to start troubleshooting?

    • David Fries

      When you first apply power only the red power LED should be on. Start by removing power from the board, look at the schematic, and use your multimeter in resistance mode to look for anything connected together that should be. Start with your LEDs. Hope that will get you going in the right direction.

  • Magi

    I am using the beginner kit, and I want to head to radio shack and buy the parts to make the output to a light switch servo instead of the white LED. I know I need a male servo output, but how do I wire it? do I just solder it the same way I solder the two pins on the white LED?

    • David Fries

      No, the white LED is driven by a transistor, the servo won’t need it. What you’ll want to do is to look at the hobbyist instructions and circuit and wire it up like that, which will also mean getting the pieces for an additional push button. You’ll also have to change the code on the microcontroller as the server is driven by a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signal not the on or off that the white LED uses. Once you’ve done all that you’ll have both the white LED and servo. Have you verified your local Radio Shack is still open? The two closest in my area aren’t. EBay is a good place to pick up the two or three parts you need, just don’t try to get a single button or resistor, get a dozen and assume you’ll eventually use them.

      • Magi

        I have one Radio shack still open by my house… the lone survivor…

        Thanks alot BTW

      • Great explanation!

  • Juan Augusto Melgar Rondon

    Hi to everyone, i’ve a quetion, first, sorry for the mistakest, some parts are made by google translator, my question is, if I’ve the switch in my wall to the light, but what if I want to switch on /off manually, I need to remove the sistem and then put it back? Or there’s an special tricky sistem to do this, help me please.Juan Melgar

    • David Fries

      As long as it is powered a quick push to the right button should flip the switch. Otherwise remove enough of it (like the wire) so you can flip the switch.

      • Juan Augusto Melgar Rondon

        Let me know if i understand, i need to push the right button and its turn on/off like the normal wall light switch?But I don’t untherstand about the wires.

        • Joshua Post

          Let me clarify. Instead of the “right button” as in a direction, he means the “correct button”
          There are two buttons, one for the servo that connects to a physical wall light switch, and one that controls the LED. You hold these buttons to set it in “learning” mode for an IR signal but if you do a quick press of either button it should toggle the corresponding item off or on without needing to use IR.
          So to turn the light switch off or On without your remote, just press the same button you used to have it learn the IR code, but do a quick press instead of hold. Then the servo should change to the opposite position.

          • Juan Augusto Melgar Rondon

            Thanks man, I understant is at all

  • Gabriel Benson

    I have soldered everything up nice and fine I’m only having problems with plugging in the microcontroller. Any tips or tricks?

    • David Fries

      You mean physically placing the microcontroller into the socket? I find that the microcontroller pins are normally spread wider than the socket, so it helps to take your fingers and pinch them closer together, check the alignment and keep doing it down the row until they are all lined up and be careful though removing it is more likely to rip a pin off in my experience.

  • Matthew

    For this do we have to get a 5 volt ac adapter to plug it in?

    • Joshua Post

      Yep

      • Matthew

        thanks, I don’t think that i have a 5 volt ac adapter. Do you think that 3 double A batteries would work?

        • David Fries

          Three AA batteries will work, and some of the other kits do ship with a 3 AA battery holder. It will be just fine for testing, but if you plan to leave it on all the time it might go through batteries faster than you want.

          • Matthew

            Thank you for the help. I have previously bought the video game kit which came with 3 AA batteries in a holder. Sadly, it did not work and I posted regarding the matter on the forums but I haven’t received a reply yet. So I decided to take the holder from that kit and solder it to a connector to use for this kit. Luckily, it worked this time. 🙂 Thanks for your time.

  • Emily Bakken

    if I would like to use a phone charger as the power source which of the two leads of the power jack would connect.

    • David Fries

      Double check that it is 5V DC msot would be. I don’t understand your statement. It would be best if you have a barrel connector which would fit the power adapter. Do you plan to cut off the end of your power adapter and solder it into the circuit?

  • JS7457

    If we turn off the circuit does the code of a button remote will be loss ?

    • David Fries

      Yes, it would require a source code modification to store off the value to EEPROM.

  • Ryan Costello

    Does the Microcontroller come pre programed?

    • Joshua Post

      Yes

  • thomas genzer

    when ever i press the learn button it stays on for like 3 sec then turns off even if i kept the button pressed

    • David Fries

      From the source code you have to hold the learn button for two seconds before the learn indicator will turn on, then you release the learn button, wait two seconds, press your IR remote button, and when it decodes the signal it should turn the learn LED back off. The instructions don’t really say to release the push button and wait two seconds then press the remote button. I hope that helps.

      • thomas genzer

        what i should have said is when i hold it for 2 sec (or however long,) the learn led never stays on for more than 3 seconds before turning off. the learn stage never starts i guess

        • David Fries

          Do you have a stop watch, is it always on for the same amount of time? It should be on for two seconds and then turn off when it decodes a signal or when it sees the learn button down. Are you pressing an IR remote button after two seconds after the learn LED turns on?

          • thomas genzer

            i am not pressing any buttons on the remote but the light still turns off after 2-3 sec after holding the learn button. see here…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr1CEY1SlM4

          • David Fries

            Does it do anything different if you start pressing a button on the remote after the learn LED is on for 2 seconds?

          • thomas genzer

            no, it does not do anything, it just stays the same

          • David Fries

            Thomas,
            I took a look at your video and it sounds like there are two
            different problems. The white LED never turns on, and learning the IR button press is that the case? A short press on one of the buttons should toggle the white LED, that your learning LED comes on your push button is working. Check the voltage going to the transistor (which turns the white LED on and off), do a quick press on each button and see if you can tell if the microcontroller is changing the value going to the transistor, if it is, check the voltage going to the white LED. With power unplugged try using your multimeter diode test to see if it can get any light from the white LED, if it does provide some light you can verify that it is oriented correctly, or correct it. I would double check the connections on the IR receiver. The project video shows him holding the push button down until the learning button turns on, then it stays on until it gets an IR signal.

  • CJ W.

    i recieved 130k resistors and not enough 10k’s and not enough 1k’s (need one 1k and two 10k resistors) any chance i could recieve some?

  • CJ W.

    i recieved 130k resistors and not enough 10k’s and not enough 1k’s (need one 1k and two 10k resistors) any chance i could recieve some?