Amplify Remote control IR signal

Is there any way to amplify the IR signal that we get from our remote.?

We use a standard remote control

thanks alot Team #1577 SteamPunk Meet you all in atlanta

what we did was add like 5 more IR LED’s to our remote and add IR recievers around our robot. so we have more range and 360 degrees of range. i didnt do this my self so i cant really tell you more details about it. but im sure another person can chime in and tell you how to do this.

Do you meen you have more than 1 IR board or you connected more recievers to that board? thank’s alot

you could have 2 recievers OR you you hard wire in more if those black things on the IR boards that recieve the lights. thats what we did.

How did using the IR board work for you at your regionals? We planned on using it but never got the code and everything worked out. Did you have problems with interferience? or just not recieving the signal?

We are wanting to use it more in Atlanta, but dont really have time to rewire the thing or get another one so we have more coverage. So any suggestions on a simple way to increase the recievability of it? Or should just one IR board be fine if we aim the remote right at the thing?

We use our IR receiver to tell the robot which position our alliance color’s trackball is occupying on the overpass. It only needs to get a signal at the very start of the match, so we aren’t worried about range.

But we discovered that the remote controls we are using have a relatively narrow beam width. If you’re too close to the receiver, correct aim is incredibly important. We also discovered that the IR beam from the remote isn’t necessarily pointing straight forward. One of our two remotes is skewed enough to the left to affect the aim significantly.

We determined this by using a camera phone to watch the IR LED on the front of the remote while waving the remote around. You can easily tell where the beam intensity is greatest.

We use regular TV remote, a couple of transistors, and a 12 volt battery to drive a big array of IR LED’s.

We cut out the LED on the remote and used that signal to source the step up.

You guys should post a picture. It’s a total beast.

Ok. I’ll take a photo of the practice rig this weekend.

Our students built a 60 LED array with a magnifier all jammed into a 5-inch PVC pipe so that it looks like a bazooka. Sorry I don’t have a picture handy but you can look for it at Nationals! They mounted the remote on top so it could be triggered like a bazooka too. BTW, it worked like a charm when we used it. We had to turn it off a few times because it was jamming our alliance partners too???

I’ve seen a couple of setups like this before, and I’ve noticed that sometimes they can cause interference and other adverse effects. Do you know what circuit your team used?

I am also interested in the circuits that teams have used to pick off the IR drive signal and send it to several IR LEDs.

I have an idea to use an Op Amp, but surely there’s a simpler circuit out there?


I believe it is called a MOSFET.

Seriously, take a look at the beacons from the 2004 KOP. Also, look at Kevin’s 2004 page. Everything you need to know is there, including this schematic.

My team was thinking about doing this exact same thing since when we make a left turn, the ir board no longer faces the robocoach and we loose communication. Is it as simple as soldering on more of those black receivers in parallel? Or did you have to design a circuit to amplify or isolate the sensors to prevent the signal that is supposed to go into the ir board from bleeding out of the additional sensors?
We would like to order parts and do this once we get to Atlanta so any pictures or details would be appreciated.

do like ti tv be gone kit and have 2 wide angle high power ir led’s and 2 narrow angle high power led’s

also, you can reduce interference by placing a roof over your ir sensor(s) this decreases interference.

I saw one of these at Boilermaker and the team thought it worked pretty well. However, I have heard some students say that want to take a lens out of a slide projector to narrow the beam. Some of the lenses are designed to absorb IR. Be sure to check the output with the lens out and then again with the lens in place. However, with 60 LEDs, I bet it will heat your hand if you put in front of the output side.

That sounds about right. Our EE mentor built a circuit for us containing 8 IR LEDs, that were powered off 12 volts, and 650 mA each.
The standard 2 in the remote were powered off of 3 volts, and about 30? mA each.

Anyhow, to make a long story short, the new thing is stylish, and is about 300 times more powerful. We got its range out to 20x the other one, and gave up testing the limits (we ran out of hallway). If I can scan the schematic in the next week or so I’ll post it.

You don’t need an op amp. You have two options.

One, if the remote’s LED driver has a lot of muscle behind it, just hook up additional LEDs in parallel.

Two, if the LED driver isn’t as strong (more likely), add in a transistor buffer integrated circuit (IC) to pull power directly from the remote’s power supply.

There are a few ways to do this. Two inverters in series would work, as would a specialized buffer IC. Or even a tri-state buffer.

Just an FYI…

If you are trying to get more distance out of your remote, then making the remote more powerful will help.

But, if you are trying to stop interference from other remotes, making it more powerful won’t help.

Since the IR signal is a series of pulses, it relies on an ON state, and an OFF state to send those pulses.

So, even if your ON state can be seen on the moon, when your remote is in the OFF state (your IR LED not illuminated), other remotes could be in an ON state and transmitting IR which would also be picked up by your receiver… This would be still seen as a signal from you…and would confuse your receiving system.

There is very little you can do to help with this…besides totally different transmitting and receiving systems.

I am trying to rig up an LED array for my team but so far, I’m having some troubles. I want to make a 20 IR LED array but I know the transistor I will need to use to boost the signal voltage of the remote I’m using. Here’s my schematic thusfar (sorry for crude ASCII drawing. -|>- is an LED and -///- is a resistor. The circuit is four parallel groups of five LEDs in series)

+----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 15 ohms
+----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 15 ohms
+----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 15 ohms
+----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 15 ohms

I’ve heard that I can use a 2N3904 transistor. Would that be what I’m looking for?