Custom IR Remote?

I have heard a few people mention worried about signal interference. In an effort to combat this interference, have people been considering building their own or modifying an IR remote so that it is a more powerful IR LED?

I have not heard of anybody doing that, but it sounds like a great idea. Maybe if you found one that works, you could take it apart and just adapt it instead of building a completely new remote.

Just use a Comcast set-top box remote or similar “learning” remote.

With the Comcast remote, you can set up what brand of TV it is talking to, from a huge list (provided on paper when you get the set top box). There are probably a hundred or so variants listed.

As long as each team on the field selects a different one, and there is some way of co-ordinating the “available” variants, then it shouldn’t be a problem with on-field interference.

It would be a similar situation to what you see at a radio control flying field, where each model operator takes a “frequency flag” from a pole to reserve that frequency for their transmitter / receiver pair.

Hopefully FIRST comes up with a way of pre-assigning teams to certain IR codes BEFORE they hit the playing fields.

As for the range of the IR, it would be simple to create an “IR repeater” that boosts the transmit range via an IR receiver and a set of IR diodes. I’m sure there’d be a kit or two on the internet via a Google search.

Years ago, I had an IBM PCjr which had an IR keyboard link, and I could bounce that signal off the back of my bedroom wall or roof and still get reliable typing on my PC screen. While the IBM PCjr was a market failure, in my opinion the IR keyboard worked incredibly well.

Happy building.

If you are interested in making your own, go to They have components, circuits, and info on how to do it. They sell and have circuit diagrams for long range IR remote control. As-is their remotes wouldn’t work with the IR receiver we have, but the info is still very useful and could be helpful.


We’ve ordered a pair of their Fyre-Fly IR transceivers to experiment with as a possible replacement for the kit IR board. It looks like they have longer range and operate on a different carrier frequency so interference may not be a problem.

Huh. I guess I never saw a rule against this, but ar you sure it is legal to use a different IR receiver?

Also, if you do get in a match with two Rentron receivers, you are sunk, correct?