"Overdrive like" IR receiver wanted for Arduino project

For the 2008 game Overdrive, there was an IR receiver in the KoP. It took IR commands from a TV controller and did the decode and gave discreet outputs for the control system to use.

I’m looking to do the same with an Arduino. I’m looking for recommendations on IR receivers to use in a cluster for 360 degree coverage. I need to cover about a 17’ distance, so some level of sensitivity is needed. (And I do remember teams putting a 3.2 gigawatt battery and heavy duty IR LED’s in their remotes, but I’d rather stay to off the shelf)

Plan B would be a stand alone unit that converts IR to a serial stream. I’m going to want to be able to get to channel up / down, vol up/down and the number buttons (0…9).


Back in 2008, Kevin Watson released some codethat used a simple $2 Vishay IR sensor to decode a signal from a remote control using the Sony protocol.

We successfully used a slightly modified version of this code in 2008. With a remote for a standard cable box, we were able to control our robot from over 50 ft. away.

I’m certain you can read through this code and come up with an Arduino version.

The Vishay sensors work great and have nicely replaced the PNA4602M that I used to use. I’ve been using the Sony IR Remote Control System (SIRCS) to drive mini sumo robotswith my students for the last ten years or so. It’s very simple, robust… reliable.

I tend to use PIC microcontrollers to do it, rather than an Arduino (they weren’t very popular a decade ago…) but the choice of microcontroller is really irrelevant. I’m sure you’ll find lots in the Arduino libraries, but even if you don’t it isn’t hard to program… just google SIRCS, and buy a $2.99 surplus multi-brand remote, set it to the Sony protocol (or whichever one you choose to use) and you’re off to the races.

Have fun,


P.S. If you get stuck, drop me a message… I can’t promise a quick reply as I have some holiday time coming up, but I’ll help when and if I can.

For reception, I prefer the TSOP34456 (Vishay). It is the noise-immune version of the TSOP34856 suitable for indoor use. For the IR diode, I would suggest the TSAL6100, which is frequency matched with the receiver, and has a relatively high drive current. My current project is making lasertag guns, and I can get over 100yds (I can’t really measure more than that; could be like 150) when I focus the light semi-coherent with a lens. Nonfocused, I think you should be able to get about 20ft with just the LED, slightly further if you have more than one.

I do have some libraries, but they’re for a different protocol. I’m sure there’s one floating around though, especially for the Arduino.

EDIT: Instead of the TSOP34456, which uses a carrier of 56kHz, you should probably use the 38kHz (should be TSOP34438) version so as to be compatible with most TV remotes. I believe Vishay also offers some variable carrier receivers too (28-60kHz), should you be interested (I originally chose 56kHz because it allowed me to get a slightly higher data rate).