Range on the IR board?

Our IR board stops getting signals from the remote we’re using at a pretty short distance. Is this how the board actually is or does our remote kinda suck? Is there a way to boost reception of the IR signals using something cheap / free? If it does have a fairly limited range, how does FIRST expect us to send signals across the playing field?

Don’t you have a pile of unused remotes around? Just keep trying them till one seems to work well.

Make sure the batteries are the proper ones (alkaline?) and are fresh. “Heavy Duty” batteries are NOT as good as alkaline.


You can always try and add a few more IR LEDs and bump up the voltage.

Ours works from up to 30ft with a random remote we found lying around (samsung I think). This was also with 2 other remotes pointed right at it with random buttons being pressed.

There are no rules regarding the remote, so you can beef it up however you want.

ours works from across the room (maybe 20 or 30 feet… even with stuff between our remote and sensor)

it mainly depends on your remote. i had an old remote to an old tv that would work even with a hand over the ir emitter and the remote pointing in the wrong direction. sadly the remote was lost and i couldnt find it.

my recommendation is go to a local goodwill store and buy a few remotes. thats what my team did. The first remote we tried wasnt usable with the ir board so we had to go back and get a new one (the goodwill was near our build space)

we got 60 feet through 2 panes of glass

To the team claimed 60 ft range on the IR board, can you post the brand of remote control used?

My team 2528 bought a generic GE remote control, and we are getting marginal reception at 30 ft. The overhead fluorescent light (normally found in school rooms) also played a big role in affecting the IR reception.

I wonder if the more expensive universal remote control has better range…


team 2528

Does the kit come with IR board? If it is not where can I buy the IR board?

The board was mailed to all teams before Christmas.

I think the range depends on the remote.

also, if you did not get a board during Christmas break, then check who you team shipping contact was in your TIMS. Then, if you still need one…



The range we got with a normal universal remote was at least 30 feet. It does of course depend on your remote and it helps if the code your sending is repeating. :slight_smile:

We used a small Sony remote that I had not used in a long while (the cable box controls that TV for me).

Ours worked from across the room … and at nearly every angle to the receiver. There does appear to be a dead spot (or more accurately dead PLANE) at a right-angle to the sensor … it works from front and rear, but not too good (or at all) from the side.

We’re not sure how much of it is reflected, since it was inside the classroom. We’re planning an outside remote control tryout to find the one with the longest range, just from the unused remotes that we have around our houses.

and yes, fresh batteries are a must.

yes, and the offical measurement is 58 feet, but still more than enough.

we used a radioshack 3 in one remote with some lithium batteries. we used the directional pad in testing.

For those of you that may be testing in classrooms or other school areas, be aware that many schools have installed cameras for security that contain IR illuminators. If your camera phones are sensitive to IR, point them at the cameras to check for IR emissions. The illumination is unmodulated but may affect the AGC in the pickup.

I was working with the group building the field elements last saturday but can remember when the electrical group was testing the remote. Our shop is all flourescent lights and is about 80 feet long. The receiver was about 15 feet from the far end of the room and the remote worked fine from the other side of the room. Then they went down an adjacent hallway, about 12 feet more, worked fine. Then they opened the outside door and went about another 30 feet into the parking lot, worked fine. Then they placed a cloudy piece of 1/4" plexi in front of the remote, worked fine. They were easily over 100 feet from the IR Board, sending the signal through two standard doorways, a piece of cloudy 1/4 plexi and did not have any problems. I remember hearing a lot of cheering. No, I do not know exactly what kind of remote it was other than it was a standard TV remote. Just find one that works well and make sure it has good batteries.