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IR remote control tester circuit

This is a simple and small circuit you can build in order to test infrared remote controls, coming from audio and video devices (e.g. television, DVDs, VCRs and more). You can also use it to test devices which are using the famous IrDA protocol.


Keep in mind that this tester can detect almost all devices that use infrared radiation (even devices which are using IrDA protocol).
The circuit has low sensitivity, so keep the remote control at a close distance. That was done on purpose in order to keep external interferences low.

  • One 10K resistor (1/4 Watt).
  • Two 27M resistors (1/4 Watt).
  • One 1K resistor (1/4 Watt).
  • One transistor BC516.
  • One transistor BC547B.
  • A common red LED.
  • One 47nF capacitor.
  • A phototransistor like BPW40. You can use different types of phototransistors without problems (e.g. BPW41N, TK19 148 etc).
  • One on-off switch.
  • A battery holder for two AA batteries (a battery holder with pressure contacts is by far the best choice).
  • A small piece of a Veroboard
  • Wire for connections
  • Solder and soldering iron

Also you will need two alkaline AA 1.5V batteries.

Schematic Diagram

Here is the schematic diagram of the IR remote control tester.

Attention: To avoid external interferences (ambient noise) the circuit is designed with low sensitivity. Keep the remote control under test, as close to the phototransistor (ir receiver) as possible.


In the following pictures you see the IR tester, build on a small piece of Veroboard. I glued the circuit on the battery holder.



You can use the circuit almost for every IR remote control, even for devices that use the IrDA protocol like mobile phones (cellphones).

Created: 06/04/2009
Updated: -

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