TSOP 1838 – IR receiver

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In my quest to find the right components for a domotica solution I found the TSOP 1838 (IR receiver) in the Nodo project. This sensor has only three pins to connect which makes it easy to use. Not if you don’t take a very close look at the datasheet and connect the pins the wrong way. Being new to the Nodo project, TSOPs and Arduino together with the fact that I ‘knew’  I had the pin layout right, I began to try different sketches and remote controls. I took me quite some time to finally get it right. I mixed up the pins. After connecting everything the right way it was really easy to get it working.

On the right you see a picture of the TSOP 1838
I included the pin layout .

The left (OUT) pin is used to retrieve the IR signal. This pin is connected to a digital input of the Arduino.
The second (GND) pin is the ground pin.
The third (+5V) pin is the pin that you must connect to the 5V pin of the Arduino.

You can find several IR libraries and code examples that can be used together with the TSOP1838.

Ken Shiriff has a blog where you can find a great example and download. I did try the IRrecvDump.pde and it worked great.

Ladyada.net also has a great page about IR controls and Arduino.

The nodo-domotica project is also using a TSOP1838 for IR reception. In the nodo sketches   pin 3 is used to get the IR signal, but don’t be fooled by the image showing you how to connect the sensor (that is where I went wrong) it looks like the middle pin is the signal pin but that is not the case!

Hopefully you get the sensor up and running in just a couple of minutes. I have to figure out what the protocol is for my DreamBox, XBOX, Sharp TV remotes. These are not yet supported by the libraries mentioned above. Support for Sony, NEC and some Philips protocols is available. Sony is the one I saw working.

As they say RTFM (to get the correct pin layout) …

Domotica, what do we want

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Thinking about a domotica solution I have quite some whishes. Not all of them are real domotica but more about sensing, knowing and controlling things in and around the house. Browsing the internet my ideas are nothing new and there are a lot of people who work on the same goals. Luckely they are, that means I don’t have to learn everything from scratch. Reading all pages and problems I’m glad there are more people trying to accomplisch (parts of) the things I want to realize. If they weren’t I think I would never succeed!

Part of the ‘domotica’ wishlist:
– controlling KAKU devices
– controlling other 433Mhz switches
– reading my Balance Meteo Weather station sensor
– logging  temperature  inside the houde
– logging motion with PIR sensors
– Read / write remote control IR  signals (and send other triggers like KAKU commands)
– log energy consumption
– make lighting schemas
– control RGB LED stripes
– log VOIP caller IDs
– log doorbell rings
– make web-/securitycam photos on pre-defined events
– log humidity
– log pressure
– log light intensity

All this information must be stored in a database and privately accessible for me. I want to be able to access the information and send commands through a web-based solution. This will enable mobile access as well.

As you can see this is nothing special and new. Some people already have a website devoted to the same goals, take a look at: Bwired.nl and hekkers.net.

Next an example sketch …


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Since a month or so I’m working on a domotica implementation. Based on Arduino and Arduino like hardware. For now it is just browsing the internet to look for the right hardware. What sensors are available and how can they be used together with the Arduino development tools (IDE and available sketches).
I like to start with known solutions to learn more about the way Arduino works and how the connected hardware can be controlled.

For now I’m playing with an Arduino Mega 2560 and some JeeNode (JeeLabs) hardware. The JeeNode is a Arduino compatible platform with several interesting features. First of all it has a great community. Second, it has several nice out-of-the box features which are great for a domotica solution. It comes with a wireless RF chip that is configured to communicate with other JeeNodes. This is a real plus for a wireless domotica implementation. It is possible, with the pre-installed demo-sketch, to make a mesh-like network of JeeNodes.

For the Arduino I found the Nodo project as a great starting point for a Arduino based domotica solution. A new version is being made at this time which aims at the Arduino Mega and the new Arduino 1.0 IDE.

In this blog I want to share my experience in the quest for a great domotica implementation. Examples of sensors, sketches and links to interesting websites.

That’s it for the first post.