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Build A PC Infrared Transceiver

Add infrared capability to your PC for peanuts.

By Peter Smith

Just about every Pentium-class PC motherboard supports infrared communications. Even so, you won’t find a little red window anywhere on your desktop machine. For reasons unknown, this "luxury" has generally only been included on laptops, PDAs and the like.

With just one IC and a couple of resistors and capacitors, this tiny project remedies the situation and enables your desktop PC to communicate with these and a multitude of other infrared-capable devices (see below).

No wires, no hassles

Click for larger image
This shows the complete unit with its cable attached.

Infrared communications between devices has one big benefit – it doesn’t require a physical connection. This means no problems with connector compatibility or lost cables, and there’s no need to crawl around behind your desk looking for the right socket!

Data is exchanged between devices using infrared light pulses rather than electrical pulses. Of course, devices need to communicate at the same speed, using the same protocol. Just how is this achieved?

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