Most remote controls for your TV, cable box, Blu-ray player or other consumer electronic devices use infrared signals. IR is also an inexpensive and effective way to control a variety of maker projects. IR is especially useful in creating assistive technology devices for the disabled, such as mouse and keyboard emulators.
In another tutorial, we describe how to use an open source library called "IRLib" which allows you to decode or encode a wide variety of standard protocols used by consumer electronic devices. This IR breakout board help you get the most out of IRLib. Here is a tutorial on how to use IRLib.
This board is also an integral component in an assistive technology device called the "Ultimate Remote" which is documented in another tutorial here. (Coming soon)
The device consists of 2 infrared LEDs driven by 3 transistors as well as a TSOP38xxx receiver chip and a TSMP58000 learner chip. We've even thrown in some extra ground and power pins that makes it easier to integrate this board into your project.
It can handle 5v or 3.3v power input and the transmit and receive portions of the board can be independently powered at either voltage.
The board is completely open source and there are Eagle CAD files provided as well as links to PCB manufacturers who can create the raw board for you. A complete price list is provided. Most of the parts are available from Adafruit.
The design is flexible and has many options such as including or not including current limiting resistors, the orientation of the receiver chips, and power supply options. Each of these options is described in the assembly instructions of this tutorial.