To build this project you'll need the following hardware and tools:
  • Arduno Uno, Mega, or Nano
    • You need to use an Arduino which is compatible with the CC3000--check the product page for the latest compatibility information.
  • CC3000 shield or breakout
  • Infrared light sensor and Infrared LED
    • Make sure the IR sensor and LED are matched to the same light wavelength (usually 940nm). The IR sensor should be one tuned to detect 38khz signals.
  • LED (any color) as an indicator of the IR sensor receiving signals.
  • Two 1/4 watt resistors:
    • R1: ~100 to ~1000 ohm resistor to limit the current to the IR LED.
    • R2: ~200 to ~1000 ohm resistor to limit the current to the indicator LED.
  • Power source for the Arduino, such as a 9-volt battery or wall wart.
  • Solid core hookup wire
  • Breadboard or perf-board
  • Candy bowl or container you can mount the IR sensor and LED within.
  • Hot glue or double stick tape to secure the sensor and LED inside the bowl.
  • Soldering tools to attach wire to the IR LED and sensor


Connect your hardware as follows:
    For the CC3000, connect it to the Arduino in the same way as this CC3000 tutorial:
    • Arduino 5V to CC3000 VIN
    • Arduino ground to CC3000 ground
    • Arduino digital pin 13 to CC3000 CLK
    • Arduino digital pin 12 to CC3000 MISO
    • Arduino digital pin 11 to CC3000 MOSI
    • Arduino digital pin 10 to CC3000 CS
    • Arduino digital pin 5 to CC3000 VBEN
    • Arduino digital pin 3 to CC3000 IRQ
    For the IR LED, solder long wires (long enough to reach from the bowl to the breadboard) to each leg--don't forget which leg is positive (longer) and negative! Connect the positive wire from the IR LED through to 5V power from the Arduino. Connect the negative wire from the IR LED through the R1 ~100 ohm resistor to Arduino digital pin 8.

    For the IR sensor, again solder long wires to each leg. Connect the Vs leg to 5V power, the ground leg to ground, and the output leg to both Arduino digital pin 7 and the negative leg of the indicator LED. Check the datasheet if you're unsure which pin is which on the sensor. Finally, hook up the positive leg of the indicator LED through the R2 ~220 ohm resistor to 5V power.

    As a quick test, with the Arduino powered on you should be able to aim a remote control at the IR sensor and press buttons to see the indicator LED flash.
    To finish the hardware, attach the IR sensor and IR LED to opposite sides that are facing each other inside the bowl. To the left you can see how I hot glued my sensor and LED about 1/3 of the way up the side of the bowl. You can also see the electronics that I built using an Arduino Nano, and a transistor to control current through the IR LED--the transistor isn't really necessary so it can be ignored.

    If your bowl is big enough, you might be able to build a false floor with cardboard to hide the electronics neatly inside the bowl. Otherwise, run the wires outside the bowl and hide the electronics nearby.
    Continue on to learn about the software used in this project.

    This guide was first published on Oct 29, 2013. It was last updated on Oct 29, 2013.

    This page (Hardware) was last updated on Oct 27, 2013.

    Text editor powered by tinymce.