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by Marshall Brain

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The Circuit Board


When you unscrew the circuit board and take it out, you can see
that the circuit board is a thin piece of fiber glass that has thin
copper "wires" etched onto its surface. Electronic parts are
assembled on printed circuit boards because they are easy to
mass produce and assemble. In the same way that it is relatively
inexpensive to print ink onto a sheet of paper, it is inexensive to
"print" copper wires onto a sheet of fiber glass. It is also easy to
have a machine drop the parts (the chips, transistors, etc.) onto
the sheet of fiberglass and then solder them on to connect them to
the copper wires.
When you look at the board, you can see a set of contact points
for the buttons. The buttons themselves are made of a thin rubbery
sheet. For each button there is a black conductive disk. When the
disk touches the contacts on the printed circuit board, it connects
them and the chip can sense that connection.
At the end of the circuit board there is an infrared LED, or Light
Emitting Diode. You can think of an LED as a small light bulb.
Many LEDs produce visible light, but a remote's LED produces infrared light that is invisible
to the human eye. It is not invisible to all eyes, however. For example, if you have a
camcorder it can see the infrared light. Point your remote at the camera and push a button.
You will be able to see the infrared light flashing in the viewfinder. The receptor in the TV is
able to see infrared light as well.
So the basic operation of the remote goes like this: You press a button. When you do that
you complete a specific connection. The chip senses that connection and knows what
button you pressed. It produces a morse-code-line signal specific to that button. The
transistors amplify the signal and send them to the LED, which translates the signal into
infrared light. The sensor in the TV can see the infrared light and "seeing" the signal reacts
appropriately.
Links General:
How Television Works
Technical:
Decoding IR Remote Controls
A Serial Infrared Remote Control
IR remote control computer interfacing
Remote Infrared Control
Innotech Systems, Inc. - manufacturer
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1/25/2015 10:39 AM