how can I use tcrt5000 sensor module instead of TSOP31238 (TSOP1738) IR receiver to get signal from remote control? I want to create remote control for my PC to navigate through my slide shows. Thanks in advance.

  • why do you want to use the tcrt5000? ... how is the Arduino used in your project?
    – jsotola
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 7:33
  • @jsotola, because I have only this sensor :) and haven't other
    – user60036
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 8:04
  • what are you using for remote control?
    – jsotola
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 8:20
  • @jsotola usual ir remote control
    – user60036
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 8:33
  • 1
    there is no such thing as "usual ir remote control" ... there are differences between brands in the way that keypresses are encoded
    – jsotola
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


The TCRT5000 and the TSOP31238 are very different. The TCRT5000 is actually a reflective distance sensor. It has an IR LED and a simple IR phototransistor, not more. The TSOP31238 in contrast is meant to receive data from IR remotes. IR remotes work with modulation of IR light. The IR LED is pulsed with a frequency of 38kHz (in the case of the TSOP31238). This frequency is modulated with the actual data, meaning there are different time lengths were there is no IR signal and where there is a 38kHz IR signal.

The TSOP31238 detects the IR light with a phototransistor, like the TCRT5000 has. But then the signal is processed with an amplifier, a band pass to filter out all frequencies but the 38kHz and then demodulated, so that you don't see the 38kHz signal on the output, but only the pulse lengths.

The demodulation should actually be the least complex part to build yourself. That can be even done by code. But to get good results, you also need the other parts. You would have to build an amplifier circuit with an opamp. And would have to build the bandpass (for example with an LC element).

You can build these things yourself, but: The sensor, that you have, is not meant for receiving IR remote signals. The parts, that you would need to make the signal usable, will cost way more, than just buying a TSOP. Also it will be a lot easier and most likely better working (processing the signal from a phototransistor can be tedious). I suggest, that you buy a TSOP chip fitting to your remote control.

  • Thanks a lot for extended answer. In this case that I use many triggers in remote control maybe I agree with you. So if will used TSOP it simple way to make scratch and take a goal. I found another solution to use 2 pin IR led. link link2
    – user60036
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 18:23
  • Yes, such things are possible. I didn't include it, because mostly these solutions will have a worse performance and are way more difficult to use (The standard libraries don't work for this). It may be suitable for you, especially, if you want to do it for the sake of learning. If you want to achieve a specific target, then I would advice to use the easiest solution.
    – chrisl
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 18:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.