I want to build a remote with Arduino Nano. I have viewed many tutorials in the web, but I don't have the IR Receiver (TSOP1740). Is there any way to use Jjust an IR Led as the receiver?

  • When you want the Ardiuno to be the remote, why do you need a receiver on it? A normal renote (like for a TV) only sends, it does not receive
    – chrisl
    Apr 26, 2020 at 16:30
  • I need the receiver to record the signal sent by the remote. Then the recorder signal will be plaayed when the equivalent button on the arduino remote is pressed. Apr 27, 2020 at 6:03
  • If using the $0.10 1838 Chinese IR receivers, they require different timing than the expensive ones. They work great with this modified library, however: github.com/ElectricRCAircraftGuy/IRLib Apr 27, 2020 at 9:31

2 Answers 2


No, you can't use just an IR LED as the receiver. While it is true that an IR LED can also be an IR receiver the voltages it generates are really really small. So you would need an amplification circuit. On top of that the TSOP1740 includes a band-pass filter to isolate the carrier frequency of the transmitted signal from the background light, which you would also need to implement.

So yes, while you could use an IR LED as a receiver, you need a large amount of support circuitry with it (which takes expertise not relevant to this website) to get it to do anything useful.

  • I know, the TSOP1740 has an internal amplifier, but I only have an UA741, aand am afraid that if I use that for amplification, the signal will be heavily distorted. Nevermind, I will just look up my TV model and search for the remote signals Apr 27, 2020 at 6:01
  • I don't know...I think I might actually be able to make a plain IR LED, with no support circuitry or external amplifier, read an IR signal. I think this is one of those cases where with enough knowledge you can use software to make up for missing hardware, and I think it just may be possible. For the sake of this question it's out of the question, but I just might make this a challenge I'm willing to take on one of these days. I have some ideas, but I suspect I could use capacitive touch digital pin sensing to time for loop counts as a means of reading the signals, then digitally filter. Apr 27, 2020 at 9:19
  • If you could sample the incoming signal from the LED fast enough you could then pass it through a biquad band-pass filter to isolate the right carrier frequency then either pass it through a biquad low-shelf filter to recover the signal or arrange for simple OOK detection. It is something that could be done in software, but I'd not want to do it on an Arduino, instead choosing something that has an FPU or DSP built into it.
    – Majenko
    Apr 27, 2020 at 9:53

You could make a remote without a receiver. It would require knowing what signals to send. The receiver is to essentially help in training your arduino by letting it detect the signal from an already working remote and then replay it on the LED.

You can't make a receiver with JUST an LED. (Majenko's got this one covered).

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