USB IR Toy 101

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Use a remote control with your computer, view infrared signals on a logic analyzer, capture and replay infrared signals, and play TV POWER codes.

You can get an assembled USB IR Toy for $20, including worldwide shipping.

Overview of parts


General overview of the IR Toy parts:

  1. MINI-B USB jack
  2. Indicator light
  3. Infrared transmitter
  4. Infrared demodulator/receiver
  5. ICSP header. Connect PGD to PGC then plug in the IR Toy to upgrade with the bootloader.
  6. Extra IO pins with hardware UART (serial IO)
  7. C2 and C3 are capacitors for the internal PIC voltage regulator. Only one will be populated on the manufactured version.

Connecting for the first time

The virtual serial port (CDC) used by the IR Toy is an open standard, it should work on any modern operating system.

Windows XP/Vista

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You don't need a driver to use the USB IR Toy, but you will need a .inf file to tell Windows how to use the device.


The IR Toy appears as a COM port on Windows.

  • Find the COM port number from start->settings->control panel->device manager->ports
  • If there are multiple ports you can unplug the IR Toy USB cable and note which port disappears

Windows 7

You need to install the .inf file from the device manager. An .inf is included in the firmware download.

  1. Go to device manager -> USB IR Toy -> update driver software
  2. Select let me choose a driver
  3. Select have disk and then browse to .inf file. Click to install



You don't need a driver for Mac OS X. The IRToy appears as a serial device in the Unix directory /dev, as a pair of files. Typical names would be /dev/tty.usbmodem2B11 and /dev/cu.usbmodem2B11

Some software will require that you provide this file name during setup, but will often remember the name from then on. The file name may change if you plug the IRToy in to a different port, particularly if you add a USB hub in between the computer and IRToy.

More advanced software may be able to find the IRToy automatically, but if things aren't working then look for Preferences where you can set the /dev/*.usbmodem* filename.

Utilities and applications

A number of applications support the IR Toy directly, or through the IRman-compatible or SUMP-compatible modes.


Upgrades are done over USB and just take a few seconds. See the USB IR Toy firmware update guide.