USB Infrared Toy

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Read the USB IR Toy how-to

Use a remote control with your computer, view infrared signals on a logic analyzer, capture and replay remote control buttons.


  • NEW: 100mA constant current IR transmitter with improved range
  • NEW: Infrared frequency measurement
  • NEW: Pin breakout area
  • Infrared remote control decoder (RC5)
  • Infrared signal logic analyzer
  • Capture and replay infrared signals
  • USB connection, USB bootloader for easy updates
  • Supported in WinLIRC
  • Open source (CC-BY-SA)


Get one



Project Summary
Name: USB Infrared Toy
Buy it: Get one for $19.50 at Seeed Studio
Price: $19.50
Status: Mature
Manufacturing: Shipping
Forum: USB Infrared Toy Forum

v20+ is a major upgrade, be sure to update for new features and improved stability.

Release package with firmware, utilities, PCBs:

Developer package with source, project artwork, etc:

Hardcore code nerds:








Note: the firmware version numbering scheme was changed after 1.05, new firmwares are numbered XX (eg v09). See USB IR Toy firmware change history for more info.

Modes and protocols

This is a summary of the USB IR Toy modes and protocols.

IRman-compatible decoder

The IR Toy default mode is a simple IRman compatible USB remote control decoder.. Command your PC from a remote control with lirc/WinLIRC, Event Ghost, PC Remote Control, Girder, etc. The LED will blink very briefly each time it decodes an IR signal.

Currently IRman mode is receive only, and will only recognize IR signals in the Philips RC-5 format. Most universal remotes have RC-5 format codes. They are usually some of the lower numbered codes. For support of other IR remote protocols see Infrared Sampling Mode.

Infrared sampling mode

Infrared sampling mode times the duration of infrared pulses and sends the measurements to the computer. It can be used to record and play back most consumer IR remote signals. Many of the recent USB IR Toy applications such as the custom IR Toy WinLIRC plugin and the Record & Play back application. It is suggested to use a recent version of the USB IR Toy firmware for sampling mode. Sending IR signals requires a minimum of USB IR Toy firmware v07.

Currently sampling mode is not the default mode for the IR Toy, the IR-man compatible receive-only mode is. At some point in the future this might change. Many of the commands that work in IR-man mode to switch to other modes are implemented or reserved in IR Sampling mode to ease a possible transition.

Logic analyzer mode (SUMP)

The IR Toy captures and displays remote control waveforms with the SUMP open source logic analyzer client. Sampling is triggered by a change on the IR receiver, it won't start capturing until it gets a valid IR source. The logic analyzer mode currently operates at 10kHz with a fixed 4096 byte sample buffer.

USB to serial bridge mode

Firmware v08+ includes a USB to serial bridge mode. Serial IO on the UART header pins is converted to USB. The virtual serial port configuration determines the speed and settings.


The IR Toy has a self-test that can help determine if everything is working correctly.

Deprecated modes

Some redundant and unused modes were removed in firmware v20. These can be added back if there is popular demand. Old modes include RawIO, Intruder detection, and LIN.



* The compiled firmware uses a USB PID licensed from Microchip for our use. It is limited to 10K units, and licensed only for our hardware production, therefore we have to limit use of firmware compiled with these numbers to non-commercial use. You are free to compile the firmware from source without the PID and use it under the terms of CC-BY-SA.