USB IR Receiver

USB IR Receiver Assembled

USB IR Receiver Assembled

I have a mythtv box and it has pretty much changed the way I watch TV. Now I’m no longer tied down to the schedule set forth by the different channels. This is especially nice since I work at night and would not otherwise be home for prime time TV.

One of the biggest hurdles for the mythTV community seems to be providing an IR receiver so that you can use your remote control with it. I had been using a serial ir receiver but decided to try building my own USB receiver. This is based on the work by Dick Streefland found here:

I used his firmware but changed up the hardward just a bit. First off, the TSOP1738 is now obsolete so I had to find a replacement part for that. I also tweaked the setup used for the USB interface based on the schematics for the USBtinyISP by Ladyada.

Build You Own



Here is a pretty messy schematic of the circuit. As I said before I fused together the work that Dick did for the project with the USB interface from Ladyada’s design. There is also a bit of difference with the new IR Module as I added the filtering capacitor and resistor that were recommended in the datasheet.


PCB Artwork

PCB Artwork

Here is the PCB Artwork needed to etch your own board (300dpi). This was one of my earlier attempts at PCB layout so its not the best but will do the job. You could also just use perf-board and point-point soldering if you are not able to etch your own boards.


Component Layout

Component Layout

Here is the component layout to assist in the assembly of the PCB.


Firmware: I used the main.hex file in the “ir” folder of Dick Streefland’s usbtiny-1.4 package. Get it here.
Software: When setting up LIRC you should choose the “igorplugusb” device driver.

Parts List:
Part Value Mouser Part # Description
C1 27pf 80-C315C270J2G5CA Ceramic Capacitor
C2 27pf 80-C315C270J2G5CA Ceramic Capacitor
C3 0.1uf 80-C320C104K1R-TR Ceramic Capacitor
C4 4k7uf 810-FK26X7R1C475K Capacitor
C5 100uf 647-UPM1A101MED1TD Electrolytic Capacitor
D1 1N5227B 512-1N5227B Zener Diode 3.6V
D2 1N5227B 512-1N5227B Zener Diode 3.6V
IC1 ATtiny2313 556-ATTINY2313-20PU ATtiny2313 AVR Microcontroller
LED1 3mm LED
Q1 12MHz 815-ABL-12-B2 Crystal
R1 68 660-CF1/4C680J 1/4 Watt Resistor
R2 1k5 660-CF1/4C152J 1/4 Watt Resistor
R3 68 660-CF1/4C680J 1/4 Watt Resistor
R4 330 1/4 Watt Resistor
R5 22k 660-CF1/4CT52R223J 1/4 Watt Resistor
R6 100 1/4 Watt Resistor
R7 4k7 4k7 Resistor
SV1 571-5-146253-3 2×3 ISP Programming Header (optional)
U$1 TSOP4838 782-TSOP4838 IR Receiver Module 38kHz
X1 USB 649-61729-0010BLF USB Connector

13 thoughts on “USB IR Receiver

  1. Do you have any IR receiver code in Pic assembly? Also do you have any info on what tasks the interrupt handler must do to process the IR signal? Any info on the interrupt handler would be appreciated.

  2. Hi:

    I am a novice as far as electronic circuits are concerned, but pretty good understanding of software and I have also assembled my own computers in the past. I am looking to build my own IR receiver now for my mythTV box, and that is what brought me to this post. From first reading , it looks to me that if I order the parts that you list above, and solder them together on a perf-board (I am assuming that it is a plain wafer made out of circuit board material) like you have shown in the schematic, it will work. I am under the impression that somewhere before it can be useful, I have to install a firmware on this gizmo – a software I assume I will find here – And how will i install it?

    Given this background, do you think that someone like me can attempt to do this? What other knowledge will I need to have before I can do this successfully. I may not have the needed skills, but I do have enough motivation, if you know what I mean :-).

    I will truly appreciate your reply and any comments.


  3. @Barney_!
    I tried the above circuit

    I am unable to find this 2 item in my area
    1) USB jack -> USB TYPE A Female pcb version jack (can u explain it trough wire colour if possible ? from the board to the wire i mean
    2) TSOP4838 -> TSOP1738 will this work ?
    as per the 4838 i think in 1738 the pin are located in different directions…

    Kindly help
    I get the “USB DEVICE NOT Recognized” win windows XP
    Which software and which driver should i use in Windows XP ?
    I tried WINLIRC but it seems it only support COM ports
    I tried IRASSISTANT but it seems that it doesn’t support usb either..

    Kindly help i tried and don’t want to fail in the last stage…

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  7. Hello!
    I build this ir receiver, but I have a problem. I programmed low fuse to 0xef and high fuse to 0xdb. Is this ok? But when I connect receiver to PC, led flashes unnormaly and then it stops. No new hardware is found on PC. Can you please help me?

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