If you already own an HTPC or have been considering building one then this guide is a must read and will show you an affordable way to build a receiver. Here is a quote from the article, “I wanted to be able to view and play my files through my surround system and large screen TV and this was going to let me do it… After setting it all up and enjoying using it I soon realized that having to always go back to the PC to control it was a real pain in the…”
One day as I was reading though a forum that I cannot remember now I came across someone talking about a HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) system. What was this? When the thread suggested taking a look at http://www.myhtpc.net/ I did. I knew that this program would change how I use my server PC. I wanted to be able to view and play my files through my surround system and large screen TV and this was going to let me do it.
After setting it all up and enjoying using it I soon realized that having to always go back to the PC to control it was a real pain in the �you know what�. There had to be a way to control the screens with a remote and IR receiver. Buying a prebuilt set up would be the easiest… but not the cheapest. The my HTPC forum pointed me towards a program called WinLIRC. Thus the journey begins.
Going to the http://winlirc.sourceforge.net/ site explained what the program does. Most importantly it showed me how to make my own serial IR receiver at a cost of about $15.00USD! We will put that to the test. All the parts that I would need were listed with part numbers. This was a big help. Most of the stuff could be had at any local Radio Shackor electronics place. So off I went to RS, list in hand. I was able to find everything I needed but they were out of the voltage regulator that I required. So I substituted (guessed) with another one. That was the wrong thing to do. I ended up finding the right one later at Fry�s Electronics.
38kHz Infrared (IR) Receiver Module $3.69 Catalog #: 276-640
9-Position Female Solder D-Sub Connector $1.59 Catalog #: 276-1538
9-Position Non-Shielded D-Sub Hoods for 9-Pin and 25-Pin D-Sub Connectors $1.59 Catalog #: 276-1539
1N914/4148-Type Diode $1.29 Catalog #: 276-1122
4.7K-ohm 1/4W 5% Carbon Film Resistor pk/5 $0.99 Catalog #: 271-1330
4.7�F 35V 20% Radial-lead Electrolytic Capacitors $0.99 Catalog #: 272-1024
Dual Mini Board $1.69 Catalog #: 276-148
Enclosures 3x2x1″ (7.6×5.08×2.54cm) $2.29 Catalog #: 270-1801
Voltage Regulator NTE 977 $1.30 (sorry I can not find a good pick for this)
(Images and descriptions are from http://www.radioshack.com/)
The grand total plus tax came out to be about $16.50. Not too bad since I bought all the items I needed to do this. You may have some of the pieces already or have an idea for a different type of case for the IR receiver so your end cost will vary.