Infrared remote control tester

Today, I want to tell you about a remarkably useful tool that I always make sure I have in my commissioning equipment and that is an infrared remote control tester.

I can hear you saying it now "everything is IP these days, why do we need to test IR?".  Fair comment, however, there are still a lot of devices that are IR controlled either because that is the only option or because the IP control is not as reliable as needed.

So, we do still see a lot of IR control and it's really easy for installers to connect up emitters with reversed polarity etc. and we need a way of finding out where the issue might be.

In the very olden days, I used to have a credit card sized tester that had a material that glowed red when the IR hit it.  I am not sure you can get those anymore but then along came the high-tech solution of using the camera on your mobile phone.  This was great, you could watch the IR through your camera and see the IR as a purple/red glow.

The trouble with the phone camera is that IR interference is not going to give the best image quality, so, over time, the filters on the cameras have got better and better to the point where this technique no longer works.  

So, here's a useful little tester - the Classic RCT84011 - basically, point a remote at it (or an IR emitter) and it will both light up and make a bleep when it detects IR from the remote.

This still regularly helps me troubleshoot IR issues and eliminate cabling issues with integrators.

Well worth having in your toolbox!

The one I have is here (but showing unavailable)

The one on CPC appears to be a different version - possibly without an audible alert (but it's cheap enough to take a punt on!).