Engraft XBee into IR remote controller

Hi folks,

Could anybody share his knowledge about this question : how to replace the IR LED emitter by a XBee module. The goal is to transform an infrared remote controller into a radio emitter.
I have 2 Xbees series 1 for that.

There is obviously a quick and (very) dirty solution that would consist into wiring some of the controller buttons to some XBee input pins, but this is quite limited.

The clever solution (I’ve found so far) would be to plug the Xbee directly on a pin of the IR LED emitter… Depending of the button pressed, the IR LED emits a “pulsatile” signal, this pulsation is different depending on the pressed button… And there stand my question : could the XBee receive this pulsation and then transmit a kind of “code” to tell what was the button pressed ?

A workaround to this solution would be to engraft an IR receiver into the controller just in front of the led emitter (no distance issue here :wink: ), and plug this IR receiver into the XBee. But I don’t really know how to achieve this, and if this is really a reliable solution… ?

If someone did something like this already it would be wonderful to get some input :slight_smile:

Thank you for reading this :slight_smile:



Hello JB,

It’s not necessary to read the pulses with an IR receiver, you can just read the LED status with a digital input.

If you want to process the pulses and then send a message, you will need a MCU (a Programmable XBee (ZigBee), an Arduino + XBee Shield or similar). The smalles solution would be the programmable XBee, but it migth be more expensive.

But, what will you have in the receiver side? The receiver XBee will also interact with the old IR interface or you just want to enable a remote to send XBee commands?

There is a mode in XBee Series 1 (802.15.4) called Digital Input/Output Line Passing that migth be fast enough to send the line changes, so XBees could replace the IR LEDs without additional MCUs. More information on DIO Line Passing here. Also, check this post where trp show two useful links:


Good luck! Best regards,

Hi Sebastian,

THanks for this input and the links, especially the DIO Line Passing explanation…

About what I’m trying to do : I have a XBee receiver + USB host plugged into the computer as Base, and at the end I’ll need to get 50 Xbees acting as remote… (but for now only one is far enough for testing).

I could enable the DIO line-passing + plug the IR led into a digital input… and it communicates well as coolTerm displays a whole bunch of HEX values each time I press one of the remote buttons.
But now, what to do with this big pack of Hex values, guess what is the remote ID, what is the button pressed… that is another story !

Still digging around, and thank you for your advices [:)]


I have had varied success with the X4 app and accessing the data stream. My current, very frustrating issue is that the ESP tools will not allow me to open projects that I had previosuly used, closed and deleted from the PyDev workspace explorer window (source files are still on the drive). I deleted the projects from the ESP PyDev workspace explorer window due to problems/confussion I had trying to get the proper project in the workspace to run. When I go to the Project menu, the Open Project item is always greyed out.