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What is this??

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by CKalis, Aug 15, 2013.

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  1. CKalis


    Aug 15, 2013
    Hello! I was rummaging through my box of wires and such and found a 3'-long, 3.5mm to sensor thing. I'm not sure if it is a sensor, though. When I plugged it into the headphone jack, nothing happened. When plugged into the mic jack, the noise level goes up as a light gets closer to it. If it gets too bright, the noise level goes back down to zero. If you need any more info, please ask! :) And, sorry if this is in the wrong section. This is the first time I've actually used a forum.

    Here's the front of the "sensor":


    Here's the back of the "sensor":

    photo (1).jpg

    Moral of post: What is this??
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    It is probably an IR sensor.

    The noise you're picking up will be the switching of your lights (if incandescent it will be 100Hz, other sources may differ). (it is seeing the difference between bright and not quite so bright)

    It stops when the light intensity gets too high because the sensor is saturated and it can no longer distinguish between very bright and not quite so very bright.
  3. CKalis


    Aug 15, 2013
    Thank you very much for the info! I also want to know one more thing. How would I use it on a normal PC (if it is meant to work on a computer at all)? Would I use the mic jack, or would it require a special pci device?
  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    yes , its an IR sensor

    these are used in the A/V field for system control of TV's DVD players sound gear etc

    I have used 100's of them when in a former job

    usually the controlling signal is sent to the IR diode inside the molded package and it sits over the sensor on the TV/DVD etc

  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    They are used with software which uses them as an audio input for the sound card. They process the "sound" and decode the signal coming from their IR remote control.
  6. CKalis


    Aug 15, 2013
    Thank you once again for quick and informative answers. Now I'm going to go look for some software! :D
  7. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I think they're now installed in the equipment itself.
    I used to get them years ago in the boxes of new entertainment gear I bought, for
    remote control. I think they were issued with new equipment when they were an add-on
    to already existing entertainment gear. Kind of a stop-gap, add-on, until they were
    fully integrated into the new product line.
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