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Where to buy Infrared detector cards?

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Mr RB

Well-Known Member
Hi, does anyone know if you can still buy the infrared detector cards (like a little business card sized thingy) that have an area of infrared fluorescent material?

Of if the infrared fluorescent tape is still available and where to buy either?

Iv'e been working with infrared sensors a lot lately and it's annoying having to use my digital camer to look at the IR spread and what the IR is hitting at the reflection distance etc. Much easier to hold a little card there and see the actual IR dot. Thanks!
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
Excellent! Looks like just the ticket. Still kinda expensive though, $20 for a 10mm square of phosphor. :( At least they have upconverting phosphors that dont need to be light-loaded.

That roithner price list is WELL WORTH downloading, they have a mind-boggling range of lasers, laser diodes, IR devices, lenses, drivers, high power LEDs of every type etc etc.

Thanks for the links. :)
 

Hero999

Banned
Try eBay, you must be able to get it cheaper than that!
 

Dean Huster

Well-Known Member
Detector cards suck.

I had several digital logic probes laying around. It came to me one day that those little infrared detector cards were expensive and nearly worthless. Why not modify a logic probe to detect IR (and other) light and show pulses as well? Beginning with the Global Specialties LP-1 logic probe, I removed the probe point and installed a phototransistor down in the hole where it would get some shading from ambient light. I "backpacked" an LM1458 dual op amp over the A1 chip (I chose the 1458 because of the pinout), connecting the 1458's pins 4 and 8 to A1's 7 and 14 respectively for power. The 1458 is wired as a comparator, small trimmer pot was added on top of the 1458, the outer legs connected to A1 pin 14 and pin 7 and the wiper to the 1458 pin 2. The phototransistor's collector was tied to A1 pin 14 and the emitter tied through a 100K resistor to ground. The emitter was also connected to the 1458 pin 3. The trimpot was adjusted for a solid indication when the probe was brought near an operating IR remote control. The LOW indicator was removed and the "pulse/memory" and "cmos/ttl" switches removed and jumpered for "pulse" and "ttl" operation since I had negated the traditional logic probe function. A hole was drilled over the trimpot for external adjustment and a new label fashioned to replace the old.

[Looking back, the above paragraph is confusing as all heck. This was an old "tip" that I'd put together but not fleshed out, so construction/modification from the above material is not easy. I just did a quick cut-and-paste from the original material to get a quick post here. Unfortunately, this modified probe is currently boxed up in storage somewhere, so I can't open it up for the correct details. But the whole idea is to get you to find a probe with a known schematic and modify it for optical use.]

Anyway, when light is present, the red LED will light. If the light source is pulsing (such as that from a fluorescent light or IR remote control), the yellow "pulse" LED will light. In addition, a connector can be added to the probe, connecting it to the input of the op amp. This way, you can connect an oscilloscope to the probe and see the actual waveform being detected by the phototransistor.
 
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jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Don't know whether you need a permanent detector or something just to see if there is light. If it's the latter, a digital camera can see that wavelength of IR, and it will show on the electronic viewfinder. With my camera, it looks white.

John
 

giftiger_wunsch

New Member
Don't know whether you need a permanent detector or something just to see if there is light. If it's the latter, a digital camera can see that wavelength of IR, and it will show on the electronic viewfinder. With my camera, it looks white.

John
I used my camera to check if my IR LED was working correctly. It's quite an expensive camera but plenty of cameras can see IR. You can also obtain IR filters to apply to the lenses as well, to filter out everything other than IR.
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
Thanks again for the tips guys. I have some electronic detectors that i can use, and I have a digital camera that also works, but for this case I have been setting up small IR reflective sensors for small robot use (think line-following etc) and it's hard to stick a camera under a small robot in the little gap between it and the ground or between it and an object.

Then I remembered something about cards, thinking that would be ideal to poke around under the robot and see exactly where the IR reflector zone is.

Looks like the $29 card is a better deal, that has 15 square cm of detector area, not 1 sq cm. Hopefully they last a while and I should get a few years of use out of it. :)
 

Hero999

Banned
I suppose the card has advantages over electronic solutions: it doesn't require batteries, will show you the beam angle and give you an indication of the intensity.
 

espain13

New Member
Digital Camera IR Detection.

If I were to use a Digital Camera for IR detection, would I need a direct shot at the source or would it pick up a side shot of the beam passing through the space before the lens. I'm looking at IR detection for the purpose of detecting IR transmitters used for concealed communication. I would want to cover as wide a scanning area as possible. If you can help, thank you!

Also if anyone had advice on a particularly IR sensitive camera that would be great as well. Thanks!
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
You may need an older camera as most of the new ones have IR filters over the camera. Sometimes you can remove the IR filter, there are a zillion "IR camera hack" blogs out there.

My old camera works great, it can see the IR from a remote control or an IR LED no problems from across the room.

If you are trying to pick up covert IR comms you could try a high gain AC amplifier connected to a IR photo sensor, as most comms would be modulated you could put a couple of switchable bandpass filters on it and an output meter and see the meter go off scale anytime they are transmitting. If they are using an analogue modulation AM or FM etc you could even listen in.
 
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