Infared Beacon not detecting properly


I have recently purchased the IR beacon transceiver pair and my setup differs a bit from the one shown in the guide.

Instead of soldering the detectors directly to the receiver board. I have soldered wires to the PCB which connect to 4 detectors directly in front of the receiver board. The setup is below:

As can be seen we attached the detectors pointing in different directions with a makeshift optical shield made out of black heat shrink tube. We are getting a lot of noise and instability such as when pointing the transmitter PCB towards the receiver PCB, the lights on the receiver just blink randomly and don’t have a solid light appearing in any direction.

Could the issue be of the transmitters on the receiver board… which aren’t being used in this design… but I am sure that they are still emitting which would cause the receiver’s detectors to be detecting its own transmissions.

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!.


Can you try optically shielding the receive beacon from the receivers and see if the performance improves? The reason we recommend mounting the detectors on the opposite side of the PCB from the emitters is that the PCB acts as a shield; if the detectors are on the same side as the emitters, they are able to detect the emitted IR through their housings.

- Ben

Hi Ben,
thank you for your help! We tried shielding the receive beacons with electrician tape, and black bristolboard, however we had no luck.

Our new setup is three of the four receive beacons are connected to the PCB. When the PCB is powered, the unconnected direction (south in our case) is lit up. The other three directions do not seem to work at all; with the receivers shielded from the emitters we still do not get any directions detecting when another PCB with emitters is held in that direction, none of them turn on. We’ve tried switching around the receivers but have had no luck. The only problem we can think of is our Arduino is connected to the PCB through a motor shield. Could this introduce error?

Thank you.

While trying to get the beacons to work, you should definitely simplify things; there is no reason for the motor driver shield to be in the picture at this point. Can you try it with just the beacon connected to your Arduino. Separately, I don’t expect the beacon to work properly with one IR receiver slot empty, so can you add that receiver back and see what happens?

Note that for your particular application, it might be easier to just connect the IR receivers directly to the Arduino and read the outputs yourself. Do you have access to an oscilloscope you can use to see what the IR receivers are outputting?

- Ben