The pIRkey adds an IR remote receiver to any computer, laptop, tablet…any computer or device with a USB port that can use a keyboard. This little board slides into any USB A port, and shows up as an every-day USB keyboard. The onboard ATSAMD21 microcontroller listens for IR remote signals and converts them to keypresses, mouse movements, or even USB serial output.
Infrared is a favorite wireless protocol - no antennas, certifications, pairings, passwords, or special tools required. Works everywhere in the world and very intuitive - everyone’s got an IR remote in their home.
The pIRkey is an improvement on Adafruit’s original IRkey product, by adding a p for python. Now with CircuitPython being available for the tiny ATSAMD21E processor, it’s swapped in for the ATtiny85, giving a huge boost in power and a working Python interpreter on board as well. This means it is easy to reprogram, customize or adapt it to whatever Infrared-reading needs you may have.
When you plug it in, the pIRkey shows up as a triple device: USB disk drive to store code, USB serial for debugging and Python interactive command line, and USB keyboard/mouse that can transmit keypresses or mouse movements.
By default it ships with simple example code to read NEC remotes but you can use any remote that has about 38KHz output frequency which is the vast majority of remote controls. CircuitPython makes this all very easy to customize and adapt to your own needs.
Have some info to add for this board? Edit the source for this page here.
Every time we commit new code to CircuitPython we automatically build binaries for each board and language. The binaries are stored on Amazon S3, organized by board, and then by language. Try them if you want the absolute latest and are feeling daring or want to see if a problem has been fixed.
All previous releases are listed on GitHub, with release notes, and are available for download from Amazon S3. They are handy for testing, but otherwise we recommend using the latest stable release. Some older GitHub release pages include the same binaries for downloading. But we have discontinued including binaries as assets on newer release pages because of the large number of files for each release.
Update UF2 Bootloader
Latest version: v3.14.0
The bootloader allows you to load CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino programs. The bootloader is not CircuitPython. You can check the current version of your bootloader by looking in the INFO_UF2.TXT file when the BOOT drive is visible (FEATHERBOOT, CPLAYBOOT, etc.).
It is not necessary to update your bootloader if it is working fine. Read the release notes on GitHub to see what has been changed. In general, we recommend you not update the bootloader unless you know there is a problem with it or a support person has asked you to try updating it.
To update, first save the contents of CIRCUITPY, just in case. Then double-click the reset button to show the BOOT drive. Drag the update-bootloader .uf2 file to the BOOT drive. Wait a few tens of seconds for the bootloader to update; the BOOT drive will reappear. After you update, check INFO_UF2.TXT to verify that the bootloader version has been updated. Then you will need to reload CircuitPython.