I have a feeling my IR sensor does not work. To make the most 'low level' test possible I want to check if the +5 and GND are working/are on the pins I expect:

On the right pin put +5 (according to pic below) On the middle pin GND On the left pin the data signal

Can I assume if I check with a multimeter the continuity between +5 and GND, that the sensor is OK (except for the data signal maybe), and if there is no continuity, it is broken?

enter image description here


My circuit:

  • Arduino 5V - IR Sensor, Right pin
  • Arduino GND - IR Sensor, Middle pin
  • IR Sensor, Right pin - Resistor 220 Ohm - LED - Arduino Digital pin 11

No (useful) sketch run

Remote tested with telephone camera (visible light when keys pressed) Result when pressed towards IR sensor: LED off (both with or without pressed remote buttons)

I used a multimeter to check the voltage between the right pin and middle pin which is 5.06 volts (and when I reverse the wires it shows -5.02 volts) so it seems the right pins are used. The left pin always gives 0.00V when checked against the +5V / right pin. enter image description here

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is definitely no connection between +5V and GND. If this would be the case, your IR receiver would just be a short circuit. \$\endgroup\$
    – auoa
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fully true (feeling stupid now) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


The most low level test of this sensor is to power up the device and check if the data pin goes high (means +5V). You did not give us a certain part number, however comparable devices have an active low output. Thus the Data pin should be high without IR data.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichelKeijzers Many have an internal "pull-up" resistor (perhaps 30000 ohm) between output pin and +5v pin. With no signal, this resistor causes auoa's answer to be true. A few of these IR sensors expect you to provide an external pull-up resistor, and won't go "high" on their own. Pointing a handy TV-remote into its face should produce some brief going-low pulses. \$\endgroup\$
    – glen_geek
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @glen_geek ... I am sure the circuit is correct (i.e. no resistor needed), since I saw plenty of Arduino schemes which I use. However, initially I might be wrong and might have blown up the sensor. Luckily these sensors are cheap ... and more important, I should learn to look at datasheets/pin layout before just trying. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 16:05

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