How To Connect to Peripheral Devices with IrDA

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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to connect to peripheral devices with by using infrared light.

Windows XP provides computers with the ability to connect to peripheral devices, such as printers and modems, by using infrared light, in the same way that a TV remote control sends signals. This is especially important to users of laptop and notebook computers, because they often need to easily connect to peripherals at a variety of locations. Use of infrared connections eliminates the need to carry the cumbersome and expensive cables that otherwise might be required. Under Windows XP, infrared connections are established by using the standards and protocols that are supported by the Infrared Data Association (IrDA).

Many new laptop and notebook computers support infrared connections. In addition, a wide range of peripheral devices, such as digital pagers, personal digital assistants, electronic cameras, organizers, cellular phones, and hand-held computers, are capable of infrared connections. If a device has an infrared transceiver, you will see a small, dark red window on it.

Requirements

  • IrDA Support
  • Synchronizing Data with ActiveSync

Verifying IrDA Support

  1. Check for an infrared transceiver on each device that you want to connect (the transceiver appears as a small, dark red window).
  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.
  3. Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
  4. Double-click Infrared Devices. If your computer has an infrared transceiver, but Infrared Devices does not appear in Device Manager, you do not have an infrared device installed. For information about how to install an infrared device, view your computer's documentation.
  5. Verify that at least one infrared device is listed and that it is enabled. If an infrared device is installed but is not enabled, verify that it is installed correctly.

Establishing a Connection

  1. Place your devices within one meter of each other.
  2. Verify that the transceivers are pointing at each other. When the devices are correctly aligned, the icon appears on the taskbar.

Synchronizing Data with ActiveSync

If you are using Microsoft ActiveSync in conjunction with a device such as a Pocket PC-based device, use the following steps to establish a connection and synchronize data:
  1. Click the ActiveSync icon on the taskbar, and then click Connection Settings.
  2. In the Connection Settings dialog box, ensure that the Allow serial cable or infrared connection to this COM port check box is checked. If it is not, click to select it.
  3. Click the infrared port.
  4. Turn on your Pocket PC-based device (or similar device), and align its transceiver with your computer's.
  5. Click the Get Connected button to start a connection wizard .
  6. On the Pocket PC-based device, tap Start, and then tap Connections.
  7. Tap the IR icon on the Pocket PC-based device.
  8. On your computer, click the Next button in the connection wizard. The initial connection is created.
After the initial connection is created, you can synchronize data between your Pocket PC-based device and your computer by turning on your computer and Pocket PC-based device and aligning the transceivers. From the Start menu on the Pocket PC-based device, tap Programs, tap Connections, and then tap the IR icon. For additional information about IrDA, click Start, click Help and Support, type irda, and then press ENTER.

Properties

Article ID: 313296 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB313296

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