If you do a lot of debugging with IR transmitters or just want another cool gizmo to stash in your parts bin, this IR bullet may be just the thing for you. Consisting of just an IR LED inside of a BNC connector, the IR bullet keeps things simple.
You may be wondering why an IR LED is being used as a receiver instead of just using an IR photo-diode. It turns out the creators of the IR bullet, Analysir, have done a lot of research into the topic of IR receivers and found most of them were not up to scratch for effective IR debugging. The reason for this is that IR receivers have the signal demodulator built into them.
These demodulators are tuned to a specific carrier frequencies; 38KHz is the most common for infrared communications. Unfortunately, it takes time for the IR signal to pass through the demodulator which results in a time lag on the output signal as well as distortion. This makes it difficult to debug an IR related problem because the distortion could be covering up the cause of the problem. You can read the full write-up about the topic over on the Analysir blog.