PowerBook G3 Series: Infrared Port

What are the features of the PowerBook G3 Series Infrared Port?
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
The PowerBook G3 Series (M4753) has built-in infrared that supports two types of transmissions:
  • IrDA - up to 4 megabits per second (Mbps) - AppleTalk and TCP/IP
  • IRTalk - 230 kilobits per second (Kbps) - AppleTalk Only

Note: PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze keyboard) computers are IrDA compliant but do not support IRTalk.

There are two main differences between IRTalk and IrDA:
    1. IrDA is an industry standard, while IRTalk is an Apple-only technology.
    2. IrDA supports TCP/IP and AppleTalk, where IRTalk only supports AppleTalk.

The Infrared Control Panel will give information about any Infrared connections that are established as well as what type of infrared the PowerBook is currently set to use. In the window below, IrDA is selected and there are no other Infrared devices in range.

Figure 1, Infrared Control Panel

The options button will present a new window which allows you to select the type of infrared connections you want. You can also select whether or not you are notified if the connection is interrupted. This checkbox will only be available for IrDA and not IRTalk.

Figure 2, Infrared Control Panel Options dialog box

For infrared options to work there are three drivers that must be in the Control Panels or Extensions folder. They are normally installed. They are:

Figure 3, Infrared Control Panel icon

Figure 4, IrDALib Extension icon

Figure 5, IrLanScannerPPC Extension icon

If these are not present or disabled, you will not be able to make infrared connections from the PowerBook.

  • If you have used infrared communications with other Apple products, you will notice a difference with this PowerBook. The lens in the rear of the PowerBook has been updated to support IrDA. The new lens has about a 30 degree viewing angle.
  • There is also a maximum 1 meter distance for recognizing other Infrared devices. Information source, Powerbook G3 series manual, page 47 and product testing.

For more information on IrDA and IRTalk compatibility, see the following article:

Article 20928: "Macintosh Infrared: Is It IrDA Compatible?"

Note: Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series computers should not be confused with Macintosh PowerBook G3 computers. Though the names are similar, there are significant differences. For more information differentiating between the computers, read article 24604: "PowerBook G3, G3 Series: Identifying Different Versions"
Published Date: Feb 19, 2012