How to read and understand a data sheet?

I have built machine powered by an Arduino running a couple of Step Motors. I am now adding an IR sensor the the machine. For connecting the step motors i have found pretty good guides on the internet on how to connect them to get the Arduino to control them. With this addional IR sensor added i am entering uncharted territory. So my question is how to read this data sheet for the IR sensor TCRT5000 and get an understanding on how to connect the piece to existing project (which output go to ground, 5V and to the controller?)

Here is the data sheet for the product i am planning on adding to my existing project.

How do you work when connecting new unknown products to your existing projects? Do you read that sheet and just know how to connect it, or do you use some kind of program to write a “blue print” of how to connect it?

Like this sheet on how to connect a bipolar step to its driver and to the arduino:

It’s a nice blueprint to use for a beginner on how to connect the different pieces together. Do you make your own version of that for a piece you are adding before actually start soldering and connecting it?

While I could use the data sheet to apply the sensor to this task, I’ve been doing this for 40 some years now and have the experience to do it. It sounds like you are new to electronics, in which case your question is likely too low level. What does the IR sensor need to detect? How far away is whatever it needs to detect? Being lazy (and knowing how much trouble it is to use bare IR sensors :slight_smile: ) the first thing I did was search ebay for “ir sensor arduino” which comes up with this example:

which looks to use the same sensor (or one like it) that you are considering and has the necessary interface logic and parts to get it to interface to an arduino. Being ebay, it likely has no documentation, but there are a number of sites that google will find with connection instructions and likely arduino code for ir sensors. Until you get experience you are likely better off buying modules (ebay and the like have almost anything you could want :slight_smile: ) and perhaps looking them over to see how they have solved the problem to learn how you could do it. You will need to get good at searching google to find documentation (sometimes only data sheets and tracing connections back from there) to figure out how to use them though.