The transmitter is built around two CMOS 555 timer ICs (TLC 555s). The transmitter generates a modulated 35-kHz IR signal. The 35-kHz carrier frequency is generated by IC2, and the 1 500-Hz modulating signal is generated by IC1. The output of IC2 drives LED1 through resistor R5; that LED provides visual indication that the transmitter is working. In addition, IC2 drives transistor Q1, which drives the two infrared LEDs (LED 2 and LED 3).
To provide the high current needed to drive the two IR LEDs, capacitor C6 is precharged, the charge it contains is dumped when S1 is pressed. When S1 is not pressed, the power to the ICs is cut off. However, C6 is kept charged via R8. Then, when S1 is pressed, the current stored in C6 can be used to drive the LEDs for as much as 1/2 second. That's plenty of time for the receiver to pick up a signal.