Rickrolling remote control prank

This device is a prank or gag that [Eric Heisler] came up with. It will intercept IR remote control codes and play them back after a bit of a delay. The example he shows in the video (embedded after the break) catches the television power signal from a remote, then sends it again after about thirty seconds. This shuts off the TV and would be extremely annoying if you were unable to find the device. Fortunately (for the victim), [Eric] included a piezo buzzer that Rickrolls after sending each code. Just follow that tune to find the offending hardware.

He chose to use an ATtiny10 microcontroller. It looks like it’s realizing its full potential as the six-pin package use all available I/O to control the IR receiver module, an IR led, and the buzzer. It runs from a coin cell without regulation and the circuit was free-formed on a tiny surface mount breakout board which hosts the microprocessor.


  1. video says:

  2. le samourai says:

    Not strictly free-formed if he is using a breakout board, but definitely minimal. Bravo!

  3. Drake says:
  4. Hirudinea says:

    Nice, but it should record a few codes and then when it has them play them back at random.

    • eric heisler says:

      That would be good, but would require a bigger microcontroller. Just one code is nearing the limits of the ATtiny10’s memory. But if you restricted it to a single IR protocol, you could do more.

  5. To find it, you just stand in front of the TV with a digital camera and record the scene :3

  6. Perry Harrington says:

    Curious, it’s clear that the code he posted is somewhat compiled C because he used the r16 and r17 registers, which are a dead giveaway it was GCC. Did he write it in the Arduino environment and only post the assembled output, or did he mix and match compiled code and hand optimized code?

  7. cde says:

    The tv shutoff would only work on controls that don’t use a discrete power on/power off button set.

  8. TacticalNinja says:

    I’d find this rather scary than annoying. imagine the TV turning on at random after watching the ring.

  9. this is very cool. even without the speaker, this could easily make someone go crazy! :)

  10. t&p says:

    This is very Steve Wozniak!

  11. Per says:

    I once made a similar device called the “simpsonator” – It would automatically turn on the TV and keep switching to the channel where The Simpsons ran at 19:00 – to win the fight over channels in the dormitory kitchen ;) it was just a small atmega and an IR diodde.

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