TV-B-Gone-zilla! Rawr!


TV-B-Gone: antisocial nuisance or harmless prank? Whatever your feelings, there’s no denying this device has become a staple of the DIY hacking crowd, as evidenced by the countless derivatives since hatched. This latest mutation crushes them all.

[manekinen] from the Polish electronics blog Elektroda (“Electrode”) wasn’t satisfied with high-power TV-B-Gone designs using multiple 5mm infrared LEDs, so he created his own using a single one-Watt monster. The device is concealed in an ordinary flashlight casing, making it somewhat inconspicuous. A custom PCB containing an ultra-minimalist version of the TV-B-Gone circuitry sits just behind the reflector. The choice of reflectors determined maximum distance vs. coverage…they opted for distance. Specific figures aren’t given, but we estimate this thing could shut off televisions on Mars.

The original article (Polish or Google-ized English) includes construction photos and an archive (.rar) of project files including Eagle schematics and C source code.

Would it be totally irresponsible to mention there’s now a 3-Watt version of this LED? We’re just sayin’.

[thanks RicoElectrico]

34 thoughts on “TV-B-Gone-zilla! Rawr!

  1. @patrick

    Certainly not the guy who is standing across the street from the store turning off the TV’s from the outside.
    Long distance is the key here.

    What I don’t understand is the button. Most flashlights like this have a click on, click off type button. Not a momentary switch which is what the description seemed to imply (in the Google-ized English at least).

  2. A little smaller and you could fit it in a key chain flashlight. And there are those LED key chains already that might provide a good case for something like this. The coin cell batteries those hold might be a bit weak though.

  3. @Doug

    The article says the code stops after sending all the codes. So even though it isnt using a momentary switch it seems they did think around that.

    “When you turn on “Torch” to the circuit current flows, and uC in turn sends all the codes, and at the end goes into power-down mode”

    1. Don’t look now, but you can get a 5 watt IR LED. A bank of these LEDs on both sides of a car and you get a drive-by remote. For best results, use an Arduino and develop the Cable B Gone. A bar owner pisses you off? Wait until the Superbowl, drive by, and Fire!! The ideal would be to improve the TV B Gone to include cable and satellite codes to kill both. Note that for the same beam spread, the 5 watter will have double the range as the 1 watter. A bank of 5 watters would give you the TV B Gone equivalent of a Deathstar.

      Another idea would be if you lived in a high rise with a telescope. You aim the telescope at some house with a TV. Then, put the 5 watt LED at the eyepiece, and fire away. 3D print the thing that attaches to the eyepiece and holds the LED like the breech of an artillery piece. You aim first by looking through the telescope, close the breech and “push the button”.

      As far as lasers, cheap green lasers use an IR laser and weird frequency doubler crystal but no IR filter. Same with cheap blue laser pointers, there the IR laser might be a better match. The drawback of lasers lies in their advantage. They can go real far, but get harder to aim.

  4. Hi, someone has sent this to hackaday, with wrong link and wrong informations…

    I am author of this project, please go to my website for short english description

    @patrick – there is an original switch on/switch off button, no need to use pushbutton. Just switch on, and uC will start to send commands. You can switch off in any time, when tvs are disabled, or, if you not, it will stop sending automatically as original. Difference is, in original from ladyada uC is powered all time and you just reset it with pushbutton.

  5. I love TV be gone and in the tv shop its funny. But i work in the AV industry. Some of you think its funny to stop a presentation or demonstration. Its ok.:) Just don’t get upset when an AV technician beats you down in public, you are a punk bitch after all. (we are older than you,, and are FORCED to deal with macs on a regular basis.)

  6. @Big J, I’m also involved in the AV industry (part time, but not full time), and always have put a bit of lx tape over the reciever of the plasma’s, just to ensure this never happens. Haven’t bothered with the projectors, beign able to turn them on / off remotely is a great help when they are in the truss. Which makes me wonder, does a TV-B-Gone work on projectors.

  7. Yeah.. $80+ dollars for a single LED is pretty steep. I would love to see some numbers on the range you get with this though. Until then, Ill just stick with my 300ft range EHP.

  8. @Nick

    If the projectors use infrared remotes to shut them off, then yes, all you would need to do is capture the power off codes. To capture, you can modify a mini-pov kit (or build your own) to capture the codes via the serial port on your PC.

  9. This looks great for long range applications. I’d like to see a tv-b-gone embedded in something less conspicuous, like a cellphone, for close range. You could take your time aiming a cellphone and pretending to be texting, I doubt anyone would notice. Hmm.

  10. Well the shape of this one should be less painful, as compared to the rectangular shaped case item, as that giant you pissed off proceeds to shove it where the Sun doesn’t normally shine for most of us.

  11. The way to kill any attempt at someone using this and still changing your channel by remote when you want is to use a jammer. A 555 timer ic + IR LED set for 36Khz and 44Khz will stop any remote control in the room from working. Then when you want to change the channel you switch it off. Great for places like bars that have tv up high.

  12. On DealExtreme you can get all kinds of these multi-watt LED flashlights for around $20. Most of them have replaceable multi-chip LED emitters and drivers. Then you’ve got the lenses and the housing and so on.

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