Just Don’t Call It An Old Remote

[Hari Wiguna’s] father is ninety years young. He started having trouble pushing the buttons on his TV remote, so [Hari] decided to build a custom remote that just has the buttons his dad needs. Oh, and the buttons are big.

There are a few interesting things about this project. [Hari] wanted to maximize battery life, so he went through a good bit of effort to keep the processor asleep and minimize power consumption. The remote is programmable, but [Hari] didn’t have access to his dad’s remotes. His answer was elegant. He used his Android phone to mimic the required remotes and provided a way for the remote to learn from another remote (in this case, the phone).

[Hari] made a series of videos that cover the project from the breadboard to a good-looking plastic case with laser cut overlays. It is a well-thought out and documented Arduino project and a good model for what you can do to make life more accessible to anyone with special needs.

[Hari’s] code is available on Github. We are sure his dad will be happy with the result. It is sometimes easier to think of what we want (like a cool and complex touch screen remote) instead of what the end user will appreciate, but [Hari] nailed it, we think. Of course, back in the day, your remote only had seven buttons, anyway.

12 thoughts on “Just Don’t Call It An Old Remote

      1. Fixed. When I took freshman comp years ago, the prof said something like “English is a strange language. For example, if you use a double negative it really means a positive. But it is not true that a double positive means a negative.”

        And from the back of the class I said, “Yeah, yeah.”

        She really didn’t like me the whole semester.

        1. On the point of it, why should double positive mean a negative?

          It isn’t considered odd in math that -(-1) is positive and +(+1) is positive too. Or that x^2 is always positive.That’s just how it works.

  1. Seems excessive when you can buy all in 1 remotes with massive buttons for not very much.
    I still would have bought a 2nd hand remote for the same TV and just added fly wires from the pads of the buttons/contacts and wired them to the new buttons.

  2. For anyone tinkering with remotes: IRMP is pretty sweet and well-developed.
    Runs on AVRs, Arduinos (if you want to make that distinction), PIC, STM and so on.
    It caters to almost ALL protocols, is modular, well developed and you can even request implementation of exotic formats (if there are any left).
    German community-homepage of the project (in German): http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/irmp-infrared-multi-protocol-decoder?page=1

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