Simple Arduino Universal Remote Control

The infrared remote control might not hold the seat of honor in the average home theater setup that it once enjoyed, but it’s not quite out to pasture yet. After all, what are you going to use to stop Netflix once the Chromecast invariably disconnects from your phone? As long as there are devices out there that will respond to commands blasted their way via an IR LED, hackers will be looking to get in on the action.

In an effort to make IR remote hacking just a bit easier, [sjm4306] has submitted his Remoteduino for the 2019 Hackaday Prize. With this handy tool in your arsenal, you can focus on developing the software side of your next IR remote project without worry about the hardware. Just upload your code, and get clicking.

As you might imagine, the design is rather simple. On the front edge of the PCB you’ve got the prerequisite IR LED, and a healthy supply of tactile buttons that your code can use as input. The remote features a fairly standard layout on the top half, complete with silkscreened labels for the common functions, but below that [sjm4306] has packed in six general purpose buttons that can be used for whatever you like.

The Remoteduino is powered by an ATmega328P, and the whole thing runs on a CR2032 cell mounted on the backside. [sjm4306] mentions in his write-up on that battery life was always a consideration during development of the Remoteduino, so he’s made a few energy-saving considerations. Using the internal 8 MHz oscillator instead of an external crystal shaved a bit off the top, and the aggressive sleep routines got him the rest of the way. In testing, he estimates the battery should last a few years even with daily use.

11 thoughts on “Simple Arduino Universal Remote Control

  1. I absolutely want to build one of these sometime. Since you’ve mentioned chromecast, I wonder if… *goes to google* yes, someone _has_ figured out how to send stop/play commands to a chromecast via an arduino…. combining that with this remote is about the only way I could picture this being more awesome :)

  2. It might be fun to load it up with real keyboard switches Cherry MX type and not have to mash those decrepit buttons that all remotes have. It wouldn’t be too big as those slivers that slide into sofa cracks and disappear into null-land are another problem. While you’re at it drive a bunch of ir LED’s then you don’t have to aim, it bounces off the walls.

  3. I’ve been thinking of doing an RF remote similar to this, as most pre-built RF remotes have very low button counts. Has anyone seen one around the internet? I’ve had a look but didn’t come up with anything

    1. I had an idea to make one using pair of nRF24L01+ modules. IIRC, goal was to support at least 16 analog inputs and even 256 digital ones. The other idea I had was a simple remote that used 16 buttons to control 256 different things, with 16 commands for each…

  4. This is perfect answer to my newest problem. I’ve been trying to find a universal remote that’ll work with my TV, PC, and older Sherwood surround sound receiver which doesn’t have a remote anymore. If only I could find the codes for it.

  5. Am I the only one who thinks it should be 40% smaller? It seems awesome, but make the case big and the product the smallest you can and have the button separation you need.

    1. Yep, I was a overly generous in spacing parts in the pcb design. Kind of underestimated just how big it would be until I got the boards. Luckily it’s trivial to shrink this down to probably 60-70% of the size and still be relatively easy to hand solder.

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