Why Fix A Remote When You Can Just Build A New Device?

Those who have been around the block, and the sun, a fair few times will know that they certainly don’t make ’em like they used to. It doesn’t particularly matter what “them” is; it’s merely a widely accepted fact that society has trended towards more disposable products over ones that have a long service life. [mcu_nerd] was suffering from this very problem, as their TV remote had its power button begin to fail. Of course, hackers don’t see problems – they merely see opportunities for projects.

[mcu_nerd] decided to skip repairing the TV remote, under the suspicion that disassembling the device would likely lead to its destruction. Instead, an Atmega328P development board was pressed into service as a replacement remote, with the addition of an IR LED and a push button. Whereas the TV-B-Gone existed as a device to cause havoc by switching televisions off, [mcu_nerd]’s TV-B-On does the opposite job.

A later revision was spun up with its own PCB, and features an Attiny85, which is more than capable of handling the job. Showing thoughts of the future in the design, there are provisions for extra buttons to be added should the project require a nicer enclosure, and a space for an external crystal if necessary.

These devices have a long and storied history; we reported on a particularly powerful version back in 2009.

17 thoughts on “Why Fix A Remote When You Can Just Build A New Device?

      1. And the application requires access to the user’s location, phone, contacts, messages, storage to name a few? I will never use that application. Thank you very much.

  1. I’ve been able to open most remotes by prying the halves apart with either my thumbnail or a plastic spudger. Occasionally there’s some screws involved (check in the battery compartment or under labels).

    If a good cleaning doesn’t fix the buttons, then I’ve applied conductive ink to the black pads under the buttons.

    1. I did attempt to pry the halves apart a few times. I did try a guitar pick as plastic spudger and even grabbed my metal spudger but the halves were held very firmly together. Going the extreme violence route likely wouldn’t have ended well.

      1. Sounds like glue was involved in the assembly, which isn’t too common, but certainly not unheard of. Sometimes glue joints can be cracked apart, but if there’s too much overlap, then cutting instruments need to get involved. Ultrasonic knife might be the best bet.

    2. I would just glue a piece of aluminum tape right on the (carbon?) pad. I haven’t had to repair a TV’s remote in ages though. Guess TVs wear out before their remotes nowadays ;)

  2. Now use an other tvb gone to turn off. The basic problem here is damaged keypad and the solution is to glue a single button remote control pcb to turn on the tv. Could have been nice if it was a flex pcb or even a custom remote control with a 3d printed enclosure or even doing a surgery on the existing one.

  3. Talking about remotes. HA HA HA
    I have cameras around the house. And with though cameras are IR leds. Nice and bright leds.
    There are some apartment buildings behind my house almost 1K away ( 1/2 mile.)
    I had to adjust the cameras. It was that time. So I pointed the cameras, only 11 could be used at the aprtments.
    I had all the IR LEDs on there own 12v line.
    I connected them to some SCR’s and programmed a esp8266 with most of the TV and entertainment equipment on/offs.
    So when night time came we sat down to watch the show.
    It was great to watching the different apartment light up and go dark and I’m sure with music blaring as well.
    We were nice and did it only twice. First at 10 PM and at 11 PM as well and only for a min.
    It was a once in a life time exp.

    And Yea I have a motion connected to a ( the same esp8266.) to turn on 4 monitors and 2 computers when I come in in the mornings and just turns off the monitors when I leave. Great idea for turning on/off a lot of different devices.

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