Everyone has a stack of old infra-red remote controllers lying around, for devices that have long since shuffled off this mortal coil. Containing little more than an application-specific encoder chip, keyboard, and IR LED, they’re of little use unless you happen to have another device that uses the same encoding scheme. For [RiYa] though they represent an opportunity, to be repurposed into controllers for other devices. How? Hijack the bitstream with an ATtiny13 microcontroller, re-encode it, and send it out afresh into the ether from the LED. It’s a gloriously simple solution which we can’t help applauding, and has the potential to cheaply replace all those universal remotes.
The ATtiny itself along with a buffer to drive the LED is mounted on a small breakout board and concealed within the shell of the remote. We don’t learn much about the power supply arrangement, but we’d expect the ATtiny to be on its most power-sipping behaviour as anything which would shorten the battery life of a remote would be unlikely to be popular with a couch potato forced to change AA cells every few weeks. There’s a plan for a learning mode to make it more like a commercial universal remote, but for now the translation is hard coded.
Of course, should you lack a handy old remote to play with, you can always try a smartphone.