DIY TV-B-Gone Is A-OK

Where won’t they put a TV these days? We’ve even seen one creeping behind semi-transparent mirror film in the ladies’ room of a sports bar, though that one didn’t last long. Up until that moment, we had never wished so hard for a TV-B-Gone, especially one as small and powerful as this DIY version by [Shane].

The best thing about [Shane]’s DIY TV-B-Gone is the strength of signal, though the size is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a 10-watt array or IR LEDs out of a security camera, and you can see how much brighter it is than a single IR LED in the video after the break.

Packed inside this minty enclosure is an Arduino Nano, which holds all the TV power-off codes known to hackers and fires them off in quick succession. [Shane] salvaged a MOSFET from an electronic speed controller to drive that LED array, and there’s a voltage booster board to raise the 3.7V lithium battery to 5V. [Shane] hasn’t really had the chance to test this out in public what with the global pandemic and all, but was able to verify a working distance of 40 feet inside the house.

Don’t care for such a raw look? Hide your zapper inside a toy, like this sonic screwdriver version.

48 thoughts on “DIY TV-B-Gone Is A-OK

    1. Unfortunately I dont think this type of thing would work for car stereos these days. Although some aftermarket units included a wireless remote back in the day, I think the novelty of that wore off quite a while ago and the focus became integrating with the car’s steering wheel controls, as even base model economy cars now include basic steering wheel controls.

      I would assume that most people with aftermarket units stream their music from their phone over bluetooth, or wifi (Apple CarPlay). So you could probably achieve this with a 2.4Ghz frequency jammer. Make it directional so you hit your target as effectively as possible and not the surrounding non-offenders.

    2. Back in the day before all car stereos had streaming, MP3, CDs and even tape, the loud cars simply tuned into whatever local FM station played the kind of stuff that the rest of us considered as noise. I had an FM transmitter before they were commonplace and when one of the annoying loud cars was nearby (in a parking lot or whatever) I could overpower their signal and play something I preferred. One group in particular back in 1978 or 1979 was kind of annoyed when their truck started blaring Glenn Miller.

      1. Can you comment as to the “legality” of owning or building such a device? My own research into this area has resulted in data supporting the following (1) the ease of such a device’s availability for purchase on “normal”, online websites, (2) somewhat unfounded claims of police action to locate such devices and, presumably, destroy or disable them and (3) my own work that supports the ineffective nature of any “jamming,” over a scale claimed by “sellers” of such devices.

      1. Wouldn’t noise-cancellation “subtractive interference” result in the “offenders speakers” becoming further from “trashed,” closer to a deactivated state? I suggest “additive interference” and the application of a system’s known resonant frequency to intentionally drive such a “system” toward a maximum amplitude of output.

    1. Actually not a problem right now because there is no real sports on TV. Some filler programing on the sports channels belongs on comedy channels. Baseball in a month from now.

    2. The real application of such a device, in my intimate experience, is able to turn TV’s on as well as off; in addition to devices called “universal remotes” which have a more general application toward a successful, but “illicit” signaling of IR receiving devices (arguably, all devices may “receive IR”)

    1. “Socially-inept person be-gone.” I agree. What he needs is to grow up. Maybe when he is a owner of a place and has a punk like him come in and turns off all his TV’s causing problems will he then understand.

      1. First of all, he is a she, which you might have gathered from the byline.

        Second, do we really need TVs pointed at our faces all day? I love that my new doctor has no TV in the waiting room – the old place had two, each showing different programming. Very annoying.

        Third, if the owner of the TVs consistently see that their customers/clients are turning them off, non-destructively I might add, then maybe they’ll get the message that they’re not offering a service that people want.

        Fourth, a TV behind a mirror in a restroom is straight-up creepy. If there’s a monitor back there, what else did they put in? Not hard to hide a camera on a PCB these days.

        1. A TV behind a mirror isn’t creepy. Lots of people are wanting them for their bathrooms so they can watch the news and see the day’s temperature and time. In a Sports Bar I would guess they had them in there so people wouldn’t miss their game. Then probably some technophobe complained about them and they were turned off.
          If there was a camera mounted behind the mirror, then I take it all back and then it’s definitely creepy.

          1. There was a sportsbar in Stockholm which had tvs behind the glass urinals in the gents. So you you coukd keep watching the hockey the whole time…!
            Great idea but maybe a little OTT.

        2. Why put a TV behind a mirror, not just put it instead of a mirror? A highly reflective TV image doesn’t exactly sound appealing, neither does a highly transmissive mirror sound very useful.

    2. Ever been on a south American airport where you risk an epileptic attack even when you are normally not sensitive to it because of all the tv’s flashing advertisements to you ?
      I always carry one with me to create a comfort zone, Just be careful not to switch off the flight info screens, I guess this one is a little too powerful to be selective.

    3. While I don’t agree with vigilante enforcement of your norms on others, there is definitely a societal problem with all these TVs everywhere. I was forced to watch a “Dr Phil” describing an alleged child rape in great detail while getting my car repaired. Wife was forced to watch a cartoon of someone getting an abortion when she was trying to eat dinner. And there’s the usual POLITICS EVERYWHERE from the 24 hour “news” and “sports” stations some places feel the need to show.

    4. > Maybe the bar needs a Socially-inept person be-gone.

      +1

      Some feel strong and proud about doing destructive stuff from the ambush.
      Heroes?
      Cowards!

      You really expect applause?
      Forget it!
      I’ll tell Santa about that!

  1. Holy moly, the TV-B-Gone people are the vegans of the DIY electronics world. We get it. You don’t like TV. Though funny enough, multiple times in my life I have heard people brag that they don’t watch TV only to tell me about their favorite streaming series. “I thought you didn’t watch TV?” “I don’t this is netflix” “That’s TV. You’re just watching it on your laptop.”

  2. i see two sides being played out here, and I agree with both of them. On the one hand, not your TV, don’t touch. On the other hand, what about my right to not be indoctrinated by garbage just because I had the audacity to leave my house?

    I quit watching broadcast/cable television, installed ad block, and the world is a much nicer place without all the ads. Should people really have to stay away from public places to avoid such things? Where’s the compromise?

  3. I designed one of these a few years ago. I used one wide and one focused emitter. The end result was a peek power of 3 amps at 5v. I would use it late at night at the gym. I asked repeatedly and nicely the gym management that they not have news on the TVs. I go to the gym to workout and get away from current events not be saturated with it. A few seconds would turn off over 30 TVs spread through out the gym.

      1. A digital micro-controller might be easily “programmed” via the acquisition of such code “online” to DIY such a device. Arguably, this is the maximally “cheap” version; I have had reasonable success with such a device’s construction and implementation.

    1. I can’t find one, when My second Note4 died I reluctantly moved to a Nexus 6p, and now to an A70, I don’t know of any decent recent phones with IR blasters. It was great to be able to fix settings on any TV I cane across, and run the A/C and not have to get up and find the remote (I had ‘touchpad’ installed to run the TV computer, all I would need is the phone :'( )

      1. I’d also be interested in knowing about any phones for retail with so called “IR blasters” or IR emitting LEDs. More generally, I’m interested in “why” such a obviously useful output isn’t included by default on all phones, while, arguably, less-useful default “features” of retail phones include facebook or “sport” apps that cannot be removed without root access.

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