Building A YouTube Remote Control Worthy Of 2020

Back in 2018, [Gryo] built a remote control specifically for watching YouTube videos on his computer. It worked perfectly, but it didn’t quite fit the expectation one has for a modern media remote — it was a bit chunky, the buttons weren’t very responsive, and it didn’t feel as nice as the remotes that ship with consumer streaming devices. Looking to improve on things, he’s recently unveiled a far more svelte version of his scratch built media streaming remote includes a scrollwheel, color feedback, and a UI for customizing how it works.

It might not look the part, but technically [Gyro] categorizes his creation as a wireless keyboard since that’s what the operating system sees it as. This makes it easy to use with whatever media playback software or service might be running on the computer, as button presses on the remote are picked up as standard keyboard events. And the software easily sets which key each button on the remote will be associated with.

Inside the 3D printed case there’s a custom PCB that pulls together the ATmega328P, NRF24L01 radio, and TP4056 charger that tops off the 500 mAh Li-Po battery via USB-C. The receiver is also a custom creation, using a second NRF24L01 chip but swapping out the microcontroller for the ATmega32U4.

[Gyro] has done a fantastic job documenting this build in the write-up, and provides everything you need should you want to spin up your own copy. As much as we liked the unique approach used in the first version of the remote, we’ve got to admit this iteration is much more likely to end up sitting on our living room table.

14 thoughts on “Building A YouTube Remote Control Worthy Of 2020

  1. I want a wireless keyboard that will work properly with the YouTube app on a Smart TV. The latest update made my Logitech K400 useless. Can’t use it to search now because instead of the character it puts U+number into the field.

    Everything else on my Samsung TV works with the keyboard, so YouTube had some specific (and WRONG) reason for fouling this up. They can try to justify it however they please, it’s wrong and they need to fix it.

    1. Ok everyone, pack it up! Xyz says we all gotta stop using potty mouth words to be relevant and worthy of their time. Please people, do not make content if you use no-no words!

      The guy made something cool and spoke in common parlance. He’s not pitching HIS OPEN SOURCED PROJECT to some investors group or something. Even if he was, they use much worse language than “shit”. Go ahead and ignore this guy’s interest in making something cool and sharing it but please, take your gatekeeping with you.

      1. This has inspired a new project, you create a blacklist of words and anytime they show up on your screen a 3D printed hand automatically clutches some pearls. We can automate the whole process by adding in a strongly worded letter generator.

        1. I’ve already done that but nobody’s buying them! Oh shoot! I say “shit” in the video before I say what it’s for! People must be closing the advertisement before they realize they need it. Man I really gotta make a focus group for these things…

  2. Would be interesting to make an open source transmitter firmware compatible with the Logitech Unifying Receivers. MaMe82 has done a lot of the work in reversing the on-air protocol, as well as the channel hopping and AES key exchange protocols. Now to extract that from LOGITacker into a client-side library usable by different uC platforms against the various NRF24 and NRF5x radios.

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