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.
TV-B-Gone: antisocial nuisance or harmless prank? Whatever your feelings, there’s no denying this device has become a staple of the DIY hacking crowd, as evidenced by the countless derivatives since hatched. This latest mutation crushes them all.
[manekinen] from the Polish electronics blog Elektroda (“Electrode”) wasn’t satisfied with high-power TV-B-Gone designs using multiple 5mm infrared LEDs, so he created his own using a single one-Watt monster. The device is concealed in an ordinary flashlight casing, making it somewhat inconspicuous. A custom PCB containing an ultra-minimalist version of the TV-B-Gone circuitry sits just behind the reflector. The choice of reflectors determined maximum distance vs. coverage…they opted for distance. Specific figures aren’t given, but we estimate this thing could shut off televisions on Mars.
The original article (Polish or Google-ized English) includes construction photos and an archive (.rar) of project files including Eagle schematics and C source code.
Would it be totally irresponsible to mention there’s now a 3-Watt version of this LED? We’re just sayin’.
The TV-B-Gone has proven to be a dangerous and versatile gadget. At Interactive Matter, they created an even smaller version with more sneaking potential. Called the µTVBG, it packs an entire TV-B-Gone in a 1.4 x 2.5 cm footprint and even has room for a programming header. He found some high-powered surface-mount IR LEDs that would match the original TV-B-Gone’s power. To drive the board, they used a CR1220 button battery on the bottom of the board. The whole thing is smaller than your thumb and should be easier to hide next time you wreak havoc.