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Hey Arduino fans! Here is an 'ible for making a device that turns TVs on when you want them off, and off then you want them on! If you hide it in something inconspicuous, it would make a great April Fools joke or gag gift.

And the best part is that the total parts cost is less than $1.50!! (Assuming that you already have an Arduino and the tools)


This is a contest entry for the LED Contest with Elemental LED, so if you like it, please tell your friends and rate it up! Thanks!


I know this is my first Instructable, but believe me, I have been working with electronics practically my whole life. I started up with Arduino about 6 months ago, and I've made at least 150-200 different projects, and I've also created a ton of other original things with Arduino and other microcontrollers. I even built my own computer, so you know I'm not messing around. :)

Step 1: Parts List

Here are the things you will need for this project. I have included the Mouser link and the price next to the item.

Components
1x Infrared Detector ($0.78) http://goo.gl/6sSN6
1x Wide angle Infrared LED ($0.23) http://goo.gl/5PFlS
1x Narrow angle Infrared LED ($0.23) http://goo.gl/67sCf
1x 2N3904 PNP transistor (or equivalent) ($0.08) http://goo.gl/XD3jI
1x 10 Ohm resistor (Brown, Black, Black, Gold) ($0.05) http://goo.gl/UiKDs
1x 47 Ohm resistor (Yellow, Purple, Black, Gold) ($0.10) http://goo.gl/89jXQ
1x Arduino Uno (or equivalent) ($25.00) http://goo.gl/p9wVs
Some wire (preferably solid-core, 22 gauge or so) (About $7-$8 at your local hardware/electronics store)

Tools
1x USB A-B cable (for programming the Arduino) ($2.95) http://goo.gl/3f6rx
1x Soldering Iron (Optional) (About $15-$25 at your local hardware/electronics store)
1x Spool of thin solder (About $10 at your local hardware/electronics store)
1x Solderless breadboard (About $5-$6 at your local electronics store)
1x Computer (I would hope you know where to get one of these)
1x Arduino IDE (can be downloaded here)

Step 2: Wiring

Time to assemble! I will be doing this on a solderless breadboard.

1.) Plug in IR Detector. Make sure the dome on it is facing you.

2.) Connect the leftmost pin of the detector to Arduino Digital pin 2, the middle pin to Ground, and the rightmost pin to +3.3V.

3.) Plug in the 2N3904 NPN transistor. Make sure the flat side is facing you.

4.) Connect the leftmost pin of the transistor to the 47 Ohm resistor, the middle pin through the 10 Ohm resistor to Arduino Digital pin 3 (PWM), and the rightmost pin to Ground.

5.) Connect the cathodes (negative, has a shorter leg, and the side is marked with a flat part to indicate the cathode) to the other end of the 47 Ohm resistor, and the anodes (longer lead, not the cathode) to +3.3V.

Step 3: Upload the Sketch!

Now for the programming.

Connect your Arduino to the computer using the USB A-B cable, then download the .ZIP file below. In the .ZIP file, there should be a folder called "TV_Annoyer". Copy this folder into your Arduino Sketchbook folder. On a Windows machine this is usually located in "C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Arduino".

Open the sketch in the Arduino IDE (downloaded from the Arduino.cc website), and upload it to the Arduino board.

If it doesn't upload right, try these troubleshooting tips:

1.) Restart the Arduino IDE.

2.) Try unplugging/replugging the Arduino into the computer.

3.) Make sure that your Arduino is properly connected to your computer.

4.) Check if your correct board is selected in the "Tools>Board" menu at the top of the IDE.

5.) Make sure the right COM port is selected in the "Tools>Port" menu at the top of the IDE. You can check which COM port your Arduino is on by (on a Windows machine) clicking the "Start" button, and searching for "Device Manager". Then click the arrow next to the "Ports (COM & LPT)" selection. Your Arduino board should be on that list, next to the COM port it is attached to.

Step 4: Use It!

After you successfully connected everything and uploaded the sketch to the Arduino, it's ready to be used! Test it out by putting it near your TV, plugging it in to a power source, and click the TV's remote!

Make sure that the IR LEDs are pointing at the TV and the dome on the IR Detector is facing towards the remote control.

Step 5: Solder It! (Optional)

If you wanto to solder it to make it smaller, go right ahead. I would reccomend using a small piece of perfboard to solder it to. It could even be a shield if you want!
<p>When I go to compile your sketch, I get the following error: exit status 1</p><p>variable 'NApowerCodes' must be const in order to be put into read-only section by means of '__attribute__((progmem))'</p>
I threw this together real quick on my hummer chassis, replaced detector with a pushbutton. now I'm thinking I might build an iPhone wifi controlled TV Turner-offer. I just need to figure out how to get my Wifly and AFmotorshield working together...
Thank you for taking the time to share your projects. <br> <br>I'm a complete noob at electronics and have been attempting your project with out success. In the second photo in Step 2 you show a red wire connecting positive to reset and a black wire connecting to 3.3v. Should the red wire go to 3.3v and the black to reset? <br> <br>On troubleshooting the project I've noticed that I get an error when uploading the sketch with the original wiring and no error when switching the red wire to 3.3v and the black to reset. However, I am still not able to get the TV-Annoyer to work? <br> <br>Any help would be great. Again thanks for sharing. <br> <br>
The problem is that you are connecting something to reset. If there is any signal at all going to reset, no sketch will work unless it is meant for that. The red wire is supposed to be connected to +3.3v, and the black wire to either one of the ground connections. Tell me if this works.
Fix the problem. The Annoyer worked great every time. Thanks for the help. I was working on this with my 9 year old son and it really got him excited about electronics!! <br> <br>Thanks again for sharing your project.
I think you forgot the .zip file with the source? Or am I missing it?
I'm sorry i forgot that. Thank you so much for reminding me, i made this in a hurry. it should be there on step 3 now.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a big Arduino fan. I'm always looking for new and exciting things to do with electronics and Arduino. I also like video ... More »
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