Picture of $3.50 DIY TV-B-Gone Micro
I previously made a slideshow on my DIY TV-B-Gone, and many people requested I make an Instructable. So, the first in a series of DIY TV-B-Gone clones, is the TV-B-Gone Micro!

Technically, because TV-B-Gone is a brand name, this is a "TV-B-Gone clone."

The TV-B-Gone is a neat little device that can turn almost any TV on or off. It uses a microcontroller hooked up to IR LEDs to output a library of on/off codes. Adafruit sells a kit, and has the code as well as the schematic on their website.

Here's a micro clone of the TV-B-Gone that runs on a coin cell battery, is slightly bigger than a quarter, and costs about $3.50 (compared to $20) to make!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
TVBGONE schematic.JPG
Here is a list of what you will need.

Materials: All of these prices are if you buy only one of each part. If you buy in bulk, like I did, it will actually have a cheaper unit price. For me the total was less than $3.50, for you maybe more if you only buy one of each part.

You will also need some 2032 batteries to power it. DON'T FORGET!

  • AVR programmer (I used a USBtinyISP, a good, cheap programmer made from a kit)
  • Computer with internet access; I predict you are using one right now :-)
  • Soldering iron with solder
  • Helping hands tools, very helpful
Now let's get started!
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bneo99 made it!1 year ago

Following the same schematic, i changed it to pcb version (1st time etching pcb (used toner transfer (ironing) and ferric chloride as etchant) for higher durability...... used an IR LED that I salvaged from random parts as the sole LED as the IR LEDs I ordered from Ebay is only going to arrive in a couple of weeks.... bought the wrong capacitor but it still works, resonator and ATTINY85 from rs components and the rest(everything exclude mcu, resonator, battery) from a local online electronic shop


i had started this a few years ago but kept running into problems programming the chip, so i just fixed the problem and the chip is programmed. so i am wondering how hardy the chips are when it comes to soldering. (how easy is it to burn them out with heat?)

happydupa1 year ago
Dark Sponge, you rock! I've wanted one of these forever but couldn't justify the high cost of a pre-made one. I can't wait to start building. One request. I hate the coin batteries. Can you tell me if I can substitute a 9v for the coin? If not, can you suggest how I would modify the circuit to accept one?

dark sponge (author)  happydupa1 year ago
You can replace it with 2 AA batteries in series or build something similar to this, which uses a 9v instead. http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-TV-B-Gone-SHP-And-Save-45/
oluzon1 year ago
i did everything excatlly likeyou did except i used arduino to program attiny, then i used a program to upload the hex file to my attiny, i tried doing the circuit twice, but it stilll dosent work, help?
kcatx1 year ago
Nerver mind I got it working I was looking at the pics and it looks like u connet something to pin 7 but then I looked at the schematic and saw there was nothing connected
kcatx1 year ago
Hey I need some help I built the tv b gone on the bread bored and it worked great and now that I have soldered it together it won't work do u think I fryed my attiny85 I am using 1.1 firmware
aaron01271 year ago
Hey can i buy one of those ic chips from you preprogramed?
theengine2r2 years ago
Great instructable!
i've made my own TVBG on my breadboard and it's work!
I added 2 IR so, totally there 4 leds and powered by 2 AA battery. Can't wait to try this with the big screen TV in school LOL
psp36012 years ago
I just finished putting the v1.1 together on a breadboard to test it and I was wondering if I could add two IR LEDs for a total of four, would I have to increase the battery voltage from 3v to something like 4.5v? (Wouldn't be much of a problem since I'm going to use AA batteries, just need to use a 3 battery holder instead of 2) or would I just have to add a transistor?


Great instructable by the way!
I just built one and I'm having a bit of an issue that I can't figure out. I tested the chip on a breadboard and it worked. I built the micro and the first time I pointed it at a TV it turned on. Then it wouldn't shut the TV off. After trying a few times with no luck I started checking out the LED's through a camera. Whenever I press the button something different happens. Sometimes they will "blip" once, sometimes they flash a couple of times then stop, and every once in a while they blink like they're running through the sequence. I've triple checked all the connections and everything appears to be in order. I'm also assuming that it's wired up correctly because it did work that first time. I tried ruling out a faulty button by bypassing it with a jumper but got the same result. Anybody have any thoughts about what might be going on?
dark sponge (author)  thegoodjeremy2 years ago
Yes! I had a similar problem when I first breadboarded it. Putting in a filter capacitor fixed it. I then found the lowest value that would still get rid of these stops. Try using a much larger filter cap and see what happens.
Dylon1242 years ago
Is the 22uF capacitor used only to decouple the voltage from the cro2032 battery. Because you may not need it since the battery's voltage is pretty stable. good job though!
crusso2 years ago
Great instructable!!!!!
Just one question: would it work with an ATTINY85-20PU?
dark sponge (author)  crusso2 years ago
I'm pretty sure it would. You might want to double check codes for burning the fuses but I don't think it's that different.
would a 22uF 50v capacitor work?
hilukasz2 years ago
do you even need the resonator? since you can reset the fuses on attiny so it runs at 8mhz?
dark sponge (author)  hilukasz2 years ago
Nope! See steps 2 and 4.
I'm building a V1.2 with one of these: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10732 Instead of two. What parts can I remove? Can I get away with just the capacitor, the led thing, the resonator, and the microcontroller? I plan on connecting the power wire directly to the batteries, and the digital wire to the microcontroller. Also, if I do that, should I add an extra capacitor, or just have the power for both run through the same one. And lastly, can you help me modify the code so that it stops when you let go of the button instead? Or maybe let me change between the two options with a switch? I'm putting it inside a toy sonic screwdriver. Please reply ASAP, I have a birthday party coming up and I need to finish it.
dark sponge (author)  furrysalamander2 years ago
If you use that LED, the only things you can take out are the transistor and the resistor that connects it to the microcontroller. Just connect the CTL pin of the LED chip to the output pin on the microcontroller. You shouldn't have to add an additional capacitor, but if the microcontroller resets often you may want to substitute a larger one.

As for the code, you shouldn't have to modify it. I would recommend leaving the button in the way it is right now to save battery, but if you want to wire it for single press operation there should be a schematic on Adafruit's website. The microcontroller would be wired directly to power but the sense pin (pin 6 I think) would have the button between it and ground.

Version 1.1 has worked perfectly fine for me and I've never found a TV I can't turn off.

Good luck and have fun! I'll try to respond more quickly next time if you have any more questions.
Okay, so I've poked around in the code, and I now know that the 1.1 has way less codes. Is there a way to merge the codes and the format from 1.2 with the main program from 1.1 so that I can use a 1.1 circuit? Or probably simpler, just modify the 1.2 code to work with a 1.1 circuit? I really need help, and I'm pretty sure that this can be done. Also, as far as hold down button until tv turns off and let go, this would require changes to the circuit as well. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me figure this out, this is my best friend and I need to have everything ready to order within the next two days because their birthday is on the 13th. :-|
Wait, does v1.2 have more codes? I'm fine with sticking with v1.1 if they have the same amount of codes!
Please please please help me!
mbotond2 years ago
Which microprocessor replaces the Attiny85v? I can't find Atmel products in Romania.
pabhilash2 years ago
Hi! Great I'ble.. so i have a question. I have a spare ATMEGA328 i can use(got it off an arduino clone). Can i use that instead of the ATTINY? (p.s, i'm assuming it already has a bootloader installed because i have uploaded sketches to it a few times.) Thanks! :)
dark sponge (author)  pabhilash2 years ago
Sadly, no. If you want to use the precompiled code, you need to use an Attiny85v.
karabey2 years ago
Does anybody have the actual Codes?
dark sponge (author)  karabey2 years ago
There is a link in step 5 for a .zip download containing the code.
degen S.2 years ago
hey i,m new at this programing i was wondering if you could just give me a step by step instruction on the arduino software i've done a lot of research on arduino and if you could just give me a step by step tutorial that would be great. i bet it would help a,lot of people too. but if you could that would be fantastic. and ya that,s were i
know arduino and i just need to know what type arduino you used and the software.
ke7ofi2 years ago
What would I need to do to only use the narrow beam LED and a AA batter? I can't really code, but I could struggle through it. Range isn't really an issue, as I'm fitting it in a sonic screwdriver with a reflective cone to boost range a bit, and I'll be close enough that it shouldn't matter.
nodoubtman3 years ago
20$ shipping cost is ridiculous..!!! mouser :(
earthtown3 years ago
Packaged mine in a "door alarm" from Big-Lots (4 for $1...also got a reed switch, batteries, and speaker in parts). Added some sparkfun.com swag just to be flashy...the "geek" sticker wouldn't fit on there, I tried.
dark sponge (author)  earthtown3 years ago
That looks awesome! Thanks for posting pics!
If i use the internal oscillator, I just omit the external one from the schematic, right?
dark sponge (author)  Michael_Bell3 years ago
batman963 years ago
Hi Dark Sponge, You seem to know the most about tv b gones. I build electronic stuff, but I use discrete components, and have yet to use any micro controllers. I wanted a Tv B Gone, but wanted to build my own, I think I asked you about using a universal remote as one a couple of years ago. So here is what I did. I found the Tv B Gone data as a wav file on the net. I loaded it onto my mp3 player only to find that it can't play wav files. I converted it to mp3 and then heard some nice fax machine sounds. I made a Infa Red plug for my mp3 player out of a mono jack and two leds one facing each direction, (I found how to wire it in a article about using a Iphone as a universal remote). So the Idea is that I bring my mp3 player when I am going to be in waiting rooms and such, so when i want to shut off a tv I just plug that in instead of headphones. But my mp3 player doesn't have enough power to light them, If I run it though a small amp taken from a set of old computer speakers it works fine and shuts off all of my tvs, but that is to big to take with me. I already tried turning up the audio file on the computer, it is louder, but still doesn't light them. I know it works, obviously the I phone puts out enough power to work, the IR leds I am using are the dark ones, although I tried the ones out of a ball mouse too. Are there any that have a lower voltage? Thanks, Batman96
sorry for replying to such an old comment, but can you post a link to the wav file?
That's OK.

I have no idea where the website I got the files from are, but if you PM me your email I can send them to you, it seems you can't upload a file into a comment.
Also I have individual WAV files for each TV type, and I have them all combined into 4 WAV files, tell me which you want, or if you want all of them. All together the files are about 15MB.

I've found that there are no mp3 players that put out the required voltage to light the led's, you have to run the audio through some sort of amplifier, I wanted to make a very tiny in line amp that used a transistor and watch batteries, but I couldn't get enough quality, the sound degradation was so bad that the TV wouldn't recognize the signal, so you either have to use a bigger amp like I did, or make a high quality mini amp.
dark sponge (author)  batman963 years ago
In that situation I would advise just building a simple amplifier with a transistor that would plug into the mp3 player and be powered by a separate battery. I don't know why it doesn't already light them, it should have enough power. But If it works with the computer amp, a smaller pocket amp should work too. You could maybe even get it to run off of a coin cell. Good luck!
Is there a way to use Arduino code?

I have an Arduino to ATtiny programmer...do you think that would work?
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