I got this idea late one night when fumbling for the TV remote and not finding it. I thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be great, if my side table had a few buttons built into it!" You may ask why would you build something like this, but I would ask, "why not?" it's a cool addition and a unique touch. Who else has a side table that doubles as a remote? Overall, this is a complex solution to a simple problem :)
Side table (one you don't mind modding)
Wires ( I used an old phone cord)
Velcro, tape, super glue (misc supplies)
Here is a youtube video of the table in action
Step 1: Hacking the Remote
The first thing to do is crack open the universal remote and take a look at all the buttons and traces. Find the first button you want to export. Let's take the power button for example. find the pad that the power button touches when it is depressed. From that pad, there will be two traces leading from it. you need to scrape the green away from part of the trace to reveal the copper below. Then, solder your wires to the traces. Connect the other end of the wires to your arcade button and test it out. Repeat this step for each additional button you want to export.
Step 2: Cut Wooden Face Plate
Cut a piece of thin wood that you can attach all of your arcade buttons to. You will have to adjust this to the type of table you are adding the buttons to.
Step 3: Finishing Up
The last thing to do is attach the remote under the table in such a way that it still points at the TV. I used Velcro with a drop of super glue. Attach your button plate to the table and test it all out.
This instructable did not include a ton of details because it is very much dependent on the type of table you are using, and how much you are willing to hack it up. You will have to modify it to suit your needs.
Other things you could make with this instructable might include an easy to use remote control for kids or elderly people. Make a large box and use arcade buttons. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to ask any questions you may have.