Introduction: How to Build a Covert Case for a Covert Clicker

Picture of How to Build a Covert Case for a Covert Clicker

In this instructable I will teach you how to make a Case out of an Altoids SMALLS mint tin for your Ninja remote, or other similar universal remote control. Basically these remotes allow to control any TV in sight. To program it you just have to hold the mute bottom until the TV mutes and then you have control of it. You can flip channels, change the volume, mute, select the audio video inputs and use the master on and off. One cool thing I do at school is to find a panasonic tv, program the remote to it, and then control the rest of the tv's in the school because they are all panasonic. These remotes are any where from $9 US to $2.21 US. The only problem is that it looks very sneaky to hold up the remote and so I built it a little case out of an altoids tin to hide the remote in.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools

Picture of Gather Materials and Tools

You need the following materials and tools.

Universal Remote
Altoids Smalls Tin
Thin Foam Sheet
Paper - Letter Size
Shim Material- I used a piece of scrap wood.

A Bit that is the same size as the IR LED
5/64 inch Bit
Sand Paper/ Metal Files
Little Scotch Tape
Something to cut the shim wood with

Step 2: Trace the Buttons

The first thing you have to do is trace the button pattern on to a piece of paper. Simply tape the paper onto the remote and trace the dill template with a pencil. Here is video for those who are slow like me.

Step 3: Drill Z Holes

Picture of Drill Z Holes

Now tape on the template and drill away. Don't forget to drill out holes for the LED(s) in the front. It is most likely 3mm LED.

When drilling you might find it handy to have a small piece of wood in the inside of the tin to make sure it keeps its shape. Otherwise you might bend the tin to much and the top might not slide back on. :(

Step 4: Sand Away

The next thing you will happen to notice is that the holes are really bumpy. To clean them up you can use some sand paper and/or metal files.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

The final thing to do is to cut a small piece of thin foam and rap the remote in it. This will stop the the key chain part from rattling around. Alternatively you can just cut of the keychain. That is what I did. To stop the remote from moving I cute a little piece of plywood to fit in the tin where the remote didn't. This acted as a buffer to stop the remote from moving around while you use it.

Step 6: Give It a Try

Picture of Give It a Try

Now no one (not even those who no about the remote) will think you have the remote. Just an altiods tin. On average it takes less than 10 seconds to take control and wreak havoc on your local tv. Please express your thoughts,suggestions and feelings about the instructable in the comments.Thanks For Reading.


sylviago (author)2010-12-07

wow this is cool, does chinabuye have this stuff too? i usually buy there but haven't checked this remotes yet. thanks.

sportguru (author)2010-01-12

Hey. Could someone please tell me if these remotes are worth buying??

TechNerd1012 (author)sportguru2010-08-02

Yes. Yes they are. It is so much fun to use them. I was changing the channels of my mom and her husband's TV. I managed to convince them that it was the ghost of his recently deceased mother haunting the TV. I even hacked a Comcast remote to do the same with the Comcast box.

sjoobbani (author)2010-02-13

 The remote is great, I bought one a couple years ago off ebay, and I didn't make it, since the stopped making that shape Altoids Smalls tin, and I didn't want to ruin my last one. I collect the tins, so I put it in my box, and put it away. I took my large Altoids tin, put the remote, so that holes were cut in the ingredients area, and then there was a seperate container, with altoids in it, and it works. 

lightpacker (author)2007-04-17

anybody know where to get one by a store im twelve but no credit card and my mom wont let me use one please?

bubblegum (author)lightpacker2007-12-16

They sell them at and you don't need a credit card to order. You fill out the order form, print it and mail it in with a personal check or money order. You can get money orders at the post office.

joejoerowley (author)bubblegum2007-12-16

I like thinkgeek, nice support great site but way way over priced! I like deal extreme more. They have a bunch of cheap products. All you have to do is get a visa gift card from the grocery store and use it online with them. I got a 30mw green laser pointer for $25 and it can pop balloons.

bubblegum (author)joejoerowley2007-12-16

Thanks jjr! I just checked out dealextreme real quick and see a HUGE price difference compared to thinkgeek. Thinkgeek has great marketing, though; I hate to admit it but that keeps drawing me back. Who can resist Timmy the Monkey?! And I never thought about the Visa gift card (just watch for possible fees). Obviously, using VISA is faster than mailing in the order. Thanks for the tips!

joejoerowley (author)bubblegum2007-12-16

Deal extreme takes like 2weeks plus somethings for your stuff to arrive though. I buy there remotes that are basically the same except the ones from deal extreme have an LED flashlight. I buy 20 of them for $2.18 a piece and sell them for $8. You do the math. $43.60 for the remotes. $160 made off all of them. $119.40 profit!! Pretty awesome!

Warlrosity (author)joejoerowley2009-07-18

Do they ship to australia?

You sell them on ebay? Hows that working out these days with the economy.

Derin (author)joejoerowley2008-09-11

Hahah!Im closer to dealextreme than you americans OUR TIR'S DRIVE IN YOUR FACE

No joke I do the same thing at my school... buy in bulk from DX and sell them for $8. I haven't sold too many though :(

coco911231 (author)joejoerowley2009-04-13

but all of thinkgeeks items are packeged in free monkey breath!! woot monkeys!

john12692 (author)joejoerowley2009-02-09

yeah thinkgeek is really overpriced I have been getting all my "goodies" from them lately and btw thx toddross for mentioning dealextreame I just went there and they have alot of the stuff thinkgeek has for alot less

toddross (author)bubblegum2008-10-03

You can get them for under 3 dollars at

chamunks (author)lightpacker2009-03-27

Drugstores also carry, from time to time, prepaid credit cards I believe the minimum age is 16 but I don't believe they can verify any ways so go for it.

poop11346 (author)lightpacker2009-03-14

if u go to 7-11 u should be able to get these prepaid mastercard things

zackz115 (author)lightpacker2007-05-12

I bought one at the spy museum in wazhinton DC

berky93 (author)zackz1152007-09-09

yeah if your ever in DC you have to go to the spy museum. not only is it awesome to see the exhibits, but in that store you can get all kinds of cool stuff. like ninja remotes, magnifiers, and other gadgets. mmmmm...gadgets

carbon (author)lightpacker2007-04-18

Ebay my friend, Ebay. You can usually convince people to accept cash through the mail.

joejoerowley (author)carbon2007-04-19

I am only 13. One thing you could do is get a visa gift card. That might work.

rockabilly_renegade (author)2007-09-21

Does the ninja remote wrk with DirecTV? just wondering.

Nope. Sorry for the more than 2 year delay on responding...

illdoyourdrugs (author)2009-03-21

Now add The keychain part to your tin! Cool ible.

RGM La Paz (author)2008-08-20

i bought mine on ebay and it doesnt work on rca and symphonic tvs

comodore (author)2008-05-31

Try to use macro on your camera.

joejoerowley (author)comodore2008-06-13

At this time I didn't have a camera with macro. haha.

comodore (author)joejoerowley2008-06-14

haha, All in all a great instructable.

joejoerowley (author)comodore2008-06-14


izi28 (author)2008-03-08

a whats the difference in the five dollar and the nine dollar..... please tell me i need to know.....

joejoerowley (author)izi282008-03-08

Nothing. Just more expensive.

robodud3 (author)2007-12-25

good idea cool plan and try and use macro on som of ur up close pics it should look like a little flower

bubblegum (author)2007-12-16

Cool idea. The simplest ideas are often the best. I recently ordered one of these Ninja remotes, but wondered how I would use it without being too obvious. I'll have to give this a try.

joejoerowley (author)2007-11-08

Yeah. They come in all different styles and you can get 10 of them with an LED flashlight for $23. Deal extreme.

ShampooRobot (author)2007-11-06

i bet you could make the altoids into the that my friends....would be cool

PoisonedV (author)2007-11-01

Don't know if you still read this but, my ninja remote only works on one tv... Is there any way to get it to work on others?

joejoerowley (author)PoisonedV2007-11-02

Yeah All you have to do is hold the mute button down until the tv mutes and then stop touching the mute button. Then you can restore the volume with the volume buttons.

flames10391 (author)2007-05-22

I got mine at Five Below for $4.99

joejoerowley (author)flames103912007-05-22

I actually got mine for $4.97.

CrimsonSpray (author)2007-03-18

Thats very clever.

I bet. That would be cool!!

Thanks Yesterday I did it to a projector at a bowling ally.

LAZy I (author)2007-03-19

could you hack a garage door opener/auto car starter thingy i wonder

jeffreyf (author)2007-03-14

Sorry Joe, I didn't see this earlier. Sometimes people get a lot of comments, and sometimes they don't. I couldn't tell you what makes the difference, but it's a good Instructable.

joejoerowley (author)jeffreyf2007-03-15

Thanks For The comment. It is nice to know that this was a good instructable!!

lemonie (author)2007-03-14

Yes it's there - happy?

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Joe. I don't use this site that much anymore because I am lame but you will find some my instructables from ... More »
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