Instructables
Picture of Senior Remote
Mod your mom's TV remote to make it senior friendly.

My mom was born in 1931. She is from the generation of radio and WWII. Her eyesight is failing and she isn't good with anything electronic. TV remotes confuse her. This mod came to me after she called me one day, claiming her TV remote stopped working. It turns out, she inadvertently hit the button that activated the VCR functions. She didn't know or couldn't see the button to reactivate the TV functions. So I decided to "dumb" down the remote to only three functions: On/Off, Channel and Volume.

I've also been reading up on merging electronics with textiles. I ran across this article
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~buechley/diy/diy_e_sewing.html#switch
about how to make an fabric switch. I thought this mod would be a great opportunity to play with textile electronics.

Before you start flaming, yes I know this type of thing has been done before. I've run across the remote-in-a-stuffed-animal mods.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Teddy-Bear-Remote-Control/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Cute-Dog-Remote-Controller/
All very creative projects, but I doubted my mom would want to use a stuffed animal for a remote.

This is an easy Instructable that you can do in one day. You can put this together with basic tools:
Scissors
Soldering Iron
Iron
Screwdriver
Hot Glue Gun

PARTS:
TV Remote - New Remotes http://www.newremotecontrol.com/
Conductive Fabric "Zelt" - Less EMF http://www.lessemf.com/fabric.html
Felt
Fabric Glue
Iron-On Transfer Printer Paper
Cardboard
Small Gauge Wire
White Fabric
 
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Blue_Dream5 months ago
love it ?
nalatnoma1 year ago
Awesome project
unknownuser2007 (author)  nalatnoma1 year ago
Thanks! : )
Megax296 years ago
I wonder what else we can make simpler
unknownuser2007 (author)  Megax296 years ago
A question for all times! Thanks for the comment! :-)
A cell phone needs to be much simpler for some of our elderly folks. My mom is always complaining about her Sony Ericson T637 being too complex. She wants one that only calls and texts. Anyone know how to hack the firmware on a non-Android phone?
Senior Phone made simple:
  DIAL          END

KID #1     KID#2
   GRANDKIDS
RANDOM PERSON
             911
HOME SHOP/CHNL
Try www.just5.com they have a very simple phone with a alert function, and less expensive than any other phone or services.
unknownuser2007 (author)  The Nate Dawg5 years ago
Thank you for leaving the comment. Have you looked into the Jitterbug phone? : )
No I have not. I just looked them up and they look interesting. Not exactly the thing I'm looking for but thank you for bringing that to my attention. Actually, since I posted that last comment, I have talked to my mom who says she likes her phone. So I won't be able to do anything for a while.
REALLY CREATIVE IDEA !!!!
unknownuser2007 (author)  shrajanvetcha3 years ago
Thank you! : )
abran53 years ago
i like making little stuff bigger! great mod!
unknownuser2007 (author)  abran53 years ago
Thank you! : )
ldittbenner3 years ago
I wish you would start a company and make these. They would be a God Send for the caregivers of people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease. I don't have the time, tools or skills. TV becomes the only thing they can do that is safe and it becomes so extremely frustrating for them and us.
unknownuser2007 (author)  ldittbenner3 years ago
There are a couple of companies that sell similar products.
http://www.activeforever.com/p-1944-tek-pal-remote-control.aspx
www.flipperremote.com
Thanks for leaving the comment! : )
bijikenyot4 years ago
very uniqe
unknownuser2007 (author)  bijikenyot3 years ago
Thank you! : )
zack2474 years ago
hmmmm... my mom hates cordless phones cause they have too many buttons...  i think she should get a cordless so she wont break her coded phone by trying to walk around the house with it. i will suggest this, perhaps ill try this with the cordless...
Awesome instructable by the way!
unknownuser2007 (author)  zack2474 years ago
Thanks for the comment! : )
jayro7074 years ago
hi,nice ible, but does anybody know how to make a remote thats works for any tv, like for different gbrands, without programing. for school!!
i got a program for my zire that acts as a universal ir remote
look at the Harmony by Logitech. then just program all the models into it via the computer.... it'll take some time, but its worth it. or, for a simpler method, look at the TV-B-Gone. the TV-B-Gone only turns tvs on and off though.
Minifig6664 years ago
 Just a point, it is PCB not PWB. Good i'ble all the same.
beachnomad4 years ago
Here's a new remote that I found and purchased.  Its called Flipper Remote at www.flipperremote.com.  It works both TV and cable, and has a favorite channel list that can be set up.  It also spells out "Volume" and "Channel" to make ti easy for the user.
Flipper_handview.jpg
unknownuser2007 (author)  beachnomad4 years ago
Hmm, looks oddly familiar! Thanks for the heads up! : )
PSPerson4 years ago
i like this. its large and simple. great use of iron-ons too. 5 stars and Favorite-ed
unknownuser2007 (author)  PSPerson4 years ago
Thank you for leaving the comment! : )
I appreciate this kind of stuff. I am always looking for ways to make it easier for my grandparents to do technical things. This would help them out a lot, thanks!
unknownuser2007 (author)  the beekeeper5 years ago
Great! : )
This is not exactly related, but if you get a chance check out "Eldy Linux". It is a free application aimed at helping seniors send email, get on the Internet, and chat online. I am going to put it on a computer for my grandparents; it's cool!
girrrrrrr25 years ago
i love your simple approach to making the switches.
unknownuser2007 (author)  girrrrrrr25 years ago
Thanks. The idea came from Leah Buechley. : )
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~buechley/diy/diy_e_sewing.html#switch
cool cool
looks simple and useful
Yes, my mom loves it! : )
tinkernaut5 years ago
Good job!

As a simpler (and much uglier) alternative, I offer this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/An_easy_to_use_TV_remote_for_seniors/

This is the solution I proposed below, as horoloradio, my obsolete identity.
unknownuser2007 (author)  tinkernaut5 years ago
Great idea! Great Instructable! Thanks! : )
Why, thank you! Sometimes, the quick-and-dirty solution is a good way to go. Your solution, of course, is the most elegant. I'm sure your mom appreciated you presenting her with your remote much more, than if you presented her with mine :-)
izzibits5 years ago
WOW my mom is totally inept when it comes to anything electronic. This is perfect! (if I ever get a soldering iron) Thanks!
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