Introduction: TV-B-Gone Hoodie

Picture of TV-B-Gone Hoodie

Whenever I bring my TV-B-Gone out to restaurants, I always look real suspicious holding it up and pointing it around, so I've been looking for a more subtle and dinner-appropriate solution. I got zippered hoodie sweatshirt from the thrift store which had a convenient logo on the upper left front, complete with rhinestones! I thought the IR LEDs would blend in quite nicely, so I stitched it into the sweatshirt. The batteries are in the pocket. I broke out the pushbutton leads and used conductive thread to sew paths to the edge of the zipper, which has a metal pull. I made two little pads with the thread that are bridged by the zipper pull when it passes by, so all I have to do is zip the sweatshirt up or down to activate the TV turning-off action. Works great! You can see the project at my website, or view the full image set on Flickr.

This is an advanced tutorial. For a basic intro to sewing with conductive thread, please see my electronic embroidery tutorial.

Check this project out on Make: Projects (with video)!

-TV-B-Gone kit - adafruit
-conductive thread - LED sewing kit
-regular thread
-hooded sweatshirt with metal zipper pull and front pocket (thrift store?)
-fabric swatch
-heat shrink tubing

-hand sewing needle
-sewing machine
-soldering iron & solder (for assembling tvbgone kit and attaching wires)
-sewing pins

Step 1: Prep the Circuit Board and Battery Holder

Picture of Prep the Circuit Board and Battery Holder

Assemble your tv-b-gone circuit according to the instructions. Break out the leads of the push button That have traces connected to them on the PCB with wires. Strip and coil the ends of the wires to prepare for sewing. Attach wires to the power leads with stripped and coiled ends as well. Make sure the leads of the battery holder are long enough to reach the top of the pocket, and extend them if necessary. Stitch the coiled leads to a fabric swatch with conductive thread, then stitch little pads of conductive thread that are easy to stitch over with the machine. Machine stitch in a small zigzag to connect to this pad, then to the edge of the fabric with a straight stitch. Hand stitch more pads at the bottom edge of the fabric swatch.

Step 2: Affix the Circuit to the Sweatshirt

Picture of Affix the Circuit to the Sweatshirt

Use an awl to poke holes for the LEDs to stick through, then stick them through the holes. Tack down the circuit board using a hem stitch, but make sure to test that your tvbgone circuit functions (according to Limor's instructions) before hiding it between layers of fabric.

Step 3: Stitch the Traces on the Sweatshirt

Picture of Stitch the Traces on the Sweatshirt

From the front of the garment, feel out where the conductive pads you sewed on the swatch are. Mark them with pins, and stitch lines from the two switch leads to the edge of the zipper, being sure not to cross the leads. At first I tried to use conductive thread for the power, too, but it turned out that the resistance accrued over such a distance was prohibitively high, so I later added two small flexible wires (stranded wire) to connect the battery to the circuit board.

Step 4: Stitch the Zipper Switch

Picture of Stitch the Zipper Switch

If you leave long enough tails when you machine stitch the switch leads, you can just thread your needle with the tail and keep sewing. Stitch little pads right next to the zipper that will be bridged by the zipper pull. Sand any excess paint off of the area of the zipper pull that will come into contact with the thread, including in between the little teeth.

Step 5: Attach the Batteries

Picture of Attach the Batteries

Like I mentioned earlier, I tried to use conductive thread to attach the batteries. It ended up not being able to power the board (too much resistance in the long thread), so I added stranded wire to make the battery connections. Either way, I put the holder in the pocket and poked the leads through the inside.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

Test out your zipper switch and get crackin'!


ToolboxGuy (author)2012-04-15

I think I will use this to make one incorporated into a baseball cap!
Those mylar holograms on the 'official' sports versions would be a great place to hide the switch....

rboone1 (author)ToolboxGuy2015-11-16

I have a APP for that . It controls the whole TV or cable box if infer-red. and also your phone.

grannyjones (author)2013-01-02

I am awe-struck!
I want one.

jktechwriter (author)2008-09-11

EXCELLENT! I love it... how about adding a functional cell phone blocker/jammer to the hoodie and eliminate those annoying cell phone talkers at restaurants?

=SMART= (author)jktechwriter2008-09-11

coll phone jammers are illegal to own / operate in 99% of countries

thetech101 (author)=SMART=2009-05-17

Funny story about that. My local Subway restaurant owner decided that he didn't like those cell phone talkers. so he bought the most powerful cell phone jammer he could (from another country). Unfortunately, it contained a very powerful output step-up. Nobody in the whole city (actually a small town) could get cell phone service. The cell companies actually put brand new antennas, and later new transmitting equipment, on the towers. When they figured out something was jamming them, they used specialized equipment to detect where the jamming frequency was coming from. About 2 months after it started, a cell company employee drove into subway for lunch and left his signal detector on and as he drove away, he noticed the signal got weaker. He drove back to subway and it got stronger. Long story short, he figured out what the owner did and the owner was fined the cost of the the tower repairs and the companies split that up among the people who lost service. The jammer was a quad band jammer. It jammed the 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz frequencies, or all the cell phone frequencies.

bekathwia (author)thetech1012009-05-18

Nice story, but this ISN'T a cell phone jammer, it's a stripped-down TV remote. My local coffee shop thwarts cell phone talkers by refusing to serve them until they get off the phone, and they also made a sign on a (presumably free) piece of cardboard that reads "get off your phone or we'll release the RAPTORS." I've never seen them have a problem.

static (author)bekathwia2009-05-25

However your and other's use of this device to turn off TVs is nothing more than imposing your will upon others. Nothing grand about that. Sorry...

FazJaxton (author)static2010-05-26

Many people see blaring TVs in public places as someone else's will imposed upon them.  This is simply asserting your right to not be bombarded with noise all day.  Discretion is of course important, but this product exists because those placing and activating the TVs aren't being discreet or considerate themselves.

static (author)FazJaxton2010-05-31

I'm sure  many do see the TVs as someone imposing their  will on them. However the most part the TVs are private property located in/on private property. Perhaps the volume is in consideration of those who don't hear well. A thread that gets to full circle quickly. You can have the last word if you wish, this will be may last.

=SMART= (author)static2010-06-01

Guys its just a toy jjjjjjeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz

ToolboxGuy (author)=SMART=2012-04-15

Please remember any technology can be used for good or evil.
I am sure a criminal mind could come up with uses for a cell phone jammer.

-Krom- (author)static2009-05-25

cry about it.

toogers (author)thetech1012009-10-25

what about CDMA? most jammers only do gsm, or cdma.

toogers (author)toogers2009-10-25

wait, do you know the differance between GSM and cdma? don't look it up, just guess.

toogers (author)toogers2009-10-25

sounds kinda fake. that would have made national news.

jktechwriter (author)=SMART=2008-09-11

joke... ... maybe...

bettbee (author)jktechwriter2009-01-01

Funny until someone can't take a seriously important call. Some people actually know how to talk on a cell phone without broadcasting their conversation to the world. I don't believe that such people (myself included) should suffer for the idiocy of those who believe that yelling can improve cellphone reception. Now if you could make it directional and interfere only with certain calls . . . "You want MILK FROM THE STORE? 2%? FATFREE?" . . . "Did you see what Martha was WEARING?" etc. ad nauseam. All conducted in "outside" voices . . . no, I would not object to judicious use of an ability to interfere with specific calls very precisely.

I was on the train one day, (commuting) and there was a guy chatting very loudly on his cell phone (about absolutely nothing) to his friend.

Everyone in his vicinity was getting visibly irritated by his loud obnoxious conversation (including me).

About 10-15 minutes into his conversation, my cell phone happened to ring... I picked it up and very loudly said "Sorry I can't talk right now because I don't want to be the a**hole on the train that's irritating everyone"

I hung up and got quite a round of applause... The loud talker hung up and moved to another part of the train!


Applauseeeee !

you get a round off applause from me too

jktechwriter (author)bettbee2009-01-01

The ability to turn off and on the jammer was meant to be implied - lighten up people - I very much doubt a cell phone jammer hoodie is going to be on the market for sale next Christmas.

=SMART= : It's also illegal to speed in your car and cross streets until the "WALK" light is green, but I'm sure you don't do those types of things :)

Lighten up!!!!

bettbee (author)jktechwriter2009-01-01

Likewise! I think you are reading more "tone" into my comment than was intended . . . :-)

richdoe (author)bettbee2009-08-07

but would it be possible to jam any call but 911 calls?

static (author)richdoe2010-05-31

Radio jammers are indiscriminate. They will incapacitate any cell phone in range of the jammer regardless of what number is being dialed

bettbee (author)richdoe2009-08-07

Another good point, and I'm quite sure not.

Its REALLY easy to make one that works in a 300 ft radius....and it doesn't use IR LEDs, its radio (obviously), so you would need this whole setup. just put it in your pocket.

mhkabir (author)=SMART=2009-08-20

shouldn't it be 'cell phone'

=SMART= (author)=SMART=2008-09-11


blodefood (author)jktechwriter2010-05-09

Think you might need to use a low tech and more interactive method here.  Suggest you might pick up any available object and begin talking "on" it about the offending cell phone user.  Say interesting and polite things about him/her to your imaginary listener and when the user gets annoyed politely ask him/her to wait until you are done your conversation.  Remember though, avoid trying to start a fight. Have fun.

shooby (author)jktechwriter2008-09-11

This is awesome, great job

kitsune7 (author)2010-10-11

Dude that's awesome :D
I don't think I could think of something that creative.
:) imagine their faces as they try to figure out what's wrong...

solarblade90 (author)2010-08-30

Hey noob, I saw this is make magazine you copy noob!!!!!!

bekathwia (author)solarblade902010-08-30

I wrote that article for MAKE, but this Instructable came first!

chocowubbles (author)2010-06-06

Yay for cyber-terrorism.

Why is it that every single time I go into a restaurant that has like 130 TV's... they are all tuned to sports? and most of the time, it's usually always the same game.

I need a channel changing hoodie!

Can I get some cartoons over at table 12 please?

The firmware is open source, so you could easily change the signal to change all TVs to a certain channel instead of sending out the power signal! I've also had a similar thought, wouldn't it be funny to change them all to PBS? Bob Ross, please.

Zed Lepplin! (author)2010-05-24

This is so clever!

YoungPyro19 (author)2010-05-12

I don't get it.
What's the point of making this?

Lance Mt. (author)YoungPyro192010-05-13

 When the zipper is placed over the threads, it completes the circuit and starts the 'TV-B-Gone'. Its a covert way of turning the tv off in a restaurant. Its actually I nice covert way to use the tv B gone anywhere. 

YoungPyro19 (author)Lance Mt.2010-05-13

ohhhh, I c.
That's really cool.


Lance Mt. (author)YoungPyro192010-05-14

 I like it, its nice. Incorporating it into sunnies would work wonders.

YoungPyro19 (author)Lance Mt.2010-05-14


You mean a sun hat?

Lance Mt. (author)YoungPyro192010-05-14

Sorry, Aus Kid. Sun Glasses, like how kiplay added spy cameras to his.

YoungPyro19 (author)Lance Mt.2010-05-22

Oh yeahh, honn...

carpfluff (author)2010-05-10

nice jacket

samthor (author)2010-03-06

Awesome. Turn off Fox.

freakshow17 (author)samthor2010-05-09

That's right, turn off Fox and let's all lay our heads down and go back to sleep.

TheFullMetalAlchemist (author)2010-05-09

 The Zipper Switch is an awesome touch. My TVBGone has been sitting on my desk doing nothing for months, not anymore!

nerdbot2085 (author)2010-03-15

Great project.  I just finished a project that yours helped inspire.  Thanks for the ideas.

About This Instructable




Bio: Becky Stern is a content creator at Autodesk/Instructables. She has authored hundreds of tutorials about everything from wearable electronics to knitting. Before joining Instructables ... More »
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