Instructables
Picture of TV-B-Gone Kit
Adafruit-TVBGoneKitFromAdafruitIndustries302.flv.jpg
Tired of all those LCD TVs everywhere?

Want a break from advertisements while you're trying to eat?

Want to zap screens from across the street?

The TV-B-Gone kit is what you need! This ultra-high-power version of the popular TV-B-Gone is fun to make and even more fun to use.

Built in co-operation with Mitch Altman (the inventor of the TV-B-Gone - http://www.tvbgone.com) this kit is a great way to build something truly useful!

See it in use!

 
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Step 1: F.A.Q.

What is a TV-B-Gone Kit?

TV-B-Gone http://www.tvbgone.com/ is a 'universal' remote control device, it is basically like a remote control but with only the "Power" button. This is a kit version of that product.

How are the kit and original TV-B-Gone product related?

Mitch Altman http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2006/04/digging_deepertvbgone_device_s.html (inventor of the TV-B-Gone) and his company Cornfield Electronics http://www.cornfieldelectronics.com/ worked together with me (Adafruit Industries) to develop a kit version of the TV-B-Gone. Mitch thinks open source kits are awesome!

Why should I get a kit if I can just buy a TV-B-Gone ready made?

This kit is for learning how to solder and maybe even a little of how remote controls are designed. The kit version also has 2 AA batteries and 4 high power output IR LEDs to allow for much longer distances than the keychain product, more than 100 ft! It's also easier to hack and adapt for other projects. However, the kit has fewer codes (so there may find a TV once in a while that doesn't respond), is larger and heavier and requires you to put it together.

I suggest you get one of each!

Does this kit work on all TVs?

We picked the 46 most common codes for North American/Asian TV's to program into the kit. However, we couldn't include every code. Field testing has shown that nearly every TV we encountered would turn off, even the most recent LCD and Plasma flat screen TVs!

Note that this kit will not work with LED signs, computer monitors (that are not also televisions) and display signs that don't have a remote-control port.

What do you mean N. America/Asia? Does this kit work with European TVs?

A large number of newer European TVs will work with TV-B-Gone kit, but its not as likely. For example, instead of 90% success, its more like 50%

How close do I have to be for the TV-B-Gone kit to work?

The closer the better, but we've found that if you have pretty good aim, you can be 100' (30m) or farther.

I'm not able to turn off the TV from more than 30 feet away, what's wrong?

First, perform the test to make sure all 4 IR LEDs are firing.
Second, make sure you have fresh Alkaline batteries installed
Third, try to aim as best as you can at the IR receiver, usually a small dark plastic plate on the front of the TV
Finally, try many different TVs. Some TVs simply do not respond as well from far away as others.

I want more range! How can I make the kit more powerful?

Make sure you have fresh Alkaline batteries. They work better than rechargables

You can swap out the 2 AA battery holder for a 3 AA battery holder. This will give even better performance! Using C or D cell batteries will give longer run time but won't increase the power.

Do not use 9V batteries or more than 3 1.5V alkaline batteries, you can permanently damage the kit!
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nodoubtman1 year ago
don't get caught!
all to get caught! with this kit
not usefull at all sorry!
teledog2 years ago
Made one, it works OK, a bit bulky.
But you can buy a "Universal TV remote" that does the same from Deal Extreme for under $5 ( it's smaller- great for stocking stuffers/gifts).
When is the "wave bubble" going to be a kit? ;-)
dark sponge4 years ago
I just made one with no circuit board, no transistors, no kit, and no external oscillator and it actually works! I just modified the AVR fuses to turn off the divide-by-8 clock mode. I'm expecting reduced range though; my IR leds are low power.
PLEEEAAAASE tell me how you did it. I have a very small budget, and if you launch into technobabble I won't have a clue what you're talking about. I am trying to make one of these but don't have any access to circuit boards or anything. Please help me understand what to do.
If you look at my instructables I have a couple that are about DIY TV-B-Gones, and I'm about to publish another.
UgniusR3 years ago
Can someone tell me why the IR leds have to go in the specific order? CLEAR, BLUE, BLUE, CLEAR??? I accidently did mine BLUE CLEAR CLEAR BLUE and it works fine...
Kokkan4 years ago
What do I need to program a micro controller? Is there any alternative way to replace the micro controller? Thanks!
cgosh Kokkan4 years ago
Micro-controller programming hardware/software costs far more than this project, takes a while to learn, and you might never use it again. Check Jameco.com or budurl.com/jameco for more.

Plus, the only value would be to add new TV codes, and you'd have to figure out what those new codes are.

Of course, you can develop a new hobby/skill and learn its software language if that interests you.

This chip is an erasable, programmable ROM memory device, simpler but similar to the chip that stores your PC's BIOS instruction set.  A new PC has a new instruction set programmed onto the same old chip as last year's model.

There is no simple replacement; it's the programmed "brains" of the circuit.
Kokkan cgosh4 years ago
I appreciate the reply! Thanks :)
USBTinyISP programmer works great and is cheap, I think around $20. You build it from a kit, but that shouldn't be a problem for you.
Speedmite5 years ago
Wow. Great instructable. Couldnt you increase the range if you used infa-red lazers instead? you might have to use a scope or magnifying device aligned with it to work since it is a lazer point, but it might work up to 1000 feet, depending on the lazer and power source.
 "Lazer" is actually spelled LASER as it stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
Thanks for the reminder!  I've been trying to remember this lately and this popped up just like karma...
Who cares? and why are you correcting spellings on year old posts?
 Sorry I can be a bit OCD sometimes...

I was thinking the same thing. If you got an IR laser diode it would actually put out a wide beam, not a dot, so long as you left off the focusing lens. So your aim would only have to be approximate. But the greatest trouble I'm seeing is that I don't know how much voltage is being put into the LEDs. So replacing the LEDs with a laser diode would be difficult because you would need to incorporate a driver circuit between the output of the original circuit and your laser diode without hindering the information the original circuit is trying to pass on. Would anyone know how much this circuit puts out?
They would take about the same, maybe more. It would be a simple mod.
The maybe more is what I'm afraid of. Laser diodes burn out really easy. That's why you need a driver circuit.
Yea, I was trying to get a burning lazer so I took out the resistor, and it still didnt burn. So the I put 9 volt through it and it didnt work at all.
If you want a burning laser you have to pull the laser diode out of a dvd BURNER 16X or higher. And they typically run around 115-150 mW, and your voltage shouldn't exceed 2-3 volts. As I said, they burn out easy. 9 volts will fry it in a couple seconds. Try finding a driver circuit, you can learn just about anything you want about lasers at laserpointerforums.com. If you're interested you should check it out. You can have any of your questions answered there better than I could. The FAQs and laser safety pages should be pretty informative, I'd recommend reading over that and then searching the rest of the site for answers to any other questions you might have. Sorry I can't help anymore. But let me know if you get it working. I'd be really interested in something like that.
I knew that at the time but didnt have one. you can stick it in a maglight too.
I'm sorry, what can you stick in a maglight?
You can take out the the burning lazer diode and make the legs longer and you can stick it in a mini maglight


That's a great thought, and Kipkay is amazing, but he's incorrect. He has more updated 'ibles that correct this flawed thinking. Check out these links. These are the instructions I used to build my laser. http://www.rog8811.com/laserdriver.htm http://www.rog8811.com/laserdiodes.htm . Anyway, I'm glad you like the idea.
It was just one site I saw. The idea is all over the place.
I know. I've seen it. The only problem is that laser diodes are power hungry, and the more power they get, the more they want. Without a driver circuit, they burn themselves out in a couple of seconds, unless the battery is weak and can't take a heavy load. But when you change the batteries it'll kill the diode instantly. But if you try it and it works, I'll think about it.
I cant find an old burner..... / Its only 2 AAA in a mini mag. Thats more amps, a little less volts than the 3-4 button cells that lazers have, then again, AAA batts can let things suck power out faster. I think it would work. OHHH!!!! I just thought about this. My mom is upgrading to a vista with a new computer, and the buner wonk work with it, and it was bad to begin with!!!!!! MINE!!!!!!!!!!
I think this circuit's output is about 1,9 volts, because the infrared LED comsumes max 1,9 volts. Yeah IR laser is a good idea... By the way, do you know how to program the microcontroller (ATTINY85V-10PU). i already have the source code, but i cant upload it to the microcontroller.
Regrettably I do not. I haven't learned how to do that yet. I'm still kinda new to all this. But I'm learning. I think I'm learning fast, but that has yet to be seen. Sorry I can't help anymore. I hope it works well for you.
if you want a wide beam for the IR LED, i think the only way is to cut the curve side (top) of the IR LED. so it has to be flat, that should make the beam wide. This is the picture...
IR LED.jpg
That's actually pretty cool. What did you use to cut it? What is the flat surface like? smooth or rough? I'm assuming smooth is better? I'm sure I could learn through trial and error but I'd rather just let you tell me. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Experience is a hard master, but fools will have none other." Meaning if someone else can tell you how to do it, or someone else has already told you it's a bad idea, and you want to find out your own way, you could be a little smarter. So as I said, I'll just let you tell me. That is if you don't mind, of course. All help is welcome. Thank you.
hahaha.... nice... actually in Indonesia you can find these thing everywhare... but the bad news is my house is very far from the store that sell this kind of led, so i decide to make my own... the flat surface of LED that i bought is very smooth. but the one i made is a bit clouded. its very easy if you want to make one, you can cut the curve side with a saw and then smoothen the surface with sandpaper, it work nice. i think if you want to make the surface smoother, you can try cutting it using something hot, like a hot cutter... but i havent tried that way yet... By the way, where are you from?? im from Indonesia... nice to talk with you....
I'm from texas. It's nice to talk with you also. If you want it smoother you should try taking baking soda and mixing it with water until it is a paste (toothpaste with baking soda in it works fine too). Then you use a brush(tooth brush or anything else) to rub the paste on the surface you want polished. It also works very well on aluminum foil to make a reflector. But the aluminum foil warps so you have to do one side until it's the way you want it and then smooth it out, or polish the other side until it's flat again. I think that should help with the clouded problem. I'd be interested to know how that turns out. What type of saw did you use to cut it?
Ow thanks, i should try that... i use a saw with tight tooths
You're welcome. Let me know if it works. So a hand saw with a metal cutting blade?
yea, a small hand saw with a metal cutting blade... have you ever made some instructables yet?
Or if that way didnt work, you should try this... i hope you understand...
LED mif.jpg
I understand. What's faster? Cutting it with a saw, or filing it?I kinda made an LED cube. Mine looks like junk, but I was able to entirely conceal the switch, and I made the batteries replaceable, so I'm happy with it. And I've been trying to build a laser, combining multiple instructables, and adding my own tweaks. The last part came in yesterday. I'm happy. How about you? Have you built any instructables?
Thats cool dude... just dont stop making things... i have made several instructables: 1. Ozone gas generator for cleaning "killing germs" in water replacing the conventional way (boiling). 2. TV jammer 3. Coil handgun 4. solar charger for my hand phone I dont remember the other...
what things have you ever build??
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