Introduction: Tv-B-Gone Hat

Picture of Tv-B-Gone Hat

This is a hat with integrated Tv-B-Gone and a couple added features such as rapid fire mode which will turn off (and on) the most common tvs more frequently and constant on mode which will repeat the off codes for all tvs indefinately.

Questions or comments?

Step 1: Gather the Materials

Picture of Gather the Materials

1 TV-B-Gone
1 Hat
1 555 Timer IC
1 5V Relay
3 IR LED's
2 Micro-Switches
1 0.1uF Capacitor
1 220uF Capacitor
1 10K Resistor
1 100K Potentiometer

Soldering Iron
Wire Cutters/Strippers
Sewing Stuff

Step 2: Build the Timer Circuit

We will be configuring the timer in astable mode the relavant schematic is on page 9 of the NE555 datasheet from Texas Instruments, available at:
Ra = 100K pot
Rb = 10K res
C = 220uF cap

Note that pin 4 may be left unconnected and I have replaced the 0.01uF capacitor in the schematic with a 0.1uF, either will work.

The first thing to do is clip off the leads we wont be using, in this case pins 4 and 5 should be removed. Next bend pin 2 under the bottom of the timer, this will be connected to pin 6. Flatten the remaining leads using a small pair of plyers.

Now that the IC is prepared the components can be added. It is important to keep the layout as flat as possible since this will be mounted on the bill of the hat.

Once all the components are added solder wires for gnd to pin 1, power to pin 8 and the timer output to pin 3.

Step 3: Attach the Relay

Picture of Attach the Relay

If your relay did not come with a datasheet or any useful information you will probably have to figure out which pin is which on your own. To do this use a multimeter checking between all possible combinations of pins to find a pair which have a resistance of a couple K ohms. This is the coil. Connect the coil to a 5v supply and check for continuity on other pin combinations, when you find a combination that is continuous, remove power from the relay. If the two pins are still continuous keep looking (also try reversing the polarity of the 5v supply). If the connection breaks then these are the NO (Normally Open) pins, the pins we want.

Connect the output of the 555 to the + side of the coil and connect the coil gnd to pin 1 of the 555. Next add wires to the two pins you just itdentified as the NO contacts.

Step 4: Modify the Tv-B-Gone

Picture of Modify the Tv-B-Gone

Open up the case and remove the circuit board. The circuitry of the Tv-B-Gone is pretty simple so our modifications are relatively mundane. Remove the IR LED and replace it with wires. Next solder wires to opposing sides of the push button switch. At this point we chose to spray paint our board black. Flip the board over and make connections to +6v and gnd.

Step 5: Attach the Circuitry to the Hat

Picture of Attach the Circuitry to the Hat

You can really put this wherever you want but the underside of the bill seemed like the most appealing place. Sewing through the bill of a hat sucks but it works, attach the ground from the 555 to the Tv-B-Gone ground and connect the outputs from the relay to opposite sides of the push switch. Next run the wire from pin 8 of the 555 (+) and the 6v supply from the Tv-B-Gone to one slide switch and the remaining two leads from the push button switch to the second slide switch. Finally connect the three IR LED's in series to the LED output on the Tv-B-Gone. Thats it. Done.

Step 6: Use It

The slide switch that is connected directly to the push button switch puts the Tv-B-Gone into repeat mode where it repeats the 60 second cycle indefinately. The slide switch connected to the 555 timer puts the hat into rapid fire mode where it will repeat the first X seconds of tv off codes (these are the more common codes that are placed first). To adjust the number of seconds before the cycle repeats adjust the 100K potentiometer, a good value is about 70K. Note that if the repeat switch is on the rapid fire switch will have no effect.

To test out your creation use a cell phone with a camera, put the cell phone into picture taking mode and point it at an IR LED then hit the push button on the Tv-B-Gone. You should be able to observe the LED blinking on the screen of the cell phone.

Once your sure it works you should spend some time aiming the LEDs properly so that they turn off tvs you are looking at and they dont get shielded by the bill of the hat.


erisraven (author)2010-02-04

I hate to put a damper on the flashing TV fun, guys, but I and many other people suffer from a problem called flash-sensitive epilepsy. Do you remember the fuss years ago when a Pokemon episode caused several children to go into seizures? That's the base issue. I would likely be on the floor doing the dying-cockroach dance if that happened around me. Funny momentarily? Probably. Paying for the hospital bill and damages wouldn't be so funny. Please don't do that to those like me. It would likely trigger at the very least a multiple-day migraine.

TweakGeek1 (author)erisraven2010-12-15

Um....last time I checked the IR spectrum can't be seen by the human eye. I HIGHLY doubt this would have ANY effect on anyone with flash-sensitive epilepsy.

Tapewormz (author)erisraven2010-08-22

I don't remember when humans were able to ever see the IR spectrum. I think the only things suffereing from seizures would be robots.

floryzzz (author)2010-04-16

 why you not just gleu the circuit in the hat and gleu leds in front of the hat?

lili the awesome (author)2010-02-04

it would be so fun to get one of these into an airport... oh well
it seems like adding a cloth underneath all the wire would help hide it (maybe removable w/ holes for the leds)

wizdumb (author)2007-02-18

I wonder if the circuitry here could be made small enough to turn into a TV-B-Gone LED Throwie?

jhodges (author)wizdumb2008-04-11

I had thought of the same thing when I saw the TbG hat idea. Instead of a grenade, with a pull-drop-go, operation, I was thinking of something more permanent. For example, use a magnetic LED throwie for permanent (or until discovered) installation which starts the "power off" IR pulse train in random intervals of about 1-2 hours. Such a device would be perfect for your local sports bar or best buy, as there are many magnetic surfaces. It would be quite a nuisance and hard to detect....if you were into that sort of thing... :)

Kaiven (author)jhodges2009-08-15

And you could throw it at the ceiling if there are metal beams :D It would be pretty hard to notice and get down.

wi-fi astronomer (author)wizdumb2007-09-19

That would be great. You have the throwie with a pin, like a grenade. You pull the pin and drop the TV-B-Gone grenade on the floor of a Best Buy, and watch the fun. Add a 5 second delay so you can get away from the "grenade" and the TVs go berserk. Suddenly the plasma TVs become a random flashing disco light show! You do not want a visible LED on it so as to make it harder to find. They'll have to launch a Roomba shop vac bot to serve as a "minesweeper". The TV-B-Gone grenade would consist of the coin batteries, the chip pre-programmed, the IR LED, and the plastic pin that keeps it off until pulled.

You could have a whole ball of led's so no matter where you drop you get a good coverage.

AnarchistKid (author)wizdumb2007-07-14

im not good with technology, but that would be awesome

navseawif (author)2009-07-07


Fat Bagel (author)2008-01-14

I had a univeral remote which i added a long wire to the LED. The wire went through my jacket and the LED stuck out at the collar i used it in class and no one noticed

AnarchistKid (author)2007-07-14

where can i get a tv be gone?

lactoso (author)AnarchistKid2007-12-04

BTW, Google is your friend....

lactoso (author)2007-12-04

I'm guessing you wouldn't want to wear this hat to an airport...
MIT Student Arrested for fake bomb

bikeNomad (author)2007-08-02

I suspect that you could replace the relay with a little FET like the 2n7000. This assumes that the pushbutton has one side connected to circuit ground/supply negative. You could connect the FET as follows: Source: 555/circuit ground/TV-B-Gone supply -/Switch - Drain: TV-B-Gone switch + Gate: 555 output (pin 3) You can get these FETs in TO-92 cases (little transistors). Much smaller and easier to get than 5V relays; also much better for battery life.

Maxaxle88 (author)2007-06-11

Heh heh heh....

spinach_dip (author)2006-06-23

thank you jake! when i got my tv-b-gone a couple of years ago i was totally disappointed with the 70 second cycle "feature". the lack of a X second rapid cycle was a complete design failure by Cornfield Electronics. they took a powerful idea and turned it into a novelty/gag item. while i see that they subsequently released a version that allows you to rapid cycle the device -- it was far too late for those of us that bought the original. perhaps this weekend i'll dig my tv-b-gone out of the useless junk drawer and put it back to good use.

royalestel (author)spinach_dip2007-03-19

Why is the rapid fire feature so useful?

austin (author)2006-06-23

or tape the device inside your neighbors tv and wait for them to throw it out, hehehe

Bob7k (author)austin2007-02-09

tape it under thier couch, but to whare its still visible, wait untill he vacums, finds it in the trash bucket thing, and call the cops because he thinks its a bomb

Mr.Devious (author)austin2006-12-22

Now how exactly would you "borrow" the neighbours tv, take it apart, find a spot to tape the device where it would work, all before they noticed their 30 or 40 inch tv is nothing but a indentation mark in the carpet where it once stood. Lol

leevonk (author)austin2006-06-24

good idea. Although it would be better to find somebody with a huge flatscreen tv, and every day at prime time hide in their bushes and keep turning the tv off. Then when they leave it on the curb, you get it.

frickelkram (author)2006-11-02

I like building small applications by soldering directly on the integrated circuits. It allows building very small versions of electronic devices. I love yout way of "isolation" of the 10k resitorss pins! Looks really cool. It shows some form of art .... ;-)

angle of fire (author)2006-10-21


Junkernaut (author)2006-10-19

This sounds like the beginings of a wonderful prank to play in a best buy.

Neodudeman (author)2006-08-22

That is def an awesome mod. I really like that mucho much.

LProsser1337 (author)2006-06-24

I personally have the TV-B-Gone and it doesn't turn the tv right back on again. It takes sometimes up to 60 seconds to turn the tv on/off again.

Dylannnn (author)LProsser13372006-07-03

There is a newer version that you can buy... Or maybe my friend just got a test model.

mitch (author)2006-06-25

Hey Jake, Great job on the mod! I hope this makes it more fun to go out and turn off TVs in public places. (And, IMHO, since people don't generally go out to public places to watch TV, the more they're turned off, the better the world becomes.) One thing that'll make the hat even better is to use more powerfull batteries. Try using 2 to 4 AAA (or AA, or even D, if you can stand the weight on your head) batteries instead of the coin cells in battery holder B1, and the range of the signal will be dramatically increased. I'm the inventor of TV-B-Gone. A note to clarify the TV-B-Gone transmission sequence: When activated, TV-B-Gone sends out over 100 different POWER codes, which takes a little over a minute to transmit. But, as Jake noted, the most popular TVs' POWER codes are transmitted first, so about 90% of the TVs out there will turn off from the first 30 POWER codes transmitted (about 17 seconds). If you have a later model TV-B-Gone, then bringing the Activation Input LOW (which happens when you press the button) at any time for at least the length of the code currently being transmitted (about 1 second, or more, to be safe), then the TV-B-Gone will re-start the transmission sequence from the beginning (I call this Instant Reactivation Feature). As with (almost) all TV remote controls, the same POWER code will turn a TV off, or on. So, if you press the TV-B-Gone button again (for at least 1 second) after the TV turns off, the TV will turn back on again when it's POWER code is transmitted again by the TV-B-Gone (which will take the same amount of time that it initially took for the TV-B-Gone to turn it off). (The first model of TV-B-Gone, from 2004 and early 2005, did not have Instant Reactivation Feature, the feature that allows you to press the button to reactivate the transmission sequence. Unfortunately, I came up with that idea one day too late to have it implemented in the first 10,000 microcrontrollers that I had manufactured. For these first model TV-B-Gone remotes, after pushing the button, the TV-B-Gone needs to transmit all POWER codes before resetting itself, enabling it to look at the Activation Line again. But there is a way to modify the first model TV-B-Gone so that you don't have to wait. You can reset the TV-B-Gone by momentarily disconnecting power from the microcontroller, and then waiting about 1 second before connecting power to it again.)

_soapy_ (author)2006-06-24

I'm thinking that adding a "jam" option would also be good. Just stream IR at whatever TV so that the real remote doesn't turn it back on, and/or the channel can't be changed.

Grimling (author)2006-06-23

It's al chinees for me i must admid but i looks fantastic . So it's the purpose of turning on & of Tv's ? ( we have remote controls for that ;) )

Ian01 (author)Grimling2006-06-23

If you're in a restaurant and there is a TV on, you probably don't have that TV's remote with you. A tvbgone sends the signals for all TVs.

Grimling (author)Ian012006-06-24

yeah that's true , but places where you can eat and watch tv are mostly just snackbars or something like that , no restaurants =D , and if there is a tv on , it isn't the purpose to switch to your favorite program i think :p

_soapy_ (author)Grimling2006-06-24

It's to turn off the bloody World Cup Football.

m_jake (author)2006-06-23

@themindfantastic: It will turn the TV back on again (as i mention in the intro). If you dont want it to turn the tv back on you can either turn the device off or simply look in another direction. You are also assuming the tv is a tube, if it however is a rear projection tv and you turn it off and on super fast you will still have to wait for the bulb to cool before it comes back on. Granted im sure its not good for tvs but is tv good for you? dun dun duuuuuuum, plot thickens.

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