Introduction: Ultra TV-B-Gone

Picture of Ultra TV-B-Gone

This TV-B-Gone uses a 9V battery to send its signal through a matrix of 20 IR LEDS. This extends the working range of the device to about 90ft (line of sight). Using this in a regular sized room you are pretty much guaranteed to kill the TV no matter where you point it.

Step 1: Get the Stuff

Picture of Get the Stuff

You wont need much to build this, here is a list of the materials:
1 2N3904 Transistor (experiment with what you have around, it will probably work)
1 9V battery
1 9V battery holder
20 IR LED's

As far as tools go here is what I used:
soldering Iron + solder
desoldering pump
hobby knife
wire cutters/strippers

If you dont have the TV-B-Gone already you can get one at the Make Store:

Step 2: Modify the TV-B-Gone

Picture of Modify the TV-B-Gone

Take apart the TV-B-Gone and examine the board, you will notice it uses two sets of batteries. The two 3V batteries on top drive the LED's and the bottom 3V battery powers everything else. To save a little space we moved the 3V battery to the top holder and connected the stuff that was connected to the 6V supply to the 9V battery.

To get rid of the lower battery holder you have to use a sharp cutting tool to break the connection on the right side of the top battery holder. Then on the left side solder a wire from the big pad through the hole that is right next to it. Now you can remove the lower battery holder and move the bigger 3v battery to the top holder.

Step 3: Add Wires

Picture of Add Wires

Remove the IR LED that is on the TV-B-Gone and replace it with a pair of wires. Then solder wires for gnd and +9V in the two places shown in the photos below.

Step 4: Make the LED Array

Picture of Make the LED Array

Start with two LED's and decide which direction you will stitch. Bend the inside lead towards the second LED and solder it then repeat until you have a string of four LED's. Then repeat the entire process five times.

Now bend the leads of one set to the side and attach another set between the two bent leads. Repeat this until you have filled out the entire grid.

Note: Always check the polarity of the LED's you are soldering. This configuration creates five parallel blocks of four LED's in series.

Step 5: Complete the Circuit

Picture of Complete the Circuit

If you are looking at the flat side of a 2N3904 with the pins down the pins are called Emitter, Base, and Collector from left to right. Attach the Collector and the LED- connection from the TV-B-Gone PCB to the negative side of the LED array. Then connect the Base to the LED+ wire. Next connect the emitter to ground on the circuit board.

Now wire the positive side of the LED array to the 9V supply. Finally connect the ground and 9V wires from the PCB to the 9v Battery clip. Attach the LED array and PCB to the battery clip. You can use anything from around, duct tape will work nicely. I had some double stick foam so I used that. The End.


ewilhelm (author)2008-04-01
jompon2547 (author)2017-09-14

i wish u can show us how to make your homemade tv

it would be awsom

ksikes (author)2011-08-19

Do you think its possible to build your own TV?

dgeigerd (author)ksikes2017-06-06

And i can make my own too. I am working at a german TV company that makes High End TVs^^

dgeigerd (author)ksikes2017-06-06

Its possible. A friend from me build a small tube TV and it works fine

bears0 (author)ksikes2011-09-20

someone said their dad made one. don't remember who, but it would not be a project for people with limited supplies equipment or tools.

Parakeet Crazzzy (author)2008-12-10

Um Does This Destroy Ur Tv So It Wont Work Again?

Derin (author)Parakeet Crazzzy2009-04-23

You only capitalize the first word in a sentence.

ShogunD (author)Derin2012-03-11

My question is why the hell someone Would Take The Time To Press The Shift Button For Every Single Word.
My pinky is tired.

dgeigerd (author)ShogunD2017-06-06

In Germany we are writing so many Words with a capital Letter at the Beginning. Just like this Sentences.

overblast (author)Derin2011-04-03

derin, This Is Not Craigslist, No Spelling Or Grammar Nazis Allowed Here,

no .....silly, it just sends a signal (just like a regular remote) telling the tv to turn off.

it has a program that has all the tv remotes "off" pattern. Each tv is different ( different modle) and has a special inferad signal which turns it off. The tv-be-gone knows and plays one by one, so it may take a few seconds for the tv to turn off.

fwjs28 (author)Parakeet Crazzzy2009-03-19

no it just sends some sort of signal (not sure) that turns the tv doesn't kill it

Pizzapie500 (author)2012-08-13

Would these LEDs work? If so, this would be very cheap.

dgeigerd (author)Pizzapie5002017-06-06

Sure. LEDs are very cheap

maxenbringen (author)2014-10-01

What kind of wires should you use?

dgeigerd (author)maxenbringen2017-06-06

isolated wires

seanman3000 (author)2017-05-27

Is there a limit to how many LED's you can use with a 9v battery? Would the same 20-LED array you have work on this project?

zachary.kron (author)2017-03-19

A word of caution. A friend of mine and I built this over the weekend and tried it out on my 32" lcd tv. It put the tv into a "please run channel auto scan" mode, and all the controls (remote and hardware) became unresponsive. After an hour on the phone with the manufacturer support, they gave up and said "sounds like you need to buy a new tv". I'm a little baffled how this is even possible, but it seems like this device might have a bit of a perma-death aspect

mrx23dot (author)2017-02-16

Hi, I'm selling my 2017 version TV-B-Gone

Yorgy (author)2016-09-19

What's a tv-b-gone? I don't think I have one.

HaverfordW (author)2016-05-17

I don't see why adding so many LEDs should make a huge difference to the range. Wouldn't it be better to use a single LED like those triple chip ones with an internal reflector?

putty1cat (author)2011-07-25

My tv b gone is different but I went ahead and tried to mod it. I get nothing out of it. I am clueless. Can someone brainy, please, have a look and tell me what I've done wrong? This is only my second soldering project. The chip is the SE02 500 A3A3 if that is any help.

DennisL4 (author)putty1cat2015-02-08

I see what you did wrong... you have connected one of the wires to the wrong spot (to battery) so the red and yellow wires. You need to move the wire that connected to the battery to the hole that's in Step: 5 picture 3

putty1cat (author)DennisL42015-02-08

I thank you for taking the time to reply. I had a look around but it has been so long since I posted this that I cant find the project in my pile of stuff.

keagz (author)putty1cat2014-07-22

Hello, I have the same model. How can I fix it?

bizzton3k (author)2008-12-20

Sorry, but I have several questions because I think my tv-b-gone is different. Do you not have the 100mf capacitor? Your 1st photo in step 3 shows you without one. Did you remove it? Both of my coin cells are 3v? Do you really have a 6V coin cell? In step 2, pic 3- It says "break connection here" but I really don't see anything at the box, on the pcb to break. Did you mean to break the connection to the pcb and the coin cell batter at this connection. In step 2, pic4, what does this accomplish. Is this suppose to short the circuit, because when I do this, my red LED turns on? Is your led always on? I see that a blue led is "on" in several of your pictures.

DennisL4 (author)bizzton3k2015-02-07

Hi you have either the gen 4 or gen 6 model... i have the same problem aswell. I really hope someone can make a tutorial about doing this with a gen 4 or 6

pyroelfears (author)bizzton3k2009-04-09

no for the 6v coin cell. it means only the two of them combined.

d60Dave (author)2011-02-25


Perhaps my TV B Gone unit is different but as standard the IR LED positive terminal is connected to the positive of the battery and it appears to be the negative side of the IR LED that is switched to turn it on and off.

If as you suggest the positive side of the IR LED is connected to the base of a 2N3904 (npn transisotor) with the emitter connected to 0V there willl be 9V across the base-emitter junction. It will therefore be on all the time or at least until it blows which shoudn't take long as a typical npn can only support about 0.7V (one diode drop) across the base-emitter.

Am I missing something??


jrigvd (author)d60Dave2012-07-25

Hey Dave, I think your tv-b-gone is different than the on described here. Maybe you can use an PNP transistor instead of the NPN described in the instructable.


vlxwgn (author)2007-04-22

because infrared light is picked up by digital cameras, would this work as a night vision light?

Michael_Bell (author)vlxwgn2012-04-25

You dont even need the tv be gone! Just search up infra red night light, or some such :)

what you do is that you make a ring of thes irleds in a ring around the camera

Kevio bro (author)vlxwgn2009-07-24

it would probably blink though

The nerdling (author)Kevio bro2011-05-08

not if you just connect it to 3 volts, i have done it and it dosn't blink

degenstamm (author)2011-10-28

so im trying to find someone legit can i make it with a ir detector and emitter or do i have to get something diffrent

64bitgenius (author)2011-07-16 step is to gather over 9000 ir leds and do this. lets turn off the tv's in a town....

ahughes (author)2011-03-31

Ok i have the tv b gone from thinkgeek that i got on march 22 i opened mine and it has a couple extra things and don't know if this is compatible with the one i have or if you can make one for the newer tv b gone it would be very appreciated.

ahughes (author)ahughes2011-03-31

here are some pics of the tv b gone i have so u can tell me if this mod will work on it.

putty1cat (author)ahughes2011-07-16

I also would like to know the answer to your question. This is the gen 4 TV-B-Gone. I have made the IR LED array. From what I understand the bottom battery powers the micro controller so I am leaving that in place. The thing that stumps me is the capacitor. So being the curious person I am, I will eventually just solder the negative wire from the 9v battery pack to the negative side of the capacitor pad. The positive to the pad of the existing battery case just below the capacitor. At this point I imagine you all can guess I really don't have a clue what I am doing. Please correct me. Then I will house it all inside of a tic tac 100 plastic box. Like it says on the packet 'Refreshing little lifts'.

The nerdling (author)2011-05-08

get an old video camera with night vision and turn it on then point it at the tv b gone with night vision on and see what happens, it is cool

codongolev (author)2011-03-27

I love huge matrices of LEDs and I cannot lie.

DominicEdmundoVelazquez (author)2011-03-26

good work

things (author)2009-12-09

 lol, why bother with 20 little IR LED's when you can buy 3W star LED's? :D

I built a TV-B-Gone using an Arduino and 6 3W IR star LED's with lenses. I could turn off TV's from down the street if they happened to have their windows open :D

TheAtheist (author)things2010-05-18

Could you please tell me how you did it?? Seems really interesting.. A circuit diagram and the necessary components would also be of much help..
Whats a 'Star LED' btw?

crzy engineer (author)TheAtheist2010-12-26

The 3W IR LED's "things" is talking about pump out a tremendous amount of Infra Red light. Since the 3W's take up more space all you have to do is accommodate space on your bread board or circuit board.

And of course you can always ask Google for more info on the 3W IR LED's


mictester (author)2009-12-14

The instructions are dumbed down to the point of imbecility...  it's probably NOT possible to simplify them further to the level of "moron".

Hubiewan (author)mictester2010-07-21

I'm guessing you're good at tech. stuff, but are short on understanding. Many of us have other gifts/skills that you don,t have. Don't be too hard on us. Try a little humility, it'll save you lots of anguish as you age. Ultimately, the ravages of time, then death, humble us all. To the arrogant, it is a more painful journey.

hyudryu (author)mictester2010-02-23

Ya i agree :D

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