How to Make Your TV-B-Gone Become Invisible...




Introduction: How to Make Your TV-B-Gone Become Invisible...

About: Hello, I like this website! So much to learn!

Hello, thank you for your interest.

First of all, I apologise for any language mistake I could do in this tutorial,
I'm french (nobody's perfect ;p)

Fell free to tell me if there's some corrections to do, thx ;)

Now, the essential:

After using my TV-B-Gone in some stores and feeling watched after dozen of TV turned off around me, I ask myself how it can be unoticeable to turn on the TVBG and aim an area full of beautiful and shining new screens. And of course looking in the straight opposite direction to be free of any suspicion...

The TVBG-hat by m_jake is a very good idea, because it place the IR emitters at eye's height. But I don't wear hats...

However I'm more familiar with... headphone!!!
Uh uh uh...

Step 1: 1.The Concept

I first would like to thank mitch for its tutorial on How to double the range of the TVBG, on witch I based my model. I recommend to see his work before mine, which is an adaptation.

But don't forget to go back here --> X

-Ok, you're back?... Good. So let's go!

The concept is quite simple:
Giving the TVBG the shape of a cell phone headphone, with a cord going from the ear, passing through a "mike box" with a button (to answer calls and speaking into) and finishing into your pocket.

- The TVBG will be in your pocket.
- The "mike box" will include a secondary button, that will command the TVBG.
(of course there will not be any mike in it!)
- The headphone will contain the IR emitters on its external side.
(putting it on the internal sideand send your eardrum IR signal would be useless... ;p )

So you'll be able to command the TVBG either from your pocket,
or from the "answering-mike-box", hung on the cord.
And you'll also be able to aim a plenty-of-screens area by turning your head by 90degrees,
and so looking like looking in an other direction...
and so looking perfectly innocent, talking to someone calling you on your cell phone.
Uh uh uh...

Step 2: 2. What You Need...

So you'll need:
- A TV-B-Gone (!...)
- A cell phone's headphone (you could sacrifice)
- Everything mentioned in mitch's tutorial
- To follow the instructions from mitch's tutorial until soldering steps. (stop before soldering the IR emitters!)

- heat shrink tube (to make things cleaner)
- 2pin male connector 2.54mm (x2)
- 2pin female connector 2.54mm (x2)
I used these to connect the four wires of the cord to the board,
to easily connect and deconnect the cord while doing some tries,
but you can simply solder the wires on the board without connectors.

When you have unsoldered the original emitter and soldered the batteries holder,
then we can continue to the next step...

Step 3: 3. the Second Button

Put aside your TVBG, we'll focus on the cord...

Cut the connector used to connect the cord to the cellphone.
You'll have four wires in the cord:
2 for the earphone (copper/red for mine)
2 for the mike/button (green/red for mine)

To be more understandable, I'll call the wires by colours of mine.

take those for the microphone and the button and put aside the two others,
open the mike/button little box and keep the button only.
So you'll have either to unsolder the microphone and keep the little board with the button
or unsolder/cut the whole board, unsolder the button from it and solder it on a new little board,
made with a little piece of "perfboard".

I chose the second solution because I hadn't any box with a button,
but one with only the microphone in it. (!...)

Solder the green/red wires on the button, (mind the pins of the button, test it to be shure)
and on the end of the cord (where the cellphone's connector was),
solder the green/red wire on your TVBG board, look at the picture to see which pins to use.

When it's done, put the button back on the box,
make the other wire (copper/red) passing through,
and close the box.

The one I made is a little bit ugly, but I hid it with black chatterton-like tape.

Step 4: 4. the IR-ear-emitter

Now, let's do something more difficult: to put two 5mm IR emitters in a 16mm earphone.

First, after opening the earphones box, cut the wires and take it away.
Use a 5mm drill to make holes for the IRemitters.

Personally, I used my soldering iron, which has a 5mm diameter.
It also allow to melt the plastic and give it the shape you want.
But don't forget to clean up your iron immediatly.
And also file the holes edges to make it cleaner.

Now, the emitters. You'll have to solder it together serially, it means
to solder the negative lead from the first to the positive lead of the second.
On the picture, I put a red tube on the positive lead of the pair,
and a black tube on the negative one.

Once the pair is done, put it temporarily on the earphone's box to see
if it fits the holes and to give it the right shape.
For example, I had to stagger one IR from the other to perfectly fit the earphone.
Don't forget to cut the lead at the right size, to avoid the surprise of a lead sticking in your auditory canal... :s

Now, remove the pair of emitters from the earphone and solder it to the cord.
Red to positive lead, and copper to negative.

Put back the emitters in the earphone and try to close it
with tape or or something or whatever you want...

I've close mine with black tape and put back the original hood, it helps to stay in my ear.

Then solder the remaining wires to your TVBG, at the original IR emitter's place.

Step 5: 5. the Final Round

At this point, you just have to put the 4 AAA batteries on,
then put the CR2032 battery in the holder on the back side,

And test Your new toy...

If it works, then you can stick the battery holder in the back of your TVBG
and offer it a nice dress...

I've quickly made a box with cardboard and black tape,
but you can put your TV-B-Gone in whatever you want.
(A empty cell phone box, a cigarette box, a dead hamster... )

Don't forget to make a hole in the box to access the onboard button,
and an other to see the flashing light, if you want to control while in use.

Step 6: 6. Have Fun!!!


It's really invisible, no salesman (in France at least) could think that
a simple earphone can contains the weapon that
just turned off his whole department of big screens...

Uh uh uh... ;p

Thanks for viewing this tutorial, it's my first, (and it's in English!).
Very big thanks to mitch and m_jake

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    If I were to point this beam in to my head would it turn off the TVs in there? :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    you know what i just thought of, because i just made a tv-b-gone with an arduino , how about making one with an Arduino lillyPad and sew the IR led to a shirt like some sort of design and then just little button somewhere and POW!!!!! tv beeee goneee

    that is so evil! XD so cool I thought there were certain frequencies the light needed to flash in to shut of a tv. so cool. I should do this and make my dad think the new tv we bought is broken. XD but only broken when he puts foot ball on. (I hate foot ball.)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    sorry if i read your comment wrong, but there is a certain (frequency) pattern that the led flashes to turn off a tv, the tv-b-gone has these patterns programmed into a chip, all this instructable is doing is extending the wires from where they are meant to be


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah I get it all now but at the time i didn't :P just shows how much you learn over the years.


    12 years ago on Step 6

    As already noted, CCD cameras can "see" the IR light of the LEDs used. So you'd better look twice for security cameras before performing a prank and switch off all TVs in a store. You will be glowing like a christmas tree on the surveillance video, so stay covert.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I love it !! Well documented, good idea, original. Well done. And your English is better than that of a lot of people who were born here . . . Just keep doing what you're doing.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    nice idea! but I usually have my real headphones in... but you did give me an idea - I am ALWAYS using my ipod, no one would suspect me playing with it an a public setting. its an ipod touch, so its really thin but the same length/width as the iphone. so I could get an iphone case and squeeze the tv-b-gone into the area between the case and the back of my ipod, with a switch on the bottom or side or something. Must_get_tvbgone


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea! Post your work if you do an " I-tv-b-gone "


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    will do! although recently I found an old ninja remote in the depths of my room, its really thin so I think I'll try it with that before I get a tv-b-gone. (A ninja remote is a small universal tv remote, sorta like a more advanced tv-b-gone. check it out on, I know they sell them there)


    13 years ago on Introduction

    haha, too bad i have long hair. maybe i could wear something like this a as a brochette.


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comments. And I will correct my "sold" into "solder", sorry... ;)


    13 years ago on Step 5

    Note: although our human eyes can not see IR light, digital cameras can! So, to test the emitters you can use any digital camera to see if the IR emitters blink when you press the button (as in the photos here).


    13 years ago on Step 4

    Sweet! :) Two notes: - the short lead of almost (but not all) LEDs is the negative lead, and the longer lead is the positive. - The most powerful IR emitters I've been able to find are the ones I've used in the commercial TV-B-Gone and TV-B-Gone kit: IR333-A (+/- 20 degree emission angle), IR333C/H0/L10 (+/- 40 degree emission angle). Both are available at for really cheap.