Introduction: TV-B-Gone Kit

About: All-original DIY electronics kits - Adafruit Industries is a New York City based company that sells kits and parts for original, open source hardware electronics projects featured on as well a…

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 - this kit is a great way to build something truly useful!

See it in use!

Step 1: F.A.Q.

What is a TV-B-Gone Kit?

TV-B-Gone 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 (inventor of the TV-B-Gone) and his company Cornfield Electronics 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!

Step 2: Preparation


Learn how to solder with tons of tutorials!

Don't forget to learn how to use your multimeter too!


There are a few tools that are required for assembly. None of these tools are included. If you don't have them, now would be a good time to borrow or purchase them. They are very very handy whenever assembling/fixing/modifying electronic devices! I provide links to buy them, but of course, you should get them wherever is most convenient/inexpensive. Many of these parts are available in a place like Radio Shack or other (higher quality) DIY electronics stores.

I recommend a "basic" electronics tool set for this kit, which I describe here.

Soldering iron. One with temperature control and a stand is best. A conical or small 'screwdriver' tip is good, almost all irons come with one of these.

A low quality (ahem, $10 model from radioshack) iron may cause more problems than its worth!

Do not use a "ColdHeat" soldering iron, they are not suitable for delicate electronics work and can damage the kit (see here)

Solder. Rosin core, 60/40. Good solder is a good thing. Bad solder leads to bridging and cold solder joints which can be tough to find. Dont buy a tiny amount, you'll run out when you least expect it. A half pound spool is a minimum.

Multimeter/Oscilloscope. A meter is helpful to check voltages and continuity.

Flush/diagonal cutters. Essential for cutting leads close to the PCB.

Desoldering tool. If you are prone to incorrectly soldering parts.

'Handy Hands' with Magnifying Glass. Not absolutely necessary but will make things go much much faster.

Check out my recommendations and where to buy.

Good light. More important than you think.

Step 3: Parts

Check to make sure your kit comes with the following parts.Sometimes we make mistakes so double check everything and email if you need replacements!

Name : IC1
Description : Microcontroller (preprogrammed when purchased in a kit)
Part # : ATTINY85V-10-PU
Distributor : Mouser, Digikey (unprogrammed, of course)
Qty : 1

Name : IC1'
Description : 8-pin socket
Part # : Generic
Distributor : Mouser, Digikey
Qty : 1

Name : XTL1
Description : 8.00 MHz ceramic oscillator. It might also be blue.
Part # : ZTT-8.00MT or equivalient
Distributor : Digikey, Mouser
Qty : 1

Name : C2
Description : 100uF/10V capacitor
Part # : Generic
Distributor : Digikey, Mouser
Qty : 1

Name : C1
Description : Ceramic 0.1uF capacitor (104)
Part # : Generic
Distributor : Digikey, Mouser
Qty : 1

Name : R1-R4
Description : 47 ohm 1/4W 5% resistor (yellow violet black gold)
Part # : Generic
Distributor :
Qty : 4

Name : R5
Description : 1.0Kohm 1/4W 5% resistor (brown black red gold)
Part # : Generic
Distributor :
Qty : 1

Name : LED2, LED3
Description : Narrow beam IR LED. These have a blue-ish tint.
Part # : Everlight IR333-A
Distributor : Mouser
Qty : 2

Name : LED1, LED4
Description : Wide beam IR LED
Part # : Everlight IR333C/H0/L10
Distributor : Mouser
Qty : 2

Name : LED5
Description : 3mm LED
Part # : Generic
Distributor : Digikey, Mouser
Qty : 1

Name : SW1
Description : 6mm tact switch button
Part # : Omron B3F-1000 (or equiv)$File/D22B3F0305.pdf?OpenElement
Distributor : Digikey, Mouser
Qty : 1

Name : Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Description : NPN Transistor (TO-92) that is pin compatible with 2N3904
Part # : PN2222
Distributor : Mouser, Digikey
Qty : 4

Name : JP2
Description : 10 pin box header
Part # :
Distributor : Mouser, Digikey
Qty : 1

Name : BATT
Description : 2 x AA battery holder
Part # : Generic
Distributor : Digikey, Mouser
Qty : 1

Name : PCB
Description : Circuit board
Part # :
Distributor : Adafruit Industries
Qty : 1

v1.1 schematic
If you have a black PCB with v1.1 on it

Note that the microcontroller must be programmed with the v1.1 firmware.
Any NPN transistor that is pin-compatible with the 3904 should be OK.
Use 940nm IR LEDs.

v1.0 Schematic
If you have a green PCB with v1.0 on it

Note that the microcontroller must be programmed with the firmware.
Any NPN transistor that is pin-compatible with the 3904 should be OK.
Use 940nm IR LEDs.

Step 4: Solder It! Part 1

Get Ready...
The first step is to solder the kit together. If you've never soldered before, check the Preparation page for tutorials and more.


Check the kit against the parts list to verify you have all the parts necessary

Put the printed circuit board into a vise or board holder, heat up your soldering iron and make sure you're ready to go!

The first part we're going to assemble is the button. The button is a symmetric part so it can go in two ways. Line up the metal legs with the holes in the circuit board and snap it in. The button should sit flat against the circuit board.

Using your soldering iron, heat up a leg of the button and the poke solder into it to make a nice solder joint.

Repeat for all four legs. The solder points should be clean and shiny. See the tutorials for soldering help if you can't get it right.

Next is the 1.0 kilo ohm resistor R5. This is the brown-black-red striped part. This resistor sets the brightness of the little indicator LED. Resistors are symmetric, so it can go in either way.

Bend the legs so it looks like a staple and insert it into the R5 location as shown.

Then bend the legs out a bit so that when you turn the PCB over the part doesn't fall out.

Step 5: Solder It! Part 2

solder each leg of the resistor

Use the diagonal cutters to clip off the resistor legs so that only the solder points remain.

Now its time to place the small indicator LED LED5. LED's are not symmetric and must be placed correctly in order to work. You'll notice one leg of the LED is longer than the other. This is the positive leg. The positive leg goes into the hole with a + next to it. In the picture shown, its the left hole.

Insert the LED into the correct location, and bend the leads out to keep it from falling out when you turn the PCB over.

Turn the PCB over and solder both leads of the LED.

Clip both leads off the LED.

Step 6: Solder It! Part 3

The next part is the ceramic capacitor C1. Ceramic capacitors are symmetric so it can go in either way.

Solder and clip the ceramic capacitor part

Next, place 2 components. The ceramic oscillator and the 8-pin socket. The oscillator has 3 pins and is symmetric. The oscillator is the timeclock for the microcontroller, making sure that it is performing its functions at the correct speed.

The socket is for protecting the chip and making it easy to insert and remove.

The socket has a little notch in one end. That notch should match the one in the picture silkscreened onto the circuit board. This will help you place the microcontroller in properly later.

You may need to solder one pin of the socket while holding it it in with a finger (or tape) as the legs aren't long enough to be bent while in place.

Solder the rest of the points then clip short the legs of the oscillator.

Next grab the battery holder and clip the leads short, to maybe 1.5" (4cm) long

Strip the ends of the wire off so that there's a short section without insulation

Step 7: Solder It! Part 4

Use your soldering iron to 'tin' the wire, melting solder into it to keep the wire from fraying.

Insert the wires into the PCB so that the red wire goes to the + hole and the black wire goes to the - hole.

Solder the wires, then clip them if they're too long.

Carefully insert the microcontroller into the socket. Make sure that the little dot (and triangle) are at the end with the notch in the socket. In this photo, the dot is on the left.

The microcontroller is the device that stores all the codes and turns the LEDs on and off according to a program.

Test the kit now by putting two good AA batteries into the holder and pressing the button. The green indicator light should blink to show that the microcontroller is functioning properly. If you don't get a blinking light check the batteries, make sure the indicator LED is in correctly,and that the chip is in the right way.

Once you've verified it's working, remove the batteries.

Next place the 4 47 ohm resistors, R1 R2 R3 R4. These are the parts that determine how bright the IR LEDs are.

Solder and clip all 4 resistors.

Step 8: Solder It! Part 5

Next is the 100uF electrolytic capacitor. It is polarized so make sure it goes in the right way. The long lead is positive, and goes into the hole marked with a +, on the right in the photo

Bend the capacitor so it lies over the resistors, this will make it stick out less.

Next are the four transistors Q1 Q2 Q3 and Q4. These are the devices that turn on and off the high power IR LEDs. The microcontroller doesn't have the capability to provide a lot of power directly to the LEDs so these transistors assist it.

Transistors have three pins. bend the middle pin back a little and insert it so that the rounded and flattened sides match up with the picture silkscreened onto the circuit board, as shown. The transistor won't be able to sit flat against the circuit board, so just make it poke up a few millimeters.

Insert all 4 transistors.

Turn the PCB over and solder in all the transistors. Then clip the wires.

Step 9: Solder It! Part 6

Next is the IR LEDs. Start with LED1, a clear IR led. Like the small indicator LED, it has polarity. Make sure the longer, positive lead is on the right, as shown.

Bend the LED over 90 degrees so it sticks out over the edge of the circuit board

Now solder it to the top of the circuit board

Flip over the PCB and solder it to the bottom (if necessary)

Then clip the leads

Place the remaining LEDs. The blue tinted ones should go in the center. Make sure they are in the correct orientation!

Solder the LEDs in and clip the long leads.

You're done soldering! Now you may want to perform some tests to make sure its working. Visit the Testing page for more info.

Place the doublesided foam sticky on the circuit board. Remove the other side and press the battery holder on

Congrats, you're done!

Step 10: Test It!

Test 1

With batteries in, make sure that the green LED blinks after you press the power button

Test 2

Digital cameras can detect infra-red light but our eyes can't. Use a digital camera, webcam or camcorder and look through the digital viewfinder at the IR LEDs, after pressing the button, the LEDs should flash.

Step 11: Use It!

Very easy!

1. Simply point the device as best you can so that the Infrared LEDs are aimed at the television you'd like to turn off.

2. Press the button once. Don't hold the button down! It will just keep resetting itself. The codes start to transmit once you release the button.

3. The indicator LED will blink for every code it sends. Keep the TV-B-Gone pointed at your target until it turns off. The 4 infrared LEDs will not blink visibly because human eyes can't see infrared light.

4. When the TV-B-Gone is finished, the indicator light will blink quickly a few times and then stop.

If you press and release the button while its sending out codes, it will reset and start over from the beginning

The most popular codes are at the beginning, less common codes are at the end of the list.

Video of recommended usage

Step 12: Download

Files for v1.1

Here are the hardware and firmware files for v1.1, distributed under Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution, Share-Alike

  • Schematic and Layout files in Eagle format
  • Firmware for AVR-GCC
  • Newer firmware with fix for 'always on' bug (?)

Files for v1.0

Here are the hardware and firmware files for v1.0, distributed under Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution, Share-Alike

  • Schematic and Layout files in Eagle format
  • Firmware for AVR-GCC

Buy the kit here: