Sure the original Thinkgeek Micro Spy Remote was fun for a while but there was a major drawback. In order to wreak havoc on someone else's TV, you had to be within visual range. After a while your prey would realize you had something to do with it. Why not eliminate yourself from the equation entirely? With this hack to the Micro Spy Remote, you can cause chaos even when your not around. Now when the person your pranking asks to see your hands or what's in your pocket you can simply smile, knowing your secret is safe and the chaos will continue.
With this hack you will be able leave the remote in a room and it will turn the TV on or off/change the channel every couple of minutes automatically.
Please note that this was produced n a college dormroom and was done with the few supplies I had. I am sure that there is a way to make this more compact but I did what I could.
Thinkgeek Micro Spy Remote
Thinkgeek conductive glue
555 timer chip
9-volt battery connector
High Gauge wire
Aluminium can (optional)
Tape (electrical tape works well)
needle nose pliers
wire cutters and strippers
possibly other common household tools.
Step 1: Deconstructing the Remote
In this step you will take apart the remote in order to reach the all important circuit board. It is relatively easy to get to but you have to be careful.
Use a knife to peel back the front covering of the remote. It is a flexible piece of plastic with an adhesive on the inside surface. There are also black dots of conductive material that makes a connection when the "buttons" are pushed.
Remove 6 Phillips head screws. Keep these in a safe location for later. Lift the circuit board out of the lower casing by carefully lifting the back side up first and then pulling out. The goal is to not damage the infared LEDs at the front of the circuit board.
Keep the sticking front plate from sticking to anything by keeping it in a safe place. Try to maintain the integrity of the adhesive to make it easy to reassemble later.
Step 2: Prepare Remote's Circuit Board
Connect 2 high gauge wires to the power "button" or any other button besides the mute button (What you attach it to determines what the remote will do automatically). Because the mute button is used to search for the required TV code, it is better off left untouched. One wire for each side. I found that the Thinkgeek conductive wire glue works best. (Solder doesn't seem to stick to the black conductive material) When to glue is dry, apply some superglue over the conductive glue to add strength.
---Below are 2 pictures, one shows the power button being hooked up and the other shows the channel up button. The procedure for connecting the different buttons is the same. What button you choose to use is up to you.
Step 3: Creating the Circuit
Build this circuit with these values:
R1= 512 =ohms (or close to that, this determines how long the remote transmits its signal)
R2= 300k ohms (this determines the time in between transmissions, you could increase resistance to make larger pauses between transmissions)
C1= 1500uF (micro Farads) (This value can also be changed to manipulate the time between transmissions)
This circuit also requires a relay. I used an eight pin relay because that is what I have but I'm sure other ones will do fine. The relay is not depicted in the image below but it is easy enough to connect.
Connecting the relay to the rest of the circuit
--Connect pin 3 of the 555 timer to the +(positive) side of the power on the relay.
--Connect the -(negative) side of the relay to the negative side the of power supply
--Power circuit with somewhere between 6 and 9 volts (9-volts is what I used in this instructable).
Step 4: Assembling the Remote and Circuit
Take the back plastic case and drill a hole in it somewhere in the middle. It should be large enough for your 2 wires to pass through. Now slide the two wires through the hole and place the remote circuit back on the plastic case. Screw down the board using the 6 screws. Take the 2 wires and solder them to the relay. The wire should be soldered to the normally open position. (It should be wired so that most of the time it is off and is on when the timer sends the signal. Don't attach the other way around or else the remote will send the signal to the TV constantly.) Most likely the relay you use will be different than the one I used but you should get the same result.
Step 5: Make a Battery Holder (Optional)
You can make a simple battery holder using aluminium from a soda can. I drew out this design on the metal prior to cutting it out. The dimension I used are directly from a 9-volt battery. After it is cut out, fold all the tabs and glue the corners together. Now a 9-volt battery will fit in there nice and tight.
Step 6: Final Assembly
Attach battery holder (or just battery) to the circuit board.
Cut out pieces of cardboard to act as spacers. Make these spacer to fit your circuit and glue them down.
Apply glue to cardboard strips and attach remote to circuit. (I found that rubber cement worked well for gluing the cardboard to the plastic but other glues will work as well.)
Insert battery into battery holder and tape in place.
Reapply front button sticker on remote. Now it is DONE.
Step 7: Use
Before using you must first search for the code of the TV you want to connect with. To do this, first disconnect the 9-volt battery. While pointing at the TV, hold down the mute button until the TV mutes. At this point you should now have control of the TV. Attach the 9-volt battery and find a hiding place for it. Some areas that seem to work well are dark corners or just under a pillow or cushion. IN ORDER FOR IT TO WORK, THERE MUST BE LINE OF SIGHT BETWEEN REMOTE AND TV. This means the two infared bulbs must not be covered up.
Step 8: Diode Fix
Sorry for the inconvenience but the initial instructable was incorrect. In order for the circuit to work, you must insert 2 diode into the circuit. You will need 1N4148 and 1N4001 diodes. They should be put into the circuit as follows.
First Prize in the
ThinkGeek Hacks Contest