Fixing Non Working Buttons of Any Remote Control

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Introduction: Fixing Non Working Buttons of Any Remote Control

Remote control buttons have a conductive thin layer beneath. As time goes by this layer may get damaged because of friction and loose conductivity. As a result, although the batteries are full and you apply great pressures on the button they do not function. Annoying, isn't it?

Most of the people prefer to buy a new replica device as they are much more cheaper than the original ones. But there is very easy way to save your non-working original remote control.

Here is how:

Step 1: Open Up the Remote Control

Most of the remote controls have a screw inside the battery cover. Unscrew it and then separate the two halves of the control (the top and bottom plastic parts) gently. Be careful not to crack any plastic parts.

In general the remote control devices have 3 main parts:

1. Plastic covers (bottom and top)

2. Circuit board

3. Uni-body rubber buttons

Step 2: Clean the Circuit Board and the Rubber Buttons

The best way to clean circuit board and the rubber buttons is cotton + alcohol. Never use water.

After cleaning both the circuit board and rubber buttons you should check if the buttons are working before proceeding. The reason is; cleaning the circuit board and rubber buttons most of the time solve the issue.

If it's working. Welldone! :) I strongly advise you to clean your remote control periodically. (Especially for the ones used in dining room)

If the problem persist, don't worry. We will get over it. Follow the next steps.

Step 3: Fix the Non-working Buttons

All you need is some cyanoacrylate (super glue), aluminium foil, scissors and tweezers.

First cut very little pieces of aluminium foil that will exactly fit the size of the rubber button's conductive area. This foil is going to act as a conductor and when you press the button it will close the circuit.

When you're ready, drop a tiny amount of glue on the back of the rubber buttons that are not working and place the aluminium foils that you have prepared. Gently apply pressure on the foil with the tweezers but avoid sliping or damaging the foil.

Step 4: Final Check...

If you do follow the instructions and no other problem exists, you have a perfect working remote control again. :)

Congratulations

2 People Made This Project!

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63 Discussions

0
jmattioni
jmattioni

7 months ago on Step 3

The foil repair is definitely the way to go. I've tried conductive paints sold for remote repair and they just peel off the button pad almost immediately.

What worked for me with foil was Gorilla Super Glue Gel. Put a small blob on a piece of cardboard and use a fine brush to apply a thin coat onto the button pad. Scrub it a bit to work it into the pad. Let that dry for a few seconds. Then brush a thin coat onto the foil piece and immediately apply it to the pad. This method seems to make a better bond to the pad.

0
finton
finton

4 years ago

The foil idea definitely works: I have used it to fix our TV remote volume buttons. The only problem is that I have not been able to get the foil to stay stuck on.

I've used both superglue and UHU with the same results. I have a feeling that this is possibly because our foil is "non-stick" as I realised today. Ordinary foil may be better

Having seen Antzy Carmasaic's comment below (and then DabeAltis's), I've just applied a dab of UHU to each button's pad and sprinkled powdered pencil graphite over them while the glue was still wet. I then tamped the powder into the glue with the graphite end of the pencil. Experimentation proved that one needs to carefully remove all the powder from everywhere except the pads (using acetone or isopropyl alcohol rather than water).

The remote now works perfectly again. We'll see how long it lasts...

0
Mrcameron1985
Mrcameron1985

Reply 10 months ago

Have you tried phenolic-based rubber adhesives

0
finton
finton

Reply 7 months ago

I haven't! We've since bought a new remote, but when that fails, I'll give the phenolics a try. Thanks.

0
gregalkos
gregalkos

9 months ago on Step 4

Congratulations!!! That worked fine for my remote receiver!!!Volume buttons now work again!

0
BecBrierton
BecBrierton

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi, I am having trouble, ie I can't get the screw out of the remote. I don't want to screw the screw if you know what I mean! Any tips?

0
Mrcameron1985
Mrcameron1985

Answer 10 months ago

Are you using a screw driver that fits it?

0
RickH159
RickH159

Question 1 year ago on Step 3

Would adhesive copper tape work? Is super glue the only adhesive that sticks to the rubber?

0
Mrcameron1985
Mrcameron1985

Answer 10 months ago

phenolic-based rubber adhesives work

0
Vivi95
Vivi95

1 year ago

I'm so sad cuz it didnt work for me :( if you throw your remote do you suppose it's broken now and that's why nothing will work now? I'm sad me and my kids literally have to watch Willy Wonka from 1971 because it's the only movie that plays on it's own lol

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

First, you should diagnose the problem. If none of the buttons works there may be another fault. If I were you I would follow these steps...
1. Open the camera on your mobile phone. Hold the front side of the remote to the camera and press buttons randomly to check if you see blinking violet light. If yes it shows that the remote is working. Now check if the critical buttons you use work like standby, play, stop etc.
2. If you can not see the violet light on the camera
a) change batteries and try again
b) If still doesn't work, clean the battery connections with alcohol
c) If none of the above works for you, check the solders of the battery compartment.
0
JesieC1
JesieC1

1 year ago on Introduction

Thank you! It worked brilliantly.
Folks, just be careful you don't accidentally superglue your fingers together which I did :-)

0
BalakrishnanC1
BalakrishnanC1

1 year ago

This is awesome, worked like a charm. The aluminum foil trick did the work for me. I had given up on my old pioneer avr remote. I was planning to sell the avr to make some money for the next upgrade.

Thanks a lot

0
Anthony.
Anthony.

3 years ago

That's weird...i found the one screw and removed it and still cant separate the remote...fear of breaking it, and lose the few buttons that still work. Its a Coby remote.

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 3 years ago

Dear Anthony, you have to be patient and gentle not to crack any parts. Using a thin screwdriver to seperate the remote control works most of the time. One more suggestion, if there is any sticker behind the remote control try removing it because sometimes they hide some more screws below the stickers.

0
DabeAltis
DabeAltis

4 years ago

There is a much easier trick I discovered many years ago and it works flawlessly almost 100% of the time. After cleaning the conductive pads and mating circuit with alcohol and Q-tips, simply apply a coat of graphite to the conductive face of the pads by using an ordinary #2 pencil. A small piece of fine sandpaper is handy to help powder the graphite. It should make a shiny coating on the pad, and it conducts better than the pads did when they were new. Try it, if done correctly you will never go back to any of these other methods.

0
Albertv3
Albertv3

Reply 4 years ago

Hi again. I tried to find your ordinary #2 pencil. It gave no clue. What exactly do I need to look for or what does it mean anyhow. Thanks for your time and explanation.

0
DabeAltis
DabeAltis

Reply 4 years ago

Hi Albertv3, The #2 is a designation of the hardness of the graphite rod in the pencil, what we in the US call pencil lead although it's not really lead. In truth, probably any graphite pencil will work, or even the carbon rod from from an old carbon-zinc battery. Do not confuse this with a charcoal pencil which is not nearly as conductive and probably would make things worse! Hope this helps.

0
RULONVENCES
RULONVENCES

Reply 4 years ago

Yes you are right I use the same trick and is very good almost like new