Heavy Duty Remote




 My Parents own this old CRT TV from 1998. Over the years i often had to clean and repair the original TV remote, until the point it wear out completely. TV remotes often suffer from grease, human sweat or battery leakage which attack the sensitive pcb. So i bought a cheap universal remote, which then lasted for 3 years. Then i figured out, that my parents would only use the Volume-, Channel- and Power- buttons. The first idea was to built a durable remote out of a piece of wood, with wooden buttons and stuff, until i stumbled over an old 2-button-remote, which is used on construction sites, small cranes or elevators, on a flea market. Anyway, first i had to figure out, how to mount 3 additional buttons.

Tools required:
- Jigsaw
- cutter knife
- Screwdriver set
- hot glue gun
- different pliers
- sandpaper
- soldering Iron
- solder
- a dremel tool
- a drill
- multimeter

- (project box)?
- 4-5 tact switches from used pc-cases
- mounting sockets/ plastic brackets 
- different wires
- 2 identical pens
- 3 small screws  

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Step 1: Disassembly

While dissembling the industrial remote, i noticed, that  the actual switches were missing. Also the top socket was originally used for a small light bulb. Most of the bottom surface part of the "brick" remote had to be removed with a dremel tool.

Step 2: Power Button

I decided to use the light-bulb-socket for my custom made power button. For the knob i took a button from an old sweater, which could easily fit inside the socket, and painted it red varnish. The switch with the spring came from old pcb parts. Both parts, the switch and the knob had to be stabilized with a small tube in between and glued together. To fix it to the socket i used some mounting sockets from old PC casings. a small screw and lots of hot glue.

Step 3: Volume Buttons

The original two buttons have an internal spring, which allows to press the knob with more comfort. Again
i took the plastic brackets with built in switches, screwed them underneath the sockets and glued everything tight.

Step 4: Channel Buttons

Next i had to find some suitable knobs for the custom channel switches. I found these two identical pens with a perfect aluminum head. In order to extend the top part of the switch i used the parts from the pen and fitted the whole beast in the plastic bracket, which then could be glued. Then i drilled two holes on the top part of the "brick" and fixed the brackets with the switches underneath.

Step 5: Battery Casing

For the battery casing i reused the back part of the original remote. Had to cut it out with a jigsaw, clean up the edges with some sand paper and glue it inside the bottom part of the "brick".

Step 6: IR Orb

Because of its anomalous look, i had to find some catchy looking Orb. Fortunately i had this old "eau de toilette" lying around. Its perfect. So i stuffed the led on some plastic cone inside the orb and glued everything in place.

Step 7: Soldering

First i had to do the wiring job. For the PCB  i had to locate the traces for the 5 buttons. Best advice here is to hold the pcb against a light source and make some continuity tests with the multimeter. After i soldered all the wires and isolated everything with hot glue.

Step 8: The Finished Remote

Finally i've cut out some labels for the volume buttons. Mission accomplished!

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    24 Discussions


    6 years ago

    I swear know that did parents like it


    6 years ago on Step 8

    Moves a simple "throwing" of the remote from a LOOK OUT situation...to a trip to the emergency room :-)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like this. the on and off could be one of those toggle kill switches from jets


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That is doggone sweet. Just don't throw it at the TV when you get fragged on Call Of Duty! Ha! ;-)


    6 years ago on Step 7

    One last thing - I wouldn't have used the original remote's circuit, because sometimes the circuit itself can have problems. I would have put a microcontroller in there - probably an 8-pin picAXE or something - to do the IR transmitting. That way, you can broadcast at higher power, you have the added bonus of being able to change it to work with different types of TVs (even universal remotes don't work with every TV - you still have to dig out/look up the manual to figure out how to configure it to work with different ones), and you can program the remote to behave certain ways when needed. For instance, my TV has a problem that every time I turn it on, it turns closed captions on, so I would program it to turn them off every time I turn the TV on.


    6 years ago on Step 5

    I would've just got a single 9 volt battery and used that, rather than cutting out the battery box from the old remote, which, on an old remote, is often half the reason the remote isn't good anymore (no battery cover, broken/bent contact springs, corrosion, etc).


    6 years ago on Step 3

    That's a pretty good use for that part, I have a bunch of those sitting around from old computers with nothing to use them for.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool.
    This opens up the possibility of using any old discarded box with switches to repurpose as a remote.


    6 years ago on Step 8

    I heart this! My husband is a geek - has lots of remotes, but even with bifocals, it takes him 10 minutes to find the mute button! I would love to make one of these (with a few more buttons) for him... great idea. Thanks for sharing it!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I dig the IR orb, it really gives it a vintage sci-fi feel.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Simply fantastic. In average, I buy a new remote every three months and for sure your heavy duty remote will be my next project. Great !!!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is outstanding! why didn't I think of this. I worked with that type of "button boxes" for 30 years. Great job !


    6 years ago on Introduction

    And another bonus is that no one EVER has to ask the question "Are you sitting on the remote?"

    I should make one of these for my Dad. He is a retired construction worker and has pretty bad eyesight these days, so it would be a hit on two counts :-)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Google search for "commercial door control" or "crane pendant" will find you some similar products. Ebay has some Chinese made crane pendants for cheap. The door controllers seem to be pricier.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Its hard to find some cheap ones on ebay! Thx to fzumrk, i found one matching my german "brick" for 60 Bucks http://www.ebay.com/itm/221015135893. Still to expensive thou!

    Better search for "pendant control" under business and industrial.


    6 years ago

    Awesome but I can't do this. I would buy one


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Now you don't need to repair it anymore, it will live more than you.