Increase the Sensitivity of IR Remote Control

This instructables is to guide you on how you can improve the sensitivity of the IR Remote Control. The model of the remote control is AXD7461 for your information.

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Step 1: The Casing Is Blocking the IR Signal

The common reason that IR Remote is not so responsive is because the casing is blocking the IR Signal. You can see from the image that the IR LED is like a bit too “deep” into the casing that even the cap of the IR LED is not so visible from the side of the remote control.

Step 2:

So, to make the IR LED expose more outside the case, you will need to de-solder the IR LED from the PCB board. A de-solder sucker should help you easily remove the IR LED.

Step 3:

Now, reshape the legs of the IR LED using a plier.

By reshaping the legs, you are actually making it “longer” that it will be expose more outside the casing. If the IR LED’s leg is too short, you can get a new IR LED from any electronic store, and make it as “long” as you want. Then solder back the LED to the PCB, make sure you follow the correct polarity as how it is when you de-solder it. If you are putting the LED in the reverse polarity, your IR remote will not work.

Step 4:

Put on the casing and the batteries, and have a try on the new modified remote. For mine, it really improve the sensitivity, that I don’t have to point the device to the HIFI to adjust the volume.

Let’s have a look at the before and after comparison for the IR LED placement.

Step 5:

For other models of IR remote, you will have to use your creativity to improve the sensitivity. The IR LED placement might not always be the reason for your weak IR remote. You can get the answer by opening the casing and try to run the remote without the casing (but with the batteries), or maybe only one side of the cover, where you need the battery housing. If the sensitivity improve when you run your remote without the casing, then you can continue with this IR LED placement trick.


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13 Discussions


8 months ago

Sorry if this is a double post. My first one seems to have disappeared (I posted it under 'I made it') so here is the same info again...

Great instructable! Thank you.
I have a new IR remote that works ok if it is pointed directly at the dvr recorder and within 10 degrees of straight in line. Not acceptable. The LED appeared to be strong enough but was recessed like in your before picture. After opening up the remote, I discovered the 90 degree legs of the LED were raised slightly up off of the pcb board. A simple pressing down of the legs right where they were bent, allowed the LED head itself to move slightly more forward and further beyond the end of the board. (Like in your after picture now)
The next thing I added, were some reflectors made of silver aluminum tape. Unlike tin foil or a silver gum wrapper, this aluminum tape has stickum on one side once the protective paper is removed. Of course there has to be a small piece of electric tape applied to the legs of the LED to prevent shorting (before applying the aluminum tape) there is now an internal reflector as well as an external one around the recessed opening in the front of the remote housing. Not real pretty, and I may redo the outside reflector sometime, especially if the tape peels away over time in the future.
Now this remote works at more than 45 degrees both sides and the distance range is effectively doubled. No soldering in my case either! Thanks also for the tip on being able to see the LED light with a digital camera. Learned something else new today. CHEERS!


4 years ago on Introduction


Actually if the casing would allow or with some mini engineering (tinkering) you could use commercially available LED lenses or LED housings with reflector, works great.


8 years ago on Introduction

Some newer IR (infra-red) LED's have higher output light level. Replacing them with newer HIGH OUTPUT led's would greatly improve operation (as you said in your instructable). I have replaced LED's in many remotes to get better range, it really works great. Also, if you don't want to replace them, you might try wrapping the LED's sides with aluminum foil to form a kind of "tube". This would reflect any side-shining invisible light out the front. No cutting or desoldering needed. Be sure to put a little glue on the foil and keep the foil away from any wire. You don't want to short out the LED.. If you want to VISUALLY check the invisible light out of a remote... just use any digital cameras viewscreen to LOOK at the remote's LED. Then push any button on the remote. You will "see" the light of the LED in the camera's view-screen!

3 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Your plan worked great. I have a Samsung Blu-ray player with the worse remote I've ever used. At first attempt I shorted out the LED. I was able to take an LED from a remote no longer needed. This time I used a heat sink to protect the LED. Now this Samsung remote never misses. I used a digital camera to confirm that I had a working LED to use. Super Instructablle, Thanks.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

The use of aluminium foil is great and i myself have used it quite alot in increasing light output.But in the case of a remote control where the parts are closely packed you might like using the inside of a chocolate bar wrapper instead of aluminum foil as iit is an insulator but reflects the light just the same and maybe even better(it is more shinier than aluminium).......


7 years ago on Step 5

Seems like an option, there's a risk you'll damage the LED after the mod if you happen to drop it - something that's not unusual with remotes.

Maybe better to add two diodes to the corners as well...

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

The likelyhood of the remote falling onto its "head" is very slim. Lower than 1 in 6 actually, because you have to account for centre of gravity.
As most remotes locate the batteries at what I'd call the "heel", the head should be safe!


6 years ago on Introduction

It's actually built that way by engineers so that it can focus when you point it on the device it's designed to tune. If you pop out that LED it might cause tuning on other remote controlled devices as well at the same time.


7 years ago on Step 5

Instructable is CopyPasta of link or vice-versa.

Feels like a website ad using an article.


8 years ago on Introduction


The problem usually some of the buttons are not working........

This 100% guaranteed to clean the carbon contact for that remote!

Use ur soldering iron, heat it up, and get that hot iron tip into those carbon contacts ( don't worry nowadays remote are made of silicone and they don't melt with high temp. ). you will notice the glossiness of the carbon become matte black!