RePurpose a TV Remote TOTALLY!




About: I enjoy creating 3D models of pcb circuits. I am a student studying Electrical Engineering. I will share some cool projects & try out a few.

There are many ways to "hack" a remote.

In this Instructable I will show you how to go a step further a Totally hack, redesign and repurpose a TV remote in a few easy steps.

Before attempting this project you should have a design in mind and a new enclosure design. 3D print access possible laser cutter.

FYI: I used a laser cutter for the top of the remote and 3D printed design for the lower enclosure. My ultimate goal was to design a custom remote for an Arduino based robot rover.

IR sensors are great and easy to use. Please vote for this project, it is entered in the Sensors contest. Thanks!

Link: Check out my rover!

Step 1: Tear Down

Once you have a remote to work with you will need to tear it down. Tools needed will include a screw driver. Having a set of different sizes will be helpful.

  1. Remove all screws.
  2. Carefully trace the edges with a plastic tool. *Some tool kits have spudgers
  3. Remove remote circuit from enclosure.

Step 2: Hack by Design

I call this next step hack by design. This is a true hack, it is up to you to redesign your remote to your preference.

What I wanted in my design is a typical four arrow direction. In addition, I wanted a few buttons for my robot rover to flash lights, beep a horn, and rotate. So this is how it was done:

  1. Using scissors, carefully remove all unwanted buttons.
  2. Take measurements for the remaining buttons i.e circumference of each button and its distance from the edges
  3. I used PowerPoint 2013, it has great aligning features.
    • I started by creating a rectangle shape with rounded edges.
    • Next I added the circular shapes for the all the remaining buttons.
    • FYI it took a few tries to get things perfect.
  4. Once I was happy with my paper printed design, I saved the .ppt file to a PDF file for laser cutting.
  5. I laser cut my saved file on an 8 x10 acrylic sheet.
  6. For the bottom enclosure I used Autodesk Inventor. This was a simple rectangular shape with two screw holes the exact size of the top acrylic piece and a 1cm hole for the IR. *roughly 6 inches by 4 inches
  7. Next I 3D printed my design.
  8. I used zip ties to keep the circuit and silicon aligned.
  9. To change the orientation of the remote I desoldered the IR transmitter and added +/- 3cm of wire for flexibility.
  10. Lastly, I soldered a 3V battery holder to the coil and exposed wire (+ & -) supply.

Step 3: Recase| Finished Product

Now that the new enclosure has been laser cut & 3D printed it is time to give this circuit a new home. Add batteries and test it out.

I encourage you to test your limits and reproduce this Instructable for your cool projects!

Please leave comments and questions below. Follow me here watch my YouTube channel here.



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Good idea, one can find remotes for cheap in thrift stores or for real cheap roadside with discarded t.v.;s.

    1 reply