Intro: Remote Remote Control
I have a newborn baby and he doesn't think he should sleep quite as long as my Wife and I might wish him too. One thing that does keep him happy in his crib is the mobile that hangs over him. So when he wakes up if we need another 25mins or so of sleepy time we turn on his mobile for him. This works great except that we have to get out of our bed to do that.
Well not anymore, in this Instructable I show you how to extend a remote remotely.
Extend the range on an Infrared Remote control to another room by running 2 wires and making a super simple momentary switch from spare parts.
Step 1: Open Up the Remote Control.
First we need to take the remote control apart so we can get access to the internals.
On opening it up I found triangle style screw heads. This is super annoying and I don't know why a remote control would need to be protected from tampering with. It's not like this is in a public place or something. Haven't these guys read the Makers bill of rights?
Anyway on to the next step to figure out a way to deal with these screws.
Step 2: Make a Triangle Driver.
Since I wanted this project done quickly I took an old hex head screwdriver I had and filed the tip into the correct triangle profile.
You could certainly buy the right screw heads from McMasterCarr or something but who wants to wait.
Plus it's fun to make your own tools.
Step 3: Find the Momentary Push Button Switch
Now that we're open, find the push button switch that activates the IR blast.
Step 4: Figure Out Which Leads We Need to Attach To.
Now you could do this step with a multimeter, but since this is really simple a piece of wire will do the trick just fine.
Using a piece of soldering wire touch the leads on the sides of the button to each other to figure out which 2 need to connect to light up the LED and trigger the IR emitter.
Step 5: Solder on Some Extra Leads.
Pretty much any wire will work here, I used an old cat5 cable with a busted plug and stripped it down to just 1 pair.
[Epilog Greenery (Re-use of broken Cat5 Cable)]
Step 6: Test That Your New Extended Wires Will Trip the Switch
By just connecting the 2 ends. If it works the LED should light up. If it doesn't check your solder joints.
Step 7: Reinforce Your Connections
I added some hot glue to bond the wires to the circuit board. You can also use tape or expoxy, you're trying to make sure that if the leads are moved the motion doesn't transfer to the fragile solder joints you've made.
Step 8: Bring Your New Leads Out the Back.
Put it all back together again and make a small channel for your new wires to exit cleanly.
Step 9: Run the Wires to the Desired New Button Spot.
In my case this was super easy as the two rooms share a common heating vent.
Step 10: Make a Simple Momentary Switch.
I know I had some nice fabric momentary switches that I cut out of an AM/FM M&M candy plush radio but they must have been lost in one of my many recent moves. In the spirit of immediacy I went ahead and created this simple momentary switch instead.
First find two good size washers. Scuff em up a little bit with a file or sandpaper to get a good solder bond.
Now solder on a lead to each of the washers. You could also tape or glue, as long as each one is connected somehow to a wire.
[Epilog Greenery (Re-use of discarded washers)]
I don't have the final assembly picture, but you want to place some double sided foam tape between the two washers. The tape should cover about 3/4 of the washers keeping them separated. When you push on the edge of the washer sandwich they should contact each other completing the circuit. When you release the foam will push them away from each other again.
Step 11: Enjoy.
Connect the wires from the switch to the leads coming from the remote control.
To make everything nice and professional you should now clean up all of your wiring, by pushing it into the crack between carpet and wall or into the baseboard so that it is hidden and wont get pulled by the vacuum cleaner.