Tv-B-Gone Hat




This is a hat with integrated Tv-B-Gone and a couple added features such as rapid fire mode which will turn off (and on) the most common tvs more frequently and constant on mode which will repeat the off codes for all tvs indefinately.

Questions or comments?

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

1 TV-B-Gone
1 Hat
1 555 Timer IC
1 5V Relay
3 IR LED's
2 Micro-Switches
1 0.1uF Capacitor
1 220uF Capacitor
1 10K Resistor
1 100K Potentiometer

Soldering Iron
Wire Cutters/Strippers
Sewing Stuff

Step 2: Build the Timer Circuit

We will be configuring the timer in astable mode the relavant schematic is on page 9 of the NE555 datasheet from Texas Instruments, available at:
Ra = 100K pot
Rb = 10K res
C = 220uF cap

Note that pin 4 may be left unconnected and I have replaced the 0.01uF capacitor in the schematic with a 0.1uF, either will work.

The first thing to do is clip off the leads we wont be using, in this case pins 4 and 5 should be removed. Next bend pin 2 under the bottom of the timer, this will be connected to pin 6. Flatten the remaining leads using a small pair of plyers.

Now that the IC is prepared the components can be added. It is important to keep the layout as flat as possible since this will be mounted on the bill of the hat.

Once all the components are added solder wires for gnd to pin 1, power to pin 8 and the timer output to pin 3.

Step 3: Attach the Relay

If your relay did not come with a datasheet or any useful information you will probably have to figure out which pin is which on your own. To do this use a multimeter checking between all possible combinations of pins to find a pair which have a resistance of a couple K ohms. This is the coil. Connect the coil to a 5v supply and check for continuity on other pin combinations, when you find a combination that is continuous, remove power from the relay. If the two pins are still continuous keep looking (also try reversing the polarity of the 5v supply). If the connection breaks then these are the NO (Normally Open) pins, the pins we want.

Connect the output of the 555 to the + side of the coil and connect the coil gnd to pin 1 of the 555. Next add wires to the two pins you just itdentified as the NO contacts.

Step 4: Modify the Tv-B-Gone

Open up the case and remove the circuit board. The circuitry of the Tv-B-Gone is pretty simple so our modifications are relatively mundane. Remove the IR LED and replace it with wires. Next solder wires to opposing sides of the push button switch. At this point we chose to spray paint our board black. Flip the board over and make connections to +6v and gnd.

Step 5: Attach the Circuitry to the Hat

You can really put this wherever you want but the underside of the bill seemed like the most appealing place. Sewing through the bill of a hat sucks but it works, attach the ground from the 555 to the Tv-B-Gone ground and connect the outputs from the relay to opposite sides of the push switch. Next run the wire from pin 8 of the 555 (+) and the 6v supply from the Tv-B-Gone to one slide switch and the remaining two leads from the push button switch to the second slide switch. Finally connect the three IR LED's in series to the LED output on the Tv-B-Gone. Thats it. Done.

Step 6: Use It

The slide switch that is connected directly to the push button switch puts the Tv-B-Gone into repeat mode where it repeats the 60 second cycle indefinately. The slide switch connected to the 555 timer puts the hat into rapid fire mode where it will repeat the first X seconds of tv off codes (these are the more common codes that are placed first). To adjust the number of seconds before the cycle repeats adjust the 100K potentiometer, a good value is about 70K. Note that if the repeat switch is on the rapid fire switch will have no effect.

To test out your creation use a cell phone with a camera, put the cell phone into picture taking mode and point it at an IR LED then hit the push button on the Tv-B-Gone. You should be able to observe the LED blinking on the screen of the cell phone.

Once your sure it works you should spend some time aiming the LEDs properly so that they turn off tvs you are looking at and they dont get shielded by the bill of the hat.

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    37 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I hate to put a damper on the flashing TV fun, guys, but I and many other people suffer from a problem called flash-sensitive epilepsy. Do you remember the fuss years ago when a Pokemon episode caused several children to go into seizures? That's the base issue. I would likely be on the floor doing the dying-cockroach dance if that happened around me. Funny momentarily? Probably. Paying for the hospital bill and damages wouldn't be so funny. Please don't do that to those like me. It would likely trigger at the very least a multiple-day migraine.

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Um....last time I checked the IR spectrum can't be seen by the human eye. I HIGHLY doubt this would have ANY effect on anyone with flash-sensitive epilepsy.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I don't remember when humans were able to ever see the IR spectrum. I think the only things suffereing from seizures would be robots.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     why you not just gleu the circuit in the hat and gleu leds in front of the hat?

    lili the awesome

    9 years ago on Step 6

    it would be so fun to get one of these into an airport... oh well
    it seems like adding a cloth underneath all the wire would help hide it (maybe removable w/ holes for the leds)


    12 years ago

    I wonder if the circuitry here could be made small enough to turn into a TV-B-Gone LED Throwie?

    5 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I had thought of the same thing when I saw the TbG hat idea. Instead of a grenade, with a pull-drop-go, operation, I was thinking of something more permanent. For example, use a magnetic LED throwie for permanent (or until discovered) installation which starts the "power off" IR pulse train in random intervals of about 1-2 hours. Such a device would be perfect for your local sports bar or best buy, as there are many magnetic surfaces. It would be quite a nuisance and hard to detect....if you were into that sort of thing... :)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    And you could throw it at the ceiling if there are metal beams :D It would be pretty hard to notice and get down.


    That would be great. You have the throwie with a pin, like a grenade. You pull the pin and drop the TV-B-Gone grenade on the floor of a Best Buy, and watch the fun. Add a 5 second delay so you can get away from the "grenade" and the TVs go berserk. Suddenly the plasma TVs become a random flashing disco light show! You do not want a visible LED on it so as to make it harder to find. They'll have to launch a Roomba shop vac bot to serve as a "minesweeper". The TV-B-Gone grenade would consist of the coin batteries, the chip pre-programmed, the IR LED, and the plastic pin that keeps it off until pulled.

    Fat Bagel

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I had a univeral remote which i added a long wire to the LED. The wire went through my jacket and the LED stuck out at the collar i used it in class and no one noticed


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I suspect that you could replace the relay with a little FET like the 2n7000. This assumes that the pushbutton has one side connected to circuit ground/supply negative. You could connect the FET as follows: Source: 555/circuit ground/TV-B-Gone supply -/Switch - Drain: TV-B-Gone switch + Gate: 555 output (pin 3) You can get these FETs in TO-92 cases (little transistors). Much smaller and easier to get than 5V relays; also much better for battery life.


    13 years ago

    thank you jake! when i got my tv-b-gone a couple of years ago i was totally disappointed with the 70 second cycle "feature". the lack of a X second rapid cycle was a complete design failure by Cornfield Electronics. they took a powerful idea and turned it into a novelty/gag item. while i see that they subsequently released a version that allows you to rapid cycle the device -- it was far too late for those of us that bought the original. perhaps this weekend i'll dig my tv-b-gone out of the useless junk drawer and put it back to good use.

    1 reply