Remote Control

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by 13th_stage, May 2, 2006.

  1. 13th_stage

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 2, 2006
    5
    0
    My first question post. I have been having no luck in determining the fault causing my television's remote control not to function.

    About a month ago the remote ceased to function. I replaced the batteries which did nothing to solve the issue. I opened the remote to look for any obvious damage. I did not see any burn marks and all the copper tracing appeared to be intact. I reassembled the remote and attempted to use it again. To my surprise it worked. But five minutes later it ceased functioning again. I decided to just purchase a universal remote and go about my channel surfing. Unfortunately, the remote I purchased would not program to the TV. I returned the remote and tryed a different brand with the same result. In retrospect maybe it wasn't wise to purchase a TV/DVD Player combo at what seemed like a really cheap price. I mean it is RCA which I think is generally considered a good brand, but I haven't even had any luck with an RCA brand universal. Well, next I tried opening it again and wiring a power supply to the PCB without the case. I manualy completed the power circuit path and the TV came on. The same for the channel and volume and number circuits. It worked for about five minutes again and ceased function again. I gave up for about an hour then tried again. It worked again for a few minutes and then stopped. I have been unable to get it to work since. My suspicion leans towards a component fault, however I'm somewhat inexperienced with electronics and don't know where to start. I decided to post to see if someone might have some useful advice. Needless to say manually changing channels and other controls is extremely annoying. I also don't have access to a lot of functions anymore since they are only accessible throught the remote. I appreciate any help in this matter.
     
  2. PDubya

    Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    28
    0
    When you're "taking apart" the remote, are you replacing the batteries? If not, just remove the batteries and put them right back in - does the remote start working again?

    Troubleshooting a fizzled remote I imagine will be difficult. This is going to sound crazy, but in lieu of purchasing a replacement from your manufacturer - if "resetting" the batteries fixes the issue, you could always interrupt the batteries from the remote circuit with a pushbutton switch (sort of like a manual reset) and at least you'd have functionality.

    Just my two cents.
     
  3. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    If you have access to a digital camera or handheld camcorder with an LCD viewing screen, you can use it to establish that the IR LED is illumnating when you press the keys on the remote control. It turns out that the CCD imaging device in digital cameras responds to infrared light frequencies rendering them visible when viewed through the camera's LCD viewing screen.

    This will at least allow you to establish when the IR LED is working and when it is no longer illuminating.

    Once you see how the IR LED is behaving when the unit is "working" and "not working" you will know better where to look next in your troubleshooting process.

    hgmjr
     
  4. alim

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    113
    1
    Hi is it the TV that works for 5mins after you manually put it on,why you needed to wire the power supply, are the switches on the TV not working?
     
  5. 13th_stage

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 2, 2006
    5
    0


    This actually did work a few times. However, I actually had to let it sit disconnected for some time before I could reconnect. But I tried it again just yesterday after it had sat a while, days actually, and it did not work at all.


    This is interesting and I'll have to give it a try. I did not know that these devices could see in the infra red range. Does the IR show up on the actual picture also or just the screen? Also can it see the blinks or are they too fast? If it could, I reckon you could use it to program one remote to other IR receivers which could be handy. Also, off topic question, do they make LED's that cover the entire light spectrum, visible and invisible?

    <!--QuoteBegin-alim
    @May 3 2006, 09:17 AM
    Hi is it the TV that works for 5mins after you manually put it on,why you needed to wire the power supply, are the switches on the TV not working?
    [post=16768]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/quote]

    I should clarify here. What I did was remove the PCB from the remote control case. I then hooked up a battery and manually completed the circuit paths on the remote control PCB. But this only worked for about five minutes then the remote just stopped working. The buttons on the TV actually work fine. :)


    Thanks for the posts everyone. I gotta head to work soon, but I'll try to post a list of components on the PCB tomorrow. Like I said I'm inexperienced, so there are some components that I don't recognize. I could just call the manufacturer for a new remote, but I think this could be a learning experience for me. Especially if I can get it working.
     
  6. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214

    If you have a cellphone that has a digital camera in it, you already have access to a pocket IR viewer.

    <!--QuoteBegin-13th_stage
    @May 3 2006, 06:15 PM
    ...Also, off topic question, do they make LED's that cover the entire light spectrum, visible and invisible?....

    [/quote]
    I am not aware of any such LED device. There are probably a few exceptions but for the most part all LEDs are fairly narrow in the wavelength of light they emit.

    hgmjr
     
  7. aac

    Active Member

    Jun 13, 2005
    35
    0

    I have a panasonic remote control that quit slowly over time. Some of the functions worked but some didn't. With the control apart I found the switches were contaminated with oils and food stuffs from my fingers. All I did was clean the circuit board with with some alcohol and it worked fine for another five years. It's just getting to the point where I need to clean it again. The switches on mine are just circuit board pads that the button, which is soft, plyable, and somewhat conductive bridges. I suppose when stuff gets in there the resistance increases until it won't always work. Maybe this will work for you. Good luck.
     
  8. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    613
    0
    Common R/C faults I have struck....

    Dirt or liquid in the keyboard, or stuck key (locks out other functions).
    Faulty IR LED or Dry joints on LED
    Faulty xtal or ceramic resonator or Dry Joints on xtal
    Faulty/corroded/ battery holder (or batterys that dont contact properly..esp +ve contacts on some AA's)
    Hairline cracks in PCB (been sat on or thrown)
    Carbon worn off rubberised keypad contacts
    Finally, (and fatally) dead CPU
     
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