Looking for a lazy way to amplify a TV remote

Thread Starter

Pleasedonthitme

Joined Aug 29, 2013
19
I have a TV remote that uses an infrared LED, I want to boost the signal it generates as much as possible (heck, if it were possible to get a giant infrared laser cannon - I'd do it). It's worth noting that it pulses at about 55 khz, so audio amplifier circuits probably won't work for it (a bat detector goes up to about 100 khz, would that be suitable?).

I'm too inexperienced and lazy, to be honest, to build a complex circuit to amplify it. Does anyone know of some way I could do it?
I considered trying to add a mosfet to an old IR illuminator I had, but since I can see the red from the LEDs (whereas I can't see them with the TV remote) I'm assuming it's a different wavelength.
 
Last edited:

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,994
I'm curious to see from how far away I can control the TV from (through modifications to the remote only).
I can get hold off lots of IR LEDs, if I had some resistors and a fast enough transistor - would that be enough?
Not likely. What you need is a BAPS (Big Ass Power Supply). Modulating an IR LED does not require fast transistors, it only requires high power devices that can handle a boatload of current. You also need some optics to focus and collimate the beam.
Here are some IR LEDs that can handle 2A peak pulsed forward current which gives you 300 mW/Steradian.
http://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/Lumileds_LUXEON_IR_Compact_Datasheet.pdf
You can graft this on to the remote and power it from an external supply.
 
Last edited:

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,044
I can get hold off lots of IR LEDs, if I had some resistors and a fast enough transistor - would that be enough?
That should work.
The remote frequency is low (typically 38kHz) so a standard transistor should be fine
You could use a phototransistor to detect the IR signal from your remote and use that to drive a transistor to turn the added LEDs on and off.
Do you have access to an oscilloscope?
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,536
I'm curious to see from how far away I can control the TV from (through modifications to the remote only).
I can get hold off lots of IR LEDs, if I had some resistors and a fast enough transistor - would that be enough?
Older remotes often had a discrete transistor external to the chip, you could replace that with a LL MOSFET. There may be minor irritations like having to put a pull down resistor across G/S.

If the chip drives the IRLED directly; you need an additional stage to invert the pulses back to their original sense. Consider a higher Vcc just for the IRLED, but some resistance is needed to avoid blowing the LED.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,777
The way I determine if a remote is working is to turn on my cell phone camera. For some reason it will translate the IR as a white light. Criminals use cell phones to spot security cameras that have IR light units for seeing in the dark. The camera will show the light. So point your camera at the remote and push one of the buttons. You'll see it light up. You won't be able to see the frequency or pulse trains that way, but you WILL be able to see if the remote is working.

I bet you want to point this super cannon IR remote at your neighbors TV and shut it down. Or turn it on at 3:00 AM. Or turn the volume all the way up (or down) just to be a gremlin. Right, am I? HmmM? Judge me by my size, do you? When 900 years old YOU reach, look as good, you will not.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,536
The way I determine if a remote is working is to turn on my cell phone camera. For some reason it will translate the IR as a white light. Criminals use cell phones to spot security cameras that have IR light units for seeing in the dark. The camera will show the light. So point your camera at the remote and push one of the buttons. You'll see it light up. You won't be able to see the frequency or pulse trains that way, but you WILL be able to see if the remote is working.

I bet you want to point this super cannon IR remote at your neighbors TV and shut it down. Or turn it on at 3:00 AM. Or turn the volume all the way up (or down) just to be a gremlin. Right, am I? HmmM? Judge me by my size, do you? When 900 years old YOU reach, look as good, you will not.
My idea was more fun - sensed the mental case banging on the floor in the flat above and transmitted it on the 6MHz IF sound intercarrier.

Someone over the road never shut their curtains, so I could watch them trying all the channels and trying to tune it out.

It probably isn't possible with DVB-T, and the mental case croaked anyway.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,777
That might be more fun. But suddenly, when you mentioned "over the road" I immediately thought of those hoaxes where people on YouTube say you can change the traffic light by pointing any TV Remote at the camera and press in 9, 1 & 1, and the light is supposed to stop all traffic and give you the green light.

What I know of those light sensors on top of the traffic lights is that they detect changes in ambient light. If a car approaches it either casts a shadow or reflects sunlight. At night the headlights will significantly alter the light field and trigger a change cycle. I HAVE seen where using a spot light on those light sensors can trigger a change cycle, but I'm not certain if they're pre-programmed to detect flashing lights of an approaching ambulance, fire truck or police car and automatically change. But that WOULD be one reason for building a "Super Light Amplified Laser Photon Traffic Light Remote (or SLALPTLR) Cannon". Maybe THAT is what our thread starter is up to. In my neighborhood there's an annoyingly long - and unnecessarily long light. It has some sort of antenna pointed at traffic. I have no idea what that signal may be, but if I ever figure it out I'll be able to tell the light to go into a change cycle just by transmitting a certain frequency. Maybe I should try a CB with a 100 watt Linear (not legal and not condoned) (DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME - OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER). I've seen more amazing things triggered with the flood of electromagnetic waves from a CB radio.
 

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,263
Hi,

If you can put up with a permanent install solution you could run a fiber optic cable instead. You'd have to run one to each device to be controlled however.
 

RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,270
That might be more fun. But suddenly, when you mentioned "over the road" I immediately thought of those hoaxes where people on YouTube say you can change the traffic light by pointing any TV Remote at the camera and press in 9, 1 & 1, and the light is supposed to stop all traffic and give you the green light.
It is simpler than that. I thought that everyone knew that just honking the horn will change the light. :D:D
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,536
That might be more fun. But suddenly, when you mentioned "over the road" I immediately thought of those hoaxes where people on YouTube say you can change the traffic light by pointing any TV Remote at the camera and press in 9, 1 & 1, and the light is supposed to stop all traffic and give you the green light.

What I know of those light sensors on top of the traffic lights is that they detect changes in ambient light. If a car approaches it either casts a shadow or reflects sunlight. At night the headlights will significantly alter the light field and trigger a change cycle. I HAVE seen where using a spot light on those light sensors can trigger a change cycle, but I'm not certain if they're pre-programmed to detect flashing lights of an approaching ambulance, fire truck or police car and automatically change. But that WOULD be one reason for building a "Super Light Amplified Laser Photon Traffic Light Remote (or SLALPTLR) Cannon". Maybe THAT is what our thread starter is up to. In my neighborhood there's an annoyingly long - and unnecessarily long light. It has some sort of antenna pointed at traffic. I have no idea what that signal may be, but if I ever figure it out I'll be able to tell the light to go into a change cycle just by transmitting a certain frequency. Maybe I should try a CB with a 100 watt Linear (not legal and not condoned) (DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME - OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER). I've seen more amazing things triggered with the flood of electromagnetic waves from a CB radio.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,536
That might be more fun. But suddenly, when you mentioned "over the road" I immediately thought of those hoaxes where people on YouTube say you can change the traffic light by pointing any TV Remote at the camera and press in 9, 1 & 1, and the light is supposed to stop all traffic and give you the green light.

What I know of those light sensors on top of the traffic lights is that they detect changes in ambient light. If a car approaches it either casts a shadow or reflects sunlight. At night the headlights will significantly alter the light field and trigger a change cycle. .
What have traffic lights got to do with the price of bogroll?

Temporary (roadworks etc) usually use radar or laser to detect vehicles waiting. Permanent installations use various sensors Can be pressure or induction loop under the tarmac. In larger towns and cities; they're usually tied into a traffic management computer - there's usually some provision to make life easier for emergency response vehicles. Any proximity sensing is countermanded by central control.

The 6MHz sound intercarrier is common to all UK analogue TVs (I think its 6.5MHz in the US). I injected the RF into the mains - I bet the guy who designed the mains input filter never saw that coming.................
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,777
@ian field Not a whole lot. But the thread starter does want a super high power remote. I was postulating that maybe he's seen on YouTube those hoaxes that suggest you can make a traffic light go into a change cycle just by pointing a remote at the photo receiver on top of the traffic light pole and tap in the code 911 and it will supposedly go into a change cycle. I've not tried it. I'm confident the power in a remote is insignificant and wouldn't make the light change. But maybe - just maybe - a super powered remote might. That's all I was alluding to, that maybe the original intention of this post was to figure out a way to force the light into a change cycle using a super bright remote.

As for pressure sensors and ground loops, they've become very difficult to find in Utah. I imagine just about all the pressure sensors in the snow belt have been replaced with more modern sensing capability. Ground loops work well because you can drive a plow over them without much concern. However, in more modern times I've seen black things that sort of resemble a video camera mounted on the signal arms that hold up the lights, with one looking at on coming traffic in each direction. The change in light level is how they're doing it more recently. And even MORE recent is the advent of some sort of proximity sensor that incorporates some sort of radio transmitter that beams a signal at a specific spot in the traffic lane. When a vehicle enters, the signal is bounced back and thus, the traffic computer knows there's traffic waiting. Wish I knew that frequency. Like I said, there's a new light and you can sit at it for up to 4 minutes with no cross traffic present. Annoying as all get-go too. You try rolling back, moving up, rolling back and moving up fast; nothing works. Well, I HAVE noticed that if a car turns left and passes my waiting vehicle, if I roll forward sometimes the light triggers. But I don't know if it's triggering because of my actions or just because it has sensed my presence and has finally gotten around to stopping the non-existent cross traffic just to let me go. It's an extremely annoying light. And I'll drive a half mile through residential streets just to get to a signal that is governed by an older type sensor.

What has all this to do with a remote? Well, if the thread starter just wants a stronger remote for around the house - it has nothing to do with it. However, if the thread starter really wants to cause the traffic lights to change - a strong remote might trigger a change cycle. IF that's his true intent.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
7,777
honking the horn
Actually, there just might be some truth to that. The horn not only produces sound waves, it also produces magnetic compression waves. If the receiver is tuned to that frequency then maybe the light will change. Probably not. I'm sure some engineer has figured that part out so as to stop people from making lights turn green for them personally.

Like I said, this is all conjecture on my part as to what @Pleasedonthitme might really want a super remote for.
 

ScottWang

Joined Aug 23, 2012
7,396
You can try a lazy way to try is to use light reflection effect, choose some hard papers, thin boards, aluminum sheets or even steel boards, or you have some mirrors, the boards you choose separated on two sides, adjust all the boards can be reflect the infrared refract 90~135 degrees to the board of the other side, from the remote controller through the board reflect the infrared to the next board, and next board, and next board, until to the TV, of course you have to use some stuffs to fix all the boards.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,536
You can try a lazy way to try is to use light reflection effect, choose some hard papers, thin boards, aluminum sheets or even steel boards, or you have some mirrors, the boards you choose separated on two sides, adjust all the boards can be reflect the infrared refract 90~135 degrees to the board of the other side, from the remote controller through the board reflect the infrared to the next board, and next board, and next board, until to the TV, of course you have to use some stuffs to fix all the boards.
The cheap universal remote I got in the £ shop hits everything in scan mode - even the DAB I'm pointing in the opposite direction to.

Usually I have to go around taping foil snack packets over the sensor of everything I don't want affected.

On one occasion - the DAB got so confused it needed a cold start before I could do a full factory reset and re scan all the channels.
 
Top