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There are many ways to "hack" a remote. In this project 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. Also 3D printer and possible laser cutter access.
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.
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
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 & laser cut the top.
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.
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 2x AA batteries and test it out. I encourage you to test your limits and reproduce this for your cool projects!
Please leave comments and questions below.