Break Your Remote? Just Build Your Own!

After Justin’s TV remote broke a few years ago, he initially turned to a phone app, but found that this type of touchscreen interface just didn’t have the same sort of tactile feel as a dedicated remote. Of course, most of us would simply buy another one, but he instead decided to turn this problem into an opportunity to make something awesome, building an infrared remote control from scratch.

As it just so happened, Justin had been tinkering with the ATmega328P chip, and was starting to delve into the process of designing a circuit board from scratch. After he decided to pursue this project, with the help of this EAGLE tutorial, what he ended up with was a PCB with an array of buttons, as well as a socket for the ATmega328P to control the infrared emitter. The remote, now known as the “Universal Remote 7000,” features a rechargeable battery and charging circuit, though even after using a few power saving techniques runs out of power after roughly two weeks.

To complete the build, he used rubber bands to attach it to an Altoids tin as an enclosure. Although it might look like a bit of a prototype, it’s way more refined than his early breadboard builds. In the end, it’s a functional device, and helped Justin learn quite a bit about designing circuit boards, as well as how infrared signaling works!

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