TV-B-Gone mod for battery saving and region/range selection

TV-B-Gone is a small gadget that can turn on and off virtually any TV in the world developed and sold as a kit by Adafruit. They also provide the source code and compiled firmware under Creative Common Share Alike license.
I would like to thank original developers at Adafruit for this great work and sharing ideas.

At first, I downloaded the firmware v1.1 and flashed an ATtiny85-20 and made it with only one transistor and two wide angle IR LEDs with two supercaps as shown below. The switch is connected to the supercap + so it will beam only when you press the button.
simple TV-B-Gone with supercaps

It worked fine, but the problem was it drained the supercaps too quickly.  The first reason is, of course, low capacity (compared to batteries) of the supercaps, but there are other reasons, too. I didn’t have a resonator at 8MHz, so I burned the oscillator selection  fuse bit of the ATtiny85-20 as internal 8MHz.  The internal oscillator has benefits of omitting an external component and programmable, but there are serious down side; its frequency can be unstable and varies depending on the temperature and power supply, AND it consumes more power at high frequency settings.

I also tried v1.2 on a tiny bread board as shown below.

TV-B-Gone on breadboard

I haven’t taken a picture, but on the breadboard shown above, I added a 8MHz ceramic resonator and uploaded v1.2 firmware on an ATtiny85V-10 and found it can last double the time. One full cycle of pulsing all the codes takes a little less than a minute and with this latest testing configuration, more than 30 times of full cycle worked with 2 supercaps before the voltage dropped below 1.7V (two in series).

I have thought about to turn off the device before the full cycle finished. I thought about to add a power switch but that wasn’t very attractive to me.

A couple days ago, I suddenly got a good idea to utilize the Region Detection pin6. Once the program detects the region from the level of pin 6 (float (internal pull-up): US, pull-down: EU), it is not used until all the code pulsing is finished. So, in US mode for example, after it started pulsing and when you want to stop it, forcing the pin6 to ground will exit the do loop  in software and the device will go sleep. I tested both US and EU mode with modified code and worked fine. This way, you can save battery.

Here is the schematic for the US version. I also added a slide switch to select IR LEDs between 2 wide but short ones and 1 narrow but long beam LED.

TV-B-Gone JeonLab Mod-US

And EU version:

TV-B-Gone JeonLab Mod-EU

If you want to have both in hand like me, you can use following design with a DPDT slide switch to change region.

TV-B-Gone JeonLab Mod-Uni

More updates will be followed.

If you want to buy an ATtiny85v-10 chip with this modified firmware loaded, send me an email with your location.  It will be $5.00 + shipping.

The full kit will be ready soon, too.

Jinseok

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About

Opto-mechatronic Engineering scientist.

Posted in ATtiny, Gadgets, Modification, TV-B-Gone
4 comments on “TV-B-Gone mod for battery saving and region/range selection
  1. frank says:

    Where can I get a TV B Gone in the Toronto area?

  2. frank says:

    Will this work on an Apple TV box?

    • jeonlab says:

      Frank, I don’t think it would work on the Apple TV box because the TV-B-Gone is designed for regular TV. I guess Apple TV or any other internet TV receivers would use different frequency and/or different pulse pattern.

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