This is the old version of this project. Navigate here to the Learning TV Remote page to see the latest version of this project.

I set out to make this to help my grandma, but it will hopefully be turning into a tool to help electrical engineering students, hobbyists, or anyone who wants to learn.


What is this?

As per the title, this is a learning TV remote. By 'learning', I mean that this remote can learn and remember the signals of almost any remote controls that you have at home. They don't have to exclusively be for your TV, they could be for air conditioning, fans, or any home entertainment devices that have an IR remote.

Currently, a user can record five different commands to whichever buttons that they want. The remote will go into a low-power sleep mode when not transmitting or recording signals, which will conserve power for a long time. If the remote ever loses power, the commands will remain stored, as they are saved to the persistent memory, EEPROM.

I have mine controlling a TV and an Apple TV at once. I'm looking to upgrade it to eleven different commands, as I've found that as a user, you generally want just a few more commands than five to operate all your devices as per usual. It should be a fairly straightforward upgrade, as I will just have to enable a few more buttons, and the saving to memory process is generalised, so adding more commands won't be too much of an issue.

Why did I do this?

I originally started making this for my grandma because she had too many remotes with too many buttons and realistically only needed a few commands: power on/off, channel up, channel down, volume up, and volume down. I ended making this during the mid-year break in 2015, but it started taking a different direction.

I've always wanted to help fellow and future electrical engineering students at uni, and I thought that making a kit for them would be beneficial. Not only would students be able to solder their own project together, but they would learn about the design process and they would be able to see the power of electrical engineering. I really want students to realise that they can build basically whatever they can imagine with their skills.

Extra Notes

This project was completed in mid 2015, during my 3rd year of electrical engineering.

Through this project, I learnt more about and used:

-PCB design

-Binary amplitude shift keying

-Huffman coding (data compression)

-Signal processing

-Embedded C programming