Have any of you noticed that your remote control, for a tv or whatever, doesn't work at first, if you haven't used it for a day or two?
I keep thinking the batteries have died, but after a couple minutes it usually works.
I try to warm up the batteries by pressing one button or another 10 or
20 times and that doesn't seem to work but a fwe minutes later, things are fine.
One complication: I'm not controlling the TV directly. I'm shining the remote on PowerMid that uses radio waves to communicate with a receiver in my bedroom that uses a thin cable to send infrared to a little bead that is stuck in front of the IR receiver on the DVDR. But the powermid has a red light that goes on when I'm shining the remote at it, and that does go on. Still, I don't think that is the cause of the delay.
I know the light on the powermid goes on, but I thought that only meant it detected a signal, but maybe not a strong enough signal. The powermid at both ends is plugged into the wall, doesn't depend on batteries. So it didn't seem like it would require "warming up". Maybe time will tell what the problem is.
There is a *tiny* window where a digital signal is usable and when it isn't. If the powermid is flashing, it does mean it detected an IR signal yes, and it certainly can also mean the signal is gibberish from the remote, but I can tell you in over 50 years in consumer electronics, I can't recall seeing more than one or two remotes that put out an IR pulsed signal that also put out gibberish or the incorrect code at the same time. IOW, if they transmitted IR, they were generally good. Could the powermid being seeing a signal too weak to reliably get the code read? I guess, it depends on what the light means. It could mean signal detection or it could mean code readable.
What if you take your remote directly to your DVDR? If it responds immediately, the DVDR and the hand unit are good and the powermid is bad. If the DVDR doesn't respond immediately, the powermid is good and the hand unit or DVDR is bad.
Lastly, those little IR beads are often very directional and I've seen times when simply relocating the transmitter bead improves the function greatly. Sometimes they're too far away, sometimes off axis, and sometimes they can even overwhelm the IR receiver they're transmitting to. I know that seems like it's not the problem since it clears up at some point, but I would investigate the placement of the IR bead carefully. I had a customer with a home theater (all equipment in a utility room) and I ended up sticking a plastic block to the front of his HT receiver with double sided tape and sticking the IR bead to that block to fix erratic remote operation.
You can use your smart phone's camera to view the IR from the bead and see in which direction the light is travelling to get a better idea how to aim it and where to aim it.
I have one remote⁽¹⁾ that had buttons that would not work, or I had to press hard, and wiggle them. When I opened the thing, many buttons were humid inside. I never found where that came from, and doesn't happen to any other remote. I cleaned/dried them, close the case, work for a month or two, then repeat.
In the end, I had to glue small pieces of aluminum foil in the inner surface of the buttons so that they would make contact. Problem now is, some of the foil pieces fall down, and the button will not work at all. The tiny foil can also short some other contact instead.
Someone made a program running on the computer that would connect via LAN and emulate the remote, so that's what I use most of the time now. Except for powering it up, that needs the remote.
I have another device that the remote failed yesterday to get a response at some point. I could see a led blinking in the mode it does to tell the user that it is getting a command from the IR remote, yet it did not react. I had to power cycle the device - that button did work. My guess is that the device had hung.
Those IR -> RF -> IR PowerMod relay devices are... well, rather evil, IMO.
The design has a couple of limitations / vulnerabilities:
(1) The IR receiver isn't very selective - it response to pulsed/modulated IR having a broad range of modulating frequencies. This is necessary in order to allow the device to work with a broad range of IR remotes, but it means that the IR receiver can be "swamped" by IR noise from other devices. In particular, some compact-fluorescent and LED lights seem to put out a bunch of modulated IR, and this can interfere with the detection of IR from a remote control. Worse, it can cause the IR receiver to start sending gibberish "remote control" signals via RF.
(2) The RF receiver at the far end isn't very selective, either. As I recall it's tuned to a frequency in the 433 MHz ISM band, and the band-pass is pretty wide. As a result, RF noise in this band (even "hash" from computers, etc.) can cause the receiver to "think" it's seeing input from the IR module, and it will start spewing out meaningless IR pulses from its IR-transmitter dongles.
The combination of these two design weaknesses means that a PowerMid setup has a tendency to spew meaningless IR pulses into the A/V components at the receiving end. This can prevent proper repeating of IR from a remote control in another room, and it can also interfere with the proper detection of commands from an IR remote in the main viewing room.
Observe the PowerMid repeater "pyramid" for a while, when you know that nobody's using the system. If you see the "activity" light flicker, you have interference problems.
50 years is a long time. I've been watching tv for 50+ years but I don't think that counts as much. And some of that time the remote used tuning "forks" instead of IR.
Excellent idea. It's upstairs and sometime the food will get cold, but still, I will do that next time. (Unless I forget, which will probably happen the first couple times. IOW it will take a while to get back to you all.)
Well, I do have a lamp with an LED bulb in it in the kitchen where all this tv stuff occurs. And sometimes it's on and sometimes it 's off, so I will pay attention, and turn it off when there is a problem.
There's nothing much in the bedroom... wait. The ceiling fixture has compact fluiorescents, and while they shouldn't be on when I'm downstairs, maybe sometimes thay are.
It's good to know about these problems, so I won't change the batteries when t hey are not the problem. The remote is wrapped up in plastic to keep it clean when I'm eating, so that's even a bigger r eason, plus I don't want to waste batteries. If it's the powermid, that's not great but I can live with it.
At first I used to use, it might have been called Cricket. It had ssome little green animal as the logo and the transmitter was much smaller. It clipped on the end of the remote, and the receiver could go in the other end of the bedroom and shine all across the room. That worked well for a few years. I forget the eventual problem was.
For the powermid receiver I bought a wire with 3 beads at the end, but I only use one, for the DVDR. I still have things to play on the VCR, maybe eventually.
I have a clock radio in which all the controls are buttons, and 6 sliders. The buttons don't get humidity but dirt. I took the think apart and cleaned them and it was good for about 3 years. The next time I cleaned them it was only good for year. There might have been a 3rd time. Since then I learned about DeOxit and bought some, but haven't had the time to do it again. So all I have is the FM button that turns it on, with some effort, and the volume slider. If there is a power failure long enough to forget the station, it's a real challenge to enter 88.1. which is now the only station I listen to.
I didnt' think of that. And I guess it doesn't work that well! In my case very little space between the two contacts.
When I bought a tv 2 years ago, I bought a second remote right away.
I only have one smart tv. I'm glad I got it but I don't use it much. The others are at least 20 years old.
Glad it's working. I don't think that applies to me.
I had a similar problem recently with a Roku remote. The batteries were good but some corrosion had developed at the end of the spring that made contact with the (-) end of one of the batteries. Cleaned it off with a stiff pencil eraser and problem solved.
That's what I thought the first time, battery leakage. I cleaned the thing very carefully, assembled it, new batteries, and soon again it had liquid inside the buttons. Actual tiny drops of some liquid. No corrosion. I repeated the process. Nothing worked. Ah, the batteries were dry all the time, and anyway, I changed to rechargeables.
The buttons are usually molded into a silicone sheet. The silicoen starts to de-polymerise and that's where the liquid comes from - it's silicone oil. You can clean it off with alcohol, but that just gives you enough time to look for a new remote control.
Well, that started to happen when the remote was not old, and several years later I'm still using that machine. It is my only device that developed that problem. I have (had, I threw them away this summer) TVs older than that.
On ebay I found someone who sells universale remotes that he has programmed for specific devices. They aren't univesal anymore and they don't come with instructions how to make them universal or any other model. I think I found it just by googling the model number, but on ebay where I didn't expect them.
One time I think he wrote me that he was going to stop because he was't making enough money anymore. I said Raise your price. He still would have been cheaper then new old stock. (It occurs to me now that I only know about my particular make and model, and I presume he sold many different models.) I don't know what he decided to do. He had one location in the USA and one in England, I think it was.
This particular machine is a very good design, but will be made obsolete soon, if they mandate digital TV to be all in HD (it was scheduled for this year, I think). My device can't do HD. And the aerial reception in this room is bad.
It is a double tuner for terrestrial digital TV. It can use a shared folder in a Linux or Windows computer for storage, or connect to an external, USB2 hard disk. It is capable of making two simultaneous recordings while playing from disk another program. It can be managed via a mini web server, once it is flashed with community software instead of the original one. It is, or was, really good. Except for the remote.
I manage it via network, I almost never use the remote control.
I only mentioned it as an example of devices that work badly with a remote.
On Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:08:09 -0400, micky email@example.com wrote as underneath :
The Chunghop L336 universal learning remotes work well and are cheap enough. All buttons programmable and remembered even if battery goes flat. BUT - you do have to have a working unit to learn from even if its on its last legs! C+
I wonder if that is the degradation process that happens to kitchen utensils, that have parts made in some kind of non slippery rubber. After some years, they degrade and leak something like a glue and have to be thrown to the garbage, unless the rubber part can be removed and the thing still works.
It is not, apparently, what happened to my remote, as the buttons are still, apparently, intact.