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Circuits designed by David Johnson, P.E.
Last Updated on: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 03:04 PM

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More  Remote Control Television Circuits

VCR TV Remote Range Extender Circuit

I often get frustrated by how poor some infrared remotes in many new electronic devices operate.  I used to be able to turn on the TV from 30 feet away.  Now, it seems that I have to get within 15 feet.  To address this issue, I designed the circuit shown below.  The circuit taps into the TV remote’s existing infrared LED and drives 8 more efficient devices.  The result is a communications range some 4 to 5 times longer. 

The circuit is housed in a low profile plastic box.  A Serpac H-65AA (Digikey part number SRH65-11B) has a nice battery compartment for two AA cells.  The circuit is powered by two standard AA cells.  I suggest including a 1.5 farad supercapacitor in parallel with the battery to help supply the peak current needed by the 8 LEDs.  A Nesscap EMHSR-0001C5-005R4 has a very low internal resistance and a higher 5.4v voltage rating. Other supercapacitors might also work.  Just make sure they have a voltage rating higher than 3v. The recommended infrared LEDs are made by Vishay, their part number TSAL6100.  These are available from Mouser, Mouser part number 782-TSAL6100.  These devices emit infrared light in the longer 950nm wavelength, which most infrared remote receivers expect. 
When the VCR remote’s LED turns on, there is a voltage drop of about 1.5v.  This voltage is sufficient to turn on the PNP transistor Q1.  When Q1 is switched on, 3v is routed to the gate of Q2, which switches it on hard.  It routes current to all 8 of the Vishay LEDS.  With a 22 ohm resistor wired in series with each LED, the peak current is set at about 60ma.  This is about 4 times higher than most LEDs are driven in a typical remote.  By wiring 8 more LEDs to form a cluster, the range of the remote should increase by a factor of least 5.  So, instead of 15 feet, with the added light, the distance should be closer to 75 feet.

Click on Drawing Below to view PDF version of Schematic

circuit VCR Remote Boost designed by Dave Johnson, PE

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