Andreas Spiess had a bit of a problem. Actually he created a problem by purchasing a new television that didn’t sync up with the rest of his AV system properly. Sure, using multiple remotes, or a new universal remote, could have solved the problem to some extent, but his wife wasn’t keen on changing things around to accommodate this new toy.
While non-makers would have to make do with expensive new equipment, or household unhappiness, this was a perfect excuse for Mr. Speiss to spend a few happy hours creating a new solution. What he came up with was an infrared “Babel fish” to translate and pass the proper signals to each of his components — named after the universal translators from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The device works by taking in signals from the controlling (original) remote via a TSOP4438 module. An Arduino Nano then translates everything into the proper signals for the family’s AV receiver and new television, then uses a powerful 3 watt IR diode and N-channel MOSFET to spray infrared light about the room. This turned out to be useful when he wasn’t able to install the ‘fish in a line-of-sight orientation, allowing it to control things using reflected signals.
Be sure to check out the build and troubleshooting process in the video below. He goes through a few notable iterations before the device works perfectly, hopefully letting you avoid the same mistakes if you decide to make your own.