Andreas Spiess’ Infrared Babel Fish Remote Control

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…

Jeremy S. Cook
9 months ago

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.

remote controlinfrared
Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
Related articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles