sluggish remote control

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micky

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Sep 16, 2022, 1:06:54 AMSep 16
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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.

ohg...@gmail.com

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Sep 16, 2022, 12:31:36 PMSep 16
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I've never noticed that, no. It seems that with the equipment you have, your lag could be anywhere in the chain and not so much the remote since your powermid is responding to it apparently.





micky

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Sep 16, 2022, 9:25:52 PMSep 16
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In sci.electronics.repair, on Fri, 16 Sep 2022 09:31:33 -0700 (PDT),
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.

ohg...@gmail.com

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Sep 17, 2022, 9:17:58 AMSep 17
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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.

Carlos E.R.

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Sep 17, 2022, 2:40:11 PMSep 17
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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.



(1) Gigaset M740 AV

--
Cheers, Carlos.


Dave Platt

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Sep 17, 2022, 3:08:08 PMSep 17
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In article <3806e8b2-213e-4c3d...@googlegroups.com>,
ohg...@gmail.com <ohg...@gmail.com> wrote:

>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.

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.

micky

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Sep 17, 2022, 6:08:23 PMSep 17
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In sci.electronics.repair, on Sat, 17 Sep 2022 11:45:10 -0700,
dpl...@coop.radagast.org (Dave Platt) wrote:

>In article <3806e8b2-213e-4c3d...@googlegroups.com>,
>ohg...@gmail.com <ohg...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>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

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.

>>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?

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.)

> 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.
>
>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

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.

> 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.

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.

>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.

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.

>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.

Okay

micky

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Sep 17, 2022, 6:16:13 PMSep 17
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In sci.electronics.repair, on Sat, 17 Sep 2022 20:36:37 +0200, "Carlos
E.R." <robin_...@es.invalid> wrote:

>On 2022-09-16 07:06, micky wrote:
>> 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 have one remote?ą? 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.

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.

>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.

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.

>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 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.
>
>
>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.

Glad it's working. I don't think that applies to me.
>
>
>(1) Gigaset M740 AV

Peter

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Sep 18, 2022, 10:44:31 AMSep 18
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On 9/17/2022 2:36 PM, Carlos E.R. wrote:

> >
> 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.
>

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.

rbowman

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Sep 18, 2022, 1:39:47 PMSep 18
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The Pink Pearl solution! Back when cards were inserted into a connector
on a backplane the first step in troubleshooting was to pull the card
out and apply a Pink Pearl eraser to the contacts.

Peeler

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Sep 18, 2022, 2:29:14 PMSep 18
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On Sun, 18 Sep 2022 11:39:38 -0600, lowbrowwoman, the endlessly driveling,
troll-feeding, senile idiot, blabbered again:

> The Pink Pearl solution! Back when cards were inserted into a connector
> on a backplane the first step in troubleshooting was to pull the card
> out and apply a Pink Pearl eraser to the contacts.

His problem was SOLVED! Are you hard of hearing, chatterbox?

--
More of the senile gossip's absolutely idiotic senile blather:
"I stopped for breakfast at a diner in Virginia when the state didn't do
DST. I remarked on the time difference and the crusty old waitress said
'We keep God's time in Virginia.'

I also lived in Ft. Wayne for a while."

MID: <t0tjfa$6r5$1...@dont-email.me>

Carlos E.R.

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Sep 19, 2022, 11:56:09 AMSep 19
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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.

Something in that remote picks humidity from air.

--
Cheers, Carlos.


Bob F

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Sep 19, 2022, 12:00:14 PMSep 19
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Is there a rubbery or even plastic material there that could be breaking
down? Some can release gooey liquid.

Frank

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Sep 19, 2022, 2:16:03 PMSep 19
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micky should try Miralax.

Carlos E.R.

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Sep 19, 2022, 3:44:09 PMSep 19
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Nope. None that I could see.


--
Cheers, Carlos.


Clifford Heath

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Sep 20, 2022, 12:03:24 AMSep 20
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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.

Carlos E.R.

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Sep 20, 2022, 2:20:10 PMSep 20
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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.

No one sells that ancient remote control AFAIK.

--
Cheers, Carlos.


micky

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Sep 20, 2022, 4:08:16 PMSep 20
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In sci.electronics.repair, on Tue, 20 Sep 2022 20:19:24 +0200, "Carlos
E.R." <robin_...@es.invalid> wrote:

>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.
>
>No one sells that ancient remote control AFAIK.

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.

Carlos E.R.

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Sep 20, 2022, 4:36:10 PMSep 20
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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.


--
Cheers, Carlos.


Carlos E.R.

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Sep 21, 2022, 8:08:11 AMSep 21
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On 2022-09-21 08:21, Charlie+ wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:08:09 -0400, micky <NONONO...@fmguy.com> wrote
> as underneath :
>
>> In sci.electronics.repair, on Tue, 20 Sep 2022 20:19:24 +0200, "Carlos
>> E.R." <robin_...@es.invalid> wrote:


> 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+


Good to know, thanks.

I wonder, if someone could publish libraries of codes to teach remotes
the "language" of some other remote in the library. Would save effort
and time.


--
Cheers, Carlos.


Carlos E.R.

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Sep 21, 2022, 8:12:10 AMSep 21
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On 2022-09-20 06:03, Clifford Heath wrote:
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.

--
Cheers, Carlos.


Bob F

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Sep 21, 2022, 11:03:06 AMSep 21
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On 9/20/2022 11:21 PM, Charlie+ wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:08:09 -0400, micky <NONONO...@fmguy.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+

The now discontinued Logitech Harmony remotes have a very extensive list
of supported devices on the support website. They claim they will
continue support. I bought a couple used ones off Ebay for $10-15 and
love their capabilities. The ones with screens will usually offer access
to all the functions of the original remote without having to learn them
from the original remote.

Bob F

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Sep 21, 2022, 11:08:08 AMSep 21
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I had a snap-op screwdriver that had that happen to the black plastic
handle. It would just get sticky gooey crud all over it and leave a
puddle under it in the drawer. I stopped by a snap-on truck one day with
it, and he gave me a new "better" screwdriver in exchange.

Mark Lloyd

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Sep 21, 2022, 1:53:14 PMSep 21
to
On 9/21/22 01:21, Charlie+ wrote:

[snip]

earning 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+

30 years ago I knew someone with an RCA TV where the remote failed, and
a new one cost about $70. RCA (then) did something strange with the
volume buttons so you couldn't use a $10 universal remote.

--
95 days until the winter celebration (Sunday, December 25, 2022 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).

Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

"Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic
for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake
medicine for magic." [Thomas Szasz]

three_jeeps

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Sep 21, 2022, 2:30:59 PMSep 21
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Yes, some mfg remote have better longevity than the others. Taking apart the remote control and cleaning the button sheet and the circuit board with alcohol (rubbing@70% or 90%) will remove the oils. The remote should then operate normally. Don't scrub the circuit board - gently wipe it with a antistatic wipe dipped in alcohol. If really in a pinch, a cotton swab/ball will work.
Get used to doing this - I have several remotes that require this cleaning process every 1-3 years, depending on the remote.
At some point in the life of the remote, the conductive coating on the silicon pad keys will erode away and that key function will no longer work. The contact material can be reapplied but since making a contact is a mechanical function, the material will erode again.
Good luck
J

three_jeeps

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Sep 21, 2022, 2:34:38 PMSep 21
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I have not seen this happen to kitchen utensils. I have seen it happen to car radio head units, car climate control centers, and hand tools. I don't know of anyway to stop the process or clean up the mess.

micky

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Sep 29, 2022, 8:47:12 PMSep 29
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In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 21 Sep 2022 14:07:27 +0200, "Carlos E.R."
<robin_...@es.invalid> wrote:

>On 2022-09-21 08:21, Charlie+ wrote:
>> On Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:08:09 -0400, micky <NONONO...@fmguy.com> wrote
>> as underneath :
>>
>>> In sci.electronics.repair, on Tue, 20 Sep 2022 20:19:24 +0200, "Carlos
>>> E.R." <robin_...@es.invalid> wrote:
>
>
>> 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+
>
>
>Good to know, thanks.

Yes indeed. Thanks Charlie+ I put it in my Amazon shopping cart for
next time I order things, although it's about $9 or 10 there and $5 or 6
other places with shipping. I've found other places to be reliable,
although harder to r eturn, but I almost never return anything and I
don't know why I'd return this, so I'm asking myself, Why do I even
consider buying from Amazon.
>
>I wonder, if someone could publish libraries of codes to teach remotes
>the "language" of some other remote in the library. Would save effort
>and time.

I had a long term plan to compare the 3-digit device codes that come in
various instruction to see if at least they are the same. But I'll
never get around to do doing the compare.

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