TV-B-Gone clones

Posted by on Feb 20, 2008 in avr, led | 15 Comments

TV-B-Gone is pure subversive fun. If you don’t know it, it was invented by Mitch Altman and it is a universal TV remote control with a single button, the power button. You can only switch TVs off. No longer dumb advertisements everywhere you go. Just switch them off. Extra portions of fun in a MediaMarkt.

Just another fine device, well suited for DIY.

My DIY TV-B-Gone and Mini-TV-B-Gone

The device seems to sell real well. You can get it everywhere. Some time ago, Mitch and Lady Ada teamed up to build an open source version of the TV-B-Gone. That means the circuit and the board layout can be downloaded and you can build your own TV-B-Gone, based on the published circuit.

How does it work?

The small microcontroller on the device has stored all shut down codes of the most known TV sets. If you hit the button it plays simply every shut down code it knows. The transistors are used to drive a stronger current through the IR-LEDs. The latest TV-B-Gone kit should have a range of about 50 meters.


  • ATtiny85v-10-PU microcontroller, 8kB flash memory
  • ceramic oscillator, 8MHz
  • 4 x IR-LEDs, wavelength: 940nm
  • 4 x transistors, 2N3904
  • 4 x resistors, 47R
  • resistor, 1k
  • red LED
  • button
  • capacitor 0,1u
  • capacitor 100u
  • battery holder

A detailed list of parts can be found at Lady Ada’s TV-B-Gone page. The recommended Everlight IR-LEDs are a bit hard to find at where I live, so I replaced them with Siemens LD271 and they work perfectly.


I built two version, a normal sized one and a smaller one. The normal sized one uses two AA batteries just like the original kit. The smaller one uses only a single AA cell but uses a DC-to-DC step-up-converter and runs on 5V. 5 volts are fine with the controller but may be a bit much for the IR-LEDs. Until now they are working fine.


Mini TV-B-Gone


More at Flickr.


  1. Raymond
    20. February 2008

    Is that a 555 Timer?

  2. Alex
    20. February 2008

    No, it’s an ATtiny85, a small microcontroller.

  3. Kelvin’s Blog » TV-B-Gone clone
    20. February 2008

    [...] TV-B-Gone Clones on Tinkerlog -Link [...]

  4. Blog » Blog Archive » TV-B-Gone clone
    20. February 2008

    [...] TV-B-Gone clone - [Link] [...]

  5. Clones de TV-B-Gone at Gambiarra!
    11. March 2008

    [...] projeto é comercial, mas surgiram clones por aí. Um deles, de autoria da Lady Ada, é discutido no Tinkerlog e é completamente open [...]

  6. qwerty
    8. August 2008

    Will a 555 work? I dont know how to program chips.

  7. ericwertz
    10. August 2008

    > Will a 555 work? I dont know how to program chips.

    No, just like you can’t make a radio out of just an oscillator.
    Timing is only part of the problem, you also need some control functions.

  8. peps
    24. February 2009

    is there a .sch file for your 2 IR-LEDs clone?

  9. Alex
    24. February 2009

    No, but you can take a look at the schematic on Lady Ada’s site and remove the superfluous parts. The 2 IR-LED version uses only two transistors.

  10. Metaboard TV-B-Gone »
    1. June 2010

    [...] TV-B-Gone Clone auf Lochraster 15. Mai 2010 | admin | Keine Kommentare » [...]

  11. Mougin
    17. October 2010

    would you have a plan or a photo of the 2 rate of the circuit for the implementation of component?

  12. Alex
    17. October 2010

    I don’t have a circuit diagram of this one, but you can take a look at the circuit at adafruits site. The link is above.

  13. Mougin
    19. October 2010

    Yes, thank you but I diagrams is the technical schematics me I would need the schematics for the board layout on bakelite plate

    sorry but this translation is done with google translation

  14. Alex
    19. October 2010

    Sorry, I don’t have that one.

  15. Eddy
    17. January 2012

    where can I find the sketch for the Arduino program…i plan to program the attiny85v with that…