Fix TV remote control Infrared LED

Replace remote control infrared LED

I purchased a Dynex 32″ TV for my apartment during college. It was a really good TV, however the remote control wasn’t that responsive. The remote got worse over time, and practically became useless within a year. So instead of purchasing a new remote, I decided to open my current one up to see what was wrong with it. I figured it was either the IR receiver on the TV or the IR Transmitter on the remote control. You can also use this tutorial if your remote is very weak. If you have to be very close to the TV to change channels even with new batteries, means infrared LED is weak.

Note: This tutorials assumes that you have soldering experience.   Please make sure you take caution when working with a soldering iron.

Testing the remote control

I tested to see if the remote was actually attempting to send a signal. Here is how to check:

  • Make sure that the remote control has working batteries
  • Turn off the lights in the room
  • Take a digital camera (like the one on your phone) and aim it directly at the LED on top of the remote and push any button on the remote. If it shows a dim light, it means that the remote is actually attempting to send a signal. If it isn’t showing a light, then the LED may be completely dead and need replacement, or there may be another issue with the controller. (not covered here).

In this article, I will show you how to make your remote control more responsive by replacing the IR transmitter (LED). Some technical knowledge may be required.

Tools/Items required:

  • Dynex or any other remote control to fix
  • Donor remote control to steal IR LED from (or buy one)
  • Razor blade
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

Directions

Take a razor blade and slide it in between the crack between the front and back as show:

After taking the remote apart, you should have the following:

IMG_4765

Now we need to take off the IR LED from a working remote control:

No, you don’t really have to. You can go purchase a replacement from Radio Shack. I have nothing better to do. 🙂 I had an extra remote control lying around that I knew worked fine, so I decided to take the LED from that remote control. Here are the two remote controls side by side:

The remote on the right will be the “donor” remote that we take the IR LED from.  The remote shown on the left is the Dynex remote.

To take off the IR LED, you need to hold the soldering iron to the solder that is holding the LED to the remote control:

In the above picture, I have already taken off the LED off the donor remote.  Now we need to take off the LED from the Dynex remote control and replace it:

IMG_4782
This picture demonstrates where to hold the soldering iron when taking off the LED from the board. (Just don’t touch the metal part on the soldering iron)

After you have both the IR LEDs removed from the remote controls, solder the working one the the remote you are trying to fix (Dynex remote).

Now, just put the Dynex remote control together and test it.  Mine works even better then it originally did.

IMG_4784

Summary

I hope this gets your remote control working again. If not, it may need to be reflowed, which basically means there may be a crack, cold-joint etc. in the solder on the board of the controller and needs to be re-heated to melt down and re-establish connection so the current can flow. This article does not cover reflowing. I may write a future article on reflowing and possibly soldering for those who are new to the subject however I do not recommend doing this unless you know what you are doing. Since you have to open the controller, it may also be a good idea to wipe down the buttons/rubber to keep the buttons from getting stuck. You can use alcohol and q-tip for hard to reach crevices to clean. Make sure it’s completely dry before attempting to operate the remote.

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