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140707-Gadget Freak Case 147 The Ultimate Universal Remote Control A
Latest “Gadget FreaK’ is up – Build your own universal remote control

Couch potatoes should be particularly interested in Bill Bowden’s remote control IR receiver, which allows users to control the power of virtually any electrical appliance (including those not equipped for remote) using their standard remote control. It’s based on an IR receiver circuit, which is basically a simple toggle switch that features a 48KHz IR receiver module to convert IR signals to 5V digital data representing the particular command sent. So switch a fan or lights on and off, blend up a pitcher of margaritas, pop popcorn and more, all without leaving your couch — possibly ever.

Update: When I saw this post on Gadget Freak I’m pretty sure there was an additional link to the build instructions / schematics. It doesn’t make sense to remove our post now, perhaps check their site later.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. pete says:

    An utterly useless article. Basically a list of components with no schematic. They cant even seem to decide on what the carrier frequency is throughout the article. If by some miracle you were able to build this circuit, there is no way to decode the signals meaning that anytime you press any button on any remote the circuit will activate. No thanks.

    1. salman says:

      I got this article at work (nasa) where I’m an engineer and design news has a habit of posting these articles with no schematics…I guess we gotta figure it out ourselves..

      1. Phillip Torrone says:

        @salman – design news reads MAKE, i’m sure they would like to hear your feedback, usually i check each article to make sure there is a schematic / source, this one seemed to have it, but now it’s not there.

        out of dozens of projects i’ve posted from them this was the only one with complaints, i’ve updated the post.

  2. John says:

    Welcome to Make Magazine. You must be new around here.

    All that’s misisng is 20 posts fromt he editors explaining how it’s really a cultural metaphor and where you and I should stick our opinions.

  3. Phillip Torrone says:

    @pete – this is odd, when i read the post i’m almost certain there was a schematic, there usually is. i will update the post, sorry about that.

    @john – what are you talking about? when has any editor said something like this is a “cultural metaphor” and when/who said “you should stick to your opinions” ?

  4. Marc de Vinck says:

    Time to update the post…again! There is a schematic now…..strange?

  5. Phillip Torrone says:

    yah, i figured one was there when i posted, maybe there was a server issue, or who knows – it certainly didn’t stop “john” from jumping in and attack the editors though.

  6. kabalan chaccour says:

    hi All
    i m actually working on a specific project in which i would integrate an IR universal remote. i dont actually know waht kind of protocols these remotes use and the type of processing or a possible encryption, i would appreciate a lot if you can help me out
    thank you
    Best regards

  7. SAGAR says:

    I am looking for a project on universal remote control for all electrical as well as electronic equipments which only can switch them between on and off.
    Is there anybody who can help me how to make this and how can i make this work with all appliances.
    If can please suggest me any suitable webpage or any source where i can get the complete knowledge which can help me in making such an IR remote control.:)

  8. Matt Pearson says:

    lol, three years later and I need the schematic…would you know it…it has disappeared again. Oh well…