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Whenever I bring my TV-B-Gone out to restaurants, I look suspicious pointing it around. So I embedded the device into a jacket and turned it into a wearable TV silencer. For the switch, I sewed paths of conductive thread that become bridged by the metal zipper pull when it passes by. At the restaurant or bar, all I have to do is unzip my jacket to turn off the TV(s).

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For this project you need:

  • Super TV-B-Gone Kit (available from Maker Shed)
  • conductive thread
  • jacket with metal zipper pull
  • sewing needle and regular thread
  • seam ripper (or very small scissors)
  • tailor’s chalk
  • soldering iron/solder
  • pliers
  • wire strippers
  • wire snips
  • insulated wire (stranded)
  • heat shrink tubing

Check out the complete a complete step-by-step tutorial for the previous version of this project, the TV-B-Gone Hoodie, over on Make: Projects.

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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Comments

  1. viceshley says:

    Craft: items are normally a welcome and happy sight in my google reader, but this rubbed me the wrong way a bit.
    What gives you the right to decide if the TV is on or off in a public place? What if people are there to watch a ball game, or by themselves and want to watch the TV?
    If you “look suspicious” pointing it around maybe that’s because you’re taking it upon yourself to do something that no one asked you to do. If you want to eat or converse in peace, go somewhere without TVs, but don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

  2. Laura S. says:

    I must agree with viceshley. My husband runs a sports bar and would get chewed out by regular patrons if you pulled this trick in his establishment. If you don’t like the TV sound, ask if it can be turned off or down, and if not, go elsewhere.

  3. Becky Stern says:

    You both make good points. I don’t use it at sports bars or places where people have gathered to watch the TV. If you don’t like the TV-B-Gone, you can use your zipper switch to activate something else! =]

  4. T. Rosa says:

    I actually really love this idea. Of course one wouldn’t use it in places where people have specifically come to watch TV–though sometimes it’s nice to have the power to passively-aggressively cause trouble (don’t pretend that it’s not).
    I also want one that kills cell phones.

  5. Becky Stern says:

    Yep, it IS fun, and the consequence is just minor annoyance. Cell phone jammers exist, they’re just illegal to buy in the US since it could be dangerous to block communication ability to a certain area, especially for emergency response communication.

  6. kat says:

    I agree that it’s not very nice to turn off TV completely at places that people gather to watch TV but I admit I love the power. More politely, is there a device that let you turn down the volume or mute the TV? Less than that, I would settle for the ability to turn the TV off and then on again (can TV-B-Gone do this?)
    I still think this is a very cool technique, though I’m concerned about maintenance. Do we need to remove the parts to wash the jacket? Can I throw it in the dryer? How durable is the conductive thread?

  7. mwrm says:

    I agree with the two above; this doesn’t seem a particularly sociable thing to do. It is not your TV to turn off.
    Go somewhere else and spend your money at places who practice business in a way with which you agree. Encourage positive behaviour with positive reinforcement.

  8. hennypenny says:

    There are lots of places that people force you to listen to or watch TV. People who have their TV’s on all the time don’t notice, but those of us who hate TV ads (and most broadcasts) cringe. We notice the TV, it is distracting and obnoxious.
    I have been left alone in waiting rooms with an unwatched tv blaring (or really bad radio). Sometimes the TV is completely out of reach, or the office staff is unavailable. What would it hurt to turn the stupid thing off?
    There is a big difference between the sports bar and being stuck with some shopping network blaring inanities while you are trying to do your laundry.

  9. AMV says:

    you could just ask to have the TV turned off…

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