Gift Singularity: Make and Give a TV-B-Gone

In this installment of the Gift Guide Singularity on MAKE, we’re continuing the countdown of projects that are just as much fun to build and give as they are to receive. So far we’ve seen two complex movers and shakers, the Strandbeest walker robot and the steam-powered BoilerBot, followed by the Vibrati Punk Console.

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The projects keep getting easier as xmas looms closer, so I’m bringing you a build even your grandma will appreciate– build the universal TV-B-Gone remote to power down annoying screens at restaurants and other public spaces.

I’ve built and given TV-B-Gones to many family members in the past, and they each love it for a different reason. My mom takes it to Applebee’s and does her own style of culture jamming- getting couples at other tables to stop staring at the pixels and strike up a conversation with one another. My grandma likes it because her hearing aid doesn’t handle ambient TV noise well, and the TV-B-Gone helps her hear the company she’s with. My older brother is a mischievous kid at heart, and so likes the prank aspect of it. (Above: TV-B-Gone tampon case made for myself but co-opted by my mom)

You could just build the TV-B-Gone as per the instructions, wrap it with a bow, and call it a day, or you could go a step further and build an enclosure for the circuit board and batteries. Think about it- won’t those LEDs get bent in your girlfriend’s purse or your dad’s pants pocket? (Above: 3D printed TV-B-Gone enclosure by Catarina Mota)

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You could even go all out and build the TV-B-Gone into a hat or jacket! The components aren’t too complicated, so once you solder up a few, you could easily be running a small assembly line and give everyone on your list the gift of a tranquil, teevee-free xmas. Invented by Mitch Altman and developed into a kit by Adafruit Industries, you can feel good about making and giving this piece of open source hardware. Pick up the Super TV-B-Gone kit in the Maker Shed.

In the Maker Shed:

Want more? Stop by the Make Shed. We’ve got all sorts of great holiday gift ideas: Arduino & Arduino accessories, electronic kits, science kits, smart stuff for kids, back issues of MAKE & CRAFT, box sets, books, robots, kits from Japan and more.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines in December:

December 14 Last Day to place orders shipped via USPS
December 19th Last Day to place orders shipped via 3-Day freight
December 20th Last Day to place orders shipped via 2-Day freight
December 22nd Last Day to place orders shipped via priority overnight Saturday delivery

Note: We guarantee delivery by Christmas when ordering by the above deadlines, except for USPS, where we simply cannot guarantee. However, we feel reasonably certain based on experience that orders placed on that day will be delivered by Christmas via USPS.

And of course, Gift Certificates and MAKE subscriptions are always available – even on Christmas Day!

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I love to make things and share them. I live in New York City and when I'm not making or publishing, I ride bikes and motorcycles. I love my pit bull dogs. I'm a full-time content creator and also teach part-time at SVA. Find me as @bekathwia on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

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