How to test a suspected faulty remote control

If you’re having problems with a remote control and can’t seem to control the device with its own dedicated remote control it’s possible that either the device i.e. TV, DVD player etc has a faulty remote control receiver or that the remote control itself is at fault.

With the naked eye it’s impossible to tell which is at fault. However following the simple steps below you will be able to confirm with in minutes as to which is at fault… the remote control or the built in receiver.

Step 1: Always test the remote control with a brand new set of batteries. Dont borrow batteries from another remote control or other device. Different remote controls require differing levels of power sometimes so one remote might work on next to no power in your batteries where as another remote requires a decent charge in the batteries.

Step 2: Make sure there is a clear line of sight between the remote control and the receiver on the device you are trying to control. Remote controls usually utilise infra red technologies to send the commands wirelessly and infra red doesn’t travel through objects well! On the device you are trying to control you will usually find the remote control receiver is covered in a small piece of dark red Perspex and frequently if the item has an LCD display you will find it in that area i.e. as pictured below on this DVD player:

DVD player infra red receiver

Make sure you’re remote can “see” this receiver and is pointing dead at it. Also as a test simply hold the remote with in 1 foot of the receiver and try it.

Step 3:

Get a remote control that you know is definitely working and a digital camera. A camera on a mobile phone is ideal as most have these to hand… but any digital camera with an LCD display on it will do the job.

Turn on the digital camera and point the end of the remote that you would normally aim at the device to be controlled at the camera lens.

Remote coontrol aimed at camera

Sometimes it is helpful to be in a darkened room but usually its not necessary.

Now press a button on the remote control – we suggest using the Power or On/Off button, but it might be necessary to try a couple of buttons whilst viewing the remote control in your cameras LCD screen.

Whilst holding the remote control button you should see a blueish light come on on the end of the remote when the button is depressed when viewing the remote through your cameras LCD screens. This shows the infra red signal is being sent. This light cannot be seen with a naked eye.

Remote control sending IR signal

Do get in touch and let the 3wisemonkeys know if you need any more information or tips!

The 3wisemonkeys team

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