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TV-B-Gone My Review - Long
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

TV-B-Gone My Review - Long

by jimcook on Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:44 am

Before I tell my experience with the TV-B-Gone kit let me explain that I’m not electrically inclined. I’m a newly retired Mechanical Engineer who has, over the decades, had very bad experiences with electrical repairs and kits. Although I was successful once, after the second try, at changing the batteries in a flashlight.
Through Make Magizine’s site I found ladyada's tea party site. The write up for the TV-B-Gine was faciniting and searching further I found the instructions for constructing the kit. These are the perhaps the best set of instructions I have ever read. The written portions are clear and exact, the accompanying photos show exactly what the written portion was telling you.
Convinced, I sent my order in by way of here site.
About a week and a half later a small plastic zip bag arrived. Excited, I sat at the banned table, pulled up the instructions on the lap top and proceeded. A quick inventory of the parts showed that the ceramic 0.1uF capacitor was missing. An e-mail to Ladyada got a quick response that said “its actually not a necessary part. :)” but she would ship me one if I wanted it. Being mechanical it is hard for me to understand why a part would not be necessary. I told her I wanted it and the project stopped.
Later, I was thinking that if it is not necessary perhaps I could quickly get a replacement at Radio Shack (I hate that place). I couldn’t find an exact replacement but the smallest in physical size says “104M” on the outside. What the heck I’m going to try it.
I performed a review of my soldering techniques as she suggested and on to the assembly. Everything went well. I particularly like the section in the directions where part way you are able to put the batteries in and test the assembly. That is a great touch.
After finishing the kit a check with the cam on my lap top showed all the leds were working.
Off to the mall. What a great time. The entire wall of televisions at Sears were shot off while I stood across the main isle and in the far side of the banned banned. The full wall in Walmart went off. A very large screened TV in a store front, behind the glass quickly went off from the other side of the mall. Most of the TV’s that I had a direct view of in the 99 Restaurant were turned off. The big screen and the two small side by side TV’s at a bar were turned off and no ne noticed for half an hour.
Great fun.
One other problem has showed up. Every so often I’ve noticed that the l.e.d.’s, transistors, chip and batteries are hot. The little visible l.e.d. was not showing that it was on. I did find that the little visable l.e.d. was just barely blinking and everything was hot. The reason I was able to see this was because it happened late at night when I got up for a pee break. The l.e.d. caught me attention because the room as so dark.
Other than that the kit is GREAT. The printing on the circuit board is very crisp and clear leaving nothing for the imagination.

jimcook
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:51 pm
Location: Agawam, MA

by adafruit on Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:27 pm

yeah im trying to figure out why sometimes it gets stuck on. i sent you the capacitor in a letter, but i think during the xmas season it may not have gotten to you :(

adafruit
 
Posts: 12149
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:21 pm
Location: nyc

by jimcook on Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:44 pm

ladyada,
I just received them. Thank you very much. My little TV-B-Gone which started out as a project to practice my soldering was sucessfully expanded to include un-soldering. Everything went very well, the new capacitor was installed.

After this change I just had to test it again. Off to the resturant. Three sets across the room over the bar and one set directly over our head shut off. It took more than 20 minutes before they noticed and turned the sets back on. :evil:

Another interesting note. Our set at home is a two year old Sony. When I activate TV-B-Gone it shuts off very quickly during the code sending cycle, at the beginning of the set of codes that are sent. While B-Gone is still sending the rest of the codes and I turn the set back on one of the codes near the end of the list shuts it off again. It seems that my Sony responds to two of the codes that are sent. Interesting, not earth shattering but interesting.

ladyada wrote:yeah im trying to figure out why sometimes it gets stuck on. i sent you the capacitor in a letter, but i think during the xmas season it may not have gotten to you :(

jimcook
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:51 pm
Location: Agawam, MA

by Tanner8 on Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:21 pm

Yes, there are 3 sony codes. Also with my old sony is turns it on,shuts it off, then turns it back on.

I was going to remark the others out in the code but I think I will miss the other sonys then.
Tanner8
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:27 pm

by adafruit on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:44 am

just put your hand in front of the tvbgone, or put it back in your pocket, when you're done ;)

adafruit
 
Posts: 12149
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:21 pm
Location: nyc

true true

by nickschmelzer on Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:38 pm

I am a tax banned - that dreams of being an electronics engineer... but is too old and has too many young kids to fulfill that dream. HOWEVER - even I was able to assemble the TV-B-Gone kit. It was very well done. Instructions were great... product worked great. Thanks for inspiring me to continue to try to learn electronics. (By the way, I have been the bane of local appliance stores and malls - even almost getting caught once. Good fun!) Thanks... this is a good product, and a good project for amatuers like me.
nickschmelzer
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:35 am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.