Shared Knowledge


How to: Get Remote Control Buttons to Work Again


22 June 2006





If you have a remote control of any type, long enough, one or more of the push buttons will begin to fail to operate. Throw away the remote? Maybe if it is a $10 universal but what if it is unique to a fan or an expensive audio control center or CD changer? Buying a new one of those can be hard to find and probably expensive, so before you pitch that old controller try the following.


1.     Remove the batteries from the remote and see how it is assembled. Probably there are some small screws somewhere or the unit snaps together. Either way, take the unit apart so you can get to the circuit board.


2.     Once you can see the circuit board from the back, remove any screws holding it in place and lift the circuit board straight up and out of the remote. Be careful to not turn the remote case upside down, as the actual push buttons could fall out.


3.     Once you have the circuit board out, use “Goop Off” or some similar cleaner to clean all the push button contact locations on the circuit board. Very often, Coke or some other sugar-based liquid will be split into the keypad and the pressure sensitive switches will not make contact like they should. Clean the circuit board as well as you can with the cleaner.


4.     Put the circuit board back into the remote control and screw it back in place.


5.     Snap on or screw down the back of the remote control and replace battery(s).


If the problem was dirty keypad contacts, cleaning should now have fixed your remote.


As with any disassembly, go slow, put all screws and other parts in a box or other container as they can be easily lost in the process of working on something and if something does not want to come off or appears to be stuck, back off and do something else for a while and then come back. Perhaps you have overlooked a screw, plastic tab or there is some other reason parts will not come apart. Hard to give advice on how much pull or push to apply to any 2 parts, just go slow.




Ron - Shared Knowledge Home