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03-13-2012, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Simple fix for cheap Chinese ebay remote control.

I hope this section of the forums is a suitable place to put this.

In a thread in the K-r section of the forum, I spoke about my cheap ebay remote being very hit and miss. It seemed to work sometimes, and other times not. Very intermittent, and I could be trying to shoot in bulb mode, and it would work to open the shutter, but it would then take several attempts to close the shutter ruining the timing of the shot.


Anyway forum user Philoslothical suggested I take a look inside, to see if the contacts needed cleaning. This prompted me to pry it open this evening.

Anyway, the remote in question is one of these:



It cost something silly like $2

For those who don't know, it's easy to test if an IR remote is working by viewing it through your camera phone. If it's working you should see a flash from the front of the remote like below (sorry about the pics, I just used my phone, in bad light):



Using this method, I was able to confirm that the problem was indeed the remote, and intermittent.


Opening the remote was quite simple. The top face of the remote is a thin bendy plastic layer which is held down with a layer of double sided sticky tape. I removed mine by running my finger nail around the perimeter, starting at the battery end with the battery removed. Here is the face removed from the base:




Straight away I could see that the problem wasn't really going to be fixable by cleaning contacts. In my opinion, the design is open to hit-and-miss type behavior. The contact on the inside of the button on the face is very light, and looks to be intricately painted on.

I took a small piece of kitchen foil about four times the size of the button. I put a light coat of superglue on the non-shiny side and folded it in half so that it was now shiny on both sides. I then applied some superglue to one of these sides and folded it again, being very careful not to get glue on the outside:



I gave it the foil a few minutes to dry fully, and then cut out a circular (ish) shape that would fit into the center of the inside of the button on the face of the remote, and glued it into place:



The double sided tape from the original construction was still sticky enough to just put everything back together.

It worked a treat. The remote now works every time without fail. I hope this helps anybody who comes across the same issue.


03-13-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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Nice fix. Glad it works for you and thanks for the DIY!
03-13-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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It isn't just (cheap) Chinese remotes that have needed fixes like this. I used to do that with (sort of) expensive Japanese TV remotes in the 1990s. Come to think of it, the old "silver foil" trick worked with some (non-)flashing Xmas earrings last Xmas dinner. Marvelous stuff, if rather energy-intensive to produce and then use so casually.
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