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TV Remote Programming... the early days

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Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 245

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:55 pm    Post subject: TV Remote Programming... the early days Reply with quote

I've been re-immersed in programming TV remote controls for the last several weeks (and loving it) and extremely appreciative of the help I have received.

This morning I woke up remembering the first time I ever programmed a TV remote control... in the 1950's! I'm guessing that not many people here knew about this remote control concept.

My parents had given my grandparents a TV with what was probably the first TV remote control. Since none of the adults could deal with that level of current technology, they asked me to help set the TV up.

This is _before_ UHF so there were only 11 tunable channels and only two or three TV stations within range of Charleston, SC.

The remote itself had two buttons and no batteries. When the channel button was pressed, a hammer hit a tuned piece of metal inside the remote that generated an ultrasonic tone.

The TV had an ultrasonic sensor, and when it detected sound at that specific frequency, it would start an electric motor in the TV that was attached to the channel selector which would start turning the channel selector knob.

On the back of the TV was a hole for a screwdriver. On the back of the selector itself were quarter turn screws that would extend or retract a "stop" trigger.

The programming process was to retract all of the stops on channels that were not available and leave them extended on receivable channels.

Press the button, generate the tone, TV receives the tone and starts the motor, and the motor would stop when it hit the next channel with the stop extended. Press the button again, and it would continue to the next stop.

The second button triggered a power relay to toggle the TV circuit on and off.

I strongly doubt that the above remote is included in the current RDFs but I hope the history is of interest.

Beverly Howard
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 19807
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We used to have an RDF for that remote, but we left it behind in the old Yahoo group's file section! Laughing

For me, I think about recording artists and how easy they have it now, with computers and synthesizers. When groups like the Beatles wanted to do a "tape loop" they literally had to have a long piece of tape running around the studio, with folks using pencils to keep it tight. I think it took 10cc about 18 months just to record "I'm Not In Love" whereas today they could have used an Emulator and done it in a few hours.
Please don't PM me with remote questions, post them in the forums so all the experts can help!
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