Hacking the TV-B-Gone

Sitting in a restaurant last month with Mrs. Sopwith, it was impossible to have a conversation because the large TV over our heads and the six others within 12′ were blaring. Living in Southern California, it is nearly impossible to escape obnoxious TV’s and their noise pollution. Bars, restaurants, cafes, heck even grocery stores have them assaulting us.

On this particular night, the normally mellow Mrs. Sopwith was quite unhappy. After droning on about the evil trend of constant noise in our world, she finally said the magic words: “I wish I could turn off every TV in here.” Being the typical faithful husband, I decided to make her wish possible.

I ordered the TV-B-Gone kit from my friends at Adafruit. This handy little device is designed to make Mrs. Sopwith joyous. With one push of a button, it shuts off every TV within 150′. Oh the joy.

The kit arrived within a couple of days and I assembled it in less than one hour. The below photo shows the contents of the kit.


The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I suggest you use a fine point tip on your soldering iron. The below photo shows my completed kit.


I tested the device on my 46″ Sony Bravia and it shut if off within two seconds of pushing the button. Awesome.

Last night I was with Mrs. Sopwith at a local Italian restaurant. The place has lots of TV’s. Just so happens, I had my newly assembled device in my pocket. I showed it to the Mrs. S and she did not find the little wonder as ingenious as I do. I told her I bought and lovingly built the kit ‘just for her!‘ That did not get me the response I expected.

Ok honey, which is it? Do you want the obnoxious TV’s interfering in our lives, or do you want me to take care of them? You can have one or the other – not both. So get this… Mrs. S said I could try my little device IF I told the bartender first. Are you kidding me honey?

I would rather not admit whether I discussed my intent with the bartender before I hit the magic button. When I did hit the button, the TV’s started falling over like dominoes. Pure magic I tell you.

Hats off to Mitch Altman for his genius. Sometimes you just have to fight back.

I highly recommend this kit. It is not only a lot of fun to build, it is even more fun to use. Be sure to order the little patch. Award it to yourself the first time you knock off one of the obnoxious villains.


On the hunt for my next victim.






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