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LifeHack: How to fix your TV remote buttons…

We bought a Sony LCD tv a while back and over the years, some of the buttons on the remote started to become unresponsive and vague. Mainly the volume buttons. You had to press them harder and longer to get any response out of them at all.

I tried the usual tricks, I replace the batteries, blew into it really hard, banged it on the sofa, stoof really close to the TV… you know, the technical stuff. I then went a step further and took the remote apart, cleaned the contacts and reassembled it. Worked a little better but went back to normal after a few days. I suspected the little black rubberised contacts that close the circuit on the main printed circuit board had lost their ability to, well, contact. Very weird, but I had a plan. 20 mins later, my remote was reacting instantly, just like new!

So here’s what I did…

STEP 1: Get your kit together

You’ll need:

  • A remote with annoying buttons
  • Small piece of foil
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Ruler
  • A blunt knife to take the remote apart with
  • A sharp knife or scissors

STEP 2: Take your remote apart

This may be different on your remote but on the Sony remotes, just jam the blunt knife in the bottom notch and twist. Takes a bit of brute force, but it works in the end.

Once you have it started, just work around with the knife.

STEP 3: Remove the rubber key membrane

When you have the remote apart, remove the rubber key membrane. Watch out for any extra plastic bits that may be in front of it and pop them back into place if they come out. Note the green circuit board with the zig-zag looking contacts. Give them a quick wipe with a damp, soapy cloth then dry them off. Do the same to the little black contacts on the back of the rubber membrane, they will need to be clean for the tape to stick.

STEP 4: Make the foil tape

Take a small strip of double sided sticky tape and stick it to the foil. Be sure to rub the tape backing hard to make the foil stick well and keep it nice and smooth. You don’t need much. Ignore the really thick tape I had, you only really need a strip about 4mm wide and about 10cm long.

STEP 5: Cut the tape 

With the foil side up, use the ruler and sharp knife cut a thin strip of the foil tape about 4mm wide. Then look at the back of the rubber key pad membrane and slice the foil strip into tiny squares big enough to stick onto each of the black contact pads. They will probably be several different button sizes on your remote, so just work your way through them, cutting the foil to size each time.

STEP 5: Attach the foil

Now just peel of the backing to each of the foil squares and carefully stick them onto the black contact pads. I didn’t really need to do all the buttons but I figured I may as well. Some I left as I didn’t use the buttons anyway. Some of the smaller buttons were quite fiddly to attach but using the tip of a scalpel really helped peel the backing off an position them. Don’t worry if they don’t stick too well, they don’t need to do much when it’s all assembled, just as long as they stay in place.

STEP 6: Reassemble and you’re done!

No pic for this one as you just put the rubber key pad back and snap on the remote cover again. Job done.

Now just point it at your TV and savour the instant responsiveness you’ve been missing all this time!

1 comment

  • From the foot of darkest Africa comes a huge thank you to you.

    It works…my remote is as good as new….you are a genius!

    Thanks again and kind regards

    Tony( in Cape Town)