Did you ever have a problem with a TV or stereo remote that didn’t work and you had no way of telling whether it was the remote or the TV that wasn’t working? Welcome to the club, I’ve had thousands of them. Well it seems that way anyway.

Today is your lucky day, here’s a super simple way to tell if your remotes work or not. Got a computer or laptop with a webcam on it? Got a digital camera? These remotes transmit IR or infra-red light to the TV or other device which we can’t see because it’s just barely beyond our visual spectrum on the red side, not so for digital cameras. I’ve tested a bunch of them and all the cameras pick up the IR light from a remote like it was a 100 watt bulb in your living room. Just turn on any digicam so you can see the picture, point the remote at (arms-length) at the lens and press any button. If you don’t easily see the IR LED at the end of your remote, you need to replace the remote batteries or you got a bad remote…Pretty cool huh? One of my kids, Michael Suits from New Jersey inadvertently discovered that yesterday but I’ll have to admit, it took the unquestionable, cutting edge electronics genius of the “old man” to realize the discoveries social significants. :-)

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askjanbrass 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh wow, I would have never thought to do this with my remotes. But definitely a neat trick and thanks for sharing this information!

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Craig Suits 6 years ago from Florida Author

Don't feel bad. I'am an electronics tech all my life and I never thought of it either. Years ago I even built a IR reciever that turned on a visible LED when the IR LED was illuminated just so I could tell if remotes were working or not.


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hubpageswriter 6 years ago


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Craig Suits 6 years ago from Florida Author

I agree....

J Lopes 6 years ago


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Craig Suits 5 years ago from Florida Author

As a moose LJ...........

tattai 4 years ago

u the man

ram 4 years ago

its great .....cool

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