Remote Control Close Call

Last night I was have a refreshing drink of grape juice, grapefruit juice, and water when Mom called. I was on the sofa with my drink at my side and my remote control on my lap and dogs on either side of me. So I reached in my right pocket to get the phone and the remote slides to the left and went right into my refreshing drink. There was only about an inch of juice left, but I guess that was enough because the remote didn’t work anymore. That’s bad. I got this remote to replace my previous universal remote in March 2008 and they have since stopped making them. Well, they at least they don’t make them the same way and then new ones won’t allow me to use the cable I bought to hook the remote up to my computer (I wrote about this in JP1 still kicking).

So grape juice is dripping out of the bottom of the remote and I’m trying to help Mom with her wireless network so Kelly and Gabriele can get on the internet while they are spending the night at her house. I take the batteries out in case there is some kind of short and try to continue to coax out any juice into the bathtub rather than drip purple juice on to anything else. It just keeps leaking so I figure the only thing to do is try to take it apart and get all the juice wiped up. There were a couple of screws to take out and then I used my plastic pry tools I got when I replaced the battery in my old iPod. Those things work great for unsnapping plastic devices like this. Then I had to remove 4 more little screws and the whole thing came apart into 5 pieces: the front face, the rubber mat of buttons (fortunately each button is not an individual part), a plastic board with holes where each button goes, the circuit board, and the back cover. The rubber mat of buttons was pretty dirty, so I cleaned that off and then wiped down the other parts to get all of the grape juice off. The front face is hard to clean because the buttons stick out, but without the buttons it was easy to get all the grime of the last couple of years off of it. I put it all back together, put the batteries back in (which I had charging in case they had discharged due to a short) and I got nothing. There probably aren’t too many liquids that conduct electricity better than juice. Oh well, I still have my old remote with some buttons that don’t work, so I put the batteries in it and it worked okay except I had to fast forward through commercials instead of skip ahead 30 seconds since that button doesn’t work anymore. I thought maybe if I cleaned that remote off the buttons would work again, so I took it apart the same way and cleaned it out, but those buttons still didn’t work (or didn’t seem to anyway).

At some point I decided to go back to the juiced remote, tested it, took it apart again, put it back together, tested it again, and Hey! it works! The new one is better because it has backlighting and all the buttons work, so I’m glad to have it back. And now it’s even nice and clean.


Here’s the Cinema7 remote I mention in the comments later:

cinema7.jpg

4 thoughts on “Remote Control Close Call

  1. I was going through my old remote controls looking for batteries today and came across my old Cinema 7 universal remote. It was the first JP1 remote I had and it died after an orange juice spill (it didn’t fall into a cup, I just knocked a glass of orange juice over which got on the remote), but I hung on to it anyway. After being able to revive my newer URC 8910 (the remote that replaced the remote that replaced the Cinema 7), I thought I’d open this one up, clean it off and see what happened. It seems to work fine now!

    It’s a nice layout with different shapes of keys (the number keys are the shape of the number) and different colors of buttons, with some being glow-in-the-dark. Like the other remotes, underneath it is all one big sheet of rubber, but they must have had to pour different colors of latex in the mold to get the different colors (blue, gray, and GITD). That’s craftsmanship. The new one is loaded with lots of similar buttons, but it has red backlighting when you press a button. The earlier generation had green backlighting. I’ll put a picture of the Cinema7 in the blog entry.

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