Electronics have a habit of acting up, and troubleshooting can be anything but straightforward. If your remote doesn’t work it can be hard to figure out what part the equation is bad. By using this tip, you can quickly narrow your troubleshooting by either eliminating or isolating your remote as the problem.

All you need to do is get out your phone (or any other camera), and point the remote at the lens while pressing a button. If the batteries are good, you’ll see a few light bulbs flashing at you. If it’s all dark, you’ve successfully isolated your problem.



This works because infrared light is off the spectrum of what our eyes can see, but is perceptible to cameras and other imaging sensors.

From Wikipedia:

IR data transmission is also employed in short-range communication among computer peripherals and personal digital assistants. These devices usually conform to standards published by IrDA, the Infrared Data Association. Remote controls and IrDA devices use infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to emit infrared radiation that is focused by a plastic lens into a narrow beam. The beam is modulated, i.e. switched on and off, to encode the data. The receiver uses a siliconphotodiode to convert the infrared radiation to anelectric current. It responds only to the rapidly pulsing signal created by the transmitter, and filters out slowly changing infrared radiation from ambient light. Infrared communications are useful for indoor use in areas of high population density. IR does not penetrate walls and so does not interfere with other devices in adjoining rooms. Infrared is the most common way for remote controls to command appliances. Infrared remote control protocols like RC-5SIRC, are used to communicate with infrared.