Spectrum TV Remote Teardown

The Teardown

Initially, when starting to disassemble this TV Remote, I was stumped. I did not see any screws to take this apart. After asking my classmates, I took my exacto knife and started to try to unfasten the outside shell of the remote. After getting a few clasp unfastened, the remote fell apart pretty easily. All the pieces inside were big and easy to disassemble. I was overall really pleased with how easy this process was for me!

Tools Used To Take it Apart

  • Exacto Knife

Parts Breakdown

Materials Used + Manufacturing Techniques

While searching for information on the parts and materials used in this remote, I came across this article that summarizes the processes and parts used in different types of remote control. I will be quoting information from the article in this blog post!

A. Circuit Board

From what the parts tell me, this remote has a PCB or a printed circuit board.

A PCB is “an electronic circuit with lines and pads that connects various points together allowing signals and power to be routed between physical devices. It is made by combining different sheets of non-conductive material, such as fiberglass or plastic coated with a very thin layer of Copper on the Top side that easily holds electronic circuit. 

The PCB process starts with heating and cutting of CCL sheets, chemical pre-treatment and brushing, CCL sheets are then sent for masking, etching and drying. After whole manufacturing process PCBs are sent for Bear board testing and Visual QC check. Then these PCBs are sent for mounting.

Mounting is done by two ways:-

  • Through Hole Technology (THT)
  • Surface Mount Technology (SMT)

Once mounting is done these PCBs are again tested and are sent for further proceedings. These all steps integrate and provide error free PCBs.”

“Electronic components are assembled on printed circuit boards. The components which are assembled on most remotes are integrated circuit also known as an IC… In this circuit, the IC works when a key is pressed. It then translates the key into a sequence code, with a different sequence for each different key. The IC then sends these signals out through the IR/RF to its receiving end or dedicated device for which remote is made for.”

Remote Control Contact Spring

“Remote Battery Contact Springs are manufactured on precision CNC forming machines by using high quality material such as steel and stainless steel wire.”

B. Outer Shell AKA Plastic Cabinets

The plastic cabinet of this remote was most likely polycarbonate plastic or acrylic but there are many options depending on the product requirements, “such as acrylic, polycarbonate plastic, ABS, nylon, silicone, styrene and thermoplastic polyurethane, known as TPU and thermoplastic elastomers, or TPEs.”

Injection moulding is a likely technique used to mold the pieces and printing, screening, or designing is used in post-processing.

C. Keypad

The keypad is made out silicone rubber and

This PDF showcases all the buttons’ functions on the keypad.

D. Plastic Layer with Holes for Buttons

I think this piece’s use is to provide structure for when the button is pressed to come into correct contact with the corresponding spot on the circuit board.

It seems to be made out of plastic, and the technique was most likely through a mold!

Design Elements

A. Small cylinder to hold parts in place

What I like about this element is it is a very simple solution to what could be a huge consideration when design a small device with many parts. This small column allows for easy assembly and disassembly but also provides a dumb and easy way to keep all the elements in their correct position.

B. Backlight button

The second element I like is the button with the sun on it. It provides the user with the ability to backlight all the buttons in case their environment is too dark to see in. I think the placement is easily accessible and the icon is easy to understand. Mostly, its function solves for a particular pain point while many users watch tv in the dark.