Some old TVs and remote controls

I've just started researching this, some people have older TVs from the 60s-70s and want to use a converter box but then wonder why their remote won't control their TV (the converter which has the universal remote or if not, the person goes out to buy one to control both the box and set so there's one remote instead of two) and i found it out, since one of my sets from 1979 has this issue.

A lot of the very early digital-tuning TVs, from the 60s-70s, Zenith Space Command, Magnavox Touch Tune, some Consoles, and RCAs having the 'Nipper' logo below the RCA letters, have what is known as 'Ultrasound emitter remotes' and those use a high frequency sound to control the TV wirelessly and was before Infrared came out. obviously a converter featuring a universal function or a universal remote are all infrared so they won't work with these older TVs.

So, i proposed something that may be of interest since i'm going to try it sometime. upgrading the TV's emitter sensor with a newer IR sensor eye so the TV will work with universal remotes or have the power function with converters with universal remotes. i'll let you know if there was success or failure since all i could have go wrong is losing remote capability but i don't have the blasted remote for it anyways so i really have nothing to lose trying.


I want to get one of those hi-frequency "xylophone clicker" remote TVs!!! Those remotes were cool - I wanted to get my aunt's when she passed on, but the immediate family scrapped it, turning the cabinet into a sewing table. Curses!

The data pattern between the piezoelectric system and the infrared system are very different. The piezoelectric is tuned to a much higher frequency than the infrared, simply swapping the TV's remote microphone for the IR receiver simply won't work. The TV's remote control circuit would still expect to get something in that high frequency pattern range.
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Damn. i remember though how huge and heavy the remote was too, and it used a 9V battery and had the woodsy wood grain pattern as with the TV (What was it with the '70s and the foresty stuff? wood grain on toasters, microwaves, tvs, stereos, car dashes, oh well i like it it goes well with my theme :) )

The sucky part is 1) you can never find the remote but you can find the TV, or 2) no way to use any universal remote so you still need two one for box one for TV and that's if you can find the damn remote!!!

I googled and ebay'ed it to death but no remote is around for a 1979 RCA XL-100 Color TV. :( it's one of those TVs where you hold down the Vol UP button to turn it on and adjust the volume and then hold the Vol DOWN button to reduce the volume and subsequently turn the TV OFF. in fact that's all the remote had since there was one like it once at the club, volume/channel up/down. when i found the TV and plugged it in i wondered 'where's the blasted power button?! the actually did this in the '70s? made tvs that required the remote? wait, maybe it's one of those oddball RCAs that used volume up to turn it on. voila!'
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My Grandma had the first remote I ever saw, it was done on ultrasonics.

I found you could jingle a key chain in the living room and get it to change channels.
I heard doing something like that or having a cell phone ring would cause the TV to go into a fit.

The only TV i remember having a functioning ultrasound remote was our old Magnavox 'Star System' Touch Tune Color TV. it was the first TV ever to have an On Screen Display. the remote you could hear the tones and such. a lot like a garage door opener. the only 'problem' it had was we lived near an airport so any time an airplane flew overhead and transmitted the TV would turn itself off. or turn on. same with our garage doors, we'd come home to find at least one of the three open.

The sad part is that if you find a TV the remote is either MIA or non-functional and universal remotes won't work with them. i wonder what freq they use since i could always get handy with a soldering iron and 'build' a emitter which would at least turn on the TV so i don't have to go to the front to turn it on or off. yes i've gotten that lazy esp since the TV is in my bedroom and i like to watch it as i wake up and don't feel like getting up to turn it on. more natural to just pick up the remote and hit power.

when i was younger (and had a child's voice) i could 'imitate' the sound of the Magnavox's remote since i heard them so often (i've got great ears capable of hearing the sound of ultrasonic remotes plus dog/deer whistles quite well) and could turn the TV on or off without the remote and was so talented it helped when the battery died lol! plus it worked great during my sister's birthday parties as a magic trick. the human remote control!

I still want one of those TouchTunes. they had the coolest OSD channel display.


I heard doing something like that or having a cell phone ring would cause the TV to go into a fit.
A bell-ringer telephone can also do the trick, too. There was a "remote control" lamp switch system that was sold from the '70s to the late '80s which also operated on ultrasonics. My brother had one for his T.V. It was activated by the bell-ringer telephone or by anyone "shush"-ing at the switch.

You can find those in the "antique appliances" on eBay. Hard to find one with a working whistle-remote, though.

I tried using the Clapper, but my dog made that thing worthless. She times her "ow-wow" and "ow-wow-wow" barks so expertly, that she can activate the switches, for the room fan and the lamp...
what about blowing a dog whistle? if i knew the actual frequency and notes i could build a noise emitter and make it work too. wouldn't be that hard. iirc they had different kilohertz ranges for different TVs.