Zapper

The remote on my Panasonic smart large screen TV has been a bit iffy for a while. Only about 3 years old - and not as much use as some.
It seemed to be mainly the most used buttons. Others still worked OK. Wasn't sure if it could be a software funny on the set (the software isn't the finest I've used) so programmed a universal remote I already had for other things, and that works fine. Except I don't want to have to learn what buttons do what all over again.
New genuine remotes on Ebay are in the £30-40 region, but 'fakes' under a tenner. Bought one of those which works fine.
Is it worth attempting to open up the old one - now I have one which works - to see if it can be fixed? Seems to me very like dirty contacts on the switches.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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It is normally the conductive surface wearing off on the most use buttons.
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Yes but a lot of it is because the gunge has fallen into the areas where the contacts are stopping the good conductive layer never to short them out. Our dry homes and people putting the remotes on top of hot items hastens their demise. Brian
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On 23/06/2018 08:43, Brian Gaff wrote:

+!. In my experience the keys that don't work oven have a tin layer of thin grunge that can be washed off under a running tap.
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Very common repair at Repair Cafes. Probably even more common is a leaky battery has corroded the battery contact, or corroded where it joins the circuit board, although that's not a good match to your symptoms. (We even get ones with nothing wrong other than flat batteries.)
For testing, point the infrared at your mobile phone camera, which will see it flash. Not all cameras can see it - on my Samsung, the backwards facing camera can.
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Dave Plowman wrote:

Usually cleaning the gunge from the front of the PCB and/or back of the rubber keys with alcohol does the trick.
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2018 00:26:01 +0100, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Remotes tend to be held in the hand a lot and build up sweaty condensation on the graphite-rubber/copper contact surfaces.
Quick wash in isopropanol - good as new.
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Odd it's the only remote I've had which as done this. Most seem to have a membrane covering all the contacts - so I'd expect any airborne gunge to get to all. The remote for the sound system is yonks old and gets as much use - but is still fine.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I strongly suspect the gunge that is on the bottom of the buttons has dried out and fallen into the pits on the pcb where the contacts lie. This means that any residue of the conductive rubber cannot get to the contacts. its a common failing of remotes. You can clean them up and they will work until it happens again. Soon however the conductive layer of gunge runs mount and then it becomes a task of using self adhesive foil on the bottoms of the buttons cut to size and I think at that point people get to realise its just too much trouble unless you are preserving it for a museum or something like my usage case where the device is a talking device and obsolete with no new version with the functions available. Brian
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2018 00:26:01 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Yup and given you have little to lose?
Take it to bits and assuming it's a single rubber membrane holding all the 'buttons', wash that very gently in warm soapy water (don't rub the face of the buttons too hard) , rinse, shake and air dry.
The PCB contacts are often carbonised so again, very gently wipe them over with a damp cloth (most of the stuff on there would be water soluble) and dry with some paper towel and leave to air.
The bottom line is contact surfaces are often only a thin layer and that can easily be wiped off by hard cleaning. So you only want to remove the contaminants that has built up on the conductive surface, not the surface itself. ;-(
If it turns out that it's only the actual contact surface that's worn off, you can actually buy little rubber conductive pads and you cut yours off and glue these on instead. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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If you are prone to coming home from the pub with a curry, and need to check your shirt front the following day to figure out whether you dined the previous night, sticking the [cleaned] remote inside a plastic resealable bag prevents further problems :-)
AB
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On 23/06/2018 00:26, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Yes,
I've opened many, removed the baterries, stripped them down (usually only 4 items), washed ALL parts under a cold running tap and left them to thoroughly dry in a warm place. They have all worked perfectly afterwards.
The gothas can be hidden screws under the sticky labels but most seem to have one obvious screw and clip together or no screws and clip together.
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Opened it up and it was 'wet' inside. Mostly to the top end of the unit where the problems were. And I've no idea what the liquid was. Looked to be colourless and no smell. And surely any of the common suspects like a drink of any sort would have evaporated over the several weeks it's been giving problems? Nor can I remember spilling anything. Must have ghosts. Anyway, it's working OK again after a good clean. Washing up liquid in warm water removed it, followed by AF spray just to be sure.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2018 10:41:19 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Someone washed it?
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Not possible. And the fault has been present for some time - at least a couple of months. I'd have said it would need something like a light oil to last that long without evaporating.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2018 23:24:28 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

That's what I asked my Mum (82 at the time) when she tested her mobile before we left her at the caravan with a friend of hers for a few days and it was going 'mental'.
She insisted she hadn't got it wet ... then remember it was in her bag when something had spilled in it and she'd washed the bag out, forgetting the phone was in the pocket. ;-)
Luckily Tescos was only up the road and her old SIM was ok. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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But I'm not your mum. ;-)
This remote lives on on a 'coffee table' along with the others (except when being used). And the coffee table not actually used as such. Don't eat in that room. All the other remotes are fine. And if I'd spilled a drink over them I'd have remembered.
But surely any drink would have dried out over weeks? This stuff was still liquid.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:05:58 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Oh. ;-(

I wasn't suggesting you had Dave ... just that people do and some may not remember they had (immediately anyway). ;-)

No necessarily in what is a fairly enclosed / sealed space and depending on the liquid (as it may not have been 'a drink' etc).

Strange indeed.
Cheers, T i m
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2018 23:24:28 +0100

Or perhaps a hygroscopic substance.
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On Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 10:41:30 AM UTC+1, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

I've seen remotes seem to 'ooze' a liquid inside. I've heard (I thought it was on this forum) that the rubber keys can be impregnated with a (conductive?) oil of some kind, and that it is this that comes out. No more knowledge than this hearsay, though.
J^n
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