Cheap TV remote, etc, finder?

Hi, I was wondering if there is a cheap way of tagging items that get misplaced a lot (in my case, the TV remote) so that they can be located using some kind of cheap detector? (BTW in the case of phones I just call the phone…)

Good question.

Many times I have wondered why TV’s do not have a button on them to push that will cause your remote to beep so that you can find it.

I saw a device at Kohl’s that is designed to help find lost keys. Whistling will cause the alarm to go off. No reason it couldn’t be adapted to work with your remote.


glue or chain a phone to the remote.

You could try a universal remote with a built-in finder function. Amazon link.

Normally, a remote transmits a signal that the TV receives. To do what you’re talking about, you’d have to build TVs with the capability of transmitting and remotes with the capability of receiving, which would increase the cost.

Chain it to a 2x4 like gas stations do with the bathroom key.

I actually saw a remote, round a friends, house chained to the coffee table, they were certainly determined never to lose it again… and they couldn’t understand why i laughed so much.

I’m not real clear on how RFID works, or what the cost would be, but couldn’t something be made with that so you suck stick a RFID embedded sticker on the remote then use a scanner to find it?

This sort of thing as been tried many, many times.
The problem always comes down to battery life. It’s really hard to make a receiver that can stay awake 24/7 and still have reasonable battery life from a tiny battery. What always happens is, the battery goes dead after a month, and then you are back to where you started.

I have a Dish Network app on my phone that turns it into a remote and I always know where my phone is or can find it easily. Perhaps other cable/satellite providers offer similar apps?

Any system probably needs to be RFID (passive tags on the items to be tracked that don’t need batteries.) The RFID locator sends out a radio signal and the RFID tags respond in a special way that lets the locator recognize them. I think the problem has been that most cheap RFID locators had a very short range, just a few inches.

I don’t know anything about this outfit, but they seem to have something like what you want:

You could make very cheap and simple tags out of RF diodes. A hand-held “finder” could easily be made long range enough to find lost things by walking around the house. Of course then you still have the problem of what to do if you lose the finder gadget.

Primitive RFID systems (before the modern chip-style) used to work on this principle.

Modern RFID tags transmit data back to the receiver, so their operating range is limited since they use energy from the incoming radio waves to power the tag. RF diode type tags just echo back the frequency each diode is tuned to, so they will passively work over a much greater range. The reason we stopped using them is it’s one diode per binary digit, which limits the number of ID numbers you can easily place into that type of tag.

How about something like this?

I just came across this article and figured I drop it here. Appears to be in development still but it’s a neat concept.