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On almost every remote controller the buttons stop reacting after a while, and you end up squeezing the remote out of his life while trying to switch the channel...

I found some link where it explains how to "refresh" the contact-making surface on the backside of the buttons, but that kit is not something I can find around. Could you suggest what would be a good replacement?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to take the remote apart and look at it first. That link only describes one of many different ways that buttons can be built. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Nov 11 '10 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but once it's apart I'd like to be able to fix it if I can... ie, be prepared \$\endgroup\$ – veljkoz Nov 11 '10 at 20:01
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I've used aluminum foil with great success before. You can get it from a gum wrapper like Nick T suggested. Just make sure you don't use super glue, it'll dry out the rubber in the buttons and cause even more problems.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I use aluminum foil used to cover food? \$\endgroup\$ – veljkoz Nov 11 '10 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is exactly what I used. I don't remember how long it lasted me but it was definitely a huge improvement. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrey Nov 11 '10 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please specify the type of glue. \$\endgroup\$ – agc Oct 12 '18 at 10:43
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Use a pencil.

If the buttons are one of those silicone membranes with little black rubber disks on the back that are responsible for actually making the button-contact, the black rubber disks are just graphite-loaded rubber/silicone.

Taking a (preferably soft-leaded) pencil and rubbing it on the contact surface of the disks to get a nice fresh coating of graphite will typically bring it back to life for a while.

Alternatively, if you're after a longer-lived solution, a conductive-ink pen would probably also work nicely.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How long would it last to rub it with graphite dust? Just wondering. I remember long time ago we used some kind of graphite solution (looked like black nail polish) to repair the contacts on the keyboard. \$\endgroup\$ – Nazar Jan 23 '15 at 15:06
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Also, cleaning the contacts helps a lot. Don't use tons of alcohol, however, because it might erode the conductive polymer.

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  1. Buy a roll of Duck HVAC aluminum foil tape. Commonly found at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Disassemble remote; remove screws

  2. carefully pry remote apart.

  3. Clean circuit board with isopropyl alcohol. Clean key pad with dish soap or other household cleaners.

  4. Remove backing and cut tape to size of buttons as needed. A paper hole punch and scissors are helpful. Apply to buttons and mold tape to button area.

  5. Reassemble remote.

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That guide says the key repair kit costs $23. Can't you buy a nice new remote for that price? It looks like the main thing that kit has is conductive paint, which you can buy separately:

http://www.google.com/search?q=conductive+paint&hl=en&prmd=ivs&source=univ&tbs=shop:1&tbo=u&ei=sjPcTKXeMIPGlQeVn9jaDQ&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CC0QrQQwAA#q=conductive+paint&hl=en&sa=X&tbs=shop:1,p_ord:p&prmd=ivs&fp=7e54633210c96bac

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I was hoping I won't have to buy anything :) can I make my own conductive-paint-replacement? \$\endgroup\$ – veljkoz Nov 11 '10 at 18:23
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The biggest problem is glue that should be compatible with silicone rubber base. I've tried sanitary silicone and seem to me that this might be working. Base bends a little after applying silicone so that tells me that solvent from silicone reacting with base. Before applying, be sure to remove previously coated graphite from faulty rubber keys. Than you can glue on everything (I've used aluminum foil as conductor).

Best regards, Nenad

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If we want to go the really hack route, you could use gum wrappers as a handy source of adhesive backed foil. Cover the membrane pads with that and you might get another 1-1000 button cycles out of your remote.

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I saw on another page to hammer out cuts of copper wire flat then glue them to the the button backs.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please add a link to that other page and a more detailed summary. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Apr 28 '15 at 2:17

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