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Remote Volume Control For Stereo Amplifiers

You can add a remote motorised volume control to just about any stereo amplifier. Here's how to do it.

By John Clarke

Click for larger image
IRD1 picks up infrared signals from the remote control and feeds the demodulated data to the PIC microcontroller (IC1). IC1 in turn controls the motorised potentiometer via transistors Q1-Q4.
Let's face it, everything has remote control today and if your stereo amplifier doesn't at least have a remote volume control, life must be really tough. Fortunately, we have the solution. We've slaved away to produce this infrared volume control and it can be added to most stereo amplifiers, provided you can find space behind the front panel for the motorised stereo potentiometer.

When installed, the motorised potentiometer can be used in the normal way; just grab the knob and wind it up to set the volume. Or, by pushing the "UP" button on the handheld remote, it will be rotate by itself (as if by magic) and you can set the volume from your couch. Of course, you may now put on another 15kg of weight because you no longer have to get up to change the volume but that is a small price to pay, isn't it? We think so anyway.

Adding remote control to a stereo amplifier involves replacing the original dual-gang potentiometer with a motorised version and installing a small controller PC board inside the amplifier as well. It needs a 9-15V DC supply which should be available within the amplifier. You can control it using a standard preprogrammed remote control.

Main Features
  • Infrared remote control
  • Volume Up and Down
  • Special precision volume adjustment
  • Muting facility (automatic volume down)
  • Mute return (automatic volume up)
  • Uses commercial preprogrammed remotes
  • Original knob volume control movement retained
  • Optional mute return disable
  • Acknowledge indicator
  • Mute indication
  • No switching noise injected into amplifier

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