I'm not as smart as I thought

I searched for a thread to confess our own stupidity and share it with our fellow Forumoseans.
I couldn’t find any, so I’ll start one.

Today, we woke up and I went to the kids room to turn the AC off.

Strangely, the remote control didn’t work. The display was on and the temperature was showing, but nothing happened when I pressed the buttons.
Well, I’m an electrical engineer, so I’m sure I can figure out the problem and fix it!
Or so I thought.

I started by checking the AC unit. Maybe it wasn’t receiving the signal from the remote. I tried different angles, and nothing. I even climbed a chair to get closer to the receiver, but no avail.
Well, the remote control is the same for two bedrooms, so I could try it in the other room and see if the issue was the control or the AC unit.

That’s my engineer thinking in action!
Isolate the variables and solve the problem!

I took the remote to the other room, tested and it didn’t work. Bingo! The issue was with the remote.
Just to make sure, I pointed the remote to my cellphone camera to see if it was emitting infrared light when pressing a button. It wasn’t, so it must be it.

I had two options then: fix the remote or buy a new one. As we are still under level 3, I thought it would be better to avoid leaving home to buy anything, so I’d have to look online if I decided to go with option B.

But before that, I still would have to find a way to turn the AC off. I imagine it should have a control panel with some basic functions to operate the unit without a remote.

Thus, I climbed up on a chair again, reached up the AC, remove its front panel and looked for buttons or switches. No luck.
I removed another piece of plastic to look even deeper in the unit, and I only found the power cables connections.

I could remove them to turn it off, but after a brief discussion with the one that must be obeyed, she we decided to leave it as is, in case we couldn’t turn it on again.

One task finished (kind of) one to go.

I checked online and found out that an universal remote control was less than NTD500. Not to bad.
Then I remember, I’m an engineer ffs! I should be able to fix it!

I took the remote to my working bench, a.k.a. dinner table, remove the front cover, the batteries, the back cover, the screws that hold the PCB, and took a good look at it. Nothing strange, no broken components and the LED itself was still well soldered into the board.

Accepting the defeat, I put all the pieces together once again, the screws, the back cover, the batteries and the front cover. I checked and the display turned on when placing the batteries. Then, I decided to press the power button just one more time (third luck is a charm?) and suddenly the AC of the living room turned on!

Then, I realized:
Someone had switched the remote controls!

I took the remote of the “living room” back to the bedrooms, turned off the AC off the kids room, yelled “FIXED” to the wife and went on with my day.

Lesson learned: Don’t do anything before having your morning coffee.

P.S.: Yeah, the looking the infrared light through a cellphone camera trick works, but only for a certain infrared wavelength. My remote must be in a higher frequency. That, or this is another thing I shouldn’t do before my morning coffee.

P.P.S: I may end up buying the universal remote control anyway. We never know when it’s going to be useful!


That’s a pretty elaborate excuse for missing the current round of Pic Quiz. :laughing:

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That’s a funny post. I’d give you five likes if I could.

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You don’t need a universal remote, just put a sticker on one of them to tell which one is for which room.

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Many years ago, before smartphones, a colleague at work received a call one morning on the landline from his wife. He had been wondering why his usually active mobile phone was all quiet and realised why when his wife asked him why he had taken the TV remote to work. She of course had it there at home and had been about to use it to change channel when she realised.