I have been using a rather expensive remote (gyration) for my home theater for a while and one of the buttons failed. Most remotes have a conductive pad under the rubber buttons that contacts a pattern on the printed circuit board (PCB) inside to form a switch. A dirty pad or contact is the most common cause of button failure, but can easily be cleaned with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alochol. I fixed many remotes just by cleaning the crud (sticky soda, crumbs, dirt) clinging inside.
A second cause of failure is the pad on the rubber button. On poorly designed remotes the conductive coating can flake off. Some online vendors sell remote repair kits that let you reapply a conductive coating. The kit may cost more than the remote after you factor in shipping. The following shows how to fix a remote using household items.
1. Take appart the remote and clean both the pad the contact areas of the problem button with isopropyl alcohol.
2. Cut a small piece of aluminum foil with the hobby knife. The foil should just fit over the damaged pad.
3. Apply a small amount of glue to the damaged pad and carefully place foil on it. The foil should mold its shape to the contour of the button. Make sure the glue does not spill over to the area that would touch the PCB – otherwise it will not work.
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