My Flipper Zero's IR literally goes through brick walls

My neighbor was blasting his terrible music as usual, so I just grabbed by Flipper and went to IR and Universal Library, TV’s, then Mute… just because I was frustrated. I knew it wouldn’t work because I know that IR requires a line of sight. But… it did. The music shut off. So I was like “omg, that’s hilarious, he shut it off just as I hit mute, that’s crazy”. Because again, I knew it was impossible for it to have been the cause.

Then the music came on again. And I hit Mute again, pointing it right at the wall. It shut off again. And I heard his voice saying “What!? something something I couldn’t make out”.
Then I started to get curious. Since then, I’ve “muted” his stereo EIGHT TIMES. And it worked every time. There hasn’t been a single time when the Mute button hasn’t turned off the sound.

What’s going on? Can IR go through brick walls? I’m totally confused.

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No, it can’t :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

But, normally emitter is more then 90 degree stream and it bounces a looot. Test it in your room, I can easily use remote when pointing away from device.

Obviously it all depends on your exact setup but bounce usually accounts for most of weird situations.

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Did you read my post? It did.

Ah yes, sorry, I’ve replied without reading your post.

It’s a hidden feature of Flipper where IR blaster is actually a laser with quantum tunneling or some such.

It’s definitely not scattering and a bounce thru a window or something along the lines of physics.

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Yeah, flipper’s IR definitely can’t go through walls :slight_smile:

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It’s happened nine times now. I’m going to post a video when it happens again. I’m not an idiot, I fully understand how IR works… but this IS happening. The whole reason I posted was to talk about this extremely bizarre occurrence… not to get ridiculous obvious responses like “no it can’t”. I know “it can’t”. BUT IT IS. I’m not lying, not insane and not an imbecile. How about considering the ways it could happen and start from there. “Maybe there’s a hole in the wall” (there isn’t, that’s the first thing I checked) or… I don’t even know. Saying “nah, didn’t happen” is not helping… because again… it has… many times… and it’s behaved exactly the same each time.

In fact… here’s a detailed breakdown of the times it happened.
First time, I just offhandedly pressed it because I hate his blasting music… full well “knowing” it wouldn’t do anything. But the “mute” button did. I figured it was a coincidence and he just turned it off so I laughed. Music came back on some minutes later… and I did it again… music went off again, and I heard his voice say “what! something something fuck!”. Music came back on. I tried the on/off button, the volume buttons, and the channel buttons. None worked except mute. I did it again. The music stayed off after that. That whole night I was trying to figure out what exactly happened. I checked my wall for cracks or holes. I didn’t find any.
The next day, I come home and notice the music is on blasting again… so I run up to get my Flipper and try again to make sure I’m not nuts. I hit mute… music turns off. Then I hear “WHAT THE FUCK!” and him running down the stairs (stereo is downstairs)… which means he was not even in the room when it went off. Music comes back on, I hit mute again, etc etc.
Then today, it happened again.
Each time, there was the same ~1 second between me hitting the button and the music stopping.

Hi,
At the moment you “seem” to be getting aggressive and angry. That’s never good so let’s me list some things explicitly so they don’t get misunderstood.

  1. Person comes with funny, weird story.

    • We all laugh together at how weird this was.
  2. Story has a question in it and it was interesting issue anyway.

    • Question get’s answered with what’s the common knowledge about how those things work and what can cause this weird behaviour.
    • I was quite happy with my reply and expected OP to reply alone the lines of:

    Wow, I didn’t know that, That’s crazy.

    {optional} I don’t think this covers my case really tho, here are exact details including photos of wall, window, building from outside. I did some testing and measurements, here they are.

  3. Instead we got assumption that we/me are making fun of you, ignoring answer posted and throwing internet fav “you didn’t read my post”

  4. At this stage in most polite communities you will receive joke/sarcasm to lower the tension, or be ignored.

Please reconsider how would you like to continue this discussion. You have an interesting issue and I’m sure you aren’t only one who would like to know exact answer.

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Without knowing details about your neighbor’s system, it’s clearly hard to say why the IR output is causing his system to mute. I’d throw out the guess that the flipper’s IR function is somehow coupling to bluetooth output or something similar - that his receiver can detect. Like you said, it is probably safe to eliminate any direct IR connection to his electronics.

Can you please share some photos of your room? I’m thinking about several explanations, but it is useless without some info about your setup.

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I think something that has been overlooked here is the duality of light: light (photons) are both a particle and a wave. Particles don’t pass through other particles, yes that is true; however, electromagnetic waves, in a classical sense, don’t interact with solid matter and tend to pass right through it.

Of course there’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s entirely possible for some photons to make it through the walls, seeing as how brick is not the most dense material to begin with.

Basically, as long as the photon doesn’t get absorbed by the material it’s interacting with (heating up) or reflected off of its surface, it can definitely pass through the object in question, albeit at a very low rate depending on the material.

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IR most definitely bounces, at least off your typical white walls, but that is mostly because the IR we use for everything is just outside of visual range, and it gets reflected as part of white just like all the colors we see.

The neighbor may well also have something like a harmony or w/e that has a bunch of IR repeaters. Or it could be an old device where the mute code is a different value for a bunch of devices. I have 2 different remotes that will randomly power off my psaudio bhk pre and 3 that will randomly mute it lol. Totally unrelated remotes and different buttons. One seems to be when changing channels. Another when hitting select. Another when hitting back. Etc. so it may be that it’s not just 1 mute that’s being triggered but like dozens.

Either way IR is NOT getting through walls. Not at the output of a tv remote. But it must have felt quite nice. I can’t remember what the device was, maybe a gameboy color, but I recall getting some device in high school where I had a way to blast mute, stop and/or power off and kill the school tvs lol. It’s a glorious ridiculous false sense of superiority when they scramble to try and turn it back on.

And to the people complaining… at least he hasn’t hacked the neighbors wifi and found the apis for his stereo/tv/etc and just script something to constantly call power off. Then it would be excessive. But if the remote happens to work, back away slowly, forget you were involved.

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Have you discovered the peephole in the wall he uses to spy on you?

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LOLOL
I was thinking something similar, if this is an apartment and the walls are not insulated between units this could be a case where his receiver is on a far wall facing an unobstructed outlet that is on the shared wall. Since most apartments are mirrors of each other, then there should be outlets back to back. Light is pretty tiny so any bad fitment of the outlets may let enough light through to actually work. If this is the case it’s pretty shoddy fitment, but hilarious outcome :stuck_out_tongue:

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IR can be well reflected from walls, go though windows, under door slits etc. Imaging your flipper beeing a bright flashlight in the middle of the night with all lights off. If a bit of that modulated light might make it to the other room, it’s able to trigger the stereo etc.

1 Like