Recommendations for 2-way remote control ICs?

I have zero experience with remote control ICs, I am looking for a 2-way remote solution that can handle:

  • Multiple receiver pairing, at least 2, it seems that I can set the pairing process at the same time on the receivers (transceivers)?
    *at least 3 functions (buttons, are called channels on some RF modules?)
    *stand alone solution, no MCU required
  • range at least 20m

Do you know if that is even possible? I am lost with the terminology. I did a quick search on Aliexpress just to get an idea of what they are using, there are no datasheets or PNs available.

Thank you!

There are lots of ways to do it but I’m afraid there are a lot of missing requirements to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. I will ask just a few questions that I think are gaps.

You didn’t give her much information on your use case. Is this for indoor use outdoor use? Is line of sight acceptable I. E. Can you use infrared?

Do either transmitter or receiver need to be battery-powered how big can the batteries be? RF receivers are notorious for large power consumption unless you do some very clever things to keep the receiver turned off most of the time and only wake it up to sniff occasionally.

You mentioned pairing which implies some need for specificity or perhaps security but you can do a lot of stuff with remote controls without any kind of pairing. It really depends on what level of specificity is required it also impacts unit cost if there’s any volume or cost sensitivity.

Why do you have a requirement for no microcontroller? A microcontroller is the easy way to accomplish this, or a transceiver with microcontroller built in, or a transceiver with some fixed logic which may or may not meet your needs.

That’s just scratching the surface of things I think we would need to understand in order to give you advice.

The more information you provide the more people might be able to help you.

My apologies if there are any syntax or grammar errors as I was using voice to text to respond.

Sure, thanks for taking the time to ask these questions.

So this will be for an outdoor use, open space and possibility of many remotes and receivers in the same area

Receiver will have a large battery for its load (lights and resistive load) and as for transmitter, ideally, will have just a coin battery. I understand that once I move to a transceiver (FOB side) the power requirements just change dramatically. The only function that I really need to be transmitted from the receiver to the remote is a Low Batt signal, that is absolutely required unfortunately for the nature of the application.

Not having a MCU will be ideal in case there is a transceiver that can handle a couple of channels (buttons) and receive one, there is basically nothing else in terms of logic.

I found this module as an starting point, I am hopping to find an Asian unicorn IC with everything that I need

BTW, this is suppose to be medium volume (few thousands) niche product

Transceiver with MCU

I’m not sure how cost sensitive this is, but a full RF module seems like overkill. HopeRF makes good stuff and may be cheap enough for you.

Have you looked into how garage door openers and wireless ceiling fans work? These products share a lot of common requirements with what you are designing: low cost transmitters, long transmitter battery life, multiple TX/RX pairs with low data and modest security.

That was my first option (even using an off-the-shelf remote) but I don’t think they have an indicator of Low battery at the receiver (garage, ceiling fans etc are usually AC powered) hence the need of a 2-way remote.

May I ask what scheme you have in mind for the fob to be running off a coin-cell but be able to receive the low battery messages? Will it poll the receivers on a timer, or when a button is pressed? I can see the coin cell battery life being pretty short if this isn’t carefully handled.

I know you asked for no MCU in the requirements but is that based on trying to minimise development work (code), BoM cost or something else, primarily? It seems like if your receiver has decent power something like an ESP32 could be a fit, given that you could use a mobile device browser as the controller and avoid the need for a hardware fob. If you really want a standalone fob and can afford a little more power, another ESP32 running ESP-NOW would certainly meet your range and 2-way requirements.


Initially I hadn’t this requirement of low batt, given the power limitations I would only expect the indicator to be on once the button is pressed, but that might also get tricky if the battery is too low.

Basically development work and user will have their hands dirty and/or with gloves, so and smart phone is just not the right solution.