The Eleventh Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver was originally fabricated by the TARDIS after the Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver was completely destroyed. Apart from being bigger than the Tenth Doctor’s one, it differs from the previous model in shape, power, its distinctive glowing green tip. The Wand Company have created this Universal Remote Control version specially for Earth use. It has been simplified so as not to cause danger to human operators, while still being a very powerful and useful device capable of controlling almost all types of home entertainment equipment. To avoid confusion and potentially chaotic usage, this model has had its psychic control interface disabled. However, humans will still be able to access its full range of functions after studying the information presented here in this manual.
This Sonic Screwdriver universal remote control is not a toy: it is a device for remotely controlling home entertainment equipment such as TVs, DVD players, Blu-ray players and iPod docks, using infrared codes learned from conventional remote controls by the means of gestures rather than by pressing buttons. A total of 13 different gestures and three separate memory banks enable it to learn up to 39 remote control functions. In FX Mode, the Sonic Screwdriver produces 12 different sonic buzzes, beeps and scanning sounds from the universe of Doctor Who, all at the press of a button, and has the power to instantly turn off almost any TV without any set up required. This Sonic Screwdriver is not only a remote control, but is a reproduction of the Eleventh Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver, fabricated from die cast metal, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and soft-touch, leather-effect, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
Powering up and Powering down
Use only good quality alkaline batteries – do not use rechargeable batteries as their voltage (1.2V) is not enough for the Sonic Screwdriver to function properly. In any operation mode except FX Mode, press and hold the button (a long press) to power up or power down the Sonic; after 30 minutes of inactivity the Sonic will power down automatically.
The Sonic Screwdriver has four operational modes. The user can cycle through each mode with a short press on the button:
Practice Mode, short press -> Control Mode, short press -> Quiet Control Mode, short press -> FX Mode, short press -> back to Practice Mode again, etc.
Before entering any other operational mode, the user must learn how to do the movement gestures correctly. In Practice Mode, each time a gesture is performed, the Sonic will say which gesture it thinks has been done. If the Sonic misinterprets a gesture, hold the device steady for a few seconds then repeat the gesture taking care to use short, accurate, positive movements.
Each time a gesture is performed correctly, the Sonic will send the infrared (IR) remote control code that is programmed onto that gesture and will make the standard sonic buzz. If no IR code has been programmed onto that gesture, the Sonic will say “unassigned“.
Extending the Sonic reduces its remote control performance in terms of both distance and control angle. For optimum remote control performance, please only use the Sonic as a remote control when retracted.
Quiet Control Mode
Each time a gesture is performed correctly, the Sonic will send the IR code programmed onto that gesture, make a quiet click and the tip will flash. If no IR code has been programmed onto the gesture, the Sonic tip will flash but it will remain silent.
Pressing the button with three short presses while the Sonic is in Control Mode or Quiet Control Mode, will cycle between the three memory banks, A, B, and C, to allow access to codes stored on gestures in each memory bank. Each memory bank stores up to 13 codes. Therefore the Sonic can store up to 39 codes in total.
Each time a gesture is performed correctly, the Sonic Screwdriver plays a specific sound effect, but will not send any IR codes. There is a range of vintage Doctor Who sound effects to be discovered. In FX Mode the Sonic Screwdriver does not power down automatically after 30 minutes, but continues to flash its tip briefly, about once every two seconds, indefinitely. After one minute without any movement, the Sonic Screwdriver runs a quick diagnostic routine then the tip flashes and it transmits a Morse code message to confirm that it is OK.
For as long as it remains motionless, every 1963 flashes it transmits one of 11 different Morse code messages to report what it is thinking. Pressing the button with three short presses while in FX Mode switches to silent Morse code transmission; a further three short presses turns the Morse code sound on again.
The Sonic Screwdriver can be locked to prevent unauthorised use. To lock the Sonic Screwdriver, press the button four times quickly and enter any three digit Lock Code at the spoken prompt. To enter the desired three digit Lock Code, press the button rapidly to count out the first number, then pause for the Sonic Screwdriver to confirm it. Repeat the process for the second and third numbers of the Lock Code to be stored. As soon the Lock Code has been entered, the Sonic Screwdriver will power down and lock itself. It will then need to be unlocked by entering the correct code each time it is powered up.
The Lock Code can be erased and locking disabled, by pressing the button quickly five times whilst the Sonic Screwdriver is unlocked.
In the event that the Lock Code is forgotten, the Lock Code may be erased completely by taking the batteries out and putting them back in again. (This does not erase any learned IR codes).
Programming the Sonic
Before the Sonic can be used by humans to control Earth devices in the home, it will need to be programmed with the infrared (IR) remote control button codes of those devices. The Sonic has 13 different motion gestures or actions. It has three separate memory banks (A, B, and C) and can store one remote control code per gesture in each memory bank, therefore allowing up to 39 remote control codes to be stored in total.
Enter Programming Mode by making two short button presses quickly followed by a long button press (holding the button down for three seconds), while in Practice, Control or Quiet Control Mode. The Sonic will say, “Entering programming mode”. The tip will flash once per second while the Sonic is in Programming Mode.
To program the Sonic, perform the desired gesture; the Sonic will say which gesture has been done, then its tip will glow steady green to signify that it is waiting to receive the IR code (button press) from a normal remote control.
Hold a normal remote control about 3 cm from the tip of the Sonic while the tip is glowing steadily, and briefly press and release the normal remote control button for the function you want to program on to that gesture. If the Sonic received the IR code successfully, it will say “OK”. If it receives no IR signal after five seconds, it will stop waiting for the IR code, the green tip will turn off and a gesture will have to be performed to make the Sonic ready to receive an IR code again.
Further codes may be programmed onto any other gesture or reprogrammed over the existing code on the same gesture by repeating this process, without having to come out of Programming Mode each time a code has been learned.
Three quick presses of the Sonic button in Programming Mode will cycle between its three memory banks (A,B,C) allowing storage of up to three different sets of 13 IR remote control codes.
Programming Mode can be exited at any time with one short press of the Sonic button. It will automatically exit Programming Mode if no gestures are performed after one minute.
The programmed IR codes are preserved even if the batteries are changed or removed. However, while in Programming Mode, ten short presses erases all memory banks and performs a factory reset. Caution: this operation can not be undone.
If programming problems occur
Try varying the duration of the original remote control button press from very brief up to about half a second. – Try varying the distance from the tip of the Sonic to the original remote control from 1 cm up to 5 cm. – Try replacing the batteries in the original remote control. – Use new alkaline batteries in the Sonic Screwdriver.
Doing the gestures
This Sonic Screwdriver is a motion sensitive device, designed to recognise 13 distinct and accurately performed gestures. It is a sensitive device and the gestures do not need to be forceful or dramatic, just positive and accurate. Always start a gesture holding the Sonic Screwdriver level and steady. Only a short, positive action is required; the tip of the Sonic Screwdriver only needs to move about 5 -10 cm (two to four inches). To become expert at the gestures, put the Sonic Screwdriver into Practice Mode and perform each of the gestures in turn. When the Sonic recognises a gesture it will say which gesture it thinks has been done. Repeat each gesture until you can do them easily and repeatably. The rotation gestures must be performed slowly, holding the Sonic Screwdriver steady and level, as if gently turning a volume knob.
The Eleventh Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver has 13 gestures and three memory banks, and as one remote control code may be stored for each gesture, 39 remote control codes can be stored in total. The gestures are: Push, Pull, Rotate clockwise, Rotate anticlockwise, Flick up, Flick down, Flick left, Flick right, Tap on the top, Tap on the bottom, Tap on the right, Tap on the bottom, Double button press.
Push – pull
To do the push forward gesture or the pull back gesture, hold the Sonic Screwdriver steady and level and jab it quickly forward or pull it back quickly, moving it no more than about 10 cm (4″). Be careful not to rotate or accidentally flick the Sonic as you do these gestures. The gestures do not need to be big or particularly forceful, the sonic is looking for a clear start and stop to the gesture. As you become more expert, you will find that very subtle gestures are possible.
Push pull gestures are ideal for turning devices on, pause – play, selecting or opening and closing a DVD or Blu-ray disc drawer.
Remember that you have three memory banks, so in total you have three push and three pull gestures to record codes on to.
To do the flick gestures (left, right, up and down), hold the Sonic Screwdriver steady and level and flick it sharply in the desired direction, moving the tip no more than about 10 cm (4″). Be careful not to start your flick by flicking it the opposite way first. Make sure that the flick is neat straight and clean. The gestures do not need to be big or particularly forceful, the sonic is looking for a clear start and stop to the gesture. As you become more expert, you will find that very subtle gestures are possible and a very short discreet flick is all that is needed to get the Sonic to do what you want it to.
The flick gestures are ideal for music skip forward – skip back, channel up – channel down and general menu navigation.
Remember that you have three memory banks, so in total you have 12 flick gestures to record codes on to.
To do the rotate gestures (clockwise or anticlockwise), hold the Sonic Screwdriver steady and level between thumb and forefinger and roll the Sonic slowly as if turning a volume knob. Be careful not to roll it too quickly and remember to keep the tip steady and level. To start the rotation gesture, the Sonic is looking for a clean steady quarter turn so rotate the Sonic very slowly and smoothly one quarter-turn, keeping the tip steady. Once you’ve gone just over a quarter-turn, the Sonic will register the rotation and go into fine-resolution rotation mode, where it will register an event every 15º – this allows you fine control with only small movements of your wrist. As you become more expert, you will find that the rotation gesture is easy and repeatable.
The rotation gestures are ideal for volume control.
Remember that you have three memory banks, so in total you have six rotation gestures (three each of clockwise and anticlockwise) to record codes on to.
To do the tap gestures (top, left, right and bottom), hold the Sonic Screwdriver steady and level and tap the Sonic smartly on the main cage body just in front of the grip part of the handle. For at least half a second before the tap make sure that the Sonic is steady and level, the Sonic is looking for a single tap event either from the top or the bottom or from either side. The tap may be performed using the forefinger of the hand that is holding the Sonic.
The directions of the tap gestures are independent of the rotation of the Sonic. Each time the Sonic is rotated it recalibrate its idea of up, so that up is always up in the real world regardless of which way up the Sonic is. This means that “tap-on-the-top” is always a tap on the side of the Sonic facing upwards regardless of the rotation of the Sonic and hence the position of the grip button. As a result, you can rotate the Sonic in your hand to make it easier to do the “tap-on-the-right” or “tap-on-the-left” gestures with the forefinger of the hand holding the Sonic without straining your hand.
The tap gestures are ideal for making menu selections.
Remember that you have three memory banks, so in total you have 12 tap gestures to record codes on to.
Displaying the sonic
The Eleventh Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver comes with its own stand and protective cover.
When displaying the sonic on its stand, make sure that the stand is stable on a firm surface and out of reach of small children.
If the Sonic is in FX Mode, while motionless on the stand, its tip will start to flash and after one minute it will transmit a Morse code message to confirm that it is OK, and then every 1963 flashes (about one hour) it will transmit one of 11 of the Eleventh Doctor’s well-known words and phrases.
This Sonic is a sensitive instrument of control and should be handled with care. Clean only with a soft, slightly damp cloth; do not immerse in water. To protect the Sonic while not in use, keep it safely in its display case under the protective cover.
Button pressing guide
The Sonic has many features but only one button, and therefore requires a number of different button pressing sequences to access these features. Depending on the mode the Sonic is in, certain button pressing sequences will do different things. FX Mode has been designed especially for play and cosplay. In FX Mode the Sonic consumes very little power unless the button is pressed. In all other operational modes, the Sonic must be turned on before it can be used.
1 long press
Pressing and holding the button for 3 seconds, turns the sonic on and off.
1 short press
In any operational mode, a short press puts the sonic into the next mode. Modes are stored in sequence so short pressing through the modes will take you through the modes and back to the mode you started with.
During Programming Mode, a short press will exit Programming Mode
2 short presses
In Control or Quite Control Mode, a double press counts as another gesture and sends a remote control code if one is programmed on to the action.
In FX Mode, a double press plays the alarm warning siren.
3 short presses
In Control, Quite Control Mode, or programming Mode a quick triple press counts cycles you to the next memory bank. There are three memory banks, A, B and C. When you enter the memory bank, the sonic announces which memory bank you are in.
In FX Mode, a quick triple press toggles silent Morse code on or off.
3 presses but hold the third press down
In any operational mode, a triple press where you hold the last press for 3 seconds makes the Sonic go into Programming Mode (note, a single short press exits Programming Mode).
4 short presses
In any operational mode, doing four quick presses enables the lock code sequence. After pressing the button 4 times quickly, enter any three-digit Lock Code at the spoken prompt. To enter the desired three digit Lock Code, press the button rapidly to count out the first number then pause for the Sonic to confirm it. Repeat the process for the second and third numbers of the Lock Code to be stored. As soon the Lock Code has been entered, the Sonic will power down and lock itself. The Sonic Screwdriver will then need to be unlocked by entering the correct code each time it is powered up. (Note five quick presses when the sonic is unlocked erases the lock code).
In the event that the Lock Code is forgotten, it may be erased completely by taking the batteries out and putting them back in again. (This does not erase any of the learned IR codes).
5 short presses
While in any operational mode, pressing the button five times quickly whilst the sonic is unlocked erases the stored lock code.
10 short presses
While in Programming Mode, 10 short presses performs a factory reset and erases all the stored codes on the Sonic Screwdriver. Please note that this action can not be undone.