Got a Rechargable Harmony – Check the Battery

logitechbattery.JPG

I love my Harmony One, so when the battery wouldn’t hold a charge for more than a couple days it was an easy decision to order a replacement.  When the new battery arrived, I was shocked to find that that the original had swollen so much that the plastic was starting to crack and needle-nose pliers were required to pry it from remote.  Fortunately the remote wasn’t damaged at all and it could be anecdotal, but I imagine that bad things would have happened to the battery hadn’t been replaced when it was. 

So if you have a Harmony with a rechargeable battery it’s worth taking a peek every so often to make sure that it’s not about to explode.

  • Thanks for the tip! I better

    Thanks for the tip! I better check mine.

  • Great post! I can’t tell you

    Great post! I can’t tell you how many customers we have had that reported the bulging battery issue and in many cases it gets so bad that it pushes the contacts of the remote so a new battery won’t make a stable connection and charge properly. We’ve had some customers fix this by placing a piece of paper in the battery compartment as a shim to fill the gap and create a secure fit with the new battery but I’d personally recommend using a small piece of rolled electrical tape instead of paper because the battery can get hot when charging.

    I would also point out that we have seen a lot of replacement batteries that were rated lower than the ones Logitech used that will not accept a charge in the remote at all so you need to get a decent replacement.

    • We need some help with

      We need some help with Harmony 880 remote and battery. We have discovered the buldging battery after the screen only presented “blue death”. We have no words on the screen, only the blue screen. We have attempted removing the battery, holding the power button, and replacing the battery to no avail. That was when we noticed the buldging battery. What we need to know is if someone else out there has had that issue as well. If so, what did you do to revive the remote? Thanks in advance!

  • i remember having this

    i remember having this problem with my old portable MCE unit from Creative, and that’s what, 10 years ago? I’m honestly surprised the problem still happens to companies.

  • Sure enough, my battery is

    Sure enough, my battery is bulged slightly, but not to the degree that I couldn’t easily take it out Frown I wonder if it is the battery or just a bad charging circuit design.

  • My 890’s battery is also

    My 890’s battery is also bulging.  I had wondered why the door was slightly raised for the past couple of months, but figured it was always like that and I hadn’t noticed.  While I was able to get the batter out of its slot quite easily, I definitely struggled getting the door to come off.  I don’t know if there’s a chance the battery could have exploded, but it is a bit concerning.  I just contacted Logitech about this and referenced this article.  We’ll see what happens.  Ideally, I’d just like the battery to be replaced free of charge.

  • My Harmony One is also

    My Harmony One is also buldged. Disappointing since I’ve been planning on putting on eBay but don’t want to rip someone off.  Definitely let me know if Logitech responds.

  • I’m optimistic, since my

    I’m optimistic, since my couple of previous dealings with Logitech have been very positive.  The fact that they take good care of their customers is the primary reason I keep purchasing their products.  Well, that and the fact that I actually do LIKE their products.  🙂

  • I can’t get my battery out. 

    I can’t get my battery out.  I’m going to have to perform surgury to yank this thing out.   Where did you get the replacement?

    • autoboy wrote:I can’t get my

      [quote=autoboy]

      I can’t get my battery out.  I’m going to have to perform surgury to yank this thing out.   Where did you get the replacement?

      [/quote]

      If you don’t have really thin needle-nose pliers I think tweezers might work too.

      I got the replacement battery from here – ~$15 shipped.

  • Anyone with a Harmony that

    Anyone with a Harmony that doesn’t have the issue?

    • This problem seems like it is

      This problem seems like it is widespread and a ticking timebomb so I am going to contact Logitech support and reference this post.

  • This morning I got around to

    This morning I got around to looking into this situation and here’s what Logitech has on their web site which seems to apply to my battery state:

    My Harmony remote’s battery has expanded in size. Is this normal?

    It is normal behaviour for the battery for your Harmony remote to expand slightly in size during normal use.

    Link

  • Too bad their tech support

    Too bad their tech support isn’t aware of this.  When I spoke to them (via email), they didn’t mention this was considered normal behavior, but they were nice enough to offer me 50% off a new remote which they apparently expect to do the exact same thing.  Also, while they may consider it “normal”, it’s also “normal” for this expansion to cause the remote’s door to bulge outward, thereby lifting the contacts off the charging base.  I’ve also found that my remote reboots randomly now that the battery has “grown up” to its apparently expected, adult size.  It also doesn’t keep the time any longer.

    Good to know that Logitech considers this “normal behavior”.  Looks like my family will be switching brands on our next purchases of mice, keyboards, webcams, speakers, and remotes.

  • I’ve had a Harmony One for

    I’ve had a Harmony One for over a year.  I checked the battery as soon as the first post went up and it came right out.  I need to recharge every 5-6 days as I am the only one that uses it in my house (I live alone).

     

    How long have you had your remote and how often do you recharge it??  I’m wondering if heavy usage has something to do with it??

  • I’ve had the remote for 2

    I’ve had the remote for 2 years, but it’s only been in use for maybe 9 months.  The remote is probably used daily and is placed back on the charger after almost every use.

    • skirge01 wrote:

      I’ve had the

      [quote=skirge01]

      I’ve had the remote for 2 years, but it’s only been in use for maybe 9 months.  The remote is probably used daily and is placed back on the charger after almost every use.

      [/quote]

       

      That might be a problem.  I do know you can over charge a battery, particularly with simple charging cradles that have no charging circuits.  Try to use it until it is almost fully discharged before putting it in the charging cradle.

      • While that may prevent the

        While that may prevent the battery issue that also takes away the main benefit of the cradle, the ease of charging.  I’ve written Harmony a letter inquiring on whether they consider it normal behavior for a product to essential break itself.

        After checking my particular Harmony One (still haven’t sold it because of this) the battery was very difficult to remove without damaging the plastic.

         

      • I’ve always kept mine sitting

        I’ve always kept mine sitting in the charging cradle when not in use.  I doubt the battery has ever been under 85% charged under those circumstances.

      • In my battery research, I

        In my battery research, I found numerous references (outside Logitech’s site, mind you) to a microchip which prevents overcharging.  Does it actually not have such a thing?  If not, I’m definitely with Michael in that it negates the purpose of the cradle.  Also, I’d be curious to know where in the manual (too lazy to look at the moment) it states that you should not place the remote back on the cradle until the battery is nearly dead.

        I have to admit that this new information about “normal behavior” has seriously turned me off to Logitech and it disappoints me that a name and company I’ve held in such high regard and trust has let me down so badly.

        • It is not in the manual that

          It is not in the manual that you should run it completely down before recharging since Lithium-Ion batteries don’t suffer from the memory problems that Ni-Cad batteries do.  I just do it as general practice from the old Ni-Cad days.  But it is a good idea to completely discharge a rechargeable battery every now and then and then do a full recharge (the exception being a car battery).

           

          Drawing on some old experience with heavy duty battery chargers from my Navy days, as current is either being drawn from or charged into a battery, it will cause the battery to heat up.  If it is designed well it will easily dissapate this heat. But if it is not and the battery gets too hot it can cause electrodes to warp and the fluid in the electrolyte to  boil.  In the case of the large battery chargers I worked on in the Navy, if the batteries got to hot they could go into thermal runaway and explode.  You may remeber from a few years ago, there was a rash of laptop and cell phone batterries exploding or bursting into flames this is because they weren’t designed to dissapate heat well and went into thermal runaway.  The battery chargers in the Navy had circuits to monitor the current and the temperature so this wouldn’t happen and shut off the charging current if it detected something wrong or when it determined the battery was fully charged.  The charging cradles don’t have those type of monitoring circuits, they are simply small stepdown transformers and a rectifier and provide current to the battery so long as they are plugged into an outlet.  There is the possibility of “over charging” a battery if it is left in the cradle for extended periods of time.  It sounds like Logitec got a cheap load of batteries from their suplier that may be susceptable to over charging.  But I do not aggree with their explanation that swelling that much is normal for a rechargeable battery.  (shame on Logitec tech support)  That’s why I don’t have my remote in the cradle when the battery doesn’t need to be recharged, and it seems to only need about an hour or two to recharge so it won’t take long to have it charged and ready to use.

          • Be careful in applying

            Be careful in applying characteristics from one battery chemistry to a different battery chemistry. The characteristics are different. If you take a look at the link I posted a couple comments down, you’ll find a lot of good knowledge from someone who really knows battery chemistries.

  • I have a Harmony 880 with a

    I have a Harmony 880 with a Li-Ion pack (930mAh 3.7V 190304-2000 R-IG7)  I would guess that I’ve had it for at least 3 years.  I did a quick check of the battery and fortunately I don’t see any bulging.  I wonder if this is a somewhat recent issue?

  • I contacted a friend of mine

    I contacted a friend of mine who is involved in battery materials research and he pointed this out to me:

    battery materials expand and contract on charge/discharge (by as much as 10%).

    Link

    He further pointed out that it is obviously a defect if it bulges to the point of not making contact.

    At this point, I’m just going to wait and see if the battery condition worsens and accept that Logitech is correct that the slight swelling is part of the normal expansion of the cell materials.