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are rechargeable battieries bad for tivo remotes

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by mcf57, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Apr 8, 2014 #1 of 17

    mcf57 Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    I have a series 3 glo remote that has been working great for years. Recently, I decided to start trying to use AAA rechargeable batteries in instead. Things had been working great the last two months, but last week it started acting weird. Commands weren't working properly and commands were being doubled up.

    I recharged the batteries and at first it seemed to fix the problem. Things worked as usual. However, a day later the same problems.

    I have heard that using rechargeable is not advised in some electronics. Is this maybe the case with TiVo peanut remotes too?
  2. Apr 8, 2014 #2 of 17

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    I use rechargeable batteries, but there are huge differences in the qualities of batteries out there. I use the ones marked "low self discharge" from tenergy and eneloop, they seem to be fine (and it is a lot nicer to have a handful of rechargeable batteries on hand than to have to run out and buy some when the remote quits late at night :). The ones you can get in places like Walgreens and Radio Shack all seem to be garbage.
  3. Apr 8, 2014 #3 of 17

    caughey Member

    May 26, 2007
    Orange County
    I have used rechargeable batteries in my glo remote for several years now. The only time I have missed commands is when it is time to recharge the batteries, which is every few months.

    Perhaps one (or more) of your batteries is no longer holding a charge? Does your charger have any kind of bad battery indicator? On my cheap Energizer one, the light flashes slow when charging normally and fast when a bad battery is inserted.
  4. Apr 8, 2014 #4 of 17

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2006
    First you need to remember rechargable batteries are only 1.25 volts. So if the remote uses 2 of them you are starting with .5 volt less than regular batteries. So they will go dead quicker. They also lose power differently. Regular batteries drop off in a steady decline. Rechargables go along level and then have a sudden drop off.
  5. Apr 8, 2014 #5 of 17

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

    Nov 9, 2002
    Not necessarily. Look at the mah rating. Some will last a lot longer!
  6. Apr 8, 2014 #6 of 17

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Rechargeable batteries are 1.2V each instead of 1.5V each for regular/alkaline batteries. In the older 4x AAA glo remotes, the remote only gets 4.8V, instead of 6.0 volts, because they are in series. I would consider this to be a good argument against using rechargeable batteries in that remote, since you will be recharging them so frequently, which shortens the overall life-expectancy of them.

    I'm having a problem with one of my newer Roamio remotes (stock), where the side-by-side AA battery configuration, which seems to be in parallel, results in the left side battery draining rapidly, roughly each month, I find it stops working at all, and the left side battery will have started to leak (but not enough to contaminate the remote).

    It happened with the Duracells that came with it, and at least two other sets of Duracell batteries. I know better than to mix-and-match brands, or old and new of the same brand. I check batteries with a volt-meter to make sure I never combine ones that aren't equal, even from a new package of batteries.

    I guess it's a defective remote, in my case. I never called TiVo about it, because it just sits on the floor 98% of the time, while I use another remote for my main bedroom Roamio #1, and remotely access Roamio #2 using #1's remote, or KMTTG, unless I absolutely have to grab remote #2. I just started placing #2 remote right in front of Roamio #2, in case it's rapid-draining due to RF mode causing it to strain, even though it's not being used. The jury is still out, as I just started doing so.
  7. Apr 8, 2014 #7 of 17

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    It's 1.20V versus 1.50V, which is 0.3V difference, per battery (which multiplies when in series).

    A fresh alkaline may start off at ~1.65V, and a new, and freshly charged, rechargeable may get close to 1.5V. But, that's due to what's called "surface charge", which tends to dissipate to the specified 1.2 or 1.5 rather quickly.

    I'd be more inclined to go with lithium batteries in a high-draw remote, like the old glo remotes. I know they aren't "green", but they can be recycled, just like most batteries can be, rather than going into the garbage.
  8. Apr 8, 2014 #8 of 17

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    mah ratings can't help a device, if that device can't function properly at the lower voltage.

    The OP was all about a Series 3 Glo remote, which uses 4 AAA, in series.

    No amount of mah that can be crammed into a AAA-sized battery (there are limitations), is going to result in guaranteed long and stable operation.

    I still have one of the ones the OP speaks of. I've been down the road of trying rechargeables. The buttons got aged and unreliable, so it's just in the museum of TiVos past, where it has been for a couple years now. This could be what the OP is experiencing (age-related failure), and it just happens to coincide with trying rechargeable batteries.
  9. Apr 9, 2014 #9 of 17

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    I use Eneloops in all my TiVo remotes. They work great for me. I just need to put in a recharged set when the remote commands have issues. But a fully charged set of batteries will last many months in my Slide Pro Remotes as well as my Roamio RF remotes.
  10. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Are any of them a Series 3 Glo Remote, or any of them requiring AAA x4 in series, like the original Glo? I know the ones you listed are likely AA x2, likely parallel circuited. Just trying to avoid confusion.

    I'm just trying to stay within the spirit of the OP's statements and question.

    The thread title itself if generic, and non-specific. So, I may just call it done, and stick a fork in it at this point, unless the OP has anything more to say, or to ask.

    I guess I should point out that the backlighting can be disabled by holding down the TiVo Button and Thumbs-Down Button until the remote light flashes, and re-enabled doing the same with the Thumbs-Up Button. That can remove the bulk of the load, and could help insure longer and more stable operation, when a remote designed for 6V is getting 4.8V with fully-charged rechargeables. I even turn it off (most of the time) on my newer Glo remotes to make my AA x2 batteries last longer. I'm still considering that the OP might just have a remote that has started to show it's age and wear, and the battery matter is just coincidental, or exacerbating the matter.
  11. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

    Apr 19, 2012
    sweet home, al
    what kind of rechargables, nimh?
    with rechargables, always keep an eye on mAh's. i was using panny's rated at 1.2v, 630 mAh's, and they never worked right, even when fully charged. switched to duracell 1.2v, 1000mAh's, and have never had an issue.
  12. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    I use eneloop rechargeable batteries in all my TiVo remotes, including the 4 AAA (old glo remote) one. The 4 AAA ones need to be replaced more often, but still work for me.
  13. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    I switched our Glo remotes to lithium AAA about a year ago. Have no idea how long they last as I still have not had to replace any. The alkaline used to last 2 to 3 months.

    The Lithium batteries also are much less likely to leak as they are welded closed. If they leak they catch fire so they are much better sealed.
  14. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    Those two batteries are used in series, not parallel.
  15. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    I tried just using one battery on each side to test that, since I had suspicions that just because they went side-by-side, in the same direction (polarity), didn't mean internal circuitry might not make them in series. I stopped short of opening the remote, or digging out my multimeters. This is why I said things like "I suspect", "appear to be", and "seems to be". I did factor-in that one battery may not have enough current to drive it, rather than declare they were in series, based only on that.

    How did you confirm it?

    I have no issue with being wrong in my suspicions, I'm just sharing what I tried, and asking what you did to confirm. I just wish I could've remembered the last thing I used my multimeter on, so I could've posted a certainty.

    2x AA in series would be 3.0V (normal/alkaline), and 2.4v with NiCd/NiMH. Single cell rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have a native voltage of 1.7V. But, I don't know what the non-rechargeables are, off the top of my head.

    I've also seen what appear to be single-cell lithium batteries that have higher voltage, but appearances can be deceiving, and there's more than one lithium-(whatever) type battery. I know that lithium "button" cells are 3V for those flat computer/watch batteries, and are not rechargeable, while some 12V lithium batteries have 4x3V button-cells inside what looks like a single cell, for cameras, garage-door openers, etc...
  16. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    Ohmmeter. Negative terminal of one side is shorted to the positive terminal of the other side.
  17. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Ok, cool. Now we all know that.

    It makes the repeating left-side-only battery drain and battery leakage matter much harder to figure out. A true series circuit, without any components inserted in the series circuit (if that's the case), should not kill one battery, while leaving the other battery in an almost-acceptable state...

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