A way to tell which of two remotes has low battery?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by pgoelz, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. pgoelz

    pgoelz Active Member

    May 1, 2005
    Title says all. We have two remotes but the Roamio only displays a common battery level. Is there a way to tell which of the two remotes it is referring to when it says the remote has a low battery?

    Ditto for the battery level shown under system information...... it is currently showing 40%, but I con't tell which remote it refers to. I tried activating both remotes but the reading did not change. I doubt that they are both at exactly the same level.

  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Do a restart. This stops System Information from showing battery level. Then, on one remote, hit TiVo+D. Now that remote will show its battery level. I always use Lithium since they are 100% until they die a quick death.

    I'm guessing on the above procedure. :)

    Remotes don't lose their pairing when batteries are removed.
  3. pgoelz

    pgoelz Active Member

    May 1, 2005
    Ah, close. Your answer got me thinking so I did some experiments.

    The battery level displayed under system information seems to be (usually) the battery level of the remote that is communicating with the Tivo when the system information screen is accessed. The restart does not seem to be required. I was able to display the battery level of remote #1, back out of the system information screen and re-open it with remote #2 and the battery level changed. Most of the time. However, it did not seem to work every time, so the remotes might not send battery status in every packet. That, or maybe the Roamio does not interpret battery status in every packet it receives.

  4. Jay2tak

    Jay2tak Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    I just use a battery tester and check both remotes,
  5. FitzAusTex

    FitzAusTex Member

    May 7, 2014
    Yeah, I only use one remote for a few minutes (maybe wait 5), and by then it is reporting on that remote. Just backing out of system info screen and going back in is almost never long enough in my experience.
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH

    Or a multimeter to measure the voltage. You can purchase workable versions of either type device for under $10 on Amazon. Much quicker and more definite than any of the other methods discussed here. (And useful for all your other battery-powered devices too)
  7. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    I do it the old fashion way. When the remote stops working I change the batteries.
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If you don't really know how to interpret voltmeter readings on batteries (without a load drawing current they read higher than they otherwise would) and don't want to buy a battery tester just for this application, you should be able to get an inexpensive flashlight that uses the same kind of batteries.

    Let's say, just for illustration, the remote uses 2 AA batteries.

    Get a flashlight that uses 2 AAs and put 2 fresh ones in it.

    See how bright it is.

    Replace one battery with one from the remote, check brightness.

    Take that one out, put in other one from remote, check brightness.

    If you're comparing remotes, do the same with the other remote's batteries, one at a time.

    You'll have a visual indication of relative current delivering ability, and it never hurts to have a spare flashlight with fresh batteries on hand.
  9. pgoelz

    pgoelz Active Member

    May 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the input, guys. Looks like the Tivo system information indication (and presumably the low battery message) generally refers to the last remote that communicated with the Tivo regularly.

    And yes, I usually do change the batteries when the remote stops communicating. But under some circumstances that can result in leaking batteries, so the Tivo indication is a useful early warning.

    Approximating remaining life by measuring alkaline cells open circuit is pretty easy.... 1.5V = near new, 1.0V = near dead. Interpolate in between. Most devices are actually designed to operate down to about 0.9V/cell. Just a lot easier to rely on the Tivo indication / low battery warning since I don't have to go find my voltmeter and take the cells out of the remote ;)

  10. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    I would just pull the batteries for one and see what the box says about the remote still connected.

Share This Page