Thursday, July 5, 2012


I've been using my trusty Logitech Harmony 880 ever since I've got it of ebay almost 3 years ago (to replace my Harmony 628)

Recently it started acting up and refusing to accept key presses for the volume up and arrow up.
Apparently, its a known issue that only gets worse over time.

So, I've began looking for a replacement at an acceptable price, and about the same features as the 880 (I didn't want to get another 880, due to the same issue).

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an eBay bid for a broken Harmony 650. Now, I usually skip the broken listings. but this was 15$ (with 9$ shipping) and the only thing that was broken was the Micro USB connector (same as all the latest smartphones).

It arrived today, and I immediately set about to fix it.

Here it is before I've started working:

(note the hole with the missing micro usb connector).

Initially I tried to use a mini usb connector, but it was too big and did not fit within the remote.
luckily I had an old bluetooth ear piece lying around which I could use to source for the missing female micro usb connector.

The problem, is that the connector is very small, and it is quite hard to unsolder it.
So, instead of fighting it with my weller, I decided to use the "use more power" approach and stuck the entire bluetooth earpiece board in the oven (yes, an actual oven). I've set it to 220C and waited for about 10 minutes.
10 minutes later, all components (including the micro usb) just fell of the board, and I've continued to solder the connector to the remote.

Its not easy, and you will need another helping hand, but after about an hour of fine soldering, I was done.
A quick test connecting to my PC and updating the remote (migrating the config from the old 880) it booted up and was completely responsive.
I took it over to the living room (still without the case) and it was working (woohoo!!!!).

Here it is finished:

A new Harmony 650 is about 80$, I now have one for 24$, how cool is that?