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Thread: Evohome WiFi Controller - Battery Issue?

  1. #1
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    Default Evohome WiFi Controller - Battery Issue?

    Morning!

    I had the power off for 15 minutes at the weekend and when I looked at my Evohome Controller, I noticed it was off. Gave it a prod, nothing.

    Dead as a doornail. As soon as the power was restored, it booted back up and worked normally with the charging symbol on the display, and seemed back to normal.

    Now, as soon as I lift it off the cradle, it says 'please wait a few seconds' then shuts down and immediately boots back up again showing full battery, however - within no more than 20 minutes it goes off again and cannot be woken unless put back on the cradle.

    My not-entirely-scientific conclusion is that the batteries are knackered. The device is 9 months old and has never been off the cradle since installation.

    The batteries are GP ReCyko+ Pro (they shipped with the unit)

    Any ideas?

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelup View Post
    Morning!

    I had the power off for 15 minutes at the weekend and when I looked at my Evohome Controller, I noticed it was off. Gave it a prod, nothing.

    Dead as a doornail. As soon as the power was restored, it booted back up and worked normally with the charging symbol on the display, and seemed back to normal.

    Now, as soon as I lift it off the cradle, it says 'please wait a few seconds' then shuts down and immediately boots back up again showing full battery, however - within no more than 20 minutes it goes off again and cannot be woken unless put back on the cradle.

    My not-entirely-scientific conclusion is that the batteries are knackered. The device is 9 months old and has never been off the cradle since installation.

    The batteries are GP ReCyko+ Pro (they shipped with the unit)

    Any ideas?

    Steve
    The batteries may not be knackered. It could be no more than a poor connection with the battery terminals. This is a problem reported a number of times in the forum over the years. Take the batteries out and gently try to bend the metal contacts out a little so that the batteries have a tighter fit.

  3. #3
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    I'll give that a whirl - thanks!

  4. #4
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    Before you do that, the controllers also sometimes need to be sort of initialized to charge the batteries properly, google for evohome controller poor batteries, or something like that. I think you have to leave it connected to the power, take out the batteries, wait for it to recognise that batteries are missing and put them in again, but thats from memory. It made a massive difference to me though once it was done.

  5. #5
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    The battery management code in the controller is faulty. It does not account for self discharge of the batteries.

    So if you leave it on the stand/wall mount all the time - as I do, the initially fully charged batteries - which are being neither charged or discharged by the unit (as it is running off power directly) will gradually self discharge without the controller realising this or acting to top up the batteries.

    If you leave it many months before lifting it off the cradle you may well find it says half full or less and will run for a very short time before running out. If it is more than about half full it will also not start charging the battery when it is returned to the cradle. (The battery symbol will go away completely instead of changing to the charging symbol)

    The workaround for this to force it to give the batteries a full charge is to remove the batteries and the device from the cradle such that it powers off, then put it back onto the cradle WITHOUT inserting the batteries first. Then wait for it to boot up and wait until you get a cross through the battery symbol to report that the batteries are "faulty". Now insert the batteries without removing the unit from the cradle and they will start charging and charge to 100%. This may take over 6 hours. During this time do not remove the unit from the charging cradle - wait until the charging symbol (lightning bolt) disappears.

    In my experience removing the batteries and reinserting them in an already powered up controller does not trigger a full charge of the batteries, at least not if they're at least half charged. Causing a battery error during a reboot is the only way to ensure it will charge the batteries to 100%.

    If you remove the unit from the cradle from time to time instead of leaving it on there for months at a time you won't see this discharge problem (it will usually keep the batteries above 50%) but if you leave it on the cradle for months on end without ever removing it the batteries will eventually run down to the point where they can't power the unit during a power cut or when removed from the cradle.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 13th February 2019 at 01:34 PM.

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    Brilliant - thanks. I'll do that.

    And sorry for not replying sooner - the notification from the forum went into my junk folder.

  7. #7
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    Hi

    I can confirm that these instructions worked perfectly

    Many thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    The battery management code in the controller is faulty. It does not account for self discharge of the batteries.
    Gosh, that explains why my batteries are always flat!

    Let's hope that Resideo do something about it. Surely a firmware update is now badly overdue!

  9. #9
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    Just to follow up - this hack seems to last about six months at a time. Mine was totally dead again today - lift it off the cradle, 2 mins later it's complaining, 2 further minutes and totally dead.

    I've 'reset' it again!

  10. #10
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    Time for some new batteries then ? NiMH batteries don't like to be continuously float charged so in the Evohome application they won't last more than a few years due to this.

    I'm thinking of replacing the ones in my controller but haven't got around to it yet. I have a hobby battery charger/discharger which I can use to measure their usable capacity after 4 years with a discharge test - I bet it's pretty low!

    When I measured the 2 year old NiMH cells from our baby monitor after replacing them I found they were down to about 20% of the new rated capacity, and internal resistance was 3x the new cells... no wonder they didn't last long anymore...

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