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  1. #1
    Senior Member JoeMuc2009's Avatar
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    Battery Compartment Mxstery

    Hi all,

    in the course of a recent RepairCafÚ UE Radio repair, I found heavy corrosion in the battery compartment that happened because the Radio was forgotten outside and ended up in a puddle of water after a rainy night.
    I found an interesting extra bit of circuitry that also exists in my own Radio. It is so odd that I would like to share it here. Maybe someone has an idea what all this is good for.
    Apparently, there are Radio models that do not have this extra circuitry which makes me wonder even more why the effort.
    After unscrewing the battery compartment door of my UE Smart Radio, this is what I have on the inside of the door:





    So there's a 10-pin contact header at the end of the small (5-wire) cable which is supposed to go into the device's battery jack here:



    And the battery is then supposed to be plugged into the jack that is in the door, shown next:



    Of course, I was curious about what is happening here as the battery could be connected to the device right away, having the correct form, keying, and pinout of the connector. So why this diversion?
    So let's undo the two PH1 screws which are near the strain relief of the wires:



    Hmm, so the black and white wires are directly soldered to the board apparently whereas the other three are routed differently. In the bottom left of the flipped-around module, a PH0 screw needs to be removed in order to release the PCB.
    What I found then is so inexplicably cumbersome: the red, brown, and cyan wires go to gold-plated pads on a very small separate PCB inside the housing. From there, three spring contacts on the other (larger) board connect them to the 10-pin jack.
    But the craziest thing for me is that there is no change in the final pinout. Pin 1 of the plug on one end is pin 1 on the jack at the other end. It's basically just a small 1:1 extension cord.



    The spring contacts are what failed in the patient that I had on the table in the RepairCafÚ. As a result, one of the spring contacts was completely gone due to corrosion, and the Radio indicated a broken battery and would not charge any longer, not even a brand-new after market (not original) battery that the owner bought under the assumption that it's just an aged battery that caused the issues.
    Sorry I have not taken a better picture but you'll get the idea:



    Luckily, this unit didn't blow up like many Radios apparently do by themselves, it still works fine on external power, and after removing all of this extra stuff, also works on both batteries, old and new.

    Which raises several questions:


    • why was this re-routing brought in at all? What's it good for? The battery could just as well be connected directly to the Radio battery port that is exposed in the compartment
    • how come they decided to connect two out of five wires directly to the target PCB, and route three of them across spring contacts on a separate mini PCB?
    • there's not a single component between both ends besides a variety of contacts. If a fuse was in there, or some sort of battery charge monitoring / protection, it would make a lot more sense
    • a lot of Radios do not have this extra circuitry at all - does it make a difference? It this an afterthought, and was more functionality actually planned to be implemented in this place?
    • humidity ingress will definitely do harm to the spring contacts sooner or later. This feels wrong as the Radio was designed to be carried around and also be placed outside, with a higher risk of exposure to water, cocktails or whatever
    • is this thing involved in the failure of Q3 and other components on the main board that so many Radios suffer from?


    Please consider this just a side conversation, it's nothing of any importance, just wondering. Maybe you Radio owners can take a look into your Radio's battery compartment to see whether this applies to your Radio as well. We might find out what the Radios with this special have in common otherwise. Just out of curiosity.

    Have a nice day!

    Cheers,
    Joe


    PN me if your Boom / Classic / Transporter display has issues!

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  2. #2
    I noticed this same setup on my UE Radio when I opened it to disconnect the battery a few weeks ago (on your advice**, thanks!). Neither of my Squeezebox-branded Radios have this.

    ** I know you suggested removing the battery but I've just been unplugging them.
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  3. #3
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    maybe the spring contacts were meant for a (future) battery alternative? I.e. LiPo?
    Just guessing....
    Heiner
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  4. #4
    Senior Member KeBul's Avatar
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    I've seen this modification to the battery connection on every UE Smart Radio I have (4 or 5) but not on any of my standard (not limited edition) Squeezebox Radios (7 maybe 8).

    No doubt not relevant, but the original SBR's didn't ship with a battery, you had to buy the accessory pack which was a battery and remote control to get a battery for those, I think there were some limited edition coloured versions that did ship with batteries installed though.

    The later UE Smart Radios came with batteries installed.

    Kev
    Last edited by KeBul; 2019-07-07 at 13:49.

  5. #5
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Battery Compartment Mxstery

    > I've seen this modification to the battery connection on every UE Smart
    > Radio I have (4 or 5) but not on any of my standard (not limited
    > edition) Squeezebox Radios (7 maybe 8).
    >
    > No doubt not relevant, but the original SBR's didn't ship with a
    > battery, you had to buy the accessory pack which was a battery and
    > remote control to get a battery for those


    And that's exactly the reason why you'd see this little thingy on UE SR,
    but not SBR: to protect the battery from dis-charging or other issues
    after production, there was a small plastic flap you'd have to pull from
    the battery department after you un-boxed your UESR. That flap between
    the spring contacts would interrupt the battery's connection. So this
    little modification is a hardware switch to disconnect the battery from
    the Radio while shipping from the factory. There shouldn't be any harm
    ignoring it and plugging the battery right in to the main plug.

    See page 6 in the manual:
    https://www.logitech.com/assets/4589...tart-guide.pdf

    --

    Michael

  6. #6
    Senior Member JoeMuc2009's Avatar
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    Cool, that nailed it! I have never unpacked a new radio, hence never got to see one of these protective strips. Cool, thanks for the enlightenment!

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  7. #7
    Senior Member KeBul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    > No doubt not relevant, but the original SBR's didn't ship with a
    > battery, you had to buy the accessory pack which was a battery and
    > remote control to get a battery for those[/color]

    And that's exactly the reason why you'd see this little thingy on UE SR,
    but not SBR: to protect the battery from dis-charging or other issues
    after production, there was a small plastic flap you'd have to pull from
    the battery department after you un-boxed your UESR.

    Michael
    Doh! of course, so it is relevant, I never thought of that, plus I didn't buy any of my UE Smart Radios new, one I received as a replacement from Logitech for a failed SBR and I can't even remember if that shipped with a battery, all the others were secondhand eBay purchases.

    Thanks Michael

    Kev

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