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Remote Control batteries (comcast)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Paul D G, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. Paul D G

    Paul D G Well-Known Member

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    So, my year old Comcast remote died on me. At first I thought it was the batteries so I replaced them, then the next day it stopped working again. So I take it into a Comcast storefront to exchange it. I comment on what was wrong as I took out the batteries of my old one and she tells me to use the cheapo batteries in them, not alkalines. I look at her funny and she says "Look what they come with" and points to the zinc carbon batteries attached to the package. I tell her all included batteries are the cheapo ones and that doesn't make sense but she shrugs and goes back to whatever she was doing.

    I've always used alkaline batteries in my remotes and they've lasted YEARS without having to replace the batteries and I've never had a remote die on me before but...

    So I start to thinking - there have been numerous times where I've tried to reason something out with someone who just refused to accept something I was telling them was correct. Maybe this is one of those times but I'm the wrong one. The remote did die after a year with alkaline batteries. And, similarly, my JVC camcorder died after a year because I used TDK tapes and it wasn't until the guy at JVC said "Were you using TDK tapes?" when I explained the problem that I found out you're not supposed to use that brand in their cameras. And she did the same thing when I commented that the remote wasn't working. JVC doesn't note this in their documentation, and likewise, there is no note re alkalines in the remote instructions so who knows?

    Someone tell me she was full of it, or comment on having the same problem.

    -paul
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to venture an educated guess and say "She's an idiot" [​IMG]

    From what I understand, both battery types produce the same amount of power, it's just that alkaline have a longer shelf life, so I can't understand why a brand new remote would work best with crappy batteries.
     
  3. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Well-Known Member

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    As an independent authorized servicer (multiple brands including camcorders ), I would like to add a couple of comments.

    First, it was nice to hear that JVC agrees with my long time reccomendation about TDK tapes. I have personally seen video heads destroyed by TDK tapes (it's a mechanical and oxide problem). This has been going on since their BETA tapes.

    I doubt that the battery problem is a Alkaline vs Carbon-Zinc issue but a Brand/Shape/Age issue. First buy from someone who sells a lot of them (fresh stock). This means drug and discount stores, not Speciality Shops. House brands are OK since they usually come from "good guys", like Rayovac and Eveready, not "bad guys", like Dur***ll or Kod*k. Also, a 1.25 volt rechargeable is not a substitute for a 1.5 volt dry cell unless the product was specifically designed for it.

    Speaking of that battery with a "copper colored" top. Over the last 25 years, almost exactly half of the portable battery powered products that came into my shop had brand new dead Dur***ll batteries. If you look closely, you will also see that they have a slightly different shape than standard batteries, causing fit problems in many products. (Just like TDK tapes have a slightly different size tape housing)

    With both products, if you get a bad one, jump brands immeditely. Bad high volume items don't come in singles, they come in dozens of thousands or more.
     
  4. Paul D G

    Paul D G Well-Known Member

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    Steve:

    RE: JVC vs TDK
    I've never ever heard before that TDK causes problems with equipment. However there are a LOT of people pissed off at JVC because of this problem. Mainly because they know about it but don't mention it anywhere. What happens is after a year your $600 camcorder is useless and you have to pay $300+ to get it fixed.

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-an...?msg_id=009ZB5

    Fortunately I used my Amex Buyer Protection and got most of my money back for the camera.

    Re: Batteries
    I'm not exactly clear on what you're saying here. "Brand/Shape/Age". If it matters I only use Energizer batteries, and with small kids in the house we go thru a ton of batteries so we always have recent stock.

    And, are you saying my batteries, which were in the remote for a year, killed it?

    -paul
     
  5. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Well-Known Member

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    It's not really JVC's (or Sony, or Panasonic, or Canon's) fault that a tape manufacturer puts out batches of tapes that are so abrasive and/or malformed that they jam up and destroy heads. Obviously not every TDK tape is a bad one but in the need to have a patentable design they have to make their tape a little different from everyone elses. TDK just makes theirs a little too different.

    Do you think any major manufacturer is going to publically denounce another major manufacturer? The most they can do is reccommend a particular brand of tape without mentioning the undesired one at all.

    As an aside, the Mini-DV format has extremely fragile mechanism and is easily damaged. The nominal head life of high resolution camcorders (High8, D8, SVHS-C, MiniDV) is about 1000 hours total (record and playback) so that could be a factor also.

    Normally a poor battery will not damage a remote permanently. I have seen it happen however. When a battery gets very low (say 50%) the microprocessor will start running at double the current and may overheat (this will not be detectable to you however) and fail. A remote processor can also start sending out random commands as the battery level drops. If it locks "on" it can fail from overheating too. These are faily rare occurrences but I have seen it happen enough to verify the possibility.
     
  6. Steve Ridges

    Steve Ridges Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed that my comcast remote seems to eat batteries as well. It seems like every month or two, I have to change them. Maybe I'll try the cheap batteries and see what happens.
     

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