Problems with Harmony 890 RF - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 01-13-2008, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm at my wits end, and am about 2 steps away from shattering my remote against a wall. UGH!

I had a Harmony 890 for about a year, and it worked *perfectly*. I loved it--it never gave me any problems. That all changed about two weeks ago.

All of a sudden I had to be about 6 feet from the extender for it to work, and it was sketchy at that. I thought the remote had gone bad, so I bought another. It seemed to do the same thing, so I swapped it out. This one is doing the same thing. I have paired, unpaired, updated, firmware updated, connected z-wave devices and so-on... every trick in the book--and it still won't work right. I'll press buttons here and there with no response, or sometimes it will seem to do nothing and voila! It will do all 15 button presses at once and get everything garbled up. Sometimes it will take a command from 20 feet, and then won't execute another command at that distance for 15 minutes.

For the life of me I can't figure this out. As far as I know nothing has changed. I do have an RF mouse and keyboard, so I unplugged those in case they were causing interference... no dice. Does anyone have any ideas what to do??? I'm trying to operate my components no more than 15 feet away... WELL within the range of this thing, and as mentioned before, my old remote did it for a year flawlessly. Should I go into the website and throw away all of my current setups and start from scratch? That's the ONLY thing I haven't done. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 44 Old 01-24-2008, 09:50 PM
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Jonathanengr-

First thing I wanted to tell you is that you are NOT crazy! I say this because I too am going through the same exact thing right now with my remote as you are with yours. I have had the Harmony 890 (normal version, not the pro version) since May 2007. The remote worked flawlessly since May to about November 2007. At that point things went bad, really bad. My remote stopped functioning with the RF Extender except when I was within a very short area (like 1-2 feet).

I tried everything as well. I upgraded the firmware, redid commands, removed the extender to an interference free area and still it would not work, I also tried re-establishing the Z-Wave pairing.

All of these solutions did not seem to fix a thing. I then bought a new one and had the same issues. I then sent that one back and got a 3rd one sent out to me, which worked fine for the first few days then, right back to only working in a 1-2 foot radius from the unit.

Here is what I am running near the Remote & Extender:
Panasonic 50" Plasma
Xbox 360 Elite
DirecTV HR100-S
Microsoft Media Center PC
Harmon Kardon AVR75 Receiver
Linksys WRT54G Router

I also thought about any interference from lighting and do have 6 compact flourescent flood lights and 6 incandescent lights that are in the area. Turning the lights off though seems to make no difference with the extender.

Did I get 3 bad remotes? Not likely, I think there is an issue either with the software / firmware or there is some interference issue that I have not thought of.

So you are not crazy! please post all equipment you have in the area.

Glad to hear I was not the only one either!
-Magik
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post #3 of 44 Old 01-25-2008, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magik Empire View Post

Jonathanengr-

First thing I wanted to tell you is that you are NOT crazy! I say this because I too am going through the same exact thing right now with my remote as you are with yours. ...

I would note that neither you nor the OP mentioned the possibility that the RF Wireless Extender is defective.

Possible?
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post #4 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 12:45 PM
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It's my 3rd RF extender in a row, so it seems unlikely, but as flaky as Logitech products have been for me its possible. I have a support request in with Logitech for what to do next.
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post #5 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magik Empire View Post

It's my 3rd RF extender in a row, so it seems unlikely, but as flaky as Logitech products have been for me its possible. I have a support request in with Logitech for what to do next.

Doh. We're addressing the problem presented by the OP. Neither he nor you mentioned the possibility that his RF Wireless Extender might be bad. And you've gone through three of them?
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post #6 of 44 Old 01-30-2008, 09:20 AM
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can the rf extender be plugged into a remote in of an av reciever vs using the flashers?
3.5m to 3.5 m jack

AC
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post #7 of 44 Old 07-13-2009, 09:31 AM
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I know this thread is very old, but I wanted to chime in that I am seeing the exact type of IR interference problem with my Harmony 880 and some IR sender throughout my ohuse.

Most of the time they worked flawlessly. Sometimes, it would go intermittent for 30-60 minutes, but mostly worked fine.

Well, last week, it got intermittent, and didn't come back, 1 out of 20 commands gets through. The wierd thing is the commands for the remote cable box work 95%+. The Tivos, sat receivers, HTPC work 5% or less.

So, I am assuming the strength of the IR being 'reconstituted' went lower.

So my question. Is there an amplitude level on IR? Or is it on or off? I mean, if a repeater gets a 50% signal, does it then send out a 50% signal?

See where I am going with this?
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post #8 of 44 Old 07-24-2009, 08:33 PM
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any fix here? i have been using an 890 for better than a year with no problems. and just recently i started getting the 1-2 foot range issue... i have tried 2 different RF extenders to no luck.
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post #9 of 44 Old 07-30-2009, 05:19 PM
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THought i would chime in on this topic.

I have two refurbed 890s. Recently, my downstairs one went on the fritz. ALl of a sudden, anything controlled by the wireless extender did not work unless i was 5 feet away. Even then, only like 1/15 inputs actally registered.

Initially i thought maybe the software had reverted back to IR control for theose devices (since only worked when close). Then i found some archived post somewhere about electrical interference.

Turns out, my new baby monitor (for my five week old) was jamming the house. Once i shut it off, everything worked fine again. I dont know if this helps anyone else, but check out if you have new electrical devices installed (especially monitors which are notorious for spreading and picking up noise).
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post #10 of 44 Old 09-11-2009, 09:14 PM
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My 890 RF functions have disappeared after working fine since June 2006. Nothing unusual to signal a change in the environment. I may just switch over to direct view commands for now as everything else is still in same place as it was when it worked before.

"I am aware that this Thread is rather old but I still want to make a reply."
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post #11 of 44 Old 10-14-2009, 06:41 PM
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Mine just did the exact same thing. I have an 890 for our living room because of the RF capabilities and the "activities" feature (for the wife and kids). Bought one from logitech - it arrived DOA, with the IR not working. Got a replacement - it worked perfectly for about 10 months. Last week it just stopped. The RF no longer works at all. I won't be buying another.

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post #12 of 44 Old 10-14-2009, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatso View Post

Mine just did the exact same thing. I have an 890 for our living room because of the RF capabilities and the "activities" feature (for the wife and kids). Bought one from logitech - it arrived DOA, with the IR not working. Got a replacement - it worked perfectly for about 10 months. Last week it just stopped. The RF no longer works at all. I won't be buying another.

I've just bought another 890 as insurance for when my existing one will pack it in. I need the 890 for its ability to zone the IR LEDs which the 900 apparently cannot do.

So, reading about this wierd phenomena of reduction in range scares me a bit.

I know about RF interference - it's related to my my job - I just wonder when you guys last did an update on your Remotes? I haven't done one for the last 3 months and everything is still operating normally. Would like to hear if anyone can tie their problem down to a PC Software and or Remote Firmware update?

As some of you have replaced both the Remote and Extender and have done so at least 6 months ago, it kinda leaves RF interference as the major suspect. The interfering source needn't be just in your house - it can come from a few houses down if it's strong enough. The symptom of severe loss of range remind me of not being able to get into your car because of a nearby building site that uses RF transmitters to communicate with its fleet. There have been times when I've had to search around the windscreen of my car with my key to find a spot where it would open the car.

Phil.
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post #13 of 44 Old 10-15-2009, 12:15 PM
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Hi,

I posted ths on the Harmony forum two days ago. Here is my problem:



I have my audio rack behind a closet door so verything is confgured to work with the 890 in RF mode and the devices receiving commands via the IR extender. Everything was working fine but I upgraded my pre-amp/processor (from a Rotel RSP-1072 to a Rotel RSP-1570) The new device actually uses almost identical IR codes as the old device, except now it doesn't seem to respond to the IR extender unless I am standing with the remote in a specific location- close to the blaster location. BUT if I keep the remote in the exact spot where it works, and move my body to the side or in a different position, it won't work!?!?) All devices work perfectly- EXCEPT this one component! Arrrrrgh!!!!



I have spent several days reading the forum and postings to try to figure out what is going on. I have done the following to try and fix / trouble-shoot, some many many times:
  • reset the extender, reloaded firmware, updated remotes
  • used IR codes from device database,
  • used learned codes from device remote
  • confirmed the LEDs on the extender (receiive & send) light when I use remote
  • remote will operate device properly in direct IR mode
  • I have no other new RF devices in my house I know of which could be causing interference (and if there was one in the neighbouhood how would I know, and what could I do about it??)
  • adjusted different timings
  • adjusted different "sensitivity" settings 0 - 5 to "5" to try and address device occasionally responding

If it is RF interference, why is just one componen not getting commands reliably? I too have another Harmony remote and extender that I was going to use for my bedroom system. I have swapped out the new extender for the old one and no change- same problem. I am charging up the remote battery and will try a totally new remote/extender set-up, but I am not optomistic.

If the RF interference is coming from down the street, what are you supposed to do? How can you possibly tell!??
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post #14 of 44 Old 10-15-2009, 02:51 PM
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It doesn't sound like you're suffering from RF interference as everything works, at a good distance, like it did before, for all your equipment except for your new pre-amp. Is that right?

That leaves very little left to blame the 890 for. Just a long, very long shot here. At one time I had a Snazio Media Player that just like your new pre-amp, would not work properly and consistently in my system - everything else would. Turned out, after many weeks of frustrating experimentation, which you know all about now, that I was flooding the IR receiver on the Snazio. I had to move the IR eye AWAY from the proper spot just in front off the IR receiver.

As a test, if you completely remove the IR eye from the pre-amp, does it then work? If you leave the blaster ON in the RF module, it's surprising how well most equipment will still work, even though there is no direct line of sight to the blaster!!.

This long shot doesn't completely address all of the symptoms you list, but atm it's all I can think off to do. Let me know how you get on.
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post #15 of 44 Old 10-15-2009, 07:12 PM
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I have an 890Pro that has worked flawlessly for the past year. In the last hour it has stopped working RF except when I am just inches away from the extender. The IR works fine. I updated firmware and software, removed battery etc. After reading about how so many of you had this happen even with replacement remotes I am not sure what to do. My equipment is in an adjacent room and I need the RF. No new equipment has been added close by or far away to explain the sudden severe drop in range. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #16 of 44 Old 10-16-2009, 03:18 AM
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What is this?? A conspiracy?? All these 890's going AWOL at about the same time? Just checked mine - it's OK phew...Received my new one today as well. Have all of you posted on the Logitec Forum or contacted Logitec by email yet?

Phil.
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post #17 of 44 Old 10-17-2009, 08:35 PM
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Oddly enough the next night the remote was working perfectly again for about 2 hours before having the same problem. Today it has been working perfectly again all day. I bought a Harmony 1100 on Amazon and it is now waiting in its box. One more failure and the box gets opened. I am really curious what makes my 890 keep changing from fully functional to nearly broken.
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post #18 of 44 Old 10-18-2009, 01:29 AM
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One other thing that I can think of is that the internal transmitting antenna in the Remote is broken, intermittantly so obviously. You or someone hasn't dropped it recently by any chance? I know some of you tried out a new one, but still, that doesn't necessarily preclude this kind of damage.

Phil.
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post #19 of 44 Old 10-18-2009, 06:13 PM
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Switched to Harmony 1100 last night. Has been working beautifully until an hour ago, same issue. Now I am hoping it is the RF receiver, I will try out replacing it. If that doesn't work I'm screwed.
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post #20 of 44 Old 10-27-2009, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escon View Post

It doesn't sound like you're suffering from RF interference as everything works, at a good distance, like it did before, for all your equipment except for your new pre-amp. Is that right?

That leaves very little left to blame the 890 for. Just a long, very long shot here. At one time I had a Snazio Media Player that just like your new pre-amp, would not work properly and consistently in my system - everything else would. Turned out, after many weeks of frustrating experimentation, which you know all about now, that I was flooding the IR receiver on the Snazio. I had to move the IR eye AWAY from the proper spot just in front off the IR receiver.

As a test, if you completely remove the IR eye from the pre-amp, does it then work? If you leave the blaster ON in the RF module, it's surprising how well most equipment will still work, even though there is no direct line of sight to the blaster!!.

This long shot doesn't completely address all of the symptoms you list, but atm it's all I can think off to do. Let me know how you get on.

I think that actually was the issue! I directed my Rotel control to an output on my RF extender and conected a 1/8" mono cord to the IR input on my new Rotel and it seems to be responding fine now!!

BUT...

I have another problem I need help with. I have my Sony 52"XBR4 TV controlled through an IR eye connected to my 890's RF Extender which is behind a cabinet door. Problem is that when the cabinet door is closed (as it is supposed to be all of the time) the TV won't respond to any commands from my remote, although all my other components do just fine. When I open the cabinet door (even a little bit) the TV will respond as intended. Why???? Or more importantly how do I fix it? Thanks in advance.
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post #21 of 44 Old 11-01-2009, 09:32 AM
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They have had battery problems, specifically bulging and not allowing the terminals to make good contact when it's in the cradle. This reduces range like any other remote and it happens whether the remote is left in the charging cradle, or not. They don't use a generic battery (REALLY STUPID, IMO), so it needs to be bought at only a few places.
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post #22 of 44 Old 11-02-2009, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwartzwest View Post

I think that actually was the issue! I directed my Rotel control to an output on my RF extender and conected a 1/8" mono cord to the IR input on my new Rotel and it seems to be responding fine now!!

BUT...

I have another problem I need help with. I have my Sony 52"XBR4 TV controlled through an IR eye connected to my 890's RF Extender which is behind a cabinet door. Problem is that when the cabinet door is closed (as it is supposed to be all of the time) the TV won't respond to any commands from my remote, although all my other components do just fine. When I open the cabinet door (even a little bit) the TV will respond as intended. Why???? Or more importantly how do I fix it? Thanks in advance.

It sounds like the IR LED that is connected to your TV may not be working properly. When the cabinet is open, I'm guessing theat the IR blaster part of the extender is getting to your TV. With the cabinet closed, it can't get to it. Also, have you checked your 890 settings wrt the extender? If you are using all of the 4 jacks on the extender, make sure you set up your extender in the PC Harmony SW to put out every device on ALL output jacks. Alternatively, if you have grouped the outputs to specific equipment, make sure that the IR LEDs are plugged into the right jack.

Phil.
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post #23 of 44 Old 11-05-2009, 11:08 AM
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I cannot recommend any Logitech Harmony device.

We probably all know that any universal remote, especially those controlling multiple devices, is going to be a challenge to program. No, I’m not a luddite. I’m very technically proficient.

The manual is incomprehensible and does not match the actual device. For example, for one of the steps to use the device, the manual tells the user to click on “Remote Preferences.” There is no such button in their software. That’s just an example.

And then, there’s the kind of important section on “Controlling a Device With the RF Wireless Extender.” Kind of basic. The manual tells you what it does, but doesn’t give you a clue on how to set this option. That’s just another example.

I tried calling Tech Support. Guess what? They wanted more than $100 to talk to me. They thought my 90 days was up; it wasn’t and they wouldn’t correct their error.

The screen on my 890 is hard to read…maybe that’s better in future versions. But this company’s customer relations is enough to make me look elsewhere.

I’m looking for something else and a refund.
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post #24 of 44 Old 11-05-2009, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escon View Post

It sounds like the IR LED that is connected to your TV may not be working properly. When the cabinet is open, I'm guessing theat the IR blaster part of the extender is getting to your TV. With the cabinet closed, it can't get to it. Also, have you checked your 890 settings wrt the extender? If you are using all of the 4 jacks on the extender, make sure you set up your extender in the PC Harmony SW to put out every device on ALL output jacks. Alternatively, if you have grouped the outputs to specific equipment, make sure that the IR LEDs are plugged into the right jack.

I was thinking of this, but the only thing is that I have the extender set to output ONLY to one of the output jacks that runs to my TV, so the blaster LED shouldn't be involved at all.
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post #25 of 44 Old 11-06-2009, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoAxToGrind View Post

I cannot recommend any Logitech Harmony device.

We probably all know that any universal remote, especially those controlling multiple devices, is going to be a challenge to program. No, I’m not a luddite. I’m very technically proficient.

The manual is incomprehensible and does not match the actual device. For example, for one of the steps to use the device, the manual tells the user to click on “Remote Preferences.” There is no such button in their software. That’s just an example.

And then, there’s the kind of important section on “Controlling a Device With the RF Wireless Extender.” Kind of basic. The manual tells you what it does, but doesn’t give you a clue on how to set this option. That’s just another example.

I tried calling Tech Support. Guess what? They wanted more than $100 to talk to me. They thought my 90 days was up; it wasn’t and they wouldn’t correct their error.

The screen on my 890 is hard to read…maybe that’s better in future versions. But this company’s customer relations is enough to make me look elsewhere.

I’m looking for something else and a refund.

I had an 890 Pro, briefly. Hard to read, impossible to see the hard buttons in low light and generally a bad form, IMO. It does work though, although I think they seriously screwed up when they came up with the FAQ section on their site. As far as using a remote, as much as I hate Logitech for turning Harmony into a company that's completely unable to communicate with dealers and distributors, I really like the 1100. At this point, while I would like it to control lighting with some kind of RF, I'll be OK as long as it doesn't freeze up like the 1000 did. My customers have been more than patient.

Make sure the software and firmware are the most recent.

When you open the software, do you see the activities in boxes, two across and three blue buttons next to an icon for the activity? If so, Go to 'Devices', click on 'Control Devices' and you'll see each one, with a drop-down at the right. Make the selections and update the remote and RF extender.

Is the background gray with 5 colored rectangles at the left? If it's this page, look for 'My Remote' at the top, click on it and once that opens, you'll see 'Control Devices' at the upper left. Again, it will have an icon for each device and a drop-down to the right of each, where you'll select RF Extender or Harmony 890.

If you really want to get to know how to make changes to the account without messing up the one you're using, set up another account or clone the one you have and play with that one. That way, you won't change anything that you don't want to and when you're done, you just go to the main account and update again. Otherwise, look at the 1100.
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post #26 of 44 Old 11-09-2009, 02:06 PM
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highfigh said:
"I had an 890 Pro, briefly. Hard to read, impossible to see the hard buttons in low light and generally a bad form, IMO. It does work though, although I think they seriously screwed up when they came up with the FAQ section on their site. As far as using a remote, as much as I hate Logitech for turning Harmony into a company that's completely unable to communicate with dealers and distributors, ...."

Someone read one of my reviews about this product and sent me a personal "flame." Cast aspersions on my technical knowledge. So, out of an abundance of self-doubt, I looked at this forum and found that many, many also think this device is hard to program.

Logitech really needs to do better.
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post #27 of 44 Old 11-11-2009, 09:17 AM
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For those in the future that may be looking at the 890pro, I write this here. STAY AWAY!

Problems:
Silver Hard Buttons are impossible to read, in any light condition.
Mediocre build quality
Programing Capabilites are very restrictive
Software poorly designed.

The remote works, the RF works well, programing individual components is easy and works well. IR Range is MUCH better then most standard remotes. Those were the high-points on the 890pro.

In the end I've been very dissapointed in this remote and wish I would have just spent the money on a URC MX-880.

You get what you pay for!

Chris
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post #28 of 44 Old 11-28-2009, 07:41 AM
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I also have an 890, but am experiencing different yet very frustrating problems. For the last year or so whenever I try to update the remote with new equipment settings - nothing major - I get an error on the remote indicating that one part of the update has failed - most often the region and has lost connection. It typically takes over an hour to perform a simple update. Anyone else have these issues?

Jeff
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post #29 of 44 Old 12-02-2009, 03:28 PM
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don't all harmony's use the same web interface? If so, I see nothing difficult about it. Just time and patience. I would agree a better help system should be in place

As for RF interference. What about Wireless routers. This would be a hard one to figure out if you live close to other people, as it might not be in your house/apartment. Another thing is Wii, PS3, Xbox remotes, Microwaveas, cordless phones, certain plasma tv's, fireplaces with RF remotes, the list goes on. Those of you having issues, are you close to neighbors? The Wii and PS3 even emit wireless as well.

Does anyone know what RF range the harmony uses?
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post #30 of 44 Old 01-29-2010, 04:50 PM
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Has anyone had any luck sorting out this issue of limited range? I too have the same problem and I am currently at a loss of whats up. Any posts to possible solutions?

RF interfence, Broken RF transmitter in the remote, SW, FW, ??
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