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Bluetooth speaker by Brookstone, released late 2013.

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Recall - recycle or repair?

The Big Blue has been recalled - out of 164,000 sold, “12 reports of the speakers overheating and catching fire, resulting in five reports of property damage totaling about $2,000 “

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2018/brooks...

Very disappointing, I really like our Big Blue! Does anyone have more information?

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Has anyone tried any of the aforementioned fixes regarding replacing the battery with similar batteries? Or rewiring it to be powered exclusively off the power cord? I’d be fine with that as an alternative and just drop the battery power all together if that’s the safest option that still allows me to keep the speaker (I really like have it for Chromecast out on the deck and nobody else seems to make the same product functionally).

da

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Well, you could put in a new battery that hopefully isn’t OEM, therefore eliminating the risk of combustion due to the battery.

http://xpresstekstore.com/6800mah-high-c...

Brookstone Big Blue Party/360 Speaker Battery Replacement

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That replacement battery sales have stopped "To ensure customer safety, we are stopping all sales for these battery packs until we have more information about the root cause of the problem."

da

@twiga65 If it’s that serious of an issue that 3rd party battery resellers are halting sales it is a good idea to just participate on the recall. If you would like a reccomendation to another speaker that I personally have and works without issue tell me. I am happy to do so. :-)

da

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Let me see if I have this right, you have this know fire hazard that could burn down your house, endanger your family, threaten their lives and you want to put a new battery in it and keep it. How old are you?

How about. instead, you participate in the recall?

Consumer Contact:

Brookstone toll-free at 866-576-7337 any time or online at www.omnimgt.com/BrookstonerecallFAQ/ for more information.

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First, the Big Blue has a heavy case that apparently contains any fire fairly well. Only 5 of the 12 reported fires had property damage. That's better than the reported phone or laptop fires.

I'm looking for more information - What was the failure cause -- battery? charger? design? defect? age? Is it possible to repair? I'm an engineer, I'd rather fix it if possible.

da

Well Frank, I'd Google the recall as there was probably a class action law suit before the recall and see if they listed exact details of what was failing.

da

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@twiga65

once you have the battery removed, cut the blue plastic away. The battery for your speaker looks like it is using 6 separate cells to begin with. Check the individual cells and either build your own battery by using the old one as a pattern or try and purchase one that has the approximate same values (10.6V-11.1V and whatever mAh you can get. Get something a bit smaller in physical size. The reason those things come on fire is due to overcharging and expanding, causing the two oposite contacts to touch and expanding and overcharging in a confined area. I build my own batteries for equipment where OEM batteries are no longer available. It is not complicated just a bit cumbersome to do so and as of yet had nothing ever come on fire or blow up :-)

No reason to throw out a perfectly good speaker because of this.

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I agree replacing the battery _might_ be the solution. But if the problem is overcharging due to a faulty charger design (the internal one that controls the battery charge, not the external power brick), that might not solve the problem.

da

@twiga65 let's see what's hiding in the package. We could always come up with a simple protection circuit to prevent a runaway battery :-)

da

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Would it be possible to remove the battery and wire it to simply be a non battery device?

I use mine primarily in the house so I would be fine with it needing to be plugged in to function.

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You can just remove the battery. That's what I did to mine. No need for re-wiring.

da

Sweet. Thanks for letting me know!

da

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Replace the batteries. You need 6 3.7v 3400 mah, take 3 and parallel them, do the same for the other 3, then put them in series, which will give you. 11.1 volts. Tape them together like the existing pack and hook it up. Here's a link to a six pack of high quality Panasonic cells https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GS48XRE/ref...

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Does anyone know if the root cause of the fire hazard is overcharging? If so, then I’m with mayer and dumping the Big Blue. If the problem is the batteries, then there are replacements available.

Root Cause…..??????

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Ok… so I came on looking for a fix because my unit loses connection with my network/Google home(every time I turn on the speaker to use it, I have to re-connect(pair) with google home. Am I doing something wrong? Anyone else have this issue.

In other news apparently I'm the last one to find out about the recall for the battery. Which if I can repair the connection issues, I will look into repairing the battery issue.(thats easy as ive replaced lithiums in portable drills before.)

Anyone?

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I don't have your issue with the Bluetooth disconnecting, but in other devices I have had that in the past and the fix was usually to force the device to entirely forget everything and resync from scratch.

Sounds like you may have already tried that though.

As for the recall, I am still interested in if the battery can be removed and have the device function as a normal plug in speaker, leaving it without a battery at all.

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I could also just replace the battery, but Big Blue says that the unit is not repairable. The issue must not be just the battery. Possibly the charging circuit or some such not repairable, integral malady.

I am hoping someone on this forum will be able to provide a root cause. Then I will either fix or trash the Big Blue.

da

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They don't know if it's the battery or the charging circuit I checked my battery and it's fine the charging circuit is also putting out 12 volts so I'm not concerned about it it takes 6 18650 batteries, take three of them put them in series, take the other three put them in series, then parallel them together for the extra amperage and you have the 11.1 volts that you're supposed to have. I pulled the little plastic plugs out on the bottom of mine unscrewed it and there was the battery pack is plain as day, it's just shrink wrapped together.

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My guess is that there is a problem with the charging circuit and not the batteries. It may fail after a period of time or number of cycles. I use the Big Blue, which has great sound, in my diesel motorcoach. I can not risk the potential fire in this enclosed and really expensive space. Big Blue is, much to my dismay, getting the deep six.

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Has anyone figured out how to fix the problem? Is anyone still using theirs and it’s working fine?

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Frank Demarest sarà eternamente grato.
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