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Topic:
MX900 key problems
This thread has 37 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Wednesday May 6, 2009 at 19:18
kneighbour
Long Time Member
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June 2007
83
I have had an MX-900 for a couple of years now. Despite the silly restrictions placed on selling these things to consumers by URC, these remotes are pretty simple to 'program'. Perhaps it adds to the mystique of the product that supposedly only professonial installers can buy these things.

Anyway, it has worked just fine up until a month or so ago. Now the hard keys are starting to not work. First of all it was the 'OK' button. Now other buttons are starting to go as well. I can reassign some buttons, but it is becoming more and more frustrating. It has not been damaged in any way, not dropped, etc.

For such an expensive remote, this is very disappointing. This is more of a problem for me as I am in Australia, so that added a lot to the cost (freight, exchange rate, no warranty, etc). I also have an RF extender, which is also becoming redundant.

Is this a common problem with URC remotes? Or the MX-900 in particular? Or am I just unlucky...

I am looking for another remote - reluctantly - but probably not a URC this time!
Post 2 made on Wednesday May 6, 2009 at 21:17
Greg C
Super Member
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October 2002
2,568
You are unlucky. Sorry, but we have a ton of them in the field without any problems.
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Post 3 made on Wednesday May 6, 2009 at 21:38
The_Steve_Man
Long Time Member
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July 2007
456
How much do you use your remote?
If you are a heavy channel surfer, 2 years may be the limit.
I have a lot out there without any problems.
There is a great need for a Sarcasm font!
Post 4 made on Wednesday May 6, 2009 at 21:49
tweeterguy
Loyal Member
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June 2005
7,713
Unlucky. We have several dozen in the field, I'd say close to a hundred by now of just the MX-900 over the past 3 years. No worn out buttons on any. Could be over-use, bad luck or maybe some beverage was spilled in. Either way, you can send to URC and for around 100 USD you'll get a new one.
Post 5 made on Thursday May 7, 2009 at 21:58
JoeyCes
One In A Million
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May 2004
1,328
I'll follow Tweeterguy on this one, I have a lot of those in the field with no issues like you describe, but recently I had a RTI remote where certain buttons stopped working, like enter, CH+ and so on...

The wife called up and said "the remote is not working, send some to look at it", and when one of my techs showed up, she said that no one dropped it, nothing was spilled on it, etc...

So when I call up the Husband, who is a friend of my boss, to discuss an on going CCTV project at his business, he tells me "hey, did one of your guys get to my house yet to clean the remote"?... So I ask, "clean the remote"? He says, "yeah, clean it out or something, my wife knocked over the kids juice box on the remote last night & now its all funky"....

Anyway, it is possible you got a defective unit, not likely, but possible.

Did you spill anything on the remote? Press any of the buttons shockingly hard? Did you have poor response from the RF base, so you repeatedly have to press the same buttons for responses?

I guess im just shooting in the dark here, but I do find it strange to just stop working on single buttons.
Post 6 made on Monday May 11, 2009 at 15:16
JonW747
Active Member
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September 2006
621
Since you don't have a warranty to be concerned with you may wish to look to in dismantling your MX-900 and see if a cleaning helps. If you've simply worn out the carbon coating on the buttons, there are some repair kits for those, but I haven't had much luck with them.
Post 7 made on Friday May 15, 2009 at 12:05
Loraquest
Long Time Member
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Posts:
June 2002
345
I have three 900s which all still work perfectly. My 980, however, has been acting a bit flaky lately. I sometimes have to press the select button very hard in order for it to register. I should probably send it to URC for repair, but I've been reluctant to since it's the heart and soul of my main A/V system.
Post 8 made on Tuesday May 19, 2009 at 08:50
fauskar
Lurking Member
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Posts:
January 2007
7
Open the remote and clean the circuit board with some contact clean, specifically the key giving you trouble. Use a magnification glass and look at the contact points making sure they are clean. Lightly clean the touch pad contacts too.

I had a simaliar problem and cured it this way. For me, humdity and dirt worked together to build up residue on the CB and membrane.

Good Luck... The remote opens up the same way most URC remotes do.
Post 9 made on Wednesday July 8, 2009 at 16:20
kwindrem
Long Time Member
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July 2009
18
On May 19, 2009 at 08:50, fauskar said...
Open the remote and clean the circuit board with some contact clean, specifically the key giving you trouble. Use a magnification glass and look at the contact points making sure they are clean. Lightly clean the touch pad contacts too.

I prefer to use a cleaner that doesn't leave a residue. I've done this treatment to cordless telephones with good results using 90% isopropyl alcohol (NOT rubbing alcohol!). I just cleaned the switches on my MX-900 today so I'm not sure how it will last.

The remote opens up the same way most URC remotes do.

This wasn't obvious to me and I couldn't find any posts that described the process. URC Tech Support provided the clue and it turned out to be simple.

The front and back snap together (no screws). I used a knife to slightly separate the silver edge that's part of the front plastic from the back. You'll see silver tabs that lock into slots in the back (black) piece. It was necessary to wedge the sliver and black pieces apart at each tab along one side, then the other. I used toothpicks. There are also tabs top and bottom that also need to be separated (again I used a knife). Be careful not to slice off the tab with the knife or separate the sliver edge too far!

There are screws holding the circuit board to the front plastic piece that need to be removed to access the switch contacts. Be careful of the LED and IR sensor at the top of the unit and also the flexible circuit that connects to the LCD.


I would not attempt this process if the unit is still under warranty since opening the case will void the warranty.

The other option is to have URC do the work. URC told me today they just swap out the remote for a new one. Out of warranty isn't free. Today's price for an MX-900 was $125. You can arrange an advance exchange so you're not without a core piece of your system.
Post 10 made on Thursday July 9, 2009 at 04:33
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
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October 1998
28,742
I've restored use of an old well-worn MX-700 several times by cleaning the circuit board. Eventually the amount of "good use" between each cleaning became shorter and shorter, but it could fix things for you for some time. Eventually the "real" fix is a new rubber keypad, but URC won't send those to end users.

(And after much abuse, two liquid spills and a brief period with corrupt memory, the circuit board from that remote is still going...)
Post 11 made on Thursday July 9, 2009 at 10:08
JoeFlabitz
Select Member
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December 2008
1,517
On July 8, 2009 at 16:20, kwindrem said...

The other option is to have URC do the work. URC told me today they just swap out the remote for a new one. Out of warranty isn't free. Today's price for an MX-900 was $125. You can arrange an advance exchange so you're not without a core piece of your system.

What he said...
Post 12 made on Thursday July 9, 2009 at 14:42
Darnitol
Universal Remote Control Inc.
Joined:
Posts:
June 1999
2,054
One tidbit I've learned that nobody ever seems to want to mention is among the most obvious: Electronics with physical controls tend to live much shorter lives in the home of a heavy smoker. That's not a judgement—it's just an observation made over many years of gadget enthusiasm.

Best regards,
Dale
I'm a member of the Remote Central community, just like you! My comments here are my own, and in no way express the opinions, policies, or plans of Universal Remote Control, Inc.
OP | Post 13 made on Saturday July 11, 2009 at 19:59
kneighbour
Long Time Member
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Posts:
June 2007
83
Thanks for the useful post about how to disassemble the unit. Once you know how, it is pretty easy.

I used to be an electronics technician, so this is familiar territory to me. I cleaned the circuit board, but it made no difference. There was no obvious water (or other liquid) damage. I certainly would have noticed soft drink damage as that is usually so obvious.

There does not seem to be any wear on the circuit board - and it is very rarely used (I am no couch potato). It would not have been used for more than 3 or 4 sessions a week. I can go days without watching TV at all. No-one here smokes. So it seems I am just unlucky.

I would send it back for repair (replacement), but with freight and the like, I am looking at around +$200. Not worth it. Also, URC is not a friendly company to deal with - it took me some effort just to buy this thing. I do not need the aggravation of trying to fix it as well.

I have since bought myself a Pronto TSU9400. Nice bit of gear. Not as solid as the MX900, but much more powerful. Mind you, Philips is not much friendly than URC to deal with...funny isn't it!
Post 14 made on Wednesday September 16, 2009 at 14:54
talkdj
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
January 2006
8
Put me on the list of MX 900 users that are having problems with their remote. My volume (up and down), FF, REW buttons are not working. As one of the posters said, I too called URC and they would swap out the remote for $125. He said there was no advance exchange and I would be out of a remote for about three weeks.

Waiting to see if my dealer will swap out remote or exchange (depending on price) to an MX 880.
Post 15 made on Thursday May 27, 2010 at 10:52
RichardU
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2008
10
I'm having the identical problem. Nothing spilled, no smokers. Buttons must be pushed long and hard to register a press, starting with a few buttons and now extending to others. I have 8 of these remotes in my house. Hope this isn't the start of something.
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