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Bluetooth speaker by Brookstone, released late 2013. Recalled in 2018 due to battery issues.

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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).

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You can just remove the battery no rewire required I just removed the battery and use the power cable works great.

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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.

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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.

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I have had the original big blue party for years used it and still use it heavily taking it to extreme outdoor conditions and it has never had any problem and works great. I will however participate in the recall and want to buy the new Brookstone Big Blue Party X when available.

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Mitch0402 That may be hard to do.

Brookstone filed for bankruptcy and will close its remaining 101 mall stores. The mall and airport seller, best known for massage chairs, quirky gadgets, and travel luggage, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court on Thursday. It was Brookstone's second bankruptcy round in four years

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/02/news/co...

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12 out of 164,000 hmmm! Use it strickly outdoors away from combustables I think I'll take my chances, pretty good odds. Did not say it would explode like a bomb!!

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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.

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@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 :-)

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I can understand someone pulling the battery to be safe, but by no means should it be used with a new battery again. I don't agree but it's better then nothing for non-participants.

We don't know if it's the board or cells.

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@nick and that is why I said "simple protection circuit to prevent a runaway battery" :->

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@oldturkey03 I'd rather run it without a battery permanently just in case if I got one in a pile of scrap, since they seem to be fine but the battery is the culprit. I just had an issue with the recommendation since people tend to be negligent with recalls like this when you give them an active excuse.

The people with these are screwed because Chapter 11 shields companies, so I get it if you remove the battery but by no means do I agree. This isn't like the Note 7 where there was recourse.

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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."

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@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. :-)

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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.

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Sweet. Thanks for letting me know!

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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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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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I know it’s been a while since this question was asked, and I’ve been following the answers since the recall was first announced. I’ve since replaced my Big Blue with an Aiwa Exos 9, and while it’s a nice replacement, the Big Blue is so much easier to grab and take somewhere.

This evening, I decided to take a closer look and played around with the speaker a bit. Turns out, while the Lithium Ion battery pack is ~11 volts, the charger input is 18 volts… which just so happens to be the voltage of many cordless tool batteries. Sure enough, I’m currently powering my Big Blue off of my Makita LXT batteries through a cobbled together adapter - with the internal battery removed. It’s not the most ideal solution, but it means I get my speaker back to full portability without worry of fire.

I hope this idea helps other people regain their speakers!

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My Big Blue Party X recently quit working. It won’t charge or turn on. The light will turn blue for a couple of seconds and then shutoff. I’ve tried using a laptop charger I had around the house and same issue so it can’t be charger. I’ve tried unplugging the battery completely and it will not do anything with the battery out and plugged in. I really would like to try and fix this but I don’t know what to do. So sad this speaker only lasted 2 1/2 years.

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I feel the same way.

I'm looking for a machine repair shop. ;;;

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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.

Edit: this was answered by @aheartnmotion in response to my other comment and the battery can be removed. It is simply plugged in and once the unit is opened can be disconnected without soldering or any extra work needed.

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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.

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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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I'm still using it hard and never had a problem works and sounds great but I will send it in if they dont charge me

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18v is to high . 12 v is better n safer

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Were you intending to respond to my suggestion of using 18v tool batteries? If so, the speaker won't run off of 12v plugged into the charger hole. You could run it off of 12v cordless batteries with the proper modifications and by tying into the battery side of the Big Blue's board, but also the difference in safety between 12v batteries and 18v batteries is negligible in this case.

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Anyone who doesn't need it to be strictly portable, I would recommend just removing the battery and using it as a wired device.

Anyone still set on chucking theirs I'd be willing to take it off your hands :)

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I, unfortunately, did not find out about the recall until 6 months ago. I just cannot bear to throw it away, thinking I will be able to fix it somehow. I saw your post about just taking out the battery pack and making it wired. Is that hard to do? Can you walk me through it?

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Can you explain what a “cobbled together adapter” or how I go about doing it.

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I'm going to come back at some point with some more detailed instructions - I'm working on some 3d printed parts to make this a much cleaner solution. Quick warning - if you're not comfortable with electronics, you might not want to mess around with this one, considering it involves Lithium Ion batteries.

My initial solution was to find another DC adapter with the same plug as the original charger. Doesn't matter what the voltage/amperage is - you're not going to plug in into the wall - as long as it fits in the charge plug on the back of the speaker. Next, I cut the wall part off, leaving myself with just the wire and the barrel plug. Using a multimeter, I figured out which wire was the center pin and which was the outer barrel. Wire up the battery positive to the center pin wire and the battery negative to the outer wire and your speaker should turn on.

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Frank Demarest estará eternamente agradecido.
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