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A portable Bluetooth speaker manufactured by Ultimate Ears.

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Can 18650 battery cells be replaced, or will circuit self-destruct?

Some manufacturers deliberately program the battery circuit to destroy itself if the battery cells were to be disconnected. They do that to have a monopoly on original batteries and rip consumers off.

Has anyone tried to replace the 18650 cells and had success?

For me it did not work, and I made no errors in replacing them. My box behaves as if no battery is connected (sometimes noisy sound telling me "critical battery" and such only while plugged into USB). I now wonder if the battery is actually the cause, though it seems so.

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First there is not self destruct built into the replaceable battery assembles. There are issues where people try to force fit the wrong battery which can damage things. I don’t recommend trying to MacGyver things here if that was your direction.

So as long as you got the correct battery and it’s not defective you should be fine!

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@danj

How would you know that this particular battery circuit doesn't have a self-destruct mechanism? Have you actually replaced the 18650 battery cells while keeping the original battery circuit, rather than discarding the entire battery pack?

Such mechanisms are unusual, but can commonly be found in other electronics, especially very expensive high-end equipment. The battery circuit could also be deliberately constructed to fail due to overheating from trying to charge depleted batteries for too long. This way the same ill effect can be achieved by manufacturers, but less reliably and obviously so.

The battery pack in the Megaboom is very specific to the device, so it is impossible to tell without first hand experience whether or not you can replace the cells without the circuit destroying itself by design.

I'm not quite sure if you are really on track with the question, talking about "MacGyvering things" and force-fitting. 18650 cells are all the same, there are no particular "misfit" types.

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@Marie Duopoint - I’ve replaced a few Boom batteries and As a EE Who has does hardware design It doesn’t make sense to self destruct.

Often there is a fuse link which could be a single burn or reset after the temp has gone down to protect things and then there is the charging logic which might have a micro-controller to shape the charging voltage and time.

Computers which have a larger battery pack often have some control logic which would need to be reset if you where to replace the cells.

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@danj But have you actually replaced the cells, rather than the entire battery pack?

Quite to the contrary, self-destructing battery circuits make a lot of sense. As an EE you should understand that. It ensures that manufacturers make higher profits and maintain control over products they have already sold. It is basically the same situation as with ink counters, where the chipset in printer ink cartridges is deliberately constructed to render the cartridge useless after a certain amount of ink has been dispensed. Consumers are forced to buy new overpriced ink cartridges, third parties have a harder time building them: manufacturers win. I'm not saying this is super-common, but it is definitively a thing that's going on with some devices.

I will check for a fuse tomorrow. But if there is none, then at €40 for a new battery pack - plus odds are it is not even the true fault - I will rather buy a different box entirely. Shame, since 18650 cells cost nothing.

Thanks for your answer.

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@Marie Duopoint - Yes, I’ve replaced discreet cells in battery packs.

And no it’s just not done! You are confusing the charging logic as the issue not the battery it’s self. As I explained different devices use different methods to manage the batteries charging. That’s not self-destructing, that’s your failure to reset the circuit when you replaced the cells. But you are also assuming all Lithium Ion batteries require a smart charging logic. Again, the cheaper devices don’t have smart charging, they typically have a temp fuse link and a simple timer. The cheapest just have a simple burn once fuse.

But why are you wasting your time here as the Mega Boom has a very nice and simple setup, just replace the battery pack and be done with it.

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So here is the correct battery for the MegaBoom speaker Logitech UE MegaBoom Battery and here’s the guide to put it in Logitech UE MegaBoom Battery Replacement

Logitech UE MegaBoom Battery Image

Product

Logitech UE MegaBoom Battery

$34.99

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Marie Duopoint will be eternally grateful.
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