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Bose S-1 battery issues

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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:38 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Of the 5 S1 owners on this thread, one does not seem to have the issue, two do and two are compulsive chargers...

Hi Sam, I guess the 'one' you're talking about is probably me!

So I really need to clarify how I'm using mine. While it's true I haven't noticed the problem with my own S1, this is of course based on how I use it. I use it regularly every Friday playing at an addiction rehab unit for about an hour on battery & I always charge it Thursday evening ...which means it's probably more accurate to say I'm really just another compulsive charger!

When I come to charge it the next Thursday I usually get 3 LED flashes when I plug it in = 75% or more remaining after 1 hour's use & then sitting for a further 6 days. As it happens I have just been away & had a week off, but my S1 still gave me 3 flashes when plugged in for charge (at 1 hour's use and then 13 days sitting).

I do have a vague recollection that very early on it once unexpectedly went flat on me, so could regular charging change the behaviour of the battery? (clutching at straws here!).

If it makes any difference I have never connected the app to control it, nor do I use bluetooth (apart from just the once to see if it worked when I first got the S1 back in January!).

I guess that because there's permanent charge monitoring going on, there will always be some drain on the battery - my digital cameras with Li-on batteries do run their batteries down if left unattended, but I'm not usually charging them every week.

I haven't taken the battery of my S1 out, so I've no idea if this is feasible - but perhaps there'd be a way of introducing an isolating switch for the battery, otherwise it's probably down to removing the battery as Hugh suggested?

I totally understand your frustration with this, but I think for me the Bose S1 is so good that I'd try to find a way of getting around this if it ever became a problem for me.

Rob
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby James Perrett » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:44 pm

Rob Kirkwood wrote:When I come to charge it the next Thursday I usually get 3 LED flashes when I plug it in = 75% or more remaining after 1 hour's use & then sitting for a further 6 days.

This is by far the safest way to run these batteries - all the lithium rechargeable battery incidents that I've been involved with (and some were very scary) have been with batteries at, or close to, 100% charge. The issues with the Boeing Dreamliner battery fires was also down to a similar reason - they were keeping the batteries at 100% charge for most of the time.

If you want to keep your batteries constantly at full charge safely then maybe you need to look at a different battery technology. While the Bose support and marketing people haven't mentioned the safety issue, I'll bet that they farmed out the detailed electronic design to a separate company who may well be more aware of the safety issues around Lithium rechargeable packs. Lithium battery packs have to go through a stringent safety testing regime if they are to be allowed to be transported so a third party tried and tested power system would be the cheapest way to achieve this approval.
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:58 pm

Hi Rob, yes you were the one. My frustration is that, as good as it is in many ways, the discharge issue is clearly a fault which reduces the usefulness of my S1. I bought it purely because of the battery power option and I have other kit that does the job as well or better on mains power (TC VoiceSolo and AER Compact 60/2). My first S1 died in around 5 days, the replacement is better, lasting 10 days but that still means only 50% left after 5 days.

Bose also tell us that the battery goes to sleep after 30 days requiring plugging into the mains to re-awaken it, apparently this it to prevent the battery from discharging completely. Fat chance in my case though you may well fall foul of this as your S1 seems not to have the discharge issue (or it is negligible). It seems that even when they solve this particular issue (if they ever do) we still can't rely on the S1 being ready to go after an extended period of down time.

FWIW my Canon DSLR batteries don't seem to lose charge even over a period of several months in the spare body. TBF My spare MacBook does run down if left on standby for long enough but seems to last indefinitely if left switched off. None of them require plugging into the mains to 're-awaken' them.

James, Bose are not claiming this is a safety issue*, and certainly not that the discharge problem is deliberate, they do have a 30 day 'sleep' mode (see above) but claim this is to avoid total discharge affecting battery longevity.

I think mine will be going back for a refund on Tuesday and I'll wait for a solution before buying another (unless anybody has an alternative to suggest?).

* The only similar devices that offers alternative battery technology are my mates Phil Jones Briefcase bass combo and my DIY modded Epiphone Valve Junior. Both of which use SLA batteries. The USP of Li-on batteries is their high energy density and low self discharge so leaving them partially charged seems to partially defeat the object.
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby James Perrett » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:39 pm

I must have misread one of the earlier posts where I thought it was down to 90% after 5 days - 50% after 5 days is pretty bad.
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:05 am

No you are right, the second S1 dropped to 90% after a few days, my bad, but the previous one was completely flat after 5 days. If the new one had been down to, say, 80% after a weekend it would have gone straight back. It is only the fact that it has the same problem but to a, potential manageable extent that has made me think twice.

I've a strong suspicion that there won't be a practical fix short of a major redesign, one recent poster on the Bose forum even went so far as to suggest Bose were stalling in the hope that the problem would eventually go away!

So the question is, can I live with it? Yes, probably. Do I want to? Not sure but probably not, it's an expensive bit of kit that should work properly in all aspects and I don't want to be stuck with a dodgy one if they issue a mk2 that works properly next year.
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby James Perrett » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:48 pm

Has anyone with electronic skills actually taken one apart and checked to see where the current is going?
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Wonks » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:32 pm

James Perrett wrote:Has anyone with electronic skills actually taken one apart and checked to see where the current is going?

This man did:

Image
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:45 pm

That's one hell of a battery :D

According to Bose their tech's have been trying to find a fix since at least April so it's reasonable to assume they know what the problem is. But they haven't come up with a mod/repair yet (at least not one that they are prepared to commit to doing on a high proportion of S1s already sold).

Common sense suggests it's to do with the charging circuit since that needs to be active when the S1 is switched off but that's a wild guess at best. Much as I'm tempted to I'm not gonna take mine to bits in case I damage it as it would make returning it more difficult.
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:43 pm

Another update, the S1 Pro was left, fully charged, two weeks ago today (Friday), I've been away since and arrived back this arvo, the S1 Pro is still reading 100% :clap: :clap: :clap:

Obviously that only means it has more that 90% charge remaining. But, maybe, this one may not have the issue after all. I'm still monitoring it (and don't know why it had fallen to below 90% last time I checked).
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:31 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Obviously that only means it has more that 90% charge remaining. But, maybe, this one may not have the issue after all. I'm still monitoring it (and don't know why it had fallen to below 90% last time I checked).

Is there any chance the batteries might get better the more they are cycled?

I don't know enough about Li-on technology to know whether that might be a thing, just trying to make sense of the behaviour of different S1's!

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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:06 am

Rob Kirkwood wrote:just trying to make sense of the behaviour of different S1's!
Rob

Yeah, me too :headbang:

Several users have demonstrated that the batteries are not the problem as they don't lose charge if removed from the S1 Pro . There is something going on in the S1 Pro that draws an excessive amount of current when the device is switched off. Li-Ion batteries have a self discharge of less that 3% a month even when taking into account the charge/discharge monitoring circuitry so that doesn't account for it. Bose even acknowledge that there is a problem with some S1 Pros and recommend removing the battery as a temporary fix.
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:33 pm

Well, back to square one, Reading 90% now :headbang: Better than the last one but still on schedule to lose 20% in a month so it does have the problem. I can probably live without it for a few more days so will check again towards next weekend. It's annoying that the app only resolves the charge remaining to 10% increments. :madas:
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby James Perrett » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:08 pm

So now the question is whether the app is rounding up, rounding down or a bit of both? Could it go to 90% if the voltage drops ever so slightly below full charge? Can you measure the actual battery voltage?
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:19 am

That was my thought, I plan to try to get an idea by letting it fall to 80% (expecting that to take another 10 days or so, will next check it next Tuesday if I can resist the temptation to use it, It might be my backup plan for a small outdoor Remembrance day service I'm supplying a PA for).

Once it's down to 80% I'll see if I can measure the batter voltage, and try to jury rig an ammeter into the circuit. It all has to be done fully reversibly with minimum risk of damage so it may not be simple to do.

It's been over a year since the first post about the issue on the Bose forum. I'm beginning to think Bose are just ignoring it in the hope it will go away.

Has anybody got any suggestions for a similar box from another manufacturer, there are loads out there but they all seem to be either mini line arrays (inconvenient), super expensive* or really cheap (in one or the other sense of the word).

* https://www.thomann.de/gb/sennheiser_lsp_500_pro.htm
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Re: Bose S-1 battery issues

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:36 pm

This looks interesting Image

£549 so £70 more than the Bose just now and, seemingly, not yet avalable but has a BT mixer app, four inputs and goes a decent bit louder, only weight 1kg more too. Not sure if it will sound as good though.


https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/jbl-professional-eon-one-compact-pa-speaker#product-details

If Bose don't sort out the battery issue the JBL might be a decent alternative.
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