The One Remote to Rule Them All is no more!!

A few days ago, I suffered a grievous loss - my Harmony 550universal remote was destroyed by my kids. They were fighting over a pillow in the living room (why, I have no idea), and the pillow got knocked into my cup of coffee sitting on the ottoman, and then, almost in slow motion, I saw a glut (glop? bloop?) of coffee fly about a foot in the air and land all over my remote, and my PS3 controller, and our cordless phone handset.

Luckily the PS3 controller was only winged - a baby wipe took care of that. And we had a spare handset for our cordless phone. But my baby - my precious - was completely soaked in coffee. To the point where it was beeping plaintively at me and flashing odd messages on its LCD screen. So after several futile attempts to crack it open in the vain hope that it could be saved, I took the batteries out, and put it out of its misery.

And to make matters worse, Logitech no longer makes this model, or anything similar - their new remotes under $100 are all bulbous monstrosities, are poorly designed and have a different button layout altogether, compared to my sleek little master of all that is electronic. While I still have my device profiles on my Logitech account that I can synch to a new remote, I’ll need to remap half the buttons, and learn a new remote layout, and that pisses me off to no end. And forget about buying used - the last time I did that with a remote I got screwed.

So now, I have 5 frigging remotes hanging around, that had previously been safely locked away in a drawer. Two of these - for my Apple TV and my HDMI switch - are tiny, smaller than a pack of gum, and very easy to get lost (so of course, they’re the first ones the kids go for).

This sucks.

It may not be permanently destroyed. Lots of electronics can take a soaking if you dry them out the right way. One of the best ways to do that for a remote is to buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol and just pour the whole bottle over it slowly and let it dry. It won’t hurt it any more than it is but it will clean it and force the moisture out of the internal circuits as it dried. I give this a high possibility of success as long as you just use rubbing alcohol only and haven’t gotten frustrated and screwed it up even more on your own.

Amazon sells some used one for as low as $52 plus $5.49 shipping.

Get it here.

Your kids were fighting over a pillow and you have no idea why? What, first day of fatherhood?

I’m sorry, I have nothing more useful than sympathy to offer over your remote. The advice above looks helpful, though.

Agree with Shagnasty, except that I’d be worried about getting the (LCD? LED?) screen wet. I’d try to keep that dry while rinsing off the rest of it.

When done, do your best to shake out* any remaining liquid, then let it dry a few days. Make sure it’s completely dry before trying to power it up again.

ETA: * with a firm grip on it!

Thanks for the helpful suggestions on how to save my remote, but alas, it’s gone. Aside from the beeping noises and error messages, the screen went all weird, indicating a short in the LCD contact. Once I saw that, I tossed it - I’ve seen enough screwed up consumer electronics devices (courtesy my three devilspawn) to know when I’m beat.

Mahaloth, thanks for the link. I bought an older Harmony remote on eBay a few years ago, and it arrived in awful shape. Like, Cheeto-dust-in-the-buttons bad shape. But I’ve heard Amazon’s used sellers are pretty good, so I may give it a shot.

Sorry to hear that. I love my Harmony 880, which I consider the most comfortable remote I’ve ever used - it fits perfectly in my hand, and I have a back-up one for that reason. I know I can never count on a corporation that makes an excellent product to refrain from completely ruining it.

My brother has a pair of 550s, and the all-important “Activities” button is of lower quality than any of the other buttons, so I’m not all that impressed with it. One of his has already failed. The 650 is pretty solid, but the 300i is a piece of crap and should be avoided.

I thought it can only be destroyed where it was forged. Are you sure the remote didn’t have you throw it in the trash so it can find a new owner?

Someone linked to a universal that also puts out bluetooth for the PS3 a few days ago.

Ah, I never thought of that - some tricksey neighborses will find my precious!

Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.

I"ve got a 720 that does not fit nicely in the hand but works pretty well. But I need to reprogram it since I quit directv. Bleh, too much trouble. I’m to the point of getting up and changing things in person. Back to the future.

I’ve got a real nice Harmony sitting at the bottom of my closet. It worked great for two months then just decided to stop charging anymore.

The only problem with the 880 is the way it sits on the cradle. Clean the contacts with a pencil eraser.

I seriously would give it a shot. Amazon’s sellers are really good.