Fix Broken Buttons on Harmony Remote

2 minute read

Logitech’s Harmony Remote is a really nice remote. I’ve had mine for a couple years but now the most commonly used buttons are wearing out. Since I have a Tivo the most used buttons are the forward buttons that I use for skipping commercials. These buttons are pretty much unusable now, they will work some of the time but only if you press really hard.

It seems stupid to buy a new Harmony remote every couple of years just because the buttons wore out. So here is how you can fix the buttons. These instructions are for the 676, but should work on most other versions too:

  1. Open the remote by removing the four screws at the bottom (two are under the battery compartment.
  2. Pry the remote open.
  3. Remove the two screws that are holding the circuit board on.
  4. Take the button piece out and flip it over too see the backs of the buttons.
  5. On my remote the buttons that were broken had some kind of shiny liquid on them. I’m not really sure what this is or where it comes from, all I know is you need to get rid of it.
  6. Take a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and scrub the keys and the contacts on the circuit board.
  7. Put the remote back together, it should now be working.

After I performed the above procedure the remote buttons started working perfectly.

Update 4/8/2010: The buttons stopped working again so I tried the cleaning process again. The buttons look very clean but for some reason the buttons still don’t work. I’m not sure why it would work great the first time but have no effect the second time.

I was looking around online and found a product called CaiKote 44. This product is designed for exactly the type of button repair that I needed. It is a paste that you put on the bottom of the buttons and it restores the conductivity. Application is pretty easy, using the included swabs just spread a thin layer of CaiKote on the button and let it dry for a few hours. Once I put the remote back together it was working perfectly again.

The problem seems to be finding CaiKote. The only physical store that I know of that carries this product is Fry’s Electronics. They sell it for $5.99. It was difficult to find, it took two workers a while before we finally found it. If you go it is located in the electronics parts department near some LCD screen cleaning products.

I haven’t found a good place to buy it online. You can but it from the manufacturer, but they have a $25 minimum order. It is also sold on Amazon here, but as of right now the price is very high, maybe it will drop to a more reasonable price in the future.