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Jibboo

2.0 Base Station Waranty / Replacement

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First time poster long time reader. I have a Vive Pro I bought in May of last year. I mounted my base stations to the walls as soon as I got home and there they have remained. Unfortunately I only get to use the system rarely and i usually go several months between playings. I only have used the system for 58 hrs playing Beat Saber. A few weeks ago one of my base stations started blinking red. After researching I understand that it can only be fixed by Valve  so I contacted them and because it had been 13 months they said it was not covered. They said they could repair it for up to $150. He offered no other option. Not even an opportunity to purchase one. I know HTC does not make these base stations but it has left a bad taste In my mouth. For as expensive as the system is I would think I could use it for more than 58 hours without breaking.  Does anyone know if HTC is able to replace the base stations or if anyone has been able to do a diy repair. 

Thanks. 

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 - If the base station was vended as part of a Vive Pro Full Kit, there's really two warranties at play here: Valve's manufacturer warranty (which is independent of us), and the limited warranty on the full kit offered by Vive.

 

Valve has denied your claim under their manufacturers warranty it seems. In this case, I would recommend that you contact our live chat via www.vive.com/support -> contact us -> contact us and request an RMA repair under the limited warranty offered by Vive as the reseller. Please have your base station's SN and a proof of purchase handy. If any complications arises during the repair process, 

 

Valve actually quoted you the price of a new station ($149) - they've been made available for direct purchase through the Steam store (link) within the last few weeks.

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@Zephroth Base-stations are high precision mechanical devices - they often fail because the unit will either have a part fail or the motors will be unable to satisfy the tight timing requirements of SteamVR's tracking system.

A 1.0 base-station has two motors, each operating at 3600RPM which equates to ~216,000 revolutions per hour - per motor, all of which needs to happen within very tight timing constraints. As you can imagine, over a year or two these accumulate tens to hundreds of millions of revolutions.

Any base-station regardless of who manufacturers it is prone to wear and tear - it's a byproduct of the system being fully dependent on high-speed mechanics. It's why you see it on 1.0 stations manufactured by HTC as well as 2.0 stations manufactured by Valve. Valve has tried to reduce the overall complexity by removing one of the motors in the 2.0 stations but it's still mechanical. Until there are solid state base-stations, this is the trade-off for the increased tracking resolution provided by light-house.

I'd recommend watching this presentation by one of the key inventors of base-station tracking to get a feel for how complex the system is and why these failures can occur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75ZytcYANTA

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you need to be aware that its not the "High speed" mechanics that are dying on these.  Its the laser diodes.  If your going to tout this you need to have your facts straight.

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@Zephroth Are you referring to the fact that if you look at the station, one or both of the laser sources isn't visible? The stations are able to detect any irregularities in the speed or rotation path of the rotor and if it falls outside of the tolerable range, the power for that laser source is cut to prevent bad tracking data from being emitted from the station. While laser sources can fail, it's relatively rare compared to general mechanical issues such as motor irregularities or separation of the lens from the laser aperture - our repair centers report back numbers on this kind of stuff.

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I watched the video link of Alan Yates presentation, very interesting.

What is the expected lifetime of a base station, in terms of hours?

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@Jakey - I'd have to ask a manager to see if we have an expected lifespan number. It's a pretty complex device - since there are so many variables I'm sure that any bench and stress testing won't fully be able to account for real-world scenarios fully.

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