Is the Unifi Cloud Key Gen2+ a bad product?

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Is the Unifi Cloud Key Gen2+ a bad product?

I think it is.
Last week it stopped working, wouldn't power at all. After a certain research, it transpires that the batteries expand (as per the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy) and die, thus rendering the graceful shutdown inoperable. I expect this happened some time ago and I simply didn't detect it, making it something of a pity because at the time it was only days outside the guarantee period.

What really concerns me though is the risk for explosion and fire, given these things are often running in fairly hot cabinets surrounded by other expensive electronic equipment. Different people have different opinions on whether this Risk is real or not, which do not particularly interest me however. What interests me would be a comment somewhere from the manufacturer, even if it were a blanket "No problem". At least it would be a point in the sand, a psychological relaxant, a point from which to complain if there ever was a safety issue in someones house or business.

Whether the battery is the reason behind the refusal of my CK2+ to boot is anyone's guess; quite possibly it is. (Many complaints do not reference the boot problem.) However, I have established that the PoE doesn't work any more on my CK2+, so it must be powered with a phone charger. (At least Ubiquiti included this option.) So it works... until it explodes.

Great.

I have contacted the vendor and they tell me they have contacted Ubiquiti asking for a goodwill gesture. We shall see. Being that this is the kind of issue people will not notice until they do (usually too late) I mention it here in case you have interest. A number of threads on the subject, (e.g. link1, link2) on the Ubiquiti forum.
All in all, it is a little disappointing, given that the CK2+ is THE glue for the whole expensive investment in Ubiquiti stuff. (router, multiple switches, APs, cameras...) It is not something you can easily/cheaply swap out. (Yes, I'm aware I can run the controller in Docker, but that doesn't help with Unifi Protect.)

Get your RMAs in early!
 
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I feel your pain having had a £600 UniFi switch fail on me a few months post-warranty and having an RMA denied.

The lithium battery in the CK2s was always going to be a weak spot, especially with the plus model with its HDD. It was a 'fix' for the old CKs being fragged when suddenly deprived of power.

I don't think the form-factor of the CK2+ makes much sense. It may be aesthetically pleasing to have such a compact device but an alway-on Linux box for the Controller and Protect, plus a small display, a constantly recording single HDD, all with an inbuilt battery backup, makes little technical sense; although they do seem to last longer in the dedicated rackmount rather than sitting directly on something warm.

I run my Controller (now a Network Application) on a M1 Mac mini. If I was to use Protect I would pick a multi-HDD (UNVR) model or, more likely, just use the UniFi cameras with Synology Surveillance.
 
I agree with you Robbie. When I bought my CK2+ I thought the 'battery' was merely a capacitor, without really thinking it through. More fool me. The UNVR is very nice, but more expense of course. The Synology Surveillance is an option I think, but with the Unifi cameras it is very limited because you are limited to RTSP feeds. Also, Surveillance Station (at least a couple of years ago when I tried it) is very poor at false positives with changing light. Somehow the Protect copes with that well.
(Of course I bought the rack mount too. More money...)
 
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LI batteries and their charging units are hit and miss if they will develop the darn expanding battery. We purchased 300 power banks for our claims collectors to be used to power their tablets and mobile printers when in the field during a catastrophic claim even. We even built a custom charging rig so 10 of these power banks can be charged by dropping them into slots. The general procedure was to ship the rig out with the team keep it powered up and then the claims agent would use the power bank when they left the location to do their surveys and drop it back in the rig at the end of the day.

What we found was the charging circuits on these devices are the main culprit of the battery expansion. They don't step down the current properly damaging the battery. So far this year out of 300 power banks 16 have developed some type of capacity issue and 3 have had the battery expansion problem within the 1st year of use. Lets just say the manufacturer said that this was "normal" and replaced the defective power banks. I am just glad we didn't see any fires or pack melt downs.
 
Well, Ubiquiti refused a goodwill exchange for my cloud key. I have a close to €3k invest in Ubiquiti equipment, so this is rather disappointing. An easy way to upset customers that is.
 
538
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  1. macOS
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They can be a pain - took me over 5 months to get a goodwill gesture (£730 worth of a newly released Enterprise PoE switch).
They still don't have stock of the 10GbE switch I was after and even simple things, like trying to buy a replacement set of rack ears, have proved to be impossible. Sometimes giving them money is as difficulties extracting it.
 
I accidentally managed to revive my gen2+! I thought it was dead. Same issue as yours, no life on poe, usb power says it is bad power.
I couldn't get a warrantee replacement as I bought from a third party and was 18 months in (apparently buying direct from UI gets you a 24 month warranty).

Fast forward two weeks. and I decided to investigate disassembling the old unit to remove the battery and see if it booted again. The battery was very swollen!

Consequently, when pushing out the unit from enclosure, I accidentally knocked a little transistor off the main board. Without reinstalling it, I tried a poe boot and it was 100% working again!

I soldered the transistor back onto the board, and the unit stopped working... I took it off again, and it started working again... So off it remains!!

I am hoping it is something to do with the charging of the battery, but since there is no battery in situ any more, I am not going to question why it has made a difference... Must be the first time ever that accidental damage has fixed something broken!
 

jeyare

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If you consider:
- that the HDD reach 50C without problems under normal load (unventilated, closed in a tiny box)
- plus, in that airless CKG2 box, there is still a tiny mainboard with CPU that provides additional 50C
- plus, during operation of the LIBs, heat is generated inside the batteries .... additional temperature aggregator
- plus, the optimal operating temperature range of LIBs is generally limited to 15–35C
- plus, the highest acceptable temperature level for LIBs is up to 55-60C (even this is not for all species - LiCoO2 or LiMn2O4)
so then it's basically a problem by any principle.
 
I accidentally managed to revive my gen2+! I thought it was dead. Same issue as yours, no life on poe, usb power says it is bad power.
I couldn't get a warrantee replacement as I bought from a third party and was 18 months in (apparently buying direct from UI gets you a 24 month warranty).

Fast forward two weeks. and I decided to investigate disassembling the old unit to remove the battery and see if it booted again. The battery was very swollen!

Consequently, when pushing out the unit from enclosure, I accidentally knocked a little transistor off the main board. Without reinstalling it, I tried a poe boot and it was 100% working again!

I soldered the transistor back onto the board, and the unit stopped working... I took it off again, and it started working again... So off it remains!!

I am hoping it is something to do with the charging of the battery, but since there is no battery in situ any more, I am not going to question why it has made a difference... Must be the first time ever that accidental damage has fixed something broken!
Hi Alan, I am in the same situation, my UCKg2+ no life on poe, usbc says bad power, I was able to disassemble the cloudkey and I am curious which transistor is the one, you ended up taking off again to get the device working, I would desolder the one if you could identify it for me somehow.
Thanks in advance,
Ambrus Kontra
 
Interesting idea... In my case I took the battery out and then it worked again. So at least some of these units are not linked to a specific transistor.
Are you trying to power it with poe? Try with a phone charger; that is the way I got mine working again, the poe didn't work.
 
Interesting idea... In my case I took the battery out and then it worked again. So at least some of these units are not linked to a specific transistor.
Are you trying to power it with poe? Try with a phone charger; that is the way I got mine working again, the poe didn't work.
Alanwilson04 states he accidentally knocked a transistor off and then it started working on poe.
Yes, I have used it with poe, that does not work now. I have tried all my phone chargers but none of them is QC compliant so no luck there yet, but at least it shows bad power message, so not completely dead. I ordered one adaptor people stated working with UCKg2+, I will see how that goes.
 

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