WARN Zeon Advanced Wireless Winch Controller Issues

swampcat14

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Hey Y'all!

I'm posting this to see if any of y'all with WARN ZEON winches and the Advanced Wireless Remote are having issues similar to what I've experienced.

Ever since I installed my winch (in Summer 2017), I've had pretty poor LiOn battery life on my remote. I usually leave it in the center console, unplugged. On trail days, I plug it in before I get out to air down, and I leave it plugged in all day unless I'm using it. At the end of the day, I unplug it and turn it off after airing back up. But it was always dead the next time I hit the trails.

After having this happen a few times, I made a point to check it every couple of days when it was off in the center console, to see how long the battery lasted on a full charge. To my surprise, even though it was fully charged when turned off, and only turned on to check battery life, the battery only lasted a week or so.

Fast forward to wheeling last weekend, and I needed to use the winch, but the controller wouldn't turn on at all, even after being plugged up and charging for several hours. Tried multiple charging cables and ports... nothing. I called WARN the next day, and they agreed to send me a free replacement battery, but I was surprised to learn that the expected lifespan for these batteries is only 2-3 years (including however long it sits on the shelf before you bought it).

This is pretty big design flaw, in my opinion, for two reasons:

1) Without this remote, these winches are useless. There's no way to physically connect a remote to a ZEON Platinum series winch, so I would have assumed these wireless remote batteries to be MUCH more reliable (especially considering how much they cost).
2) These batteries aren't easy to come by, and can't really be swapped with any similar type of battery. In fact, based on the research I've done so far, these batteries seem to be a design/style specific for WARN. So even getting a spare (or two) to #goprepared would be difficult (edit: Although you can buy a whole new remote from Amazon).

If any of y'all have had similar experiences with this remote, please post in this thread. I've seen some reports of similar issues in a Taco forum, so if this is as widespread as I think it is, I'm hopeful we can get WARN to do something about it. Because I'm gonna be getting a new winch if this remote continues to be as unreliable as it has been.

UPDATE:

I removed the links for the batteries and chargers I had listed here because they have 2-pin connectors, but the WARN remote uses a 3-pin connector. :headbang:





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GeoTracker

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Yep I have the same issue with mine. The remote likely has piss poor power management and is draining the battery. “Off” is not off and my bet is the radio is still trying to talk to the winch. I just charge mine but this is going to kill the battery eventually. I keep a micro USB cable in the glove box, the remote operates while plugged in, I figure it’s a decent backup plan until Warn figures out how to fix this battery drain.

Is Warn a sponsor on this site? Would be great if they helped people that paid for their top line products beyond a free battery swap.
 
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swampcat14

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I updated the first post with some links to buy spare batteries and chargers. Apparently these batteries are used fairly commonly in hobby applications (Raspberry Pi, Quadcopters, RC Cars, etc)
 
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swampcat14

swampcat14

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Yep I have the same issue with mine. The remote likely has piss poor power management and is draining the battery. “Off” is not off and my bet is the radio is still trying to talk to the winch. I just charge mine but this is going to kill the battery eventually. I keep a micro USB cable in the glove box, the remote operates while plugged in, I figure it’s a decent backup plan until Warn figures out how to fix this battery drain.

Is Warn a sponsor on this site? Would be great if they helped people that paid for their top line products beyond a free battery swap.
My remote got to the point where it wouldn't even work when plugged in...
 

GeoTracker

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My remote got to the point where it wouldn't even work when plugged in...
Oof that sucks. Word of caution with LiPo batteries and chargers. A lot of the hobby level stuff are junk from China and could result in blown batteries or fire.

The charger link you have is for a product made by Adafruit, which I trust for parts. I've used them for hobby bits, direct link to their charger section here. They might have data sheets and be able to help answer questions too.
 
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Oof that sucks. Word of caution with LiPo batteries and chargers. A lot of the hobby level stuff are junk from China and could result in blown batteries or fire.

The charger link you have is for a product made by Adafruit, which I trust for parts. I've used them for hobby bits, direct link to their charger section here. They might have data sheets and be able to help answer questions too.
Yeah the fellow who recommended them warned that they were made in China, but said he'd ordered them before and hadn't had any issues. But thanks for the heads up (and the links to Adafruit's site). :rock:
 

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Same issue with mine and sometimes it takes forever to have enough power to turn on after being plugged in.
 
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swampcat14

swampcat14

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I updated the original post again to remove the links for the batteries and chargers I had listed there because they have 2-pin connectors, but the WARN remote uses a 3-pin connector. :headbang:

I still haven't received the replacement battery that WARN was supposed to be sending me.

So, the only workable solution I've found so far for this issue is to buy a whole new remote. Which was ~ $150. But it paired up easily and works just fine (as you'd expect for $150).
 
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GeoTracker

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So since I last posted on this thread (8/11) I let the battery on my remote drain on a bookshelf while checking on it every few days. It's been 2 weeks and I'm at ~33% with the icon showing yellow. I'm recharging and will post another set of results. Seems like there is a battery drain issue with this design.
 

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I AM HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM! Already called WARN and had the whole remote replaced, the battery still only last a few days. It drains even when it is turned off.

Today I went to use my winch and couldn't use it because the battery was dead. I had to let the remote charge up for a while, then I was able to use it.

Shouldn't be having this problem for the amount of money spent on this winch.

Makes no sense! Something has to be done about this.
 

Go4Low

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Anyone found a solution or a way forward yet?
 

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This stinks guys. I considered this when I was looking to upgrade our winch and decided to go with the regular zeon 10-s. I read somewhere about the poor battery life and having to charge it weekly and steered me away. It’s a shame because they really have excellent feature on it. A wired backup should’ve been a no brainer for them

brett
 

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So quick update on my latest experiment. I charged up the remote and then turned down the display brightness about a week ago. The battery drain seems to be less severe. But this makes no sense since it’s off most of the time. Can someone give this a try and see what they get?

1. Charge to 100%
2.Turn the display brightness down most of the way.
3. Let it sit for a week or two and note the battery bar.
 

Go4Low

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So quick update on my latest experiment. I charged up the remote and then turned down the display brightness about a week ago. The battery drain seems to be less severe. But this makes no sense since it’s off most of the time. Can someone give this a try and see what they get?

1. Charge to 100%
2.Turn the display brightness down most of the way.
3. Let it sit for a week or two and note the battery bar.
I have done all sorts of experiment between the two remotes and it goes dead in about a week. The send remote lasted a little longer.

Today I was hundreds of miles away from home, I needed to use my winch and the remote wouldn't even work plugged up.

It's not even been two months since I bought my winch and I've come to the conclusion that it is basically dead useless weight on my vehicle, that serves no purpose.
 

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