Harmony Tips and Tricks: Adding Accessory Packs to your Harmony 900

Hi, my name is Dane Kalinic and I am a product specialist on the Harmony team. I am joining my colleague Omar on this blog to provide tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Logitech Harmony Remote. In today’s post I want to focus on the Harmony 900.

This past August I was fortunate enough to be part of the team that launched our newest radio frequency (RF) remote, the Logitech Harmony 900. One of the top benefits of the Logitech Harmony 900 is that RF allows you to control all of your AV devices, even the ones inside a cabinet or closet. This feature is great as it makes it possible for people to achieve the minimalist and clutter-free living room that is so popular today. Additionally, there are other benefits of switching to the Harmony 900 (RF) Remote.

      1. Controlling identical devices. Yes, it is not so uncommon for home theaters to have identical devices in the same room. With any other remote, the signal that comes from the remote will be seen by the identical devices and therefore all will respond at the same time, even when you don’t wish for this to happen. With the Logitech Harmony 900 you can add Harmony Precision IR Cables which will stick right onto each device and allow you to control each individual device separately. When these cables are used you can easily assign control to a specific RF Blaster port by following the steps right on your Logitech Harmony 900. There are four red IR emitters, each on a wire that is 8 feet in total length. The split in the cable comes 3 feet up giving you 5 feet for each wire allowing you to have plenty of cable for each device. You can see a picture of what they look like below.

    1. Multiple cabinets and adjacent room control. Another common home theater configuration is having devices in multiple cabinets or rooms. The accessory that you need for this is the Harmony RF System and it can easily be added to the Logitech Harmony 900. The Logitech Harmony 900 comes pre-packaged with one RF Blaster, but you can add up to four more allowing the capability for the Harmony 900 to control up to five blasters total. Not sure if you need this? Well, typically you will want multiple RF Blasters for whole-house music systems, projectors or perhaps you just have your devices split amongst two different cabinets. Like the Precision IR Cables, you can add a RF Blaster right on the Logitech Harmony 900 without the need to plug the remote into your computer to do an update.


As you can see, the Logitech Harmony 900 is a great solution for home theater control. With RF, Precision IR Cables and RF Blasters you can control devices from different rooms, multiple devices and even IR lighting and home automation. Keep following for more tips & tricks next week and let us know if you have any requests.

Author

Product Specialist, Remote Control Business Unit

12 comments

  • The status light on my blaster is out and the remote does not work. I have unplugged the blaster and no response. Any thoughts. Is the blaster bad?

    • Hello Mike,

      When plugged into a properly working AC plug the Power light on the Blaster will always be lit, but the Status light will only blink when sending or receiving commands from the Harmony 900 remote.

      Most times we find that users haven’t assigned their devices over to the Blaster for control. You do this step on the remotes LCD screen under Options-> RF System Settings -> Device Assignment. Each device that is located near (line of sight of) the Blaster should have a small Blaster icon to the right of the device name.

      If you’ve done this steps and still not getting any control, contact Customer Care by clicking on the Support button in your Logitech Harmony Remote Software.

      Best,
      Dane

  • Thx for your reply Dane! I read the article Omar posted and found the possible solution for one of my problems (the Dish Remote) which I’ll try when I get home tonight! However, I was wondering if there was any accessory or any sort of solution to circumvent this RF issue because I do have other rf Remontes (such as the Keyspan tvu-200C Tuneview to control itunes on my pc) which I hoped to get rid by getting the Harmony 900. Please, advise!

    Thx,
    Tony

    • Hello Tony,

      I’ve checked and it seems that the Keyspan TVU-200C is listed as an RF only device and does not work with IR codes at all. Unfortunately, RF only devices cannot be controlled with any Harmony. The only time there is an accessory is when the manufacturer of the original device creates on. You can sometimes find these IR to RF converters for some AV devices, or even some fireplaces & ceiling fans.

      Unfortunately, the Keyspan looks like it not only an RF remote, but it has two way communication that lists the songs that iTunes is playing. This isn’t a feature of any of our remotes so the Harmony would not be able to replace this one.

      Best regards,
      Dane

  • Is there any way to increase the transmission power of the Harmony 900. The one I’ve just purchased is unable to communicate withi ts IR blaster in a wooden cabinet less than 25 feet away. With this short range it is obviously useless and will be returned.

  • You list lighting controls but which ones? does the control need to be IR or can i find an RF lighting switch with a base module that I send an IR signal to and then the modual sends out an RF to the switches? That way I don’t need line of sight. Does that exist and what company?

    • Hi Austin,

      Aside from the Harmony 890 which can control Z-Wave RF Lights, all other Logitech Harmony remotes such as the Harmony 900 control lights & other home appliances through IR.

      There are a few companies that create these IR controlled or IR->RF controlled lights. X-10, Lutron, and Leviton are a few examples. Usually the easiest solution is to get an IR controller box such as an X-10 IR543 IR Receiver that will get the IR commands from the Harmony remote and then convert them to X10 powerline commands and transmit them over your house wiring. Some Lutron & Leviton plugs and adapters can interface with X-10 commands, so you don’t need to stick to one manufacturer.

      By using an IR to RF controller you can place this type of IR receiver close to the RF Blaster of the Harmony 900 remote and assign all lights to be controlled without the need for line-of-sight from the remote.

      Best,
      Dane

  • Hi, I have just purchased a Harmony 900 and try to install it. I am using the latest software version, my harmony is connected via usb to my macbook pro, but the process stops in step 2 where there should be communication with the Harmony-remote. It says 0% finished, and it sits there for half an hour already… Feeling a bit disappointed, but good support can do a lot ;-) thanks for your help. Luc

  • I would like to use the Harmony 900 to control WIndows 7 Media Center. Do I need a USB IR Receiver? Do I have to get the Microsoft brand?

  • I have two issues. I have components that are hidden behind doors, and I have a Leviton VRI10-1LX light controler that uses Z-Wave. Which remote should I purchase?

    • Hello Paul,

      If you are looking to directly control Z-Wave products from your Harmony remote then the only one you can purchase is the Logitech Harmony 890. We are no longer manufacturing that model but it can still be found online and in some retail stores.

      However; many people control Z-Wave products with different IR remotes through the use of an IR to Z-Wave converter. The IR543 which is actually an X10 system interfaces with Z-wave products to give you the IR-to-RF solution. You could then use a remote such as the Logitech Harmony 900 which can control your entertainment devices hidden behind doors.

      Regards,
      Dane

  • I tried to install the Harmony 900 software on a windows 7 computer and it tell me there are known compatibilty issues and will not install the software – what can i do?

    also, when setting up a DISH VIP122 remote, it asks me to manually learn the on/off, volume ect, however when I try to teach it, it will not capture the commands. Any ideas?

  • Hi there,
    I am upgrading my Home Theatre just now and adding some light automation from Lutron using their new RadioRA2 technology. The Radio RA2 uses its own propriety RF technology at a 433mhz frequency, so I do not think that the Harmony 900 can control it directly.

    I wanted to also be able to control the Master Lighting control from my Harmony Remote.
    Do I simply send one of these IR cables to the lighting controller as well??

    Since the 900 comes with only 1 of these cables pre-packaged, will I have to by the Harmony RF system or is there another solution??

    Thanks

    Charles

    Can you please clarify this for me?

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