Steam VR base station 2.0 reliability issues? I've killed 3 in 3 months

Hey guys,

I’ve had a 5k for a little over 2 years, and used the vive/steam base stations 1.0. In that time, I went through about 3 of them where they failed with the red blinking light.

I now have an 8kx for about 3 months, and in that time have gone through 3 Steam Base Station 2.0 units. They all fail in a week to 30 days, and always at the unit behind me (I use 2 for my seated sim cockpit. One at about the 1 o’clock position, and the other at the 7 o’clock position). The 7 o’clock is the one that keeps failing. Any idea what could cause this? I do turn them off when not in use. they generate heat and have some sort of spinning gyro in them so I refuse to leave them running when I’m not home.

I know how to change the channels, that is not the issue. They work fine, until they don’t and I get the red light. They are plugged into a surge protector.

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Valve’s defect rate is extremely low, for you to go through 3 defective 1.0’s and then 3 bad 2.0’s within 3 months the odds of this as a random occurrence is negligible.

It’s definitely something to do with your environment. Vibration, extreme temperature, humidity, dust, power fluctuations - something. A surge protector only protects against extreme variances - for a start I suggest you plug your surge protector into a sine wave UPS.


The 1.0 units were plugged into my UPS, as was one of the 2.0 units. The other 2 that failed inside a few days were plugged into a power strip on a wall outlet. I’ve had a TV and a firestick plugged into that outlet for 3 years with no issues. I’ve not had any issues with any other electronic equipment failing in the 27 years I’ve lived at this address.

They are in a climate controlled, finished basement, wall mounted using steel brackets. The humidity and temp are controlled between 68-74* F and 40-60% humidity.

Are these things that fragile? When I get this new one, I’m going to swap it with the one that’s been good to see if there’s something with that mounting location. I see that there is a way to put them to sleep without powering them down, that could be the issue right there.

I’ve been running my 2 1.0 stations for 5 years, even had them out of the house several times for demonstrations and party fun and they’re still working perfectly so I wouldn’t exactly call them fragile. it’s of cause possible that your units comes from bad batches or something.


Ho do they fail? And do they fail the same way? If you have Index or Vive Pro, you might be able to get some diagnostics over BT (if at least the power works).

Man I’ve had good luck so far with the 1.0 BS i got used. 2 years without issue, plugged directly into a wall.

Lately I have been getting nervous because of Valves support and Pimax support and I have to admit an inside out tracking solution makes me feel much better.

I cant believe how many BS you’ve gone through. You could practically buy a G2 for the cost of the BS you have had to replace.

Your situation is truly a worst case scenario. You are my “Mr.Glass”

They aren’t fragile, I’ve dragged dozens of 1.0’s and 2.0’s all over the place and thrown them in suit-cases countless times. They’ve been dropped, dragged and worse so they are actually incredibly rugged. I don’t bother to baby them in any way, turn them off or even plug them into a surge protector and not one failure of any of ones I have. Further the overall defect rate is tiny.

Yet you are somehow going through these things like they are made of paper. 6 of them is just incredible and ludicrously beyond typical. i.e. you have a maytag washing machine that has failed beyond repair 6 times.

The only conclusion is there is something *serious going on at your location killing them. Figuring out what that is would be the focus.


I am still on my original LH version1’s. Still rock solid. Some Micro centers still sells them

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It can’t be that low; both my 2.0 base stations also failed within 3 months. Pimax replaced them, but I also bought two more from valve as back ups since I no longer have much faith in them.
And Maytag isn’t what it used to be either. Our Maytag fridge died about a week after the warranty expired.
It’s all combining to make me even older and crankier than normal!

Think of it this way - roll a 100 sided die and try to hit a 1 just twice in a row, not impossible just highly unlikely. Now try it again and try to hit a 1, 6 times in a row, now you really are in nearly impossible territory. The odds of this happening randomly are actually less than my example.


I think the design is terrible. It’s a sealed, non-serviceable unit with something spinning on a bearing, that produces heat (they get warm). They have no self induced sleep or inactive mode that I can tell.

Having said that, I do believe it’s gotta be something on my end to have so many failures, so quickly, but what is the issue? I did find an app for my phone that turns them on and off, rather than just cutting the power, so maybe that will help.

Here is a video of the failed unit after startup. I just checked, this one is the third to fail in that location. First one lasted just over 30 days, other two less than a week. What is the failure? I have no idea, as I have a Pimax and have no way of getting any data out of them. The failed unit can be accessed from the phone app, so I can put it to sleep or standby. Changing channels has no effect.

If i recall each base station is factory calibrated. They are not user serviceable, but it’s not an anti-repair decision. Replacing the motor or other components would not yield a working lighthouse unfortunately.

Alan yates has provided backup ‘rescue’ images in case firmware is somehow lost. I can’t tell at all if this is firmware or hardware. Do you hear the motor spinning? You may want to post the same topic here

I don’t have a UPS, and I plug these things straight into the wall. Traveled with them over a dozen times, moved 3 times, and they’re still kicking! (1.0s that came with my vive). It’s very strange you’re having so many issues given how good your setup sounds…

Given how much you’ve spent on base stations, buy a 1.0 vive for diagnosing these things imo. It’s a bummer how crippled we are with pimax with the base stations. There’s a decent chance this is all software. Are you attempting to update firmware ever? I remember hearing it will straight up brick 2.0 base stations if so on pimax because its not supposed to be done over usb… but I dont have any 2.0s so im not sure.

maybe try this ^

We had a maytag when I was 11, it died when I was 38.

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We just moved into a house with a '91 whirlpool… we have a newer washer but the thing works fine! Can’t justify throwing it out. pretty crazy how reliable some things are.

This applies to v1 lighthouses, and even there probably does not really fix anything.

I tried that fix for my 1.0 last year and it didn’t work.

I’m not buying new ones, I’m returning them for a refund. No way I’d keeping paying $200 a pop. I just put up a brand new one last night, and will use the phone app to put them to sleep, but keep them plugged in. Let’s see if this one lasts. I suspect my issue is that I’m unplugging them when not in use, though not sure why one seems to handle it just fine, but killed 3 others inside a month.

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All this did was make me want to play another session of Demeo.

Honestly I’ve had no issues yet. But you’re right. Its going to fail at some point , it’s designed to.

As much as I like BS tracking I was actually disappointed that VP2.0 is still relying on it.

Quest has proven that ISO teacking works almost as well. And you dont have that potential $300 upkeep cost.

If base stations cost the same as oculus cv1 camera’s i wouldn’t care as much.