Intro: Repair Creative Tactic3D Rage Wireless Headset (blue Blinking, No Pairing, Replacing Battery)
This manual in pictures is for those owning a Creative Headset, that lost pairing with the USB transmitter and re-pairing does not work as the headset is slowly blinking blue and not reacting to the buttons any more. In this state you are not able to charge the battery, so if you left the headset in this state the battery might be deep discharged and has to be refreshed by removing and directly charging the battery without protection circuit. For me this worked and I could revive the empty battery again. But the blue blinking and not being able to pair again needed some special work.
Skills and tools to have:
* solder iron
* skills in SMD removing and re-soldering
* EEPROM programmer that is able to program 24C128 serial EEPROMS
First I tried to update the firmware of the headset by the software provided from Creative. When I plugged the headset directly into the USB with a micro USB cable, the system recognized the headset as USB HID input device (AV6302). Some research showed this ic as 2.4GHz receiver, battery management, LED drive and speaker driver of the headset. The Avnera AV6302 is especially produced for this type of usage and can be found in several other wireless headsets too, e.g. Corsair Void.
1st of all I inspected the headset and found a EEPROM that must be used for configuration data as the AV6302 ought to have only a OTP memory with basis firmware (not up-datable).
Next I inspected and extracted the firmware
SBTR_PCFW_US_RX_1_58_121101.exe (download on Creative website)
with 7-Zip. I found a file called
which is in a special hex-format with byte- addresses. So I guessed that must be the 24C128 content as it was just big enough to fit in. I did some conversions on the file to get at least a binary content file.
Now I started the hardware part, de-solder the EEPROM read it out and found nearly (about 95%) the same content than the modded AV6302_RCDATA file. I flashed my modded file to the EEPROM and re-soldered it.
The next step was to reconnect the battery that I previously removed to work secure on the pcb. Now when I pressed the power button the headset switched on again with the white LED on and the headset itself blinking red. I started the pairing process on the headset (pressing more than 3 seconds the mic mute button) and the USB stick (pressing more than 3 seconds the connect button). Both paired again and the headset ist working again as it did before.
With the problem starting I contacted the Creative support, they tried several things and gave advices but they have not been able to help me solving the problem till present day. I wrote them an email what I did to revive the headset again hoping that they will rewrite the firmware exe to help other users having the same problem. By the way Corsair is maintaining a support forum and have successfully helped Corsair customers with in my opinion the same problem providing a special file.
If you have any questions regarding the solution feel free to contact me ;-)
Step 1: Remove the Speaker
- Insert a plectrum as shown on the first picture
- Bend to the outside to release the speaker cover on one side
- Then slightly pull the cover to release the other side of the cover
In picture three you can see the 900mAh battery, so this is the right side of the headset.
Step 2: Remove Power Supply
Pull the battery connector visible through an recess gently with tweezers. Take care not to break it to pieces.
Only pull as far as the power is gone, means you do NOT have to remove it completely!
Step 3: Repeat Step 1 to the Left Side of the Headset
Step 4: Remove Inner Cover of the Pcb
- Remove the microphone by pulling it out of the headset.
- Then remove all visible screws (six all together) and lift the inner plastic cover
Step 5: Access the Pcb
- Remove the two remaining screws that fix the pcb in place
- Turn the pcb around to see all parts mounted
Step 6: Remove the EEPROM
In the first picture you can see the EEPROM at the tip of the screw driver. I my case it has been marked with a white dot, I guess for production reasons.
The second picture shows the removed EEPROM. I did not show the process of removing this smd part as this should be part of your skills.
Step 7: Prepare EEPROM
To be able to program the memory chip with a programmer only capable of DIL sockets solder it temporary to an adapter like shown in the picture.
Step 8: Programming
- Put the adapter to the programmer be sure you do this like shown in picture four otherwise you likely will send it to smoke
- Now open the modded binary file picture two and three
- Program the memory (refer to picture four)
Step 9: Reseat the Memory Chip
- After successfully programming the memory remove it from the adapter (de-solder it)
- Clean the memory pads on the headset's pcb from remaining solder
- Reseat the memory chip on the pcb and re-solder it
- Afterwards I did some flux removing so that the pcb is clean again (refer picture two)
Step 10: In German We Say "it Is the Hour of Truth"
This means that you can see if your work is done and everything is working again
- Re-attach the battery on the right side of the headset by pushing the connector that you pulled before to its counterpart again
- If the headset is not turning on directly, try to switch it on by pressing the poer button on the left side of the headset.
- If your work is done the white LED should turn on and the RGB LEDs should start blinking/glowing red -> now the headset is ready to be paired again (refer to the pairing section in the prolog)
Step 11: Reassebling
- Be sure to put all screws in place again, do not tighten them too much as this will brake parts of the housing
- Don't be hasty this step as you might destroy the headset the last meters
- To reseat the speakers to the outer shell put one side of the speaker cover's hole to the pin again. On the other side put the plectrum between the cover and the outer shell, then push the speaker cover inside and hold while removing the plectrum by pulling. By this the pin on this side will directly fit the speaker cover's hole again.