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Tech Take-Apart
DIY - iPod Battery Replacement
by kp
power comes in small packages
Power comes in
small packages
Have you noticed that your iPod is not keeping its charge as long? Your iPod may be a victim of battery exhaustion. If your warranty has expired, you have one of two choices - pay a repair service to replace it or do it yourself. For those who prefer the challenge of fixing it at home, you now have that option with Sonnet Technologies' line of iPod replacement batteries. Each battery comes with its own set of tools to crack open your iPod, plus an instruction CD to guide you along.

My iPod mini, aka Green Meanie, had been suffering from lethargic battery for months, so I tried installing a new battery myself. I was amazed at how simple it was. Sonnet Tech's instruction videos were clear and easy to understand. The CD includes QuickTime movies for iPod 3rd gen, 4th gen. and mini battery replacement. So, armed with my tools, I was ready to replace the battery.

Before you start, it is important to have a static-free area and to ground yourself to prevent any accidental shocks to your iPod. A Static Mat is a good investment, because it provides a safe surface to work on plus a  grounding cord. Once you have grounded yourself appropriately, it's time to get started on opening the case. As shown in the Sonnet video, the iPod mini requires some extra steps to get to the battery. Each end of the iPod mini has a white cap that is glued in place. The video instructs how to soften the adhesive by heating the caps with a hair dryer for two minutes. After heating the first cap, use the blue prying tool to work the cap off of the iPod. This step may take several attempts depending on the strength of the adhesive. You repeat the same process to get the second cap off.

Green Meanie with the caps and clip removed
Green Meanie with the caps and clip removed

With the caps removed, the iPod mini has additional pieces to detach in order to get to the battery. At the top end, there are two tiny screws that need to be taken out using the provided Phillips screwdriver. On the bottom, the iPod has a metal clip holding the logic board in place. Sonnet Tech recommends starting at one of the holes in the back corner and carefully pulling the clip free. Next, the ribbon cable needs to be disconnected before pushing the logic board out. With the ribbon cable free, you can now push the logic board out from the bottom to expose the battery.

The logic board slides out for access to the battery
The logic board slides out for access to the battery

Replacing the battery is probably the easiest step of the entire process. First, separate the battery connector from the logic board and take out the old battery. Slide the new battery into the same place and re-attach the battery connector. Once the battery is ready, tuck in the wires and push the logic board back into the iPod. Sonnet Tech warns to be careful when doing this because you can accidentally smear adhesive onto the display window. To put the iPod back together, reverse the take-apart steps. First, re-attach the ribbon cable, then insert the clip. At the top, place the screws back in. When you get to the caps, you will need to reheat the adhesive with the hair dryer to make the glue tacky enough to hold the caps back on. For the bottom cap, make sure you align the grooves correctly with the gap left over the ribbon cable. The final step is to recharge the new battery before using your iPod.

Sonnet Tech’s iPod battery replacement kit makes doing the repairs yourself worthwhile. The entire process took me no more than half an hour, and I saved on labor costs. Sonnet Tech's replacement battery kits run under $30 for the most iPods.

Sonnet Tech's line of iPod replacement batteries
Sonnet Tech's line of iPod replacement batteries

Shop Online:
Sonnet Replacement Battery for 1st and 2nd Generation iPod
Sonnet Replacement Battery for 3rd Generation iPods
Sonnet Replacement Battery for 4th Generation iPods
Sonnet Replacement Battery for iPod mini
Eclipse Anti-Static Mat with grounding cord

References: http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ipod/batteries/

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