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Does your iPod lose its charge on the bedpost overnight?*

February 19, 2009

*If you know that reference, you are really good.

My husband Eric, is pretty handy.  He can build, paint, fix things, and just create, in general.  This past weekend, though, I was truly impressed.  He replaced the battery in my iPod Mini.

He bought the iPod for me as a gift.  It is engraved.  Plus, it is the last of the flash-drive iPods, and I really like it.  But, the battery had quit charging.  I read through the fixes at Apple, where they told me to find an album of average length, note the time run on it, fully charge the iPod, then play the album and do some kind of subtraction to determine how long the battery was lasting.  Here’s how long mine lasted: long enough to plug in the headphones.  Seconds after that, I get the message that the battery is low and it needs to be recharged.

 I could have mailed in the iPod, and they would have replaced it with a refurbished iPod in which the battery had been changed.  They couldn’t guarantee I would get the same color, but for an extra charge, they would engrave the ‘new’ one with the same text.  All this for the low price of $59 for the battery and $189 for the service.  Yipee.

 After some online searching, I found ipodjuice.com.  They offer a battery replacement kit for all generations of iPods, lots of technical support, and videos to walk you  through it.  They will also change the battery for you, for less than Apple charges.  We opted for the kit which runs about $35.  The battery, which boasts longer life (in milliamp hours, mAh) than the original stock Apple battery, came with all the tools and fantastic instructions.  It was evident that they really want you to succeed with changing the battery.

 Eric is very strong, but also can be delicate when working on things, so I knew he would be o.k.  Even so, I was quite nervous throughout the process and had quite an adrenaline rush by the time he was finished. (I danced it out with music from my now functional iPod.) He started by discharging any static electricity he might have had, as per the instructions.  (I would have quite here.) He then pried off the white plastic covers on either end, and afterwards removed these microscopic screws that hold the unit inside the case.

There are lots of warnings on the instructions about when to be careful to ‘not touch the Molex’.  The Molex is some kind of conductive coating or rubber or something.  The important thing is that disrupting it will render the click wheel inactive or make the headphone jack worthless.

I posted this picture to illustrate the size of the screws seen above.

 Having removed all of the wires and screws, Eric next slid the main unit out of the chassis.

After the unit was out, it was pretty easy to remove the old battery and replace it with the new one.  If you decide to try this yourself, I recommend taking pictures of the the orientation of the old battery and the wires that connect it (something I failed to do) because the extra length of wire (cable?) is hard to get situated back correctly.

Once the new battery was in place, he had to tape some parts down with special tape so that the unit would slide back into the chassis correctly.  This part required both force and finesse, because it doesn’t slide easily but you don’t want to crack the display screen.  He then replaced the screws, and popped back in the plastic pieces.  It wouldn’t have hurt to have original orientation pictures of these pieces, either.  One end is tricky to figure out the direction.

 The battery comes partially charged, so after this, I turned it on, and it worked perfectly.  There is one tiny nick we made while prying the sides open, but it is less noticeable than the ding on the edge it got when I dropped it while run/walking on the riverwalk in Bastrop.  And if that is the only drawback, it was well worth the monetary savings.  Plus I get to keep the original iPod that E bought for me.

 I would recommend ipodjuice.com to anyone who  is facing the dilemma of what to do when their iPod quits holding a charge.  It was well worth the money, and their site has excellent support.  Good luck.

The master at work.

The master at work.

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4 Comments
  1. Aw, bedknobs and broomsticks, I hate it when my iPod dies! Cool pics, plus it’s a charge to see the “Jeweler” at work. I know who to call when mine shits. What’s up over spring break? Shady Grove?

  2. Dear Jill,

    I am the owner of ipodjuice.com and wanted to thank you for taking the time to detail your experience with our ipod mini battery replacement kit. Your pix are fabulous and your commentary had us chuckling. We really do try very hard to make sure the instructions are very detailed and we offer a solid product. I am so glad to read that it turned out well for you and Eric, and please don’t hesitate to email us at service @ ipodjuice.com if you need anything else.

    Regards,

    Anthony Magnabosco, Owner
    Milliamp LTD / ipodjuice.com

  3. Thanks Anthony. I was going to shoot you a line and let you know I wrote about your company, but you found me first. Great technical writing on the instructions!

  4. Larry permalink

    Good job!

    Next time you’re in there consider upgrading the hard drive to a 16GB Flash drive. I did both the battery and drive replacements on my girlfriend’s iPod mini. As you know, it’s not hard with the right instructions.

    Here’s the drive I used.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211170

    Good luck!
    Larry

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