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  #1  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:23 PM
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Default Sansa Clip DIY Battery Replacement

One of my v1 Clip batteries didn't hold a charge for longer than a few minutes anymore. I ordered a $5 iPod Shuffle battery from Dealextreme. This is the closest to the Clip's battery measurements I could find. Of course it's very easy getting spare parts for iPods in retail, but near impossible for any other brand player.

After 28 days the battery (including nice prying tools) arrived from Hong Kong, and I got to work replacing the Clip's battery. It's easiest starting by the power switch when opening the Clip up. Make sure not to break anything.





The Shuffle battery is smaller but a bit thicker than the original battery of the Clip.



The Clip battery has a circuit board with three connectors, plus, minus, and "N". The Shuffle battery has four connectors, and wouldn't work with the (overcharge/thermal?) safety circuit the Clip has built in.



At first I made a mistake, I wanted to use the Shuffle battery as-is, with its original circuit board (which won't work properly with the Clip). I de-soldered the three cables from the Clip's circuit board, instead of doing the right thing and removing the whole board from the battery (which is way less work than desoldering the three poles).



When I realized my mistake I removed the PCB from the Shuffle battery, and cut the two poles that lead into the battery diagonally, to fit the Clip's battery PCB.



The Clip's PCB soldered onto the Shuffle battery. Make sure to keep the polarities right. (If I would have thought the procedure through, there would still be the cables attached to the PCB, and I would have had much less work.)



The cables soldered onto the PCB again. Note to self: think first, solder later.



Electrical tape to prevent shorts.



Needs more tape.



Placing the battery on the Clip's main board, making sure none of the flimsy cables break.



Putting the Clip together again. Try not to forget the volume rocker and power switch. The Shuffle battery is slightly thicker, but it still fits inside the housing and it doesn't wiggle around. As you see, the DX battery got about 40% charge, just the amount that is recommended for storage by BatteryUniversity.



Ta-dah.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:29 PM
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wow...great work, excellent play by play and pics...
So because the shuffle battery is a bit thicker, it does not "shake/slide/rattle around" inside the re-assembled case?
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:39 PM
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nice job. but that's a bit too much effort for me. i'll just replace my player when the battery conks out.

just out of interest, how old was that clip? i've had mine 18 months now and i've done a few 14 hour+ battery benchmarks using rockbox within the last week.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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Some Clip batteries are just duds. This one stopped holding a charge after only two, three months. It's only a 1GB model, but I bought it back when I had to be sure I got a v1 Clip, since Rockbox wasn't working on v2 Clips at the time. A 2GB Clip from the same store turned out to be a v2 model already.

I didn't send it back under warranty, since I got a working 2GB v1 Clip in the meantime. And now I just wanted to see if it's possible replacing the battery, more of a proof-of-concept, something to do in my spare time.

Either way, I don't like to waste any electronics that can be easily repaired. Don't want to contribute to the ever growing mountains of junk on this planet, when not necessary. Personally, I'm of course only using my Clip+ anymore, but I can give this player to someone who has some use for it.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2010, 12:55 PM
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Very sweet that it worked, and very socially conscious lol
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2010, 03:43 PM
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Nice! How does the runtime compare? (I would not go by the maH spec on the Deal Extreme battery, if the bogus ratings marked on cheap cell phone batteries are any indication).

I had remembered reading somewhere that the Clip uses the same battery as a 1gen Ipod Nano but I could be wrong.

Anyway this is good to know. I couldn't find any small enough batteries so figured when my Clip went dead I would just strap a cellular phone battery to the back of the player with wires going into the player, ending up with a sandwich-like thing. The pocket clip would be removed, resulting in the remaining combo having about the same thickness as the original player with the clip.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2010, 09:38 PM
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also interested in what kind of battery life you are getting with your clIpod. (iClip?)
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2010, 02:28 AM
Kenaneu Kenaneu is offline
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Nice. I love stuff like this. Sure the replacement might not be worth the time and effort in some peoples' eyes, but I too hate to throw away otherwise working electronics. If I have no more use for players, I try to find a friend or family member who doesn't have one rather than tossing them in a landfill.

Anyhow, great to know that battery fits! I've actually been eyeing some of the hobby suppliers for tiny lipo batteries for when my fuze or clip batteries finally bite the dust but it's cool to know the ipod battery works.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2010, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulr View Post
Nice! How does the runtime compare? (I would not go by the maH spec on the Deal Extreme battery, if the bogus ratings marked on cheap cell phone batteries are any indication).
I haven't done any runtime test yet, but it probably won't be super-good. Well, better than only 5 minutes of runtime. I will give it a go. The new battery needs a few charge/discharge cycles anyways before a conclusive runtime test can be made.

The Shuffle battery claims 300mAh, which could be right, considering its size. Of course some claims are laughably fake, but I've seen those more with Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and similar "popular", easy to replace batteries than with ones that involve soldering. Could be a coincidence, though.

The Rockbox Wiki means the original Clip battery has a bit less than 400mAh: http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SansaClip

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulr View Post
I had remembered reading somewhere that the Clip uses the same battery as a 1gen Ipod Nano but I could be wrong.
I looked at the various generations of iPod Nano and Mini batteries on Dealextreme and other sites, but they all were quite a bit longer than the Clip's battery and would definitely not fit inside. But who knows, maybe one of those three, four generations might indeed be the right one. The ones I found were already quite different from generation to generation, but I don't remember if I even found a 1st-gen one.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2010, 04:58 AM
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Very brave of you... those tiny wires are so damn fragile.

Looks great though- you can't even tell you opened it. You should see what I did to my ClipV1 when the battery terminals came loose haha. I miss my e200's replaceable battery .
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2010, 05:02 AM
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Great tutorial, thanks for sharing
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2010, 08:33 AM
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Hey dfkt, thanks for the pics and commentary.

I expect to be doing a similar battery replacement in a couple of weeks. Maybe I can ask a couple of stupid questions. I'm looking at the plastic tools in your pic. From Skee's disassembly photos, it looks like the latch prongs are in the lower case half, and the recesses are in the upper half. So I guess the object is to stretch the lower half away from the upper until the prongs clear. Right? Did you use both tools at the same time, or only the one with the best shape? Was the case more flexible than you expected, or less?
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:40 AM
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Loops are in the front plate of the player, hooks (pointing to the inside) are in the back plate. You want to squeeze the front plate to the inside, prying the back plate to the outside.

This is the second Clip I've opened up, and this one was a bit tougher to open than my older one. Manufacturing margins, maybe?

Either way, I've opened my first Clip with only my finger nails, it's not that hard to do. This time I've used my finger nails too, just to wedge one of the tools in the opening, then using my finger nails to make my way around the whole perimeter, moving the wedged tool along the way, preventing the housing from snapping together again.
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  #14  
Old 05-21-2010, 02:44 PM
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Mostly synthetic benchmark, after first full discharge, playing LAME VBR MP3s over night, with a 16 Ohm phone attached:



More realistic benchmark, after the second discharge, using the player, using the EQ, skipping tracks, etc, with a 16 Ohm phone attached:

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  #15  
Old 05-22-2010, 01:33 AM
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Thanks for the graphs. I see megacapacity.com is selling shuffle batteries (implying they are made by Cameron Sino, a reasonably good mfgr) spec'd at 250 mah, so that might be more realistic for your DX battery too.

I think I was confused about the nano battery, and that I actually read someplace that it fits the fuze rather than the clip.
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:29 AM
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You're right about the 250mAh - the battery from Dealextreme is made by B&K Encel, model E502030: http://www.ibt-power.com/bkencel/Lit...r-Cells-1.html - hope it's durable enough, for half the price Megacapacity asks for their battery.

The iPod Shuffle sticker around the battery said 300mAh, but nowhere on the battery itself it said so. I guess the sticker was added by a third party, for dramatic effect...

By the way, model E502035 and E502236 would deliver better mAh, and would probably still fit into the Clip. But I didn't find those for sale on any of the retail sites.
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  #17  
Old 05-22-2010, 06:02 AM
ncuxanam ncuxanam is offline
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363830 battery used in the Clip available on ebay - 3.7V 330mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
http://cgi.ebay.com/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...m=170477518536

=) I'm trying to find display for Clip_v1, previous owner said it's maybe died after voltage surge, but displays that i can find have a 27\31-pin connetcror =(
original display has the 20-pin
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  #18  
Old 05-22-2010, 06:10 AM
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Damn! I wish you showed up here earlier. Thanks for the link.

Not only does it seem to be the right battery, it's also cheaper than the Dealextreme one.
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2010, 01:42 PM
qawsedrf qawsedrf is offline
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Hey dfkt,


First of all, thank you VERY much on the Clip battery changing guide. =)


I am thinking of doing a similar mod to the clip+, albeit with a higher capacity battery (900mAh using Ipod mini's battery which is very similar in size) as such:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-900mAh-BATTE...ad9a7c2ad#shId


(please don't mind the long link ya >.<)

I am a little curious though. I am well aware that we'd most probably need to use back the Clip+/Clip's battery pack PCB for overcharging (? or thermal protection etc?) purposes, and from your pictures I noticed the PCB is connected to the new battery pack on polarity of + and -.


Do you think there is a similar PCB on the Ipod Mini's battery which we can remove and replace with the Clip/Clip+'s charging PCB, for a mod with a desired effect of a higher battery capacity? I'll definitely be buying a Clip+ and some battery packs just to try out this mod soon. =) Abit broke from buying some vacuum tubes and amplifiers lately though. Urgh. *sobs*


If by any chance, dfkt, you have spare time/cash to do the mod, or if you can offer some good advises, I'd highly appreciate it. =D


Thanks alot in advance!
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2010, 02:35 PM
ncuxanam ncuxanam is offline
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By the way, in Clip+ it's seems set EBP363036\363036P Li-Polymer Battery Cell from PAC ELECTRONICS CO LTD. - i didn't find any info about battery on rockbox.org
http://www.pactw.com/OpenDetail.asp?...Polymer&p1id=6
And same built-in protection circuit PCM in Clip and Clip+
=)

Last edited by ncuxanam; 05-23-2010 at 02:40 PM.
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