Extending Lazarus

Posted by Mike Brittain on October 11, 2006
Apple, Gadgets

Since I “upgraded” my iPod, it seems that it eats up its battery faster every day. I was pretty certain when I replaced the 20 GB drive with a 30 GB drive that the power consumption would also grow. Additionally, lithium ion batteries are known to have a limited lifespan, as charge capacity dissipates over time. By last week, my iPod’s battery seemed to hold about enough charge to get me to work and would die shortly after that. Moreover, if I changed course in my playlist (e.g. changing artists or songs in mid-stream) more than once or twice in an hour, the added seeks on the hard drive would cause the batter to expire even faster.

The battery meter was never quite right, either. Directly after charging the battery, the meter might read less than 1/4 full. As music played, the meter would rise for a bit. Or, sometimes when the meter was at about 1/2 full, the battery would suddenly quit.

I named my iPod Lazarus. When I replaced the broken hard drive, it got a 2nd life. (No that doesn’t make me Jesus, that’s not where I’m going.) It was time to revive this little guy one more time.

I bought a new battery on eBay. There are a number of suppliers who sell new batteries that fit all varieties of iPods. These come with plastic tools that are useful for prying open the case. I only paid about $12 for this battery, including shipping.

It took only about 10 minutes to open the case and replace the old battery. The new battery actually has close to 50% more capacity than the original battery. It easily holds a charge through 8 hours of play. Good as new… more or less.

My iPod is just over 2 1/2 years old. It’s now had 2 major surgeries and purrs like a kitten. As far as I’m concerned, this thing could easily last another 3 years with regularly scheduled “maintenance”.

Who needs video, anyway?

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