Hat on Top, Coat Below


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November 16, 2007

When I got back to working out after I got back from vacation, my nano showed me a low battery message from the Nike + sensor. I felt like it was too soon; I know I haven’t used it anywhere near the 1000 hours it’s supposed to last. I read reports online of people getting free replacements by going to an Apple store to complain, but I’d have to go out of my way to get to an Apple store and the value of the time and gasoline I’d spend on that errand would probably be more than the $29.99 it would cost to buy a new one. But I put off buying a new one anyway, curious to see how long it would last in this low battery condition. Answer? About 10 days. When I tried to use it Wednesday the nano searched and searched for the sensor but could not rouse it. It was dead.

I know the battery is not supposed to be replaceable, it being sealed inside the sensor housing, but since the worst I could do by trying was ruin it and have to buy a new one, I got busy with Mr. Karen’s tools. I gently tightened the vise, put the tip of a screwdriver at the place where the red top and white bottom of the sensor met, and tapped the handle of the screwdriver with a hammer. The sensor slid away from me, so I less gently tightened the vise and tried again. Soon I was rewarded by the screwdriver wedging apart the two halves of the sensor case. After that it was easy to work the blade around and take the whole top off. Success!

What I found when I looked inside was that Nike and Apple really, really, really don’t want you to replace the battery. Wires and contacts and bits I can’t identify were variously glued and soldered to both the top and the bottom of the battery, which was itself glued to the bottom of the sensor housing. Okay, so now I know. I bought a new kit at lunchtime and will start fresh tonight. Or tomorrow. I’m keeping my receipt with the box this time so if I suffer premature battery death again I’ll have the documentation handy.

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