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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Tools for the job

Removing touch screen from case (note guitar pick)

Touch screen off

First of eight tiny screws to remove metal plate holding LCD

Prying off old battery from back of metal plate

Using soldering iron to remove old battery ribbon cable

New battery soldered into place

Power check with new battery


Brett is 11 years old. His father picked up a battery on eBay for $8.59 (includes "separator" tools).

Yes, that's a soldering iron. And no, it isn't included with the replacement battery.

Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau

Just to get the iPod Touch open took a good 15 minutes. Lots of clips help keep the iPod tightly sealed.

Even the two separator tools that were included with the new replacement battery could not do the job, so Brett had to use a guitar pick (which did not survive) to get the touch screen off.

Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau
A thin ribbon cable in the upper-left corner makes for a very delicate procedure.
Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau
Eight very tiny Phillips screws have to be removed so that the LCD screen and its frame can be lifted up. The battery is stuck to the back of the metal frame.
Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau
Turning the frame around reveals the battery, which is stuck on very securely with serious double-stick tape. After a careful, slow peel off, the toughest part can begin.
Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau
Rather then use a simple push-on clip or ribbon cable with pinching connector, Apple has chosen to solder the ribbon cable from the battery to the motherboard. And not with two simple, well-separated connectors, but three very close connections. (Note: If any two touch, your iPod Touch can short circuit and be toast).
Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau

With a little help from his dad, Brett carefully melted the solder on the existing battery's three connections one at a time and pried away the ribbon cable from the motherboard.

After applying a very tiny bit of solder to each of the new battery's connectors and lining them up carefully, each lead was soldered to its respective area on the motherboard.

Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau
Once the solder was cool, a quick press of the power button confirmed all was working as the Apple logo appeared. From this point the rebuild went rather quickly: battery to back of metal frame, frame's eight screws in place, touch-screen ribbon cable to motherboard connection. You then press the touch screen back into place, and you're good to go.
Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau

Working third-generation iPod Touch with brand-new battery! Cost: $8.59.

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Caption by / Photo by Ken Landau
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