October 3, 2023

Mid Designer

Breakaway from the pack

Dead gadget battery? This $6 tool is a must-have for tech repairs

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The other day, I discovered myself restoring someone’s alternatively agonizing unsuccessful restore. 

The shopper had a faulty Joy-Con for their child’s Nintendo Change, and it appeared that the battery had unsuccessful.

Also: Why you want a batteryless leap starter (and how it is effective)

Alternatively than invest in a new Joy-Con, they made the decision it would make a first rate fix undertaking and bought alternative batteries. These Nintendo joycons are very quick to open and the battery straightforward to switch, so it is a very good fix challenge.

The repair service seemed to go properly but after refitting the battery, the Joy-Con nevertheless didn’t perform. It was useless and wouldn’t look to demand up, so they went again in, commenced poking about, and then points took a significant switch: They unintentionally broke the small fastener that connects the battery to the Pleasure-Con.

This is exactly where I arrived in. I confident the shopper that points like this transpire, that the damaged connector could be set with a little bit of soldering, and that the dilemma with the “new” battery was that it was so fully discharged, it wouldn’t cost up when linked to the Nintendo Switch.

Also: How to solder: Tools, suggestions, and methods to get you commenced the uncomplicated way

But the underlying problem listed here is uncomplicated — and rather popular: You cannot entirely have confidence in “new” sections to be operating effectively. The most prevalent repair service that individuals start out out with is a battery swap any time attainable, I check batteries before fitting them, mainly because acquiring to open up some thing up a second time to get at the battery improves your threat of breaking anything.

Batteries are effortless to exam: all you need is a multimeter established to read DC volts, and you contact the crimson lead to the purple wire or the 1 marked as positive (+), the black lead to the black wire or the a single marked as destructive (-) and look at the reading on the display screen to the rated voltage on the battery.

Also: The most effective rechargeable batteries you can acquire

The Pleasure-Con has a single-mobile lithium ion battery with a voltage of 3.7 volts. Absolutely charged, these hit a superior of around 4.2 volts, and totally discharged can be underneath 3.3 volts (you can uncover these quantities for various batteries with a fast research of the internet). For some rationale the substitution battery experienced drained to underneath 3.3 volts and so it would not charge.

Testing a rechargeable battery

Testing a rechargeable battery

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

It truly is a super quick take a look at.

I now make a behavior of screening all rechargeable batteries in advance of fitting, for the reason that I as well have fitted a defective battery into a unit, and was left scratching my head as to what was the matter.

Also: This $10 gadget is my preferred restore resource of all time

I have a trick up my sleeve, in the kind of a little TP4056 charging board

TP4056 charging board

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

This board is built for charging solitary-cell lithium ion batteries — you connect the battery qualified prospects to the module (I utilised clips), link USB electrical power to the module, and wait for it to charge the battery.

This introduced the Joy-Con battery to comprehensive charge, and it has been performing high-quality because.

Bringing a discharged lithium ion battery back to life with a TP4056 charging board

Bringing a discharged lithium ion battery back to life with a TP4056 charging board

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You can get these charging boards for USB-C and microUSB, they’re low-priced — you can buy five for only $6 — and they are terrific for charging single-mobile lithium ion batteries outside the house of the device they are supposed to be in.

Also: You are going to under no circumstances guess how numerous tech repair instruments this little bag can suit

Will need a multimeter? I definitely like the Pokit Professional that connects to a smartphone, but if you are starting up out, you can select up a very good multimeter for $12.