modding:battery [TheDroidYouAreLookingFor]

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2020/03/30 13:09 · xanathon

Changing the battery

If you want to change the battery this is possible, but you will need some basic knowledge of mechanics and the neccessary tools, eg. small crosstip screwdrivers and a soldering iron usable for fine electronic soldering. If you are unsure that you can do this: don't! You'll damage your little friend. Look for some relative or friend who is able to do this. I aim to give additional informations about the battery here.

Changing the battery is shown in detail in the video tutorial by John Judge on Youtube (takes about 15 minutes of your time) dismantling of a Vector also is shown in an article on iFixit, so please refer to those.

Here is another video by Graham Walkingshaw showing the whole process of dismantling and changing the battery:

After installing a new battery you may have to boot Vector into Recovery Mode.

Here I want to share some information about the usable batteries

The original one is a standard lithium-polymer battery of the type 503236 (see right, click to enlarge). It delivers 3,7 volts (as all of those similar li-poly batteries) and has a capacity of 320 mAh (milliampere hours). The same was utilized in Cozmo. The designation has a meaning: the battery is 5 millimeters thick and the width and height are 32 and 36 mm respectively.

There is more room in Vectors belly so you are able to add a bigger one for more capacity and running time. I did some research, asked others and tried some myself. Here are my findings (please be advised that I can only talk about the situation in europe when it comes to buying them, as I live here):

  • Best suited for replacement is a 603040, that has 800 mAh capacity and the measurements are 6 mm x 30 mm x 40 mm. It fits perfectly fine without any problems. They are - however - somewhat hard to come by in europe. There are some shops that sell it in the UK, but those do not ship to the rest of europe. So you may probably have to buy directly in china for example via Ebay or the known chinese online shopping platforms, with the usual possible problems (wares never arrive, get stuck in customs or take ages to ship). See image to the right (click to enlarge), the other candidates look roughly the same, only differing in size.
  • Another one that works is a 653040 (also 800 mAh), as you may guess, that has a thickness of 6,5 millimeters. It's a tight fit, but it works. You may want to keep in mind, that sometime when they are old, defect or mistreated li-poly batteries may start to bloat and that may damage your Vector mechanically. The risk is on you if you use them! ;) Those you can get in europe.
  • There also is the battery type 403040 with the measurements of 4 x 30 x 40 mm, it has a capacity of 500 mAh. That - of course - also fits and is widely available in europe.
  • and there is 503040 (5 x 30 x 40 mm) with a capacity of 600 mAh, that also fits without any problems and also is available in europe.
  • ATM I am waiting for a 603048 (6 x 30 x 48 mm), that may also just fit in length, probably with some fiddling and tinkering, I will add information about that when it arrives. That type has a capacity of 900 mAh. confirmed: this one does not fit!

In my opinion the best options are 603040 and 503040 if they are available for you.

Please take the informations about capacity on all those batteries with a grain of salt, as some (chinese) manufacturers seem to brag about it and the actual capacity may be lower. For example you can get 503236 batteries that show 500 mAh, but I think the 370 mAh shown on the original Vector battery is way closer to the truth.

Caveat: You may encounter problems with too long running times when installing high capacity batteries, that resulting in overheating of Vectors main processor. So it may be better to choose not the battery with the biggest capacity, if you do not want to experiment but just a smooth running experience. Or you may consider installing a heatsink.

Additional Observations:

Is seems to me that the new battery takes some running/recharging-cycles before they reach therir full capacity. But that is no wonder, it's the same e.g. with moble phone batteries.

I have one unmodded Vector and one with a 604030. Directly after implanting it the running time was only minimal longer than the vanilla one. After a few charge cycles he runs distinctly longer.

Pop a wheelie

Because of the higher weight of the bigger batteries “pop a wheelie” may no longer work, because the weight distribution changed.


Andrew Garside, 2020/11/20 16:56
I agree with the comment re not going for larger battery, longer changing means more prolonged heat to the charging components and I'd question thier rating.
Xanathon, 2021/03/17 09:29
I have installed batteries with larger capacity in multiple Vectors and no problems whatsoever if the environment temp stays below 30 degrees Celsius. If the enviro temp is higher they have the same heat problems stock Vectors have. No difference.
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modding/battery.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/13 09:24 by xanathon