Introduction: DaVinci Vaporizer Battery Replacement

Replacing old battery with a new Li-Po battery pack in original DaVinci Vaporizer.

Disclaimer: This tutorial is not for the beginners. You should be proficient in soldering and have basic understanding of electricity and electronics. I take no responsibility for any damage that you may cause to your unit.

DaVinci Vaporizer is powered by a 3S 11.1V Lithium Polymer battery pack. I have done some research and I was not able to find any single Li-Po battery cells that even come close to the original ones in size or capacity. There is only one place in the U.S. that sells 3 cells and a PCB as a replacement kit (see below). If you find another vendor to get the batteries, chime in the comments.

Tools needed:

  • Small flat tip screwdriver, 1mm or similar
  • #00 Philips screwdriver, straight shaft
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering iron
  • Hemostats, optional but very helpful
  • Heat gun or hair dryer, if you are using shrink wrap tubing
  • Multimeter to test voltage

Materials needed:

  • Solder
  • Shrink tubing, optional
  • Electrical tape
  • 22AWG or 20AWG stranded wire
  • Original DaVinci battery replacement kit, available here (xpresstek.net)

Step 1: Disassembly, Screw Covers

The unit is held together with 4 screws. The screw holes are covered by rubber plugs.

Use a thin flat tip screwdriver. Wedge the blade between the plug and the hole wall and pull the plug up. It may take a few tries. Once the plug is sticking out, you should be able to pull it out rest of the way with your hands.

Step 2: Disassembly, Screws

Using #00 Phillips screwdriver, loosen 4 screws on the back of the unit. There is no need to remove the screw holding together the flip cover.

Screws may or may not come out of the unit all the way. Just make sure that they are completely loosened.

Step 3: Dissasembly, the Case

After the screws are removed, carefully pull on two halves of the unit all the way around the seam forcing them to come apart. The case should open fairly easy, you may have to pry with a screwdriver a bit if it sticks. Watch out for the connecting wires, do not rip them out of the circuit board.

Step 4: Battery Removal

The battery pack is located in the front half of the unit. It is easily identifiable by a bunch of tape all over it. I've encountered two types of battery packs in DaVinci units:

  1. Long and skinny ones as pictured in this unit. These cells are stacked on top of each other.
  2. Short and fat ones. They are arranged in 2+1 configuration as shown in the diagram.

In case 1, the battery pack should easily come out of the unit if you pull on it.

In case 2, you may have to use a flat tip screwdriver to carefully pry the pack out of the case.

Step 5: Disconnect the Battery

Snip the wire connecting the battery pack to the circuit board as close as possible to the battery pack.

Cut the wires one at a time so they don't get shorted!

Step 6: Battery Pack Disassembly, Optional

If you are curious, you can take apart the battery pack to see how it is assembled. Carefully cut and remove blue tape holding the cells together. You will be able to see solder joints and the PCB.

Step 7: Assembling New Battery Pack

New battery kit contains 3 fat and short batteries. They will not fit in the unit if they are stacked on top of each other. They will have to be arranged in 2+1 configuration with a PCB board on top of a single cell as shown in the diagram.

Step 8: Soldering the Cells

3 battery cells are to be connected in series as shown in the diagram. You can connect them in any sequence you find easier for you. I found the following method works well for soldering tabs on these cells:

  1. Remove the paper tape covering the tabs.
  2. Drop a glob of solder on one of the tabs.
  3. Hold two tabs together and pinch them with a hemostat right below the solder. The glob of solder should be between the tabs now.
  4. Heat up the tabs on the outside. It should only take a second for the solder to melt between the tabs and secure them together. You may need to push against the soldering iron on the opposite side with a solid object.

Once you secure the tabs together, solder a piece of wire to the outside of the tabs. Wrap the tabs and the wire with tape so there are no exposed contacts. I used the same paper tape which was attached to the tabs to begin with.

Repeat for the third battery cell.

Step 9: Molding the Cells

Solder the wires to the remaining unconnected tabs. You should have something similar to image above.

These battery cells will have a very tight fit in the unit. To make it easier for the later step, fold in all corners and excess flaps for each battery cell. This will prevent the cells from getting snagged inside the case.

Step 10: Connecting the PCB

  1. Put a piece of tape on the back side of the PCB containing all circuitry.
  2. Solder 2 wires to P+ (red) and P- (black) pads.
  3. Solder 4 wires connected to the batteries to B-, B1, B2, and B+ pads according to the diagram.
  4. Check the voltage between B- (negative) and B1 it should read between 3.5 and 4 volts.
  5. Check the voltage between B- (negative) and B2 it should read between 7 and 8 volts.
  6. Check voltage between B- (negative) and B+ it should read between 10.5 and 12 volts
  7. Cover all contacts with tape so there are none exposed.

Step 11: Battery Pack Installation

Insert the battery pack into the unit. Single cell goes toward the top, doubled cells go toward the bottom. The PCB should sit on the top of the single cell as close to the doubled cells as possible. It will be a tight fit: battery cells should be as close to each other as possible. Single cell at the top should be right below a small plastic tab as shown in the image. Two cells on the bottom should be sitting against the bottom screw hole.

Make sure that the battery pack is completely inside the battery compartment and does not extend beyond the unit.

Step 12: Circuit Board Connection

Slip a piece of the heat shrink tubing over the red wire coming off the P+ tab on the PCB. Solder the wire to the red one that was originally cut from the old battery.

Repeat for the black wire coming off the P- tab.

Slip the heat shrink over the solder joints. Heat up with a heat gun or a hair dryer to shrink in place.

Inspect your PCB and the battery pack for any exposed contacts. Tape over, if any are found.

Step 13: Reassembly

This is a real pain in the butt. You will need to carefully put two halves together and work your way around the perimeter to push them shut. Make sure that the battery pack stays inside the unit and none of the wires are getting caught or smashed inside. The magnetic cover can really get in the way here - it wants constantly snap back into place.

Once you are sure that everything is lined up properly, secure two halves with the screws and cover the screw holes with the plugs.

Step 14: Charging and Performance

You unit will not power on until it is connected to the charger. Allow the battery to fully charge before usage.

To test the performance, I ran the unit at 350F for 1 hour. The battery indicator was still over one half.

Comments

author
lenhumbird made it! (author)2015-11-21

Here's a LiPo Rechargeable Battery pack 11.1V 900mAh for under $13.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321385707608

11.1v 950mah lipo.png
author
Steve395 made it! (author)Steve3952016-02-26

Does that fit the davinci

author
lenhumbird made it! (author)lenhumbird2016-02-26

Well, actually not really. It's a very tight fit and it pushes against the back of the front panel buttons when put back together. The thickness is the issue, not the other dimensions.Even when you unravel the tape that holds the three cells together, it's too thick. I'd say go with a battery that is 16mm or thinner.

author
poctob made it! (author)poctob2015-12-07

Is this the pack that you used for your unit? Does it fit OK? What about the capacity, does it match what they advertise? I've bought some chargers from this seller, but never battery cells.

author
lenhumbird made it! (author)lenhumbird2015-11-21

Size is 18x31x53mm

author
poctob made it! (author)poctob2015-12-07

Thanks! I'll check it out.

author
Steve395 made it! (author)2016-02-26

Does that for the Davinci

author
ivanov.stepan made it! (author)2015-11-17

Keep original protection circuit and use that: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-7V-800mAh-Lipo-Battery-Fr-Syma-X5C-X5SW-X5SC-WLtoys-V931-Quadcopter-Helicopter-/161730958298?hash=item25a7ea93da:g:Ya8AAOSwv0tVd~XG

author
FrancoM1 made it! (author)2015-09-21

Sweet, thanks for the instructable. Did you ever get a serial number on the battery by any chance.

author
poctob made it! (author)poctob2015-09-23

Did you mean a part number? I was able to trace it back to the manufacturer in China. Very cheap to buy, but they wanted 3k units minimal order.

author
Hannes Koekemoer made it! (author)2015-05-29

You can buy very good li-po batteries from most model hobby shops, up to 6 cells and 6000 mAh

author
poctob made it! (author)poctob2015-05-29

The problem is finding battery cell with the right size to fit the compartment and to have the capacity of at least 800mah.

author
Hannes Koekemoer made it! (author)Hannes Koekemoer2015-05-31

Yes, because model airplanes are generally small and do not have a lot of room, they tend to be very small for their capacity, e.g. I have a 2200 mAh 3 cell li-po in one of my model airplanes and it is only 1.5cm by 3cm by 10cm, and they do get a lot smaller with lower capacity. Another one of my batteries is only 1cm by 3cm by 5cm for 500mAh.

author
FrankenPC. made it! (author)2015-05-30

Thanks so much for doing this Instructable. One of the big problems I have with vaporizers is they are expensive, the warranties are limited, and replacing dead batteries can be very difficult with some vaporizers (I'm looking at you Flowermate). Knowing I can readily replace the burned out pack helps with my purchasing decision.