Introduction: Replace Battery in Nike+ Sensor for Under $5

Picture of Replace Battery in Nike+ Sensor for Under $5

My Nike+ sensor recently died and after looking around the web I found that they wanted $20 to replace it! So instead, contrary to what others on the web seemed to say, I took it apart and found the process very simple and it only took 10-15 min. and a $4 dollar battery.

Sharp knife
Pliers (optional, but handy)
Small philips screwdriver
CR2032 Battery
Electrical tape
Crazy glue (also optional, but handy :-) )

Please feel free to comment and rate! I'd love to hear your input!

Step 1: Disassemble the Chip

Picture of Disassemble the Chip

Use your knife to pry apart the side of the chip. Then use a small screwdriver to remove the 2 screws on the top.

Step 2: Remove the - and + Ends

Picture of Remove the - and + Ends

For this part I also started by using the knife to pry up the connection on either side of the battery, although in the end I had to use the pliers to get the rest of it off. You can throw away the clear sticky plastic that comes off first. Then proceed to do the same for the top. Just in case, I saved the black strips from the top and reinstalled them on the new battery.

Step 3: Attach the New Battery

Picture of Attach the New Battery

Now attach the new battery just like the old one was attached making sure to put the - and + terminals on the correct sides, add a little electrical tape to secure it all in, put in the screws and put the top on. Then use a little super glue around the edges and your good to go!

Let me know if I missed anything, and please rate!

Happy Trails!

NOTE: Thanks to manubx for fixing the low battery screen on iPhones and iPod Touches!  Check it out at 


j_ (author)2012-09-29

dont do it! maybe they changed the design on the new ones but now the two pieces are glued together. if you do manage to get them apart without severing an artery, the battery is spot-welded to the rest of the device. i ended up buying a new one for $19. best of luck.

Loughlan (author)j_2013-02-12

Lol RE severing an artery. Just sliced finger open hella bad. That'll learn me for not scrolling down....

Loughlan (author)2013-02-12

Just sliced/stabbed thumb open at step one. Only just stopped the bleeding.
I am not usually a klutz, but these damn devices are glued together good.

I might give this one a miss.

mbybrowski (author)2011-04-23

I have only one question. Do you have any idea how to get rid of the LOW BATTERY message from the Ipod screen after replacing battery? I am looking for this kind of info for a while , no luck.
any ideas ??
thanks !

I have also few tips after replacing the battery in my sensor (it didnt work at the begging, had to do it twice)

1. after disabling the sensor is good to remove the red wire using soldering iron.
2. REMEBER to laeve the black tape on the green sensor (accelerometer), as it needs some space underneath to work properly.
3.My advice when getting things together with the new battery is to start with the black (+) wire with the U metal ending by taping it to the battery,
4.later as its already attached, do the same with the red one (with the U on its place u can make a strong taping, just go around the whole battery)
5. place the accelormeter back on the battery as the last one
6. use the soldering iron once again to put the red wire on its place.

It´s weird but suddenly I overcome the low battery indicator problem.

look after my post there (carozoynarizota)

what did you have to do. Just replaced battery and my ipod also still says replace.

mncasper78 (author)2012-01-29

I realized that the CR2032 is a very standard computer CMOS battery. So what I did was order the CMOS battery that came with the wire connector attached. Practically the same price as one without. Then I removed the male connector from an old PC motherboard, added some wires, then soldered them to the board. Then I glued the whole thing back together.
Now I have a water-resistant sensor in which I can easily replace the battery.
If someone can find out where to get the male end connector without having to remove it from a PC motherboard then we would have a perfect solution for everyone.

carozoynarizota (author)2011-05-17

I am using a different approch to place the replacement battery, look at the image.

Direct link to a bigger image at imageshack

brandon83 (author)2011-05-12

I've looked around online a lot and have found where to get the best price on the CR2032 battery. Don't go to RadioShack, BestBuy, or anywhere else like that. Go to a local computer store. These batteries are used on the motherboard of most PCs. You may even have an old PC sitting around...?

Big box stores had these from $5-10 for one. My local PC shop has it for $2.89.

The Dark Ninja (author)2011-04-16

My only wish with this device would be to add a tiny LED so we can see 'signs of life' or at least a way to determine battery life etc..

marcward86 (author)2011-03-03

and yes, just cut my thumb.

curse you, nike/ipod! if only there were tiny screws instead of glue.

marcward86 (author)marcward862011-03-03

precision screwdriver + hammer works way better.

just line it up at the seam, and give it a few light taps, and the plastic makes a nice 'snap' when it gives. a short line of those, then stick in a bigger screwdriver and tap it in, then a twist, and it opens quite nicely.

lawakisip (author)2011-01-10

Thank you. This worked for me. I used spot welder so no risk to over heating or burn solders to sensitive parts.

bhaveshpandey (author)2010-12-28

heyyy .. i installed a new battery on2 mah sensor n it worked az d sensor waz detected on mah ipod but still during mah workout,d ipod is still showin the sign wich it shows when the battery is low...!
can ny1 tel me wat shud i do...?

pogz (author)2010-09-02

Careful with the round thing with the black and white wires. I think its the antenna. I had to cut the Y part on mine because it was too damn hard to remove. I think it was spot welded to the battery or something. Anyhow, i plan on extending from the point where i cut with a small gauge wire and solder to the new battery. That way, I wouldnt worry about things being disconnected when I jog.

totalgeniuschris (author)2010-06-12

Sweet dude. Worked thanks. I used selotape to hold it together afterwards and some folded electrical tape to keep the pressure on the battery contacts.

arfrieman (author)2010-05-27

You've got to be kidding!  I must have an old sensor or something because the case was welded together and I had to destroy it to get it apart.  Once inside, the battery is soldered in several places and one terminal in actually pressed/welded on.  I used to do electronic work for a living and believe me this is not a replaceable battery.  I guess I'll have to go out and spend $20.

veliki (author)2010-03-20

worked like a charm, just finished two sensors. had to weld the red wire on one of them, but everything worked fine on the other. used the sharp blade knife to CAREFULLY cut the sensor open.

EndoTM (author)veliki2010-03-27

I broke the red wire from the chip. Is there any idea how to attach it? It seems its too small to be soldered.

pnpires (author)2009-04-15

:( my sensor doesn't have any life signs. I replaced the battery. Everything went perfect. I checked with a voltimeter and there are no shorts and I have tension in several circuit points, so it should be working, But the Ipod fails to find the sensor, no matter what. Buuuuaaaaa!!!!! Any ideas? I clicked the back button to put it to sleep, wake up, etc. Nada! Rien! EOF!

RegioAlpha (author)pnpires2010-03-24

 I has a similar problem but after many tries I found that if the acelerometer (the thing on the battery) is too tight (maybe for an excess of tape) the ipod don´t recognize it, the solution: let some space between the top part of sensor and the battery with the acelerometer attached, in this manner the acelerometer is not pressed and is ready for measure force and aceleration and make the calculations for velocity.

Leo Bley (author)2009-03-31

After adding a brand new CR2032 battery, the sensor started working again. However, the battery indicator was low (within the Nike+ program on the iPod). Is that normal, or could I have applied the connectors in such a way that it is shorting out and draining extremely quickly? There were several points during the install where a conductor could have bridged the battery's terminals for a short period of time. Perhaps, were some of those extra stickers acting as insulators to prevent certain connectors from bridging the terminals?

pickingrin (author)Leo Bley2010-02-16

 This seems to be a common problem.  I've never had it happen to any of the sensors that I've done myself, but I would recommend re-linking the sensor with your Nano.  Let me know if this works!

gefusu (author)Leo Bley2010-01-09

Same thing happend to me, indicator says low battery

bhillyer70 (author)Leo Bley2009-04-11

While removing the battery terminals I accidentally nicked a wire. I had to make sure I taped it up too (very small=very hard) maybe to cut something.

Drixter (author)2010-02-14

My nike sportsand doesnt seem to LINK with my sensor. any tips? ive tried linking several times but to no it cant possibly be the sensor because my kit is brand new. HELP!

pickingrin (author)Drixter2010-02-16

 I also bought the sportsband for a friend a few months ago and found it to be very glitchy and ultimatly die on her.  If you have a Nano, iPod Touch, or new iPhone I would recommend using that instead.


Ryan_Brantley (author)2009-10-07

Just got through with mine and it works flawlessly.  I actually broke the red wire from the small attachment, i stripped some of the wire and just taped it super tight and it works well, I took it around the block (exactly on mile) and my sensor read out .98 miles, so it is close enough for me.  Thanks.

pickingrin (author)Ryan_Brantley2010-02-16

 Don't forget you can always re-claibrate it so it's spot on.

Happy trails!

manubx (author)2010-01-26

Hello there :)
Thanx for this great instructable !! it Worked like a charm, just be very cautious.

I too faced the "Low battery" message, so I dug into my jailbroken iphone and found a very easy way to remove it. I even made an instructable for you guys running with there iPhone or iPod touch : Remove Low_Battery nag screen !!

Keep on running :)

pickingrin (author)manubx2010-02-16

Thanks for working that out!  I'll add a link to it on mine.  


edan005 (author)2009-10-26

Great instructable. I had it working in terms of being detectable by my ipod but it wasn't registering any distance. So I took it apart again and fiddled with the red wire which seemed to be the issue but I've just broken the wire off from the chip! Any advice on whether this is salvageable? I tried sanding off the epoxy over the solder point but I dont want to mess around resoldering it if it's likely to be toast...

steph1978 (author)2009-10-18

you got a magic knife, I can't manage to open mine.
I broke a cutter blade and just damage a bit of the plastic with a good knife.
I afraid to cut myself if I insist cause it is not easy to have a grip.

Baiji (author)2009-10-11

I replaced my sensor battery this way over a year ago. Works awesome. Wrapped a single piece of clear packing tape around it to waterproof.

Got 5 CR2032 batteries for 7 USD, free shipping at

With a new battery, you have to link your sensor first. Nike+iPod>Settings>Sensor>Link. The sensor is on by default. If it is not recognized, check your connections. Scratching the top with sandpaper helps if you want to solder the white wire on top.

Ryan_Brantley (author)2009-10-06

I just opened mine up in less the 5 minutes by a actually cutting it open with a small razor blade by rotating it back and forth on the rounded ends until I could work my way all the way around the sensor.

DarkClownMagic (author)2009-09-21

Didn't work for me. I mean that I could not pry the case apart without destroying it in the process. Mine is very old. I bought it the same week they were released (2 or 3 years ago I think). Perhaps they glued them better back then? It's apart not, but there is no possibility of putting the case back together.

Bisquick (author)2009-08-29

That first picture of you with the knife cutting towards your other hand reminds me of something similar I was cutting last year; turned out that cutting TOWARD yourself is unsafe especially cutting something that might give way, and once that baby slips you will get 20 stitches. I had about half of my thumb reattached (longways) using a dull knife. I suggest learn from my mistake and hold the sensor with a vise or use a different non sharp tool. Otherwise great idea!

aqwiz (author)Bisquick2009-08-31

honestly not cutting towards yourself in any fashion is good advice, but I believe he is simply using the knife as a wedge, kinda like you would a butterknife to unseal a frozen jar lid, in which case there is a lot less likelihood of slippage, and more cautious finite control over the tool is being used anyway due to the shorter axis of rotation that comes from twisting the blade into the area between the plastic pieces, as compared to a cutting arc when digging through tough plastic, or sawing at it.

pickingrin (author)aqwiz2009-09-02

I agree. I don't recommend cutting towards yourself, but if you can pry it apart by twisting the blade a nice knife will do the trick.

ginsu7 (author)2009-08-23

I did this project (thanks for the instructions), but am STILL getting a low battery message. I also think I might have taped the accelerometer down too tight and its not creating any voltage. I would LOVE someone to create a hack where we could add a battery on TOP of the case, because the soldering of the new batteries is damaging the batteries. heat kills batteries. The horseshoe, etc is SPOT welded on. I dont have that gear in my kitchen drawer! : ) also, a little LED to show ON/off would be clutch.

jumpback98 (author)2009-06-03

how did you reattach all three connect points (the green circle, the horseshoe on bottom and the red wire small attachment). Did you individually connect each of these with glue or simply put them all approximately in the right place and tape over it all with the electric tape?

pickingrin (author)jumpback982009-08-16

I just put them where they were and then taped them so they wouldn't be touching.

Eddiepers (author)2009-07-20

i will probbably put a rechargable one in there and set up a charging mech when mine dies

urd3b4me (author)2009-07-04

im from the philippines. my sensor now working. i have saved a lot. im ready for my full marathon this sunday

rkorevaar (author)2009-05-30

Thanks! It works...

czyz (author)2009-05-05

I've posted my sensor opening video to vimeo. It'll show up at this URL in about an hour. It's perhaps an entertaining minute-and-a-half, but isn't terribly informative.

I'd embed it in the comment, but I don't know how to include a vimeo video here. The 'video' button seems to be set for youtube.

czyz (author)czyz2009-05-07

My efforts resulted in failure. I bought a new CR2032, pulled everything off the old battery as described in this instructable, attached everything to the new battery with electrical tape with contacts attached the appropriate sides of the battery --and my iPod can't find the sensor. I tested the new battery with a voltmeter, it's putting out 3.14V (Π!). I couldn't test voltages on the other larger solder blobs on the circuit board because they're covered in some clear epoxy. I tried both long and short presses of the button on the board, thinking maybe it's asleep. Had no effect. So I've got a new CR2032 and a dead sensor. It was worth a try. Maybe I'll buy a new sensor and find some other use for the CR2032 (or save it for when the new sensor dies and I try all of this again).

vref_guy (author)2009-05-05

What size screw driver ? My biggest problem with this step is finding the right size screw driver. I was able to separate this fairly easily starting with a pipe cutter. Simply wedge the sensor between the sharp wheel and the rollers and begin to turn the handle to increase pressure. This gave enough of a start for me to work a small chisel in and begin prying. I had it separated in under 5 minutes with only a minor injury to my thumb when the chisel slipped.

pickingrin (author)vref_guy2009-05-06

I just used a small computer screwdriver. I don't know the size

About This Instructable




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