Introduction: Navigon 2100 GPS Navigator Disassembly for Battery Replacement

About: My interests cover a very broad range of topics...

The battery on my brother's GPS unit no longer holds a charge, so he went online and found a replacement.  He was sure all he needed to do was pop off the rear cover and drop in the new $15 US battery.  He was wrong!

This process involves completely removing the guts of the unit and disconnecting components that are not intended to be user serviceable.  Do not blame me for any issues that may arise.  This instructable is intended to provide information I was previously unable to find on the disassembly of the unit.  It currently discusses, but does NOT show the replacement due to issues discussed later on.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Establish a clean and well lit work area and the following:

--> You will need a small Phillips head screw driver.   Unfortunately I don't know the specific size, but it came in a cheap set of precision screw drivers I had.  It should be fairly easy to come by.

--> A flat bladed screw driver or other prying device.

--> Double stick tape.  This is used on the back cover and to hold the battery in place.

--> Regular tape (scotch brand style)

--> Refridgerator magnet.  It will help to hold the small screws so they don't get lost.  I learned this trick from my time as a fencing armorer.  A piece of the double stick tape will work as well, but is not reusable.

-->  A replacement battery.  Discussed more in the last step.

Step 2: Lets Get Started!

Turn off the GPS.  This was not a big issue for me since the battery was already dead.  Flip the unit upside down on a surface that will not damage the screen. 

Use your finger nails or the flat screw driver to pry off the back cover.  Start from the side opposite the SD card slot (as seen in the second picture).  Next, pry from the other side (the one with the SD card slot).  Finally, run the flat blade around the edges to pop off the rear cover.  See the third and fourth pictures for more detail on how the back cover is held on. 

There was some small pieces of adhesive/double stick tape also holding on my rear cover, but the hold was not very strong (see fifth picture).  This is where I noticed my brother was wrong.  There was no way to access the battery, so I dove deeper in. 

The fifth picture shows the location of the four case screws.  Remove these with the Phillips head screwdriver and stick them to your magnet or tape for safe keeping.

Step 3: Opening the Case and Removing the Screen

The front cover/frame around the screen should now easily separate from the back housing.  Pry the parts away from each other starting at the top.  There is a ribbon cable connecting the screen to the PCB.  Do not put strain on this!

This next step requires both hands, so read carefully as there are few pictures of the process.  Carefully, stand the unit right side-up and pivot the top of the screen out towards you.  Support the back of the unit with your middle through pinkie fingers.  Use your thumbs to support the screen and the index finger to hold back the top and side tabs (The tabs in the second picture that are farthest from the cable).  Push the screen through with the thumbs and remove the plastic frame.  support the screen and remove the plastic from over the cable from the PCB. 

Carefully peel back the plastic from over the connector.  Slide the white tabs on the sides of the receptacle towards the cable (please see the fourth and fifth pictures below).  This will release the cable that can then be carefully slid out.  Place the screen in a safe place where it will not get damaged.

Step 4: Circuit Board Removal and Battery Acess

The battery is still hiding, but we will soon be able to see it.  I originally did these next two steps in the reverse order.  I then realized I made it harder than it needed to be.  From here on out its pretty straight forward if you have the right battery.

Use the flat bladed screw driver to pry up the GPS antenna connector from the board. 

Remove the two screws holding the PCB in the case.

Invert the unit over your hand and catch the board as it falls out.  You should be seeing whats in the fourth picture.

Step 5: Battery Install

Pull the plug out of the socket and peel the battery off the board/foil its on.  Congratulations!  You have removed the battery!

Theoretically:     Attach the new battery in the same fashion as it was previously.  Use additional double-stick tape as needed.  Plug the battery in and reverse the previous steps.  Ensure the screen's ribbon cable is fully seated in the connector and the tabs are pressed in.  An extra piece of normal scotch brand type invisible tape will take the place of the original plastic covering the connector.  Fully charge the unit and test it out.

Why is this part a theory?  Continue on...

Step 6: My Dilemma

This is my brother's second mistake.  Note that the top battery in the first picture is larger (taller and wider) than the original one on the bottom.  The plug on the new one is also not compatible with the socket on the board.  He purchased a battery for the Navigon 2100 MAX and not the 2100 he owns.

I'm waiting for more information from Navigon and the battery retailer prior to continuing.  I currently see a few options.

1) Get the proper battery.  This has proven hard, as I can not find it online.

2)  Screw the bad connector and solder the new battery leads to the socket/circuit board.  This causes the greatest risk to both the battery and GPS unit.

3) Get a HTC Touch battery and solder the leads from the old battery to it.  There is risk in soldering directly  to a battery.

and the most likely for me to use:

4) Chop the leads off the old battery and solder them to the leads on the new battery.

I will update when this actually happens...