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Archive for June 14th, 2012

Powermonkey: Case Cracking

Quite some time ago I got a Powermonkey Explorer set (the one with a solar panel charger) at a substantial closeout discount. After the marketspeak dissipates, it’s a single lithium-ion cell with a boost regulator and USB charger inside a screaming yellow case (the new ones seem more subdued) that’s somewhat water resistant, along with a kit of adapters for various widgets & phones. It stopped charging from the solar panel or a USB port, which suggested that I had little to lose by cracking it open.

It’s an odd shape, but grabbing it across the equator and applying gentle pressure cracked one side:

Cracking Powermonkey case

Cracking Powermonkey case

Wedging a screwdriver in the opening and twisting a bit freed the other side:

Enlarging Powermonkey case crack

Enlarging Powermonkey case crack

Then it was just a matter of pulling gently to expose the cell & circuitry within:

Powermonkey interior

Powermonkey interior

That seems to be a standard 18650, presumably similar to that 2.2 A·h cell.

I didn’t find anything obviously wrong, so I buttoned it up with screaming yellow silicone tape, put it on its wall-wart charger for a bit, and now it’s all good again: a shining example of a laying-on-of-hands repair.

The single button has much more travel than it should, so I think the internal foam supports have lost their springiness.

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