I attempted to repair a dashcam with a dying battery this weekend. The dashcam is a Nextbase 402g model which mostly works very well and has done for many years. The only problem with it seems to be the battery as it is not user replaceable. When it inevitably fails, it requires soldering skills to remove and replace it.
The dashcam was purchased about 5 years ago and this was the second time I have changed the battery. I remember purchasing the first replacement battery via eBay (that’s not a typo, it’s officially a small ‘e’ and capital ‘B’) and it took several weeks to arrive from China, which was annoying. This time I used Amazon and it arrived the next day with Amazon Prime, which I only signed up to for the Premiere League football matches over the Christmas holidays but it has proved useful for the quick delivery when buying presents.
The process of replacing the battery is documented in several places online including some very helpful YouTube videos, so I won’t go into it here. The purpose of this blog is to have a small rant about the whole soldering process. I’m not great with a soldering iron, I’ve actually only used one a small number of times. It’s a skill which I’m sure I could improve upon with practice, but it’s incredibly fiddly. I had to solder very small wires from the battery to the circuit board. In my mind the minimum requirement for the job is a soldering iron, a soldering iron holder, some solder and three hands. My main problem is… I don’t have a soldering iron holder!
I did eventually complete the task and the dashcam is working well. I know I’ll end up doing it again in a couple of years but I might be a soldering expert by then! These days the price of dashcam’s are a fraction of the cost I paid back in 2015, but I’m a little bit old school and the make do and mend mentality is making a comeback. So if you have a broken device that needs replacing, have a go at repairing it first, you might just surprise yourself.