Norns: a new battery you can use

Just wanted to report this as a thing you can do. I live in the EU and the original PKCELL battery, pictured below, isn’t really available here if you need a replacement:

At the same time, having @tehn ship a new one to me felt wrong because I bought a pre-owned unit. Plus, shipping from the US to Poland right now always hits customs so ends up being expensive for both parties.

So I needed a replacement battery. I can confirm that this one works just fine:

Fits perfectly width-wise with no force needed to place it in. It is just a tad too tall for the metal bracket but once you screw the bracket in evenly on both ends, looks like all’s good and secure. Screws aren’t loose.

One complication here, as you can see, is that the battery didn’t come with a plug. I took the one from the old battery and soldered the cables. If you do this, please be careful since lipo batteries are dangerous.

Once the plug is soldered and the battery is installed, it works just fine. Here it is charging with an 1.5A Apple iPad charger:

Finally, pro-tip! If you never opened up your stock Norns, know that there’s three things to do:

  • remove the bottom plate;
  • unscrew the remaining screws on the bottom of the PCB; and
  • unscrew encoder rings (you’ll see them when you remove the knobs).

A tool that was perfect for that last step was found unexpectedly in my Parktool cycling kit. Look at how well it fits the machined hole in Norns’ chassis: