Replace Yi Dashcam Battery easily under 30 minutes!
The Yi Dashcam does a decent job in recording your drive. But after a few years, the battery will start to fail. The dash cam will still work when powered via USB. But when not powered, my unit would weirdly power up and down until the battery is completely flat. It’s obvious that the original battery is dead. However, there’s no reason to throw it away as the dash cam still works fine. So, I went to find out which battery type it uses to replace the Yi Dashcam battery.
Turns out it’s east enough to do-it-yourself. Here’s how you can do that same too.
What you will need to replace the Yi Dashcam battery
The obvious one is the replacement battery. The original battery is a 402035 (40mm x 20mm x 35mm) model with the specifications of 3.7v 240mAh 0.89Wh. So you can find similar 3.7v Li-ion batteries of similar 402035 dimensions like this one listed here on Amazon. Alternatively, you can actually get higher capacity batteries as well. There is enough space in the Yi dash camera to house batteries with a larger dimension.
The specific battery I got from AliExpress is a 582535 3.7v lithium polymer battery with a 600mAh capacity. Just a note on buying batteries from AliExpress, it can take a while for the item to get shipped to you. My order took about a month to reach me.
If you are in the US, this 3.7V 450mAh 502535 Li-po Battery that I found on Amazon would work too, albeit its one with a smaller capacity that the one I bought. Even so, it is still double the original 240mAh capacity.
You will also need a toolkit to pry the back case and remove the screws. The Tekton Everybit Precision Tool Kit works fine for me, but the spudger tool is a little soft to pry out the case.
Dismantling the dash camera to replace the battery
In following series of photos and descriptions would show you how I dismantled the YI Smart Dash Camera to replace the battery.
1. Pry open the back case
I used a combination of my fingernails and the spudger tool to pry the back case out. I found that doing it from the corners worked pretty well. This is the hardest part of the replacement steps. It took me a few minutes to get it out, so do be patient. In the next photos, you can see where the tabs are.
2. Remove the LCD panel holder
There are 4 screws that holds the LCD panel holder on the circuit board. You will need to remove the LCD panel from its holder first.
Once you removed the screws, the LCD panel and its holder would come off. You don’t actually need to remove the LCD connector for the battery replacement. Also, put the LCD panel back to its holder to manage it easier in the next steps.
3. Remove the PCB
To remove the PCB, there are 2 screws to remove and the Wi-Fi antenna connector to unclip.
Unhook the Wi-Fi antenna cable from the top of the PCB and you can lift up the circuit board from the front case. Do be careful as there are still some wires attached to the front case.
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4. Replace the battery
At this point, you can now replace the battery. Disconnect the battery connector from the circuit board and gently pull the battery from the front case.
With the original battery removed, you can see how much space there is actually for a larger battery. This is why the 583525 battery I got is able to fit.
I recommend attaching a double sided adhesive tape to stick the battery in place.
Here’s how the new battery fits in the Yi Smart Dash Camera once it is fixed on to the front case.
I have also removed the foam from the old battery and pasted it on the new battery. The foam ensures that the battery does not touch the PCB. This is entirely optional but I thought it was good to do that same with the new battery.
You can see from the photos here that there is a lot of clearance space between the battery and the dash cam’s PCB.
At this point, you just need to go back in reverse with the whole process. Remember to attach one plastic part that you need to screw between the LCD panel and the PCB.
5. Powering up the Yi Smart Dash Camera with the new battery
Before replacing the dash cam back into the back case, test out if the dash cam works with the new battery! It should power up as soon as you plug in the a USB cable connected to a power source. When you unplug it, the dash camera should continue to run for a while and you should see that the battery indicator is not empty. If everything works as expected, snap back the dash cam unit back into the back case.
That is how you replace the Yi Dashcam battery!
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