Garmin Edge 130 Battery Replacement

Garmin Edge 130 case with screen, circuit board and battery removed

TL;DR Just read this article by Tom Schmitz: Garmin Edge 130 Battery Upgrade

In October 2019, Strava decided to discontinue Bluetooth and ANT+ pairing with the Strava iOS and Android app. That meant that my Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor that I used with my iPhone Strava app wouldn’t work anymore. (In November 2020, Strava restored the ability to use Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) heart rate sensors with the phone apps, grrrrrr)

Garmin Edge 130 on Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands

I ride mostly familiar roads so I opted for a bike computer that didn’t have a color screen or robust mapping, the Garmin Edge 130 GPS bike computer. I thought that the claimed battery life of “up to 15 hours” was great and I was pretty happy when I first bought it with the ability to see my heart rate, grade, total ascent and other stats.

Last Christmas, Kipp gave me a Garmin Varia RTL510 radar tail light that pairs with the Edge 130 to provide audible and visual alerts of when you’re about to be killed from behind, or as Garmin puts it, “provides visual and audible alerts to warn of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters) away.”

This month, I was riding with my 15 month old Edge 130 paired with my phone, heart rate monitor and RTL510 and the battery in the Edge 130 died after 3.5 hours.

In an attempt to increase the battery life of the Edge 130, I disabled the phone connection while riding and removed multiple pairings of the same device. I used ANT+ to connect the Polar H10 to the Edge 130 and when the Edge 130 offered to pair the H10 via Bluetooth, I declined. After doing this, with the H10 and RTL510 connected, I got about 5 hours from the Edge 130 before it died. Garmin has a best practice support article on connecting sensors to your Edge but it really didn’t help in extending battery life. I don’t usually ride for more than 5 hours at a time but shouldn’t my bike computer last as long as my rides?

The first solution that I briefly considered was a lipstick sized portable charger that I could mount on a Two Fish Lockblocks Flashlight Holder. The charger could be plugged into the Edge 130 with a short micro-USB cord. Besides looking bush, my cockpit is already too crowded with an Edge 130, GoPro and Lezyne headlight.

After a 3.5 hour ride, 71% battery remaining!

Through googling for Garmin Edge 130 battery life, I found the definitive article on the Garmin Edge 130 Battery Upgrade, written by Tom Schmitz on his site, souperdoo.com. His solution is to replace the 180 mAh battery with a 300 mAh battery. He found a 300 mAh battery with dimensions of 30 x 25 x 5 mm (502530) that fits in the 130 battery compartment without any modification.

I bought my 3.7V 300 mAh 502530 Lithium Polymer Rechargeable Battery on eBay. Following Tom Schmitz’s great instructions, the battery upgrade for my Edge 130 took about 45 minutes.

After a 3.5 hour ride with the 300 mAh battery, with the phone, H10 and RTL510 connected, there was 71% battery remaining!

Macbook Pro Retina 2012 Wi-Fi Upgrade

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) System Board. The Broadcom BCM94360CS Wi-Fi/Bluetooth adapter with 802.11ac is at the lower left, next to the fan

The Apple Macbook Pro is generally thought of as not too upgradeable but since my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) is past its 8th birthday, I’ve had to do a few mods and repairs to keep it going. I bought the computer new in 2012, with the 2.3 GHz Core i7 (i7-3615QM) and 8 GB of RAM.

Though it is showing its age, it’s still adequately snappy. Currently, I have three partitions on the SSD with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20241, macOS Catalina 10.15.7 (19H2) and (the unsupported) macOS Big Sur 11.0 developer beta 10 (20A5395g). My 2012 Macbook Pro Retina Geekbench 5 (MC): 2588 score is only marginally lower than the 2020 Apple MacBook Air “Core i7” 1.2 Geekbench 5 (MC): 2944.

Because I use a Windows Boot Camp partition, I am hoping that Apple will release one more 16″ Macbook Pro with a Comet Lake i9-10980HK before the switch to Apple Silicon Arm Macs.

Over the years, I’ve upgraded the SSD from 256GB to 1TB, replaced the keyboard after a coffee spill, realigned the lid after dropping the computer, replaced the battery and today (and hopefully last), I changed the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth adapter to a Broadcom BCM94360CS so I could get 802.11ac speeds.

Speedtest with Macbook Pro (Retina 2012) BCM94360CS Wi-Fi adapter, the same speed I get with the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

With my mesh network anchored with an Asus RT-AX92U (#ad), I was only able to get <30-60 Mbps downloads on Wi-Fi with the stock BCM94331CSAX adapter (802.11n) compared to >200 Mbps with the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (#ad). In late 2012/early 2013, Apple added 802.11ac capability to the Airport/Bluetooth board which is a simple drop-in replacement for the 2012 802.11a/b/g/n board. The part number for the board is BCM94360CS or similarly, BCM94360CSAX. I bought mine on eBay.

Riding a Bike on the Golden Gate Bridge

In this video, I’m riding my bike south towards San Francisco around the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. I used a GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition to capture the video. The occasional clicking sound is the downshifting of my Campagnolo Chorus Ergopower controls.

In the video poster frame, you can see the water just outside San Francisco Bay in the gap between the orange barriers. That doesn’t help my acrophobia, especially knowing that there is a 227 foot drop to the water. And it’s only blocked by a temporary Cyclone fence.

There’s almost always a constant wind off the Pacific Ocean, blowing across the bridge to the east . This year, the bridge authority retrofitted the railings to withstand 100 mph gusts. Now, when the wind is >25 mph, the new sidewalk railings emit a deafening hum that can be heard miles away. Add the sound of cars and trucks three feet away going south at 50 mph, it’s not a wonderful experience.

I just try not to look to the right.