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!

LED Tail Lights

Cree XLamp® XR-E LED (P2 bin)

I had some extra Cree XLamp® XR-E LEDs (P2 bin) when I upgraded some flashlights to Q5 bin LEDs.

When I found a LED circuit board that had an input voltage of 4v-18V, I thought it would work well as a driver for an automotive LED bulb. The circuit board uses a Micro Bridge Technology PT4105 (PDF specs) step down LED driver.

I took an 1156 bulb to use as a base for the circuit board and LED. I broke out the glass and filament and used JB Weld to glue the components together.

BMW Bavaria Tail Light

The LED was brighter than the 1156 bulb, but it had a noticeable hot spot, even though the Cree LED has a 90 degree viewing angle. Heat doesn’t seem to be a problem; the Bavaria’s light socket dissipates the heat well.

Joe Weir, on the Senior Six Mailing List, suggested using a diffuser lens. I’ll have to find something then report back.