Nothing makes us more gleefully happy than taking things apart. On the table today: a pedometer. Lots of gory pictures after the jump.
I put a sticker on my pedometer to hide the corporate logo. The hinge is in a funny place – it opens downward, which was never what I expected. It clips onto your waistband and when you open it up, you can read your step count. It always seemed upside down to me unless I was actually wearing it.
It came with two stickers to put on the clip side of the plastic body – one metric, the other “standard.” I didn’t pay much attention to this “calories consumption index” since I was only using the pedometer for a walk-a-thon. The walk-a-thon is over now, so let’s take apart the pedometer!
Step one: pop off the battery cover. Needs a quarter and a lot of force. As you walk, the arm swings down. When the arm hits the bracket, the count is increased. The itty-bitty thin wire spring pulls the arm back away from the angle bracket.
In these pictures I’m actually holding it upside down – the hinge should be on the bottom. You can see how when the arm swings, the circuit is connected via the spring and the metal on the arm. Okay, enough of how it works– lets get back to taking it apart!
Step four: Take the weight and angle bracket off of the swing arm, and remove angle bracket from circuit board. Also remove two more screws which have become accessible. That’s all we can get at from this side for now.
Step five: pry off the face plate. The face plate cover is secured with a layer of serious adhesive. Both peel off pretty easily once you get something like a screwdriver under the edge.
The face of the pedometer now looks much better – rather like something out of Star Trek. It has lost its corporate give-away feel.
Interestingly, there is a hole for an extra button. There must have been a redesign somewhere along the way.
Step six: remove the four now-accessible screws and the rest of the shell will come off. Flip it over, and seven more screws are accessible now!
Step seven: remove seven more screws. The angle bracket that the spring hooked onto will come free now.
The PCB is rather cute. I like how well labeled the buttons are. Only one more thing to remove…
Step eleven: remove the battery spring. The spring, which is just stuck on, pops the battery up for easier removal and replacement. It also guarantees a reset when you open the case, since it disconnects the battery.
Here are all the parts: 1 PCB, 1 weight, 1 pin, 1 wire spring, 1 battery, 1 adhesive spring for the battery, 1 piece of adhesive, 1 plastic faceplate cover, 1 plastic faceplate, 1 hinged case, 1 back cover, 1 LCD, 2 rubber connectors, 3 buttons, 3 angled brackets, 4 plastic arm assembly parts and 17 screws (of four different types).
I didn’t count the individual parts on the PCB, since I didn’t desolder them. I don’t have much use for surface mount resistors and capacitors, and they look cute where they are. But all those screws…I had no idea you could fit seventeen screws into a case that small. Or that you would want to. Interestingly, many of those screws were used to secure electrical connections between the angle brackets that connected the arm assembly. It is certainly fun to see how the mechanical interacts with the electronic. Even the wire spring was a part of the circuit.