Instead of a long crazy "hey you kids get off my lawn" rant, today's topic is oral hygiene.
I am on my 2nd Sonicare toothbrush. They last about 5 years in my experience, then they go poof. In reality there really isn't anything wrong with them other than they have NiCad batteries and the batteries just get worn out (or get a memory of zero).
I opened my first one (about 5 years ago) by splitting the case down the seam. This is obviously how they are put together... and they obviously think that is how you are going to take them apart. Smart thinking. Its really easy to tear them up this way. And then there is a really fragile circuit board with about 6-8 solder points that all have to be unsoldered to get to the batteries. And the batteries are super epoxified to the back case. All in all, not an easy project.
So when this one died the long slow painful death, the cheap ass bastard kicks in. My last one was about $100.... which isn't bad if you think of it as $20 a year. But those manual toothbrushes are cheaper than that.
This time I googled around looking for options. Everyone bitched about how hard it was to get the circuit board off in one piece or without burning it up, yadda yadda. Then I find this guy that talks about just cutting a hole around the battery box with a Dremel. Now I actually have one of these, but it is my firm belief that this is the ultimate "girl's tool." In other words, it works great on balsa wood. (80,000 rpm and 0 torque.)
So lets begin, shall we?
The cuts, made with a hacksaw in about 2 minutes. It would take me that long to find my Dremel. And then I'd have to replace that little cutting wheel at least 8 times when it explodes during a cut. Yeah, go with a hacksaw.
And this already looks easier. I nailed it when it comes to hitting the "battery box."
Batteries out... and a nice replaceable cover.
And here I have taken some off the shelf NiMh batteries and soldered them in. I make that sound short and simple, but for me it took a while. I am not some electrical whiz, just a guy with a soldering iron. I extended the original + and - poles to make longer pigtails. I had a little bit of a difficult time with one tying to one of the negative poles. The negative side of the battery makes a damn fine heat sink.
And here it sits in the charger... charge light blazing. (Okay, Blazing might be an overstatement.)
Add a little electrical tape and viola (or cello, or whatever). By the way, the little battery bastards are a bitch to get back in. The originals had finer wire on the upper side and a thin metal strap on the lower side (which I replaced with wire). Tight fit. Push. Shove. Swear. Accidentally rip one solder off of it. Repeat.