TackTick Micro Battery Replacement
Posted on October 23, 2014
Has your Micro Compass seemingly given up the ghost? It may only be a battery issue! Here is a recap of an owners experience...
We need to preface this post by saying that opening the TackTick Micro will void any warranties from TackTick or Raymarine. TackTick and Raymarine do not recommend any attempts to replace the backup battery in this unit. However, if your only other option is to toss it in the trash, why not give it a shot?
My Micro Compass is 10-years-old. It has lived the past few years on a shelf. This year, I bought a Lightning and wanted to use the Micro rather than the globe compass that came with the boat. Much to my dismay, it would not come to life. After a good bit of research, I found that there is a backup battery inside the unit that has a very short life. I also found that some owners have attempted and succeeded in replacing this battery.
Below, are the directions for replacing the battery and bringing the Micro back to life, including calibration... Credit to: Vanheim Technologies, Auckland, NZ.
Please note: If you contact us, we will direct you to someone willing to do the replacement for you. This service costs much less than buying a new unit.
Here we go:
Taking it apart was actually quite easy. Open up the tabs with a small screwdriver and insert toothpicks or something similar into the six clips around the outer housing and gently slip off the housing. Repeat with the inner housing.
The compass inner workings exposed. Remove the silica gel packet. Take a note of the battery polarity and what goes where. Remove the blue coloured one/off jumper to the right of the central capacitor (or whatever it is).
Important Update -- With special thanks and hat tip t0 Jarmo Tiilikka from Finland here is what to do if you are going to replace the battery yourself (unlike me who had it done professionally).
-- Before battery removal, remove jumper (under display, next to battery) to switch power OFF.
-- After battery replacement, install jumper to switch ON power and reassemble the compass.
Solder in the new battery and check to see if the compass works by either slipping the jumper back on or placing a metal screwdriver over the two jumper tags. If she don't fire up straight way, cover the solar panel for a few seconds to see if the compass reboots. If the compass has been in bright light for a while, it may be required to cover the solar panel for up to 10 seconds or more to reboot. Replace the jumper.
No point in reassembling the compass unless you have it working. Use a smear
of silicone gel (not silicone sealant !!) on the inner cover seal to waterproof the unit when reassembling.
Calibration is Key!
There might be CAL on your left display and compass degrees on right display. It’s means that you need to calibrate your buttons.
1. Turn OFF your Micro compass (cover solar cell and hold MODE until compass turns off).
2. Turn ON your Micro compass. Display show bAt – 200 (could also be 180).
3. When you see bAt – 200, press and hold MODE and SET until you have 013 – 16P on display.
4. Press quickly (but not hold) MODE and SET until you have tst – A1
5. When you see tst –A1, Press and hold MODE and SET until you have tst – P on your displays
6. Turn off your Micro Compass
If the final display was tst - F then repeat the procedure (You might need to do this calibration several times).
If the unit fails repeatedly then there is a hardware or software fault inside the unit.
On August 1st, 2016, Ezra ZAnkel from Charleston submitted additional information after replacing his battery.
I saw that on the Dieball site it was you that had last updated the page with directions on how to replace the battery on a TackTick micro compass that most lightning sailors use.
The new version (I thing from 2012 on) looks identical but has slightly updated internals. It does not have a blue on/off jumper, and from what I found online there is nobody else that has been able to get the newer model to turn on/work reliably after replacing the battery. Mine does!
I made an album. If you click into the photos and click the little circle with the i in the middle, each photo has a detailed description.
The process is essentially the same as the one you have already posted, but instead of flipping the switch to turn it off, I taped a piece of cardboard over the solar panel and turned the device off before doing any soldering. That way, the battery wouldn't turn on while I was working on it.
Then I disconnected the positive terminal first, followed by the negative.
I reused the metal connectors and soldered them on to the new battery. I had trouble taking them off the old battery. The solder holding them on didn't seem to be budging, so I ended up just yanking them off. They are easily bent back. Make sure that you note exactly where they are on the old battery and line them up properly on the new one otherwise they won't go through the holes.
Once everything is soldered back together, remove the tape. If it doesn't turn on, verify that the metal tabs are all soldered completely on to the battery. One of mine popped loose at first, and just pushing down on the battery slightly made the connection. A little bit more solder made everything much more solid.