Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Garmin Power Meter Battery Change - Vector 2S

Vector 2S is a rather old model that still does it's job really well. It was first launched by Garmin in 2016. I've been using it for years, and it has helped provide the power data on my rides and races. The Vector 2s has been discontinued by Garmin. There are a lot of used and reconditioned unit out there that you can purchase for a bargain. Just make sure you find one that is still ok physically - as that is the first tell tale sign if the previous owner abused the unit and the chances of the mechanism integrity is strong (aka working) is there.

  • Click Here for My review of Vector 2S

Maintenance is simple, almost no frill. A single CR2032 button cell battery last a long time, and i periodically change it only when the LED blinks red, or before a major race. Due to it's age, my unit sensor sort of detached from the casing that holds it. The glue on the inside that held the casing to the sensor unit (waterproof) dried up. It was an opportune time for me to remove the pedal, and reinstall it on my more frequently used bike, while transferring the Vector 3S to my main triathlon bike. I consider this activity I did today as "getting ready for the 2022 season".

Main unit detached from the case.
The fix for the detached unit is simple. While any glue will be sufficient, I skipped the contact adhesive (rubber glue), and superglue. Using silicon glue provide better adhesion and less issues due to heat. Silicon glue has lower possibility of getting dry and brittle. Also, superglue has solvents, which may eat into the plastic of the units. Silicon glue is not as acidic/caustic as superglue.

Simple fix. Instead of using rubber or superglue, use silicon glue as it has better adhesion and typically last longer

A small amount will do. I chose the same spot as the original adhesive was. After cleaning the casing and removing as much of the old (dried, and brittled) adhesive, the unit is ready to be place/secured back again.
I use what I have at home, in this case, Silicon glue is my main go to
A firm press on the case and sensor unit, and I am ready to go. 
Next: Changing the Battery
The Vector 2S runs on a single CR2032 battery. Same battery on the Garmin HRM. You can get them cheap from Ikea or from Mr. DIY. Keep a strip of them handy, you never know when you need them. First off, open the casing using a coin or a screw driver. I personally prefer a coin as it gives firmer leverage without damaging the battery door. Once you open it, you see the battery. I like to use a magnet (in this case, my old speed sensor magnet) to "pull" the battery out. Almost no effort. Better than trying to pry them out and risk damaging more parts.
Next, you need to clean all the metal contacts. I like to use alcohol swab. It removes any oil or grease. With Covid19 around the last 2-years, alcohol based cleaner is easy to get. I just press a little onto a tissue, and rub all the contact gently. You do not want to break anything.
Small amount, wipe and dry

metal part on the cover, wipe

metal part in the sensor, wipe

metal contact in the pedal spindle, wipe

metal contact in the sensor attachment to spindle, wipe
Once this is done, you can put the CR2032 into the sensor unit and lock it back using the same coin. The unit LED should start blinking (anything but red). If it blinks RED, you need to change the battery again. Bear in mind that these button cells has shelf life too.
All still working well! Yes!
Next is to prepare the spindle. Some grease will always be good, to prevent any seizure/hard bonding when installed to the pedal. It is always a good practice. I have some lithium grease from my last headset installation and used just a little to line across the thread.
A little goes a long way
One of the last thing to do, before reinstalling, is to put a little bit of mineral oil (i use the light sewing machine oil) onto the spindle contact. Why? This is the part that will be in contact with the sensor unit. Putting some mineral oil (it's conductive to electronic current) will help to make the internal movement  between the spindle contact where all the power generated will be transferred to the sensor unit. This also prevent any potential power spikes when you use the unit. 
A drop, and then you just dab off some access. leave a thin film on the surface
Installation and Calibration
With this done, you can install the pedal. Remember that on the drive-side aka the crank side, you tighten clockwise like usual convention. On the non-drive side aka the left side, it is the other way around. Hand tighten both pedal and do not over tighten (typical guidance is to just hand tighten, and then give it another 1/8 turn to tightness. Once done, switch on your Garmin device, to setup the pedal and to calibrate it. Follow the on-screen instruction and you are done.
Usually happen when linking new devices. Good thing to do as it reset and restart the process for better accuracy.

After setting up the pedaling angle, it will ask you to calibrate

Clip off, and calibrate. You can actually do this by putting the bike on a stand, and free spin the setup

Hope today's tips help you to restart and be ready again for the ride and season starter. Please ask me anything if you have any issues at all. 

Next: How to Do this on Vector 3S

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