YouTube - MiniDisc Repair - Sony LIP-12 adding a new 18650 cell for longer life!

The Sony LIP-12 Lithium-ion battery was used in many different models like this MZ-R30 I have.

Sony MiniDisc devices that use the LIP-12:

  • Sony MZ-R2, Sony MZ-R3, Sony MZ-R4, Sony MZ-R4ST
  • Sony MZ-R30, Sony MZ-R35
  • Sony MZ-B3, Sony MZ-E3

The original was a 1350 mAh battery and most of them, as you can imagine, are dead and won't hold a charge. Since the internal cell is actually an old 18650, there are plenty of options to replace it.

Opening the case is technically "destructive", but if you're careful, you can reseal it cleanly and it will slide into/out of the battery cavity smoothly. There's not much room for error in the battery compartment, so work carefully and slowly.

Also - working with Lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous! Make sure to get the polarity correct! The positive side will usually be designated on the label. If it isn't you can tell by the "rings" around that end of the battery. The negative terminal will be smooth and flat.

Additionally, you do not want to solder onto a Lithium-ion battery! In this case, the friction fit is so tight, that a thin piece of electrical tape or Kapton tape will do just fine. I even have a working cell with no tape - the terminals and tight friction fit are holding it the battery in place

New 18650s like the Samsung I'm using can be had for anywhere from $4 (USD) and up with more than double the capacity. In my case, the new Samsung can supply 2500 mAh, so that's nearly double the capacity of the original.

Here are the basic steps, but if you need to see how it's done, please watch the video! Thanks and I hope that helps give you an option to breathe new life into your old MiniDisc device!

  • Using a small/flat screwdriver, pry open the case from the "battery indicator slider"
  • Pry carefully all the way around - away from the insertion direction. If you're careful, we can actually hinge that piece and not remove it completely.
  • As you work your way around, work slowly and carefully. At some point, you may be able to "slide" your screwdriver down the side and open the case quickly.
  • Once it's 3/4 open you should be able to carefully pry out the battery and the bottom part of the case.

  • The terminals are still attached and we'll gently pry those off with the same screwdriver. Don't worry that they're not flat anymore - we can flatten them later.
  • After removing the battery - test fit the new one, paying attention to the polarity!

  • Set your battery inside and tape (electrical or Kapton) the terminals to your battery.
  • Close the case gently, and glue if desired
  • After letting the glue set, I recommend adding a pull tab (made from tape) to pull the battery out if the fit is tight
  • That's it - test your battery and hopefully it all works fine!