Get soldering. How to solder replacement cells in to your battery

Ok so you’ve done all your preparation and now you’re ready to get out your soldering iron and install your replacement cells. As with all modifications and fixes involving batteries it’s entirely at your own risk… but it’s not too difficult. Unless you’re doing as I am and trying to film at the same time. Take the appropriate safety precautions and take your time. Before you know it your retro Nokia 8110 or 8110i will be working, unconnected from mains power, for the first time in a few decades. Good luck:


Get your shiny new replacement cells ready

So you have some cells to continue refurbishing your (currently) dead 8110 or 8110i  (our whatever you have). How do you now install them in your battery housing so the cellphone has power flowing through the circuit board for the first time in 20 years or so? What are you go to do next? Let’s have a look:

Choosing new cells for your BLJ-2 battery

Next tutorial up in your quest to have a working Nokia 8000 series mobile is about choosing the correct cell (or to be more accurate pair of cells).

This is particularly important as you need to ensure you have a good quality cell that has upper and lower voltage protection. Lion batteries can be unstable if allowed to drop below a certain level so don’t skimp on price or spec.

As always, all modifications, hacks and fixes from this site are entirely at your own risk:

Quite an interesting piece on the increasing popularity (and consequently value) of vintage cell phones

I was sent this link and whilst I don’t read The Mirror normally… thought it was interesting.

The prices are off (£150 for a 2G iPhone?? £60 for an n95?? Mine cost a fiver. HTC One?? That only came out five minutes ago) but this bit from a collector did resonate:

“Finding an old handset in the back of a drawer can be an evocative experience. People tend to remember the phone they had during significant periods in their lives, such as a certain job or a particularly memorable holiday. It’s interesting that a piece of technology can induce sentimental feelings in many people.”

Now the thing about humans is that nostalgia often brings us back to the toys, sports, teams and (yes) cell phones that remind us of the past. A famous fictional character once said that every day, the future looks a little bit darker but that the past… even the grimy parts of it… keep on getting brighter (kudos to anyone who can name that person).

So yes, people collect the vintage Star Wars figures or pick up a Super Nintendo, or buy a classic car they’ve wanted for years… or find their way back to the phone they had at university or school and played their first game of snake on. Or the cellphone they always wanted but never had or smashed that time they were drunk.

And that’s why the prices for second hand retro phones on eBay keep going up. And that’s why they’re remaking the Nokia 3110. And that’s why sites like this one are springing up.

They’re looking at remaking more old phones you know? I’m not sure I’d want a ‘re-imagined’ Nokia 8110 for the same reason that driving the modern Volkswagen Beetle left me feeling empty.

It makes as much sense to me as a £150 iPhone from 2007.

Ever wanted to look inside an old cell phone battery?

What do you mean “no”? You’re going to need to if you’re planning on using your phone again. The old cells are dead so in this tutorial we can see how to whip them out ready for some shiny new cells.

One thing I forget to mention in the tutorial is the slight, sweet smell. Yeah that’s gas escaping from old and decaying cells. Wear a mask and don’t breathe too deeply. Get them out and recycle responsibly. Happy cell-pulling-out day.

My Nokia 8110i battery won’t work…

It won’t I’m afraid. I would say that it’s leaking but the fact is that it leaked then dried up entirely a decade ago. It’s 20 years old and obsolete technology and you better be sure that all these vendors who advertise them as supplied but are ‘out of stock’ have a website that they don’t update or purposely leave stuff on to help their search engine optimisation.

Next you may consider those great YouTube videos that show how to jump start old batteries using nothing more than a laptop and a butchered usb cable. That may work on some modern batteries that have dropped below a certain charge. Not in this case. In this case you may as well try to jump start a potato.

The good news is that we figured out how you can replace the original lithium ion cells with lipo or lithium poli. First you have to remove the old dead cells though as shown in the next part of the tutorials.

Usual disclaimer – for fun only and at your own risk. Enjoy.


Using the Nokia 8110 in 2017 – tutorials

First in a series of videos I’ve created to show how to refurbish, maintain and put new cells into the 8110 series of phones. Please let me have any comments below.

About the Nokia 8110

It was the first of Nokia’s high-end 8000 series mobile or cell phone and was released in 1996. The 8110i came a little later in 1998.The styling was the first example of a ‘slider’  type form factor with a sliding cover protecting the keypad and extended downwards when in use, which brought the microphone closer to the user’s mouth.
Opening the cover answered an incoming call. The curvature of case, particularly, earned it the nickname banana phone.
When released it was aimed at business users and was very much a premium phone and could be seen retailing for several hundred pounds.
You can still get them second hand on auction sites although if you can, get one that is confirmed fully functional. You can get these for as low as fifty pounds.
As well as the Nokia 8110 and 8110i there are gsm-1800 variants in the form of The Nokia 8146/8148. These were offered by orange uk as the as NK502 and NK503.
These phones can still be used today with the correct sim… and a refurbished battery. 


Start a blog they said…

…it’ll be interesting they said.

Cue an organisational ‘restructure’ at my place of work leading over the course of several painful months to a redundancy and no opportunity to really do much with it at all. Sorry.

That hasn’t stopped me dabbling in some retro mobile phone fun where time allows. A ‘Neo in Matrix’ style Nokia 8110i phone has kept me busy, including learning how to re-condition and solder in new cells. That may be the subject of my next blog. In fact I have several Nokia 8110 series and have been pleasantly surprised at how useable they are nowadays. Assuming all you want to do is make and receive calls and send the odd painfully-laborious text.

More soon…

Welcome to

I always loved mobile phones. For reasons I won’t bore you with I was lucky enough to be gifted at an unreasonably young age an Orange 5.1 in the late nineties. It changed everything.

Suddenly you could talk to people while ‘out and about’. You didn’t need to wait next to that land line hard-wired line into your house to be able to speak to people. Mobile phones were a relatively new thing (phone boxes were still a fixture on more city streets than not) and people looked at me like I was… an alien. They looked at me in a very similar way to how I look at the people nowadays going around town on hover boards (which by the way are not boards and do not hover).

A few years after that I ugraded to a Nokia 5110, a Nokia 3210 and then a whole host of phones I can bore you with another time if you’re unlucky. Over the course of the next decade I had 5 or 6 more cellphones. Mainly Nokia or Samsung with one Alcatel that I still get flashbacks about and not in a good way.

Fast forward a few decades and not that long ago I was onto my 7th smartphone in the space of a few years. After my first generation iPhone I’d tried a HTC Hero, HTC Desire, Samsung Hercules, Samsing Galaxy 2 or II and a few more before settling on a Samsung Note 2 which was a nice, big smartphone which was very good. Until I dropped it innoculously a few feet onto a carpeted floor and smashed the screen.

I recalled that a survivor from years before, my trusty 5110, was still in a drawer somewhere. In desperation I grabbed it, charged it and after a gap of 15 years… it only switched on. Unexpected. I slammed my SIM card into it expecting it not to work and it did and with way better reception than I had received for years which was a bit surprising. Now I realise that I had happened upon a phone that matched the 900MhZ frequency my current provider uses.

By the time the Note 2 came back with a nice new screen I was hooked and carried on using the 5110 out and about. It just felt… nice. Like a phone rather than a shrunk down computer. I got a new battery which boosted time between charges a few more days.

Since then I’ve amassed a collection of classic and vintage handsets, many of which I have had to repair and recondition myself. I’ve come across many other enthusiasts, most of whom have got collections, tips and tales of their own and would similarly like to share them with others… so we thought it would be great to have somewhere to share the latest car boot find or showcase some of the great collections out there… which is where this site hopefully comes in. At some point perhaps we can expand it and introduce a discussion board (if I can find the time or leave some of the old handsets alone long enough) but one step at a time…

Hope you enjoy it.