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Resuscitating a Pedometer

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I wonder how many pedometers have drowned and been tossed in the trash. It’s happened to a few cell phones in my family. Up until Friday, I’d been very careful about checking my pockets whenever I did a load of wash. I was always fearful I’d forget to take the pedometer out of my pocket, and it would drown in the washer. My perfect record ended Friday night when I got a greasy spot on my slacks. I dashed for the washer, pulled off my slacks, treated them for the stain, and put them in the washer to soak.

The next morning I got up and tried to find the pedometer to put it in my pocket. When it wasn’t in the usual places, a sinking feeling crept in, and I headed to the washer. Yep. It had soaked overnight and was positively grease free. It was also very dead. Drat! Not only was I going to have to fork out money for a new one, but I wouldn’t be able to track my steps until a replacement arrived. Being the skinflint, tightwad Scrooge that I am, there just had to be something I could do to save it.

Close examination revealed that it had little tiny screws all around it. Screws on an object that isn’t working just beg to be taken off and reveal what mysteries lie beneath. The dissection began. First I took off the battery. There didn’t appear to be any moisture in that compartment at all so I kept my fingers crossed. Then I took out the 3 screws holding the two sides in place. There were definitely signs of moisture on the tiny circuit board, and I was about ready to pitch it in the trash right then. But the hard headed part of my brain said if it can get wet, perhaps it can dry out with little damage. What the heck! I had nothing to lose and began to think of ways to get it dry quickly. Forget the hair dryer; it might be too hot and damage it. I’d been cleaning the kitchen countertops and had cut on the halogen under-counter lights so I could see better. Those little suckers can get quite hot, and the top of my coffee maker was very warm to the touch. Perfect! I placed all the pieces on top of the coffeemaker and went off to do other chores. When I came back later, everything had dried out except the display area, which was still visibly damp. After a little more time under the “heat lamp,” it too looked all dried out.

The moment of truth had come. I started putting all the screws and parts back together and held my breath. When I turned it over, the displays were visible and ready to be set up. Delighted that I wasn’t going to have to buy a new one, I updated all the settings and went for a walk, trying not to act like a lunatic by announcing to everyone in shouting distance that I had fixed a drowned pedometer!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I figured I had nothing to lose. It was worthless in the condition it was in. I love the idea of a waterproof one for swimmers. Wish I were technically oriented enough to invent one if they don't exist.

    I know you've been busy lately because your fitness minutes are way down! Glad you're catching up.
    3392 days ago
    That's using your noggin! I'd be so afraid of never getting the thing back together again. Now, I won't be so timid and at least try to repair stuff before I toss it.

    There are water proof watches. Is there such a thing as water proof pedometers that swimmers might use?

    As you can see, I'm finally catching up on my blog reading.
    3392 days ago
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