If you own a piece of hardware, you should be able to do whatever the hell you want with it, period. Don't like the color? Paint it. Not enough storage? Upgrade it. Not thrilled with it's operating system? Change it out. Many companies disagree with this. They'll void thew warranties of the things you putter about with. If you're cool with that, then putter away.
A couple of weeks ago, I got tired of the way that my accidentally tapping any of a number of keys on my Pomera DM30 would switch my typing, in mid-sentence, into Japanese. So, I changed it: Popping the caps off of all of the culprit keys, I removed their membrane. After the keys were popped back into place, it looked exactly the same as the device I started with, boasting one important difference: it only types in English now. It's a small, successful hardware hack that pays dividends towards my quality of life and productivity when I use my DM30 to churn out text. I've performed similarly simple operations on other hardware in the past: installing a new battery and a larger SSD in my ancient 11" MacBook Air. A New battery and replacement display for my wife's iPhone SE? Yep. They're small wins that have gone a long way towards building my confidence as a tinkerer and, consequentially, make me want to tinker with even more of the shit that I own.
Today, I was planning on sharing how easy it was to upgrade my 7th-generation iPod Classic with 256GB of Micro SD storage and a 3,000 mAh battery. I took photos as I performed each step of the upgrades. I was able to remove the iPod's back plate with surprisingly little difficulty. removing the hard drive? Piece of cake. In order to make room for the significantly larger battery that I ordered from eBay, I ordered a thicker back plate. In order to use it, I removed the charging port spacer, headphone and hold button assembly from the old panel and installed it in the new one. No problems there. The new, larger battery fit into the back plate, perfectly. So, I taped it into place. connecting the the iFlash module and SD card to the iPod's logic board proved wicked easy as well. All that was left to do was disconnect the iPod's original battery from the logic board and I'd be in the home stretch.
Unless, of course the plastic retainer on the battery connector snapped in two under the pressure I exerted on it.
Nothing I attempted to rig could connect my new battery to the logic board. I'd wasted my afternoon—were it not for the fact I see my being forced to replace the battery connector as an opportunity to further my repair skills. I can solder, but I don't do it often. The idea of removing the broken connector from the iPod's logic board intimidates the living shit out of me. But, I can practice until I'm confident enough to make the repair. I can also lean on friends (at a distance) who work with small electronics on a regular basis as part of their job. Making a video call to ask them for advice is a route I may go down. Dropping the iPod and the parts for making the repair off at a pal's front door to have them walk me through the repair in real-time on FaceTime is an option as well.
Mistakes aren't the end of the world. More times than not, they're a doorway to new opportunities to learn new skills, grow and in the end, be satisfied with what you've achieved.