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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 16th Jun 2020, 12:38 am   #21
paulsherwin
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

There have been several threads discussing battery leakage, and Duracells in particular.
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 10:06 am   #22
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Quote:
Originally Posted by winston_1 View Post
Yes indeed. They seem to be the worst for leaking. One brand I will never buy now.
For some time now I've been using the Procell from CPC, they appear fine, no leakage and last just as well as a 'leading brand'. No sooner has the cupboard been stocked with a fresh batch of them, my kids have taken a load. What on earth they do with 40AA batteries, I'll never know.
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 10:32 am   #23
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

I have just removed all the batteries from my radio collection , the only ones that were leaking were a Duracell and three I removed from a pp3 to squeeze in a miniature radio out of twenty six in total. Thank's for the reminder . Mick.
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 10:56 am   #24
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Those with a memory less leaky than certain battery brands will recall that I have been keeping records on battery leakage for several years now.

My highly scientific method is to go through my jar of used cells before they go off to recycling, and note the total numbers of each brand and how many show signs of leakage. By this point, some cells may have some signs of life left, others may have been completely flat for a few weeks, just like forgotten cells in our equipment. I don't count cells which are past the date printed on them.

The latest results show

Panasonic Pro Power - 281 cells, 7 of which leaked (2.5%)
Duracell Power Plus and Ultra - 99 cells, 17 leaked (17%)
Lidl Aerocell - 65 cells, 1 leaked (1.5%)
Aldi Activ Energy 51 cells, 1 leaked (2%)

I come across a handful of cells from miscellaneous other brands, not enough for meaningful statistics, but none strike me as particularly leaky.

A well known consumer magazine shows life test for AA and AAA cells with the Aldi cells topping the Alkalines, and the other 3 not far behind.

Lidl and Aldi cells cost 1.99 for 8 cells (25p each), Lidl sometimes have Panasonic cells at the same price. Duracells are 4 to 5 times that at 4 to 5 for 4 cells.

So you make your choice, they're all quite similar for performance, the difference is in cost and leakage.

Lithium cells are worth considering for very high drain applications such as digital cameras, less so for low and medium drain applications. Lithium AA cells have a capacity of 3.0AH. Good alkalines have a slightly lower capacity of 2.7AH, but only at low drain. At high drain, the available capacity of alkaline cells (not just run-time) falls dramatically, so that at 1A drain the capacity is below 1AH. Battery manufacturers try to minimise this loss of capacity at high drain, but for anything with a short run-time, it's worth considering Lithium cells. With Lithiums costing 7 times the Lidl/Aldi alkaline price, it may be more about convenience than cost.

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Old 16th Jun 2020, 12:47 pm   #25
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Re post#4.
You got off lightly! My Uher 4200 was rendered only fit for spares after leakage ate up most of the circuit board. Believe me, I tried to clean it but the tracks and the components just fell away. I'd lent it to someone and as a favour they had left the batteries in - pound shop specials. I didn't check and put it away.
Expensive lesson learned!
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 10:35 pm   #26
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Something else worth checking are the RTC Batteries inside Laptops.
The small ones that keep the On Board Clock and settings set.

I've had at least Two Vintage Laptops destroyed by leaking RTC Batteries.
These are miniature NiCads as I remember.

They seem to go green and the Corrosion travels up printed Tracks on the PCB
if allowed to go flat and left for a long time..
I had Tracks and adjacent Tracks eaten right through on the Motherboard rendering them spares only.




Ian
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 3:30 pm   #27
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Also worth a reminder: some Icom ham-radios from the 80s and 90s use a battery-backed RAM to store their operating-system (along with user-saved options/settings).

Battery goes flat after 20 years and your radio becomes a brick. Beware if you see an Icom radio from this era offered for sale at a suspiciously-low price!

There are ways to replace the battery without losing the operating-system - see http://www.icomcanada.com/techbulletin/tb1/ram_card.htm
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 4:26 pm   #28
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Hi.

There are some interesting observations on corrosion caused by Nicads in vintage calculators. https://www.rskey.org/CMS/index.php/the-library/42

As I mentioned in an earlier post, quite often there's no obvious leakage from NiCads but the corrosion can be quite severe in some cases. I had a suspicion that old NiCads may outgas corrosive gases.

Regards,
Symon
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 4:45 pm   #29
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

I think outgassing could well be the issue with some Nicads: I remember that some of the early AA cells I played with actually had a small vent-hole punched in the centre of the positive cap, and the positive terminal in the usual moulded-plastic battery-holders often seemed to be selectively targeted for corrosion (the use of a brass terminal-rivet to connect to a steel spring didn't help either)
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 5:37 pm   #30
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
Re post#4.
You got off lightly! My Uher 4200 was rendered only fit for spares after leakage ate up most of the circuit board. Believe me, I tried to clean it but the tracks and the components just fell away. I'd lent it to someone and as a favour they had left the batteries in - pound shop specials. I didn't check and put it away.
Expensive lesson learned!
That was really bad Glyn !

David
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 5:44 pm   #31
DMcMahon
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superscope View Post
Something else worth checking are the RTC Batteries inside Laptops.
The small ones that keep the On Board Clock and settings set.
I've had at least Two Vintage Laptops destroyed by leaking RTC Batteries.
These are miniature NiCads as I remember.

They seem to go green and the Corrosion travels up printed Tracks on the PCB
if allowed to go flat and left for a long time..
I had Tracks and adjacent Tracks eaten right through on the Motherboard rendering them spares only.

Very similar after having stored my old Amiga 600 computer for many years in the loft, several years ago I got it out to check operation and found its RTC battery had badly leaked, seriously damaging loads of the fine track artwork.

Tried repairing it but trying to work out where all the complex double sided tracks should connect to, turned out to be too time consuming so eventually it went to the PC heaven.

David
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 7:43 pm   #32
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Costco Kirkland batteries can go on the list of batteries not to trust to be left in.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 3:46 pm   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winston_1 View Post
Yes indeed. They seem to be the worst for leaking. One brand I will never buy now.
Hi.

I've just been caught again with leaking batteries. I unearthed a nice old TES Type MC661C signal strength meter from a storage unit. I feared the worst as I hadn't had a chance to check it over. The previous owner must have replaced the flat type 4.5V battery with a makeshift 4 cell plastic holder with one of the cell positions shorted across to effectively make a 3 cell holder. One of the three alkaline Duracell AA cells was all very sweaty and manky looking. The cell holder was corroded but luckily no damage to the meter. They had a 2014 date code on them.
I've only got myself to blame. In future, any purchase of battery powered equipment will be opened and checked for any installed batteries and any that are present will be removed.

Regards,
Symon
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 9:21 pm   #34
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

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Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
The batteries mainly used in my large trannies are 1.5V D cells. Firstly I don't think they're even available in Lithium, and secondly the cost would be prohibitive for up to six at a time for just one set.
You can get lithium rechargeable in in AA C and D and run at 1.5V, they charge either by built in USB, or external charger. Expensive but very very good.

Amazon carry quite a few.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 8:15 am   #35
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Umpa2016 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
The batteries mainly used in my large trannies are 1.5V D cells. Firstly I don't think they're even available in Lithium, and secondly the cost would be prohibitive for up to six at a time for just one set.
You can get lithium rechargeable in in AA C and D and run at 1.5V, they charge either by built in USB, or external charger. Expensive but very very good.

Amazon carry quite a few.
Thanks. I'm going to look into getting some rechargeable D cells. Anyone know of a commercially available charger?
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 6:46 pm   #36
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Thumbs down Re: A reminder, a warning..

Nooooooooo!
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 12:43 pm   #37
The Philpott
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Typical. Always tricky inside a confined space like a remote control, best option opening the clamshell if possible, and removing the board to avoid any remedial chemical application getting to where it's undesirable!

Dave
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 3:40 pm   #38
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

May I make a request for the title to be changed to "Batteries (/cells) a reminder, a warning" because every time I see it in "new posts" I panic* until I remember what it is about.

*Well not quite but it does disturb the mind a bit.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 5:18 pm   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
best option opening the clamshell if possible, and removing the board to avoid any remedial chemical application getting to where it's undesirable!
Agreed. I levered the cells out last night, and the encrustation appeared (mercifully) to be quite dry. One of the spring contacts looks to have suffered some corrosion.

The control has screws (), so hopefully I can crack it open relatively easily to clean up any hidden contamination.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 6:50 pm   #40
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Another thing to check, watches! Especially, if like me, you have many of them... I’ve just last week discovered a watch that has great sentimental value to me has been destroyed by a leaking 1.5v button cell. I haven’t used the watch for years, and when I got it out of the box I noticed 3 of the glow in the dark blobs on the dial had gone black, as had the silver dial around them. The watch is a Seiko with a screw on back, and the only reason I hadn’t replaced the battery was because I haven’t got the right tool to open it. I’m afraid I went at it with a pair of pliers in the end! I was very careful, and didn’t cause any damage to the back or the case, but once the back was off you could see the damage, the movement has a normally shiny metal plate covering the electronics, this had a black blob in the middle, and the battery was all crusty too, with the same white powdery stuff as mentioned in this thread. I cleaned the contacts and stuck a new battery in, but sadly the watch was dead. I popped the metal plate off the movement, and removed the PCB, which once turned over you could see it was totally encrusted in green crystallised corrosion. The coil looked good, but was open circuit. I cleaned it up as best I could, the coil was rotten where it connects to the main PCB, the corrosion has crept under the epoxy that covers the connections, I managed to repair that, and got continuity back, so that when prodded with the meter the movement would actually tick over! But despite my best efforts with the PCB, I couldn’t get it to run, so I’m now waiting delivery of some old quartz movements to use as spares. Hopefully il get it going again! I have to get it going, it was my Grandads watch that he bought just before he died in 1995, and I’ve had it ever since then, I even wore it to my first job interview (and I got the job!).

I also found leaking batteries in my dads old 1970’s Avia LCD watch, I was able to save that one mostly, but the PCB has become sensitive to moisture! Just the slightest bit of humidity in the air is enough to stop the crystal oscillator running, which has made it kind of useless as a watch, but left with the back open somewhere warm starts it running again.

Regards
Lloyd
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