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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 15th Oct 2018, 2:09 pm   #1
georgeek
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Default Loft find...

One of my uncles died 45 years ago and his house is only now being sold. My cousin has been clearing out the loft which has not been touched since he passed away. Yesterday she gave me an AVOMETER Model 8 MKII complete with original leads and a 16-page instruction booklet.

It is in very good condition, but I was not looking forward to opening the battery compartment. I just have and to my surprise there was no leakage in either battery after at least 45 years of storage.

“Made in Britain” it says on both batteries!
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 2:19 pm   #2
6.3volts
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Default Re: Loft find...

They don't make them like that anymore! I have had more luck with very old batteries than modern ones in equipment. Some genuine duracells leak badly even while working and I remove all batteries when not in use. Does the meter still work after all that time?
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 2:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: Loft find...

I once found a battery of similar vintage. I think they dry out before the corrosion sets in
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 2:46 pm   #4
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Default Re: Loft find...

Well aren't you just lucky that wasn't a Duracell.

Nice loft find too, those are lovely instruments.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 5:27 pm   #5
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Loft find...

Same thing with an AVO resistance range extension unit I recently bought. Likewise I opened with trepidation, and found that the original U2 (D size) cell and four 30V B123 cells were intact and not leaking. So the battery holders were pristine!

As has been said - they don't make them like that anymore!

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Old 15th Oct 2018, 5:43 pm   #6
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Default Re: Loft find...

That SP2 is just starting to pickle out through the steel case, but being zinc carbon it won't have damaged anything yet. I fished out an HP2 (the super zinc chloride version in orange!) from an Avo recently. The rusty scabs had broken out all over it's casing but it still hadn't launched a serious attack on surrounding metals. It bore a woolworths price label of 7p which i guess put it at about 1970. I would put that SP2 at about 1975. I recall in those days this size could be bought individually.

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Old 15th Oct 2018, 5:45 pm   #7
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Default Re: Loft find...

I opened a label printer that had been left many years, the Energiser alkaline batteries, early white ones, were covered in white crystalised weepage.
Once cleaned out with a stiff brush, there was no corrosion on the contacts or the plastic.
Yet a torch with in date Duracells has literally fallen apart.
Are some alkaline batteries less corrosive than others?

I have some 3v cyclelamp batteries, Blue Ever Ready, donkeys years old, flat as a pancake, no leaks.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 6:01 pm   #8
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Default Re: Loft find...

A decade or so ago I was tasked with acquiring a WWII-era "Tele F" field telephone or two for a friend, and when one turned up at the Harwell radio-rally, £2 passed between buyer and seller, and it was mine.

Taking the lid off revealed the two square brown-wax-paper-cased 1.5V cells with a somewhat-tarnished brass screw-terminal atop each.

They were made for the MoD by 'Crompton Vidor ' and dated 1969. Though they showed zero terminal-volts they also showed no sign of any leakage.

Not bad for 35-years-old cells! [The Tele-F's cleaned up nicely too, and with a couple of D-cells-in-a-holder fitted to each they gave good communications over a mile or two of D10]
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 6:19 pm   #9
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Default Re: Loft find...

I too have some in an Avo resistance extension, four of the 30v cells, showing some voltage, not a lot, goodness knows how old they are and (not being Duracell) no leakage.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 6:21 pm   #10
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Default Re: Loft find...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boater Sam View Post
/..../
Are some alkaline batteries less corrosive than others?

/.../
alkaline batteries are generally much less corrosive then leclanche baterries
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 6:56 pm   #11
georgeek
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Default Re: Loft find...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.3volts View Post
Does the meter still work after all that time?
Will be fitting new batteries next weekend.... fingers crossed....
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 7:12 pm   #12
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Default Re: Loft find...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
It bore a woolworths price label of 7p which i guess put it at about 1970.

Dave
It would be after February 1971
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 9:08 pm   #13
The Philpott
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Default Re: Loft find...

(Oh yes, of course, i was forgetting £.s.d.)

Loft temperature fluctuations makes this preservation all the more lucky, and what a thoughtful cousin. So much stuff gets skipped or ebayed/gumtreed, etc.

Chances are it WILL work, but may need attention. The Ohm potentiometers will need sweeping back and forth over their full travel a few times before they (have a chance to) work smoothly.

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Old 15th Oct 2018, 9:38 pm   #14
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Default Re: Loft find...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
Loft temperature fluctuations makes this preservation all the more lucky,
Do you think that's really an issue? I've a few in the loft, though they are all very well packaged, so hoping the packaging is helping to deal with negative and positive temperatures.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 9:50 pm   #15
The Philpott
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Default Re: Loft find...

..I was thinking of the cell and battery. (Some) modern ones seem to me more prone to leakage if they encounter extreme temp. cycling.
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Old 15th Oct 2018, 9:56 pm   #16
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Default Re: Loft find...

Ah, I see.
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