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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 11th Mar 2014, 9:37 pm   #21
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
I have fixed damage to the very thin tracks on my mother's digibox remote using some conductive silver paint (the tracks are too thin to solder too, and no suitable pads are available to solder wire links to) but the repair hasn't lasted more than a few months. I shall have to try varnishing over the paint to see if it improves things as it has just gone again.
I suspect that part of your problem is that trying to connect anything to the remaining battery-exudate-eroded copper tracks is like trying to make a good electrical connection to gravel.

When faced with this issue I've always gone back to the wire connections of the components thatb attach to the eroded traces. Which is not always an option if the piece of equipment uses surface-mount technolohy throughout.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 4:30 pm   #22
Ti Pwun
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

This radio is SMD and some of the traces and component legs were corroded away so it has taken some very careful soldering to recreate the pads. But it went well.

That does take practice to get right though because it would be easy to overheat the existing traces and lift them off the board. A temp controlled iron and good head magnifier, and a steady hand, are a must.

Re storing batteries in a zip-lok bag. The idea there is just so they are not in the equipment. If they leak then at least they won't destroy something expensive. In the bag (or box or whatever) they will likely show signs that they are starting to leak, long before they leak out into the drawer.

Varnish over conductive paint probably wouldn't help because it is likely to fail at some point anyway and you then have some varnish to scrape off an already damaged board.

Thorough cleaning before attempting to solder to what's left of the trace is the key to achieving a good connection.

Last edited by Ti Pwun; 13th Mar 2014 at 4:32 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 11:05 pm   #23
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

I have been advised by a friend that a certain type of battery which is alleged to power a toy rabbit which then runs for longer never leaks(!) If it does, nomatter how long it has been installed in the device, the battery manufacturers will repair/replace the damaged item.

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Old 13th Mar 2014, 11:34 pm   #24
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

In the 1950's and 60's. Ray-o-Vac (one of the early manufacturers of "sealed in steel" batteries) used to print a guarantee of this sort on their twin-cell cycle batteries, but this only covered replacement of damaged cycle lamps.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 7:25 am   #25
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

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I have been advised by a friend that a certain type of battery which is alleged to power a toy rabbit which then runs for longer never leaks
I bet they have a clause in there somewhere that voids such a warranty if the batteries are left in the device after they are dead and they then spill their guts.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 2:07 pm   #26
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Hi
These 'bunny batteries' are expensive and therefore often faked, so a leaking one might not be all it's claimed to be.
I have a very sad Uher 4200 Report Monitor with a main board that would take a very brave person to repair - loads of missing tracks and corroded components. What sort of prize idiot could have left those cheap pound shop batteries inside?
Hello.

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Old 17th Mar 2014, 8:01 am   #27
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

It would be interesting to see a photo of that! All through-hole, single-sided stuff I imagine so it wouldn't be overly difficult I wouldn't have thought.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 12:30 pm   #28
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Surely we can use the word "Duracell" in a positive way?
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 9:06 pm   #29
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Just reading this thread about batteries left in devices which over time can start to leek reminds me of a classy ladies omega quartz watch bought as a present for the daughter's uni graduation. I took it to jeweller to have it sent for service and bracelet adjustment, iI get a phone call to say the battery has leaked into the coils and movement and it will need a new movement, and omega movements are not cheap. so soon as iI come off this contribution to this thread iI shall have a good think about how many things iI've. JUust thought already there's a Bush DC70 batts still in it for quite some time and an Avia watch which hasn't had the back oFf since 1994. Oh dear!
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 9:46 pm   #30
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

My posts in this thread may be of interest.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=100694

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Old 21st Apr 2014, 7:59 pm   #31
JohnBHanson
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

One day I heard a loud bang. The battery in the kitchen clock (AA type) had exploded and blown the clock off the wall onto the floor (And smashing the clock in the fall).

The battery compartment was in two bits as was the battery. The positive end had blown out.

The battery had been installed from new, and it was only about 3 months before the bang. Clocks are light current uses, and the movement was still working although the battery holder was broken. Rest of clock damaged by fall from wall.

Very bad(!)
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Old 23rd Apr 2014, 1:29 am   #32
Ti Pwun
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

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My posts in this thread may be of interest
That's the thread I saw after I started this one - had I seen it I would have added mine to it.

But yes, phonojohn, it's definitely worth checking everything with batteries left inside.
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Old 23rd Apr 2014, 6:58 pm   #33
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Of relevance - today when it came to paying for my physiotherapy session the physio told me to "be careful with the hand-held card-processing terminal when you enter your PIN - the battery's a bit loose and sometimes drops out".

He then said that the back of the battery-housing was bulging and admitted that it was always docked in the base-unit and so on-charge except when a customer was making a payment. But he doesn't care because the card-processing terminal is provided by the card-company and if it fails they deliver him a new one within six hours...

Easy-come, easy-go.
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Old 23rd Apr 2014, 9:12 pm   #34
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Typical!
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 11:45 am   #35
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

I recently had a brand new Panasonic NiMh battery leak while being charged! This is extremely rare, to the point where I dismissed it as being some cooking oil on my hands. It subsequently started to exude a white powder from around the positive cap as did 2 others.

Luckily no damage to any of my equipment but I'm now keeping a close eye on the remaining 9 batteries! I might send them to Panasonic for their perusal instead of just recycling.

My local Lidl is selling Varta precharged AA/AAA for 3/pack of 2 so I'll try these as replacements if need be.
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 12:48 pm   #36
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Rechargeable batteries can be a problem too, a friend of mine charged some "AA"'s in the correct charger overnight and woke in the morning to a horrid smell , on entering the kitchen he found the batteries were a pile of smoldering ash ! , After a cool down he scraped the charger out and checked its output on and off load, all was well with the charger , turned out he had bought the rechargeables from the pound shop .
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 1:43 pm   #37
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Eneloop and Duracell for me - plenty of other good brands out there but I like reliability and I know I get that from those batteries. Pound shop batteries are fine in a cheapo torch or something but I wouldn't use them in anything expensive.

But even good batteries in a cheap Chinese charger can be a ton of trouble so even if something claims to be able to charge the batteries internally, I always use a separate, good quality charger.

From a reputable source, too! Lots of fake stuff out there...
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Old 26th Apr 2014, 9:45 pm   #38
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

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Eneloop and Duracell for me
Duracell are the most incontinent batteries I've ever purchased! They keep on working whilst leaking horrid caustic slime into the equipment they're powering. Entirely useless for low powered things like clocks and remotes.

I left some for a few months after they'd leaked in my radio controlled clock, and eventually they stopped leaking, but still read a healthy 1.5V.

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Old 27th Apr 2014, 3:14 am   #39
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

I've had some high power Duracell batteries for my headtorch and my small hand torch for a couple of years and they work flawlessly. Although I do recharge them as soon as the light is dimming so that makes a lot of difference. Only occasionally will I let them drain pretty low but I do that on the desk by leaving them on where I can't forget about them. Then they get a full charge.

Clocks and remotes are easy to neglect without realising it so there is a danger of leaks. Or anything else that isn't used and monitored regularly.

Your clock battery may still read 1.5v but with a decent load on there it won't last long. You'll have a lot more luck if you get into a routine of swapping them for newly charged ones every so often, instead of waiting for them to die. (edit: or drain very low I should say.)

I only use rechargeables, by the way - I stopped buying ordinary batteries when the kids were young and wanted replacements every two minutes. Never had a leak problem since.
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 9:48 am   #40
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

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I only use rechargeables, by the way - I stopped buying ordinary batteries when the kids were young and wanted replacements every two minutes. Never had a leak problem since.
Rechargeables (well, NiCd and NiMH ones) are rather wasted on low-drain applications like doorbells, remote-controls, clocks etc: they tend to have significant self-discharge, and by the time you notice they've gone flat they're often so chemically-traumatised that they won't take a proper charge again.
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