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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 27th Apr 2014, 10:33 am   #41
Ti Pwun
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Sure, maintenance is important, rather than letting them drain before doing anything with them. But a regular routine has certainly saved me a small fortune. I've been rotating the same 9v rechargeables in the smoke detectors for around 10 years.

I do treat them the same as my deep cycle batteries for mains backup, though, and it has served me very well.

Not a fan of NiCd, though.
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 5:18 pm   #42
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

I've always fought shy of using rechargeables in kids' toys. There's too much current available IMHO in case of a fault or accident.
I guess many of us will have seen the Fire Service's H&S film demonstrating how a domestic fire started with a remote control jammed down the back of a sofa, with buttons permanently pressed...
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 8:12 pm   #43
Ti Pwun
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

By the time my kids were old enough to be left unsupervised they had grown up with electrical safety being a priority (my dad brought me up the same way) so they all were sensible in that department, but that is a good point - you have to go with what you feel safest with when you're their eyes and ears, so to speak.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 10:22 pm   #44
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

I was just waiting for the kettle to boil and I remembered I had a Flat Pocket torch by Ever ready in the kitchen drawer, I checked it and the 4.5v LR12 battery was dead, on taking the battery out I noticed the longest tab fell off, Closer inspection revealed it was corrosion that had caused it to break off. The battery was about 2 years old and had hardly any use . It was branded Philips . This is what the battery looks like inside now.
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Old 30th Apr 2014, 7:18 am   #45
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

In heeding the warning of this thread, I put some time into checking the cells and batteries in my Avometers on Monday and found about a dozen 'D' cells, mostly blue and red Ever Ready and black or grey Exide, and some 'AA' cells of various labels all in some state of leakage from the just starting to outer steel shell rusted through. Fortunately all were caught before there was any significant damage. The meters will now only be fitted with cells and batteries when needed or if they are in regular use.

A similar number of 1289 4,5V "flat" batteries were slightly bulging but an old Ever Ready R1662 1.5 V cell and a similar Siemens Size 'T' both look intact although no longer serviceable. As the last two have been unavailable for at least 20 years and possibly much longer, they would appear to be less vulnerable to leakage. Similar military 1.5V cells I have found in meters over the last few years were still intact.

Other meters which came with drab olive green NATO stock number 'D' cells were all leak free but I have no way of know their age.

Could it be that the zinc cans of these leak-free cells are "too thick" just to last the anticipated chemical life of the cell? This is poor economics from the battery manufacturers point of view but could make very good sense to the body responsible for expensive equipment.

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Old 1st May 2014, 8:01 pm   #46
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

Slightly OT, but just turned on Radio 4 on the computer

Battery Matters
Duration: 30 minutes
First broadcast: Thursday 01 May 2014
Out of juice?

Perhaps the biggest problem facing makers of new technology is battery power.....or lack of it. The battery is so critical that engineers design handheld devices around the battery, rather than the other way round. It's not just mobile phone and wearable technology manufacturers that are striving for longer lasting batteries, the electric vehicle is stalling (so to speak) because of the short distances between recharging and a limited service life of the battery.

So what are businesses doing to reinvent the battery? Is an average annual gain in capacity of 6% really the best we can do?

We'll ask whether Lithium-Air batteries can revitalise the electric car market, explore whether flexible graphene batteries and solar cells hold the key to enhancements in mobile phone battery life and look at the 3D printing of micro batteries the size of a grain of sand

1 of 2
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Old 3rd May 2014, 6:01 pm   #47
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Default Re: The hidden danger of dead batteries...

For storing batteries, I keep them in the original packs in a picnic "cooler" which of course does not actually cool at all. Such boxes are however good thermal insulators and maintain an even internal temperature.
Minimising thermal cycling and extremes of temperature should reduce the risk of leakage or other deteriotation.

As others post, it is sensible to ckeck and preferably replace all batteries in seldom used equipment on a memorable date once a year.

My favoured date is the last week in November for the reason that part used or questionable cells may be used up in toys etc over the Christmas and new year holidays before being discarded.

When a long leak free life is more important than least first cost I would recomend the Energiser disposable lithium cells in AA and AAA sizes. So far as I am aware, Energiser have a wateright patent on this style of cell and generic equivalents are not available.

Small 9 volt disposable lithium batteries are available from several makers and I would recomend any reputable make for expensive or safety critical equipment.
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