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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 2nd Jul 2020, 8:16 pm   #41
The Philpott
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

A very good point. It's fortunate that many of the small 1.5v alkaline button cells have a 1.55v silver oxide equivalent. Many people aren't aware of the distinction, and i'm sure some have been fooled by the alkaline nomenclature of AG10, AG4 etc and assumed they were getting a silver cell rather than a nasty alkaline.

In my experience the silver oxides aren't much better capacity wise, but are more reliable regards leakage. They also have a better shelf life. The alkalines can be (and often are) suspect from new.

Dave
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 11:07 am   #42
Superscope
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

Maybe the message of Leaking Batteries is finally
sinking in with the Manufacturers?

We can hope!

Just picked up a pack of Energizer AAA's today and
found a Label stating:

"Protects Your Devices from Leakage of fully used Batteries up to 2 Years"

Time will tell.
Hopefully at least Two Years!




Ian
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 2:50 am   #43
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

The amount of used test gear I've bought which 'works well' and has a gooey mess of a battery (usually a D cell) at least several years old inside must be legion. Fortunately often the battery compartment (eg in Avos) will limit the spread of goo/rot/corrosion and in the worst cases replacement terminals will give reliability I always try and scrape out any green muck on the plastic and use a damp cloth with bicarb on it for final wipe before drying. However VTVM with D cells housed in the middle of the electrics are always bad news - either the tracks go or the mounting bits are covered in white corrosion meaning rebuilds.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 5:44 pm   #44
The Philpott
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

I posted some pics ages ago of refurbing corroded Avo battery contacts (The 15 volt ones)
Of course with older equipment you have better options for undoing or drilling out the contacts allowing them to be immersed. Lemon juice, brush off any remaining verdigris then oak in distilled water, then wipe with petroleum jelly. I was surprised how well a 20 minute soak in lemon juice removed the green stuff- it penetrated right into the pitting.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 5:55 pm   #45
Cobaltblue
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

I was sorting out a WiFi Keyboard and mouse that had been in store for a couple of years and yes you guessed it the the AA Duracells had disgraced themselves fortunately causing minimal damage.

It took me a good thirty minutes to mop up the mess which had just started leaking past the battery cover as sort of a yellow stain there was a surprising amount of liquid.

So far it has not affected their operation with a fresh pair of IKEA's each.

Teach me for not removing the batteries when putting them into store.

Cheers

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Old 5th Feb 2021, 6:27 pm   #46
stevehertz
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

As the starter of this thread I find myself currently having a look at my portable sets. And guess what? Not a battery in sight! Practicing what I preach - for once!
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Old 6th Feb 2021, 7:19 am   #47
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

There are some Retro Gameing cartridges that use a battery backup for game saves etc and these can ruin a cartridge too ,some of them being very expensive and rare!
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 2:34 pm   #48
Fieldtech
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

It is worth keeping an eye on sets with older NiCads in.

Nicads do seem to lose a liquid. I am currently looking at a Eddystone Post Office Noise Measuring Set 31A. This has a NiCad pack in a (nearly) sealed case.
It seems that a liquid has leaked out of the grommet where the cable comes out and corroded a hole in the case of the 25 MHz IF. This has then gone into the case and there is corrosion on the board to the extent that the bodies of some of the resistors have just fallen off as the wires have corroded.

When I got into the battery pack there was quite a lot of liquid inside. The fact that the set has stood on a shelf in the store for about 15 years may have some bearing but I am not sure!
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Old 8th Feb 2021, 8:02 am   #49
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

The lead acid jell battery in my burglar alarm leaked some spray or something and corroded a couple of circuits. luckily there were 2 spare I could change over to.
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Old 8th Feb 2021, 12:11 pm   #50
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

I recently brought an Audio Technica wireless system and on inspecting the beltpack found it had some crusty batteries still fitted, upon inserting a new set it naturally did not work and required the contacts cleaning, you would have thought they'd done a final test of it before shipping and removed the batteries.

One piece of kit to always check for leaking batteries are synthesizers/keyboards. A lot of the older ones use rechargeable batteries combined with SRAM for internal storage and can be killed by a leaking battery, also some other have standard non-rechargeable batteries for the same purpose and can easily get forgotten about with the same results, although depending on the style of the battery holder usually do less internal damage when they fail.

OT but another wireless system I recently purchased confused me a bit as they had flat contacts one side of the battery compartment and spring contacts the other side despite the batteries being inserted in the usual way to make 3V, it works but for something built in Austria from a decent brand (AKG) you'd have though they would know how to design a battery comp.artment
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 12:53 pm   #51
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Default Re: A reminder, a warning..

A timely reminder indeed!

I have a policy of replacing all primary-batteries every year - in everything from remote-controls to computer-mice, radios, clocks and the car central-locking thing. "Battery Replacement" is a New years Day thing!

This year I forgot about the single AA cell in my wall-mounted analog kitchen clock [bought from Woolworths about 15 years ago].

Today I noticed the clock was running seriously slow; on checking the battery [an Energizer alkaline] it was only showing 0.7V - a new Varta has restored sanity to the timekeeping.
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 8:07 pm   #52
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

We put a man on the moon over 50 years ago, so why does it seem to be beyond the wit of man to make batteries that donít leak!

The batteries we get at work are some cheap Chinese rubbish, that have the life of a birthday candle and leak after two or three months, often ruining the item they are installed in.
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 10:02 pm   #53
dglcomp
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

One thing I recommend on the synth forums is when replacing rechargeable batteries in synths use standard AA/AAA types in a battery instead of the soldered type placing the battery holder where leakage should not damage the PCB.
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 10:55 pm   #54
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

The early Sinclair Microvisions had Ni-Cad batteries soldered onto the main circuit board, which had a habit of leaking after a few years.
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Old 11th Feb 2021, 4:47 pm   #55
Telleadict
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Hello

Many thanks for reviving this thread. It prompted me to take the back off a rarely used multimeter...... agghhhh green "fur" starting to grow around the end of a 7-years-past-use-by AA cell
I seem to have been lucky - the deposit was dry and the plating of the terminal looks OK so I've wiped on a little WD40 with a cotton bud and fitted a fresh cell, this time with a note in the case as a reminder to check.

BTW the old cell seemed to be still working in that the ohmes ranges zeroed OK.

Bye
Will
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Old 17th Mar 2021, 4:50 pm   #56
Chrispy57
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

My recent experience was a little unusual, involving a GP Super Alkaline PP3 battery with date code 07-09 left in a PlasPlugs dampness tester for many years.

Battery flat of course, and a little green corrosion around the terminals, but nothing excessive. However, after cutting off the connector I was unable to strip the red and black wires to facilitate a quick replacement without disassembly - two different types of wire stripper just removed the insulation half an inch at a time and no copper wire was visible.

When I opened it up I found that the goo had tracked right back to the pcb about 4 inches away and all traces of the conductors had been devoured in the process!

You live and learn!
Cheers
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Old 17th Mar 2021, 6:34 pm   #57
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

It's not just alkaline primary-cells: I recently found a couple of |Energizer| 2000mAH NiMH rechargeables that were showing signs-of-distress and exuding contents.

They're 3 years old and have only ever provided power to a handful of Roberts broadcast-radios so you can't think they've had a hard life.

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Old 2nd Apr 2021, 1:37 pm   #58
Bruce
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Ahhhhhh, caught out yet again with one of two Duracell AA's in an analogue multimeter having one end encrusted in a quite a large buildup of grey/white crud that contrary to what I'd expected actually brushed off quite easily and does not seem to have corroded the contacts

Yet this is my "go-to" meter that sits around the kitchen benches and is used regularly, at least weekly if not more........and am certain that it is only a matter of a few months since I checked these batteries and the 9V battery that sits beside them - and I know I was doing continuity tests only a week or two ago......My impression is that once these batteries "let go" and become leaky, that this is often a fairly quick process -- that they can appear quite ok one week, but that even only two or three weeks later they can be quite leaky. Wonder if others have any reflections on this process.

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Old 2nd Apr 2021, 1:52 pm   #59
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

What annoys me is that manufacturers of equipment do not seem to make much effort to make their battery compartments cope with the problem. Some are definitely better than others. It would be good if the battery box was sealed to protect the device and removable for easy cleaning, and made from materials such that the metal would be OK and a quick soak to dissolve the mess would get it back into use.

Actually I did have one thing that was like that, so it can be done.
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Old 2nd Apr 2021, 3:04 pm   #60
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Just checked our AA Maglite torches. One in regular use, OK; one in car glove box with Panasonic Zinc-carbon batteries- batteries almost dead but no leakage despite 8 years past date; one required mole grips to unscrew battery cap due to leakage and drilling a hole for a self-tapping screw in the battery to remove it. Vinegar removed the corrosion products. The final one is still a work in progress, severe leakage having required extreme force and heating on the gas stove to unscrew the cap. I don't know what metal was used for the end of the leaked battery, but it was very difficult to drill through and having removed the chemicals I am still attempting to extract the remains of the steel casing. The alkaline electrolyte has evidently reacted with the alloy of the torch body and the corrosion products have jammed the battery case in position, so I have been sawing a slot in the battery casing so I can collapse it. It might end up as spares for the other Maglites, but for the present, removing the remains is a challenge!
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