(Topic ID: 171252)

Avoid battery leakage

By Luppin

7 years ago


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  • 29 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Tuukka
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 7 years ago

    I often hear that remote battery holders are installed to prevent the battery leakage to corrode the board where the stock battery holder rest. But if I use lithium batteries, the problem is solved immediately ( lithium batteries do not leak).

    So, whats the point of installing remote batteries holders?

    #2 7 years ago

    To prevent potential leakage from ruining the board on which the holder is mounted.

    #3 7 years ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    So, whats the point of installing remote batteries holders?

    Because most people are cheap and continue to install alkaline batteries. Lithiums are several bucks more and clearly are the better choice.

    More importantly, the Lithiums should last 5 years.

    #4 7 years ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    ...lithium batteries do not leak).
    So, whats the point of installing remote batteries holders?

    Lithium batteries are LESS LIKELY to leak. It is not impossible.

    If they are in a strategically located remote holder it's impossible to damage the machine even if they leak.

    #5 7 years ago
    Quoted from Tickerguy:

    To prevent potential leakage from ruining the board on which the holder is mounted.

    Lithium batteries rarely leak in this way like Alkalines do. Remote battery holders help, but acid leakage from alkalines will follow the leads from a remote holder back to the board. Lithiums are simply a better choice in all cases

    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Lithium batteries are LESS LIKELY to leak. It is not impossible.
    If they are in a strategically located remote holder it's impossible to damage the machine even if they leak.

    Wrong.. see above.

    #6 7 years ago

    Also, when batteries leak they also release gas, and this is damaging the boards too, regardless if they are remotely stored: they are still in the backbox.

    #7 7 years ago

    I just use lithium batteries and install them in the normal battery holder. I'm certain someone is going to mention NVRAM being far superior, and in most cases it really is; but for me, I don't like it when my date and time are off, yes I know its trivial but the only way for these games to keep time when turned off is by having batteries installed

    #8 7 years ago

    One point is that somewhere down the road, this machine may find itself in the hands of someone who doesn't want to spring for lithium batteries, or doesn't realize the difference, and just installs alkalines in the standard holder.
    In this case, just installing lithiums is a bit short sighted. Remote holder AND lithiums is a good long term solution if you don't want to spring for NVRAM.

    #9 7 years ago

    I use nvram where it's already socketed, mainly stern and Sega/DE games. For BW/ I use remote holders. i change the batteries every 2-3 years.

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    Also, when batteries leak they also release gas, and this is damaging the boards too, regardless if they are remotely stored: they are still in the backbox.

    The potential damage from gas coming from leaking batteries is roughly the same as your boards being damaged by a cosmic ray or a meteor.

    Non-zero but the benefits of a remote holder far outweigh the risk.

    #11 7 years ago

    I prefer making my own remote battery holders with wooden dowels, sheet metal screws, wire, and bulk AA battery holders from Amazon. Super cheap to make, installs in seconds without board removal, preserves original board. I make about six at a time and that holds me for a year or two.

    #12 7 years ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    The potential damage from gas coming from leaking batteries is roughly the same as your boards being damaged by a cosmic ray or a meteor.
    Non-zero but the benefits of a remote holder far outweigh the risk.

    Are you sure? Just asking. I've heard different opinions.

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    Are you sure? Just asking. I've heard different opinions.

    Yes. The smaller the space and the less airflow, the greater that potential problem could be. To minimize the gas hazard risk you could mount the remote holder with super long leads and put it in a larger area, say up by your coin door. Or you could put a cover over it, confining the gas mostly to the holder. Or put a fan near it, to draw gasses outside the cabinet.

    But realistically a space of more than a couple inches away from the boards should be fine in all but the most unlucky situation.

    You originally asked what's the point of installing remote battery holders, as opposed to just using lithium batteries in the original holder. The damage potential from gas escaping a leaking battery would be greater the closer the battery is to your boards.

    Great discussion! Twisty, I'd like to hear more about the holders you make. Do you have plans you can share?

    #14 7 years ago

    Yes, that's how it works. But some people believe that being inside the backbox, although not very close to the boards, can still be dangerous, becuase it's a closed environment and the grate at the top of the backbox is not enough to expel all the gas. I think that maybe just outside the backbox, behind it (on the back I mean) it's probably a good idea. Or is it maybe overkill? In any case I am using lithium battieries, so until I am the owner of the machine, she is much less at risk.

    #15 7 years ago

    I've never heard about gas from leaking batteries affecting the board. By that logic, when batteries in an onboard battery holder leak, you would have damage all over the board not just directly where the battery has leaked. I wouldn't worry about it.

    #16 7 years ago

    Nobody has mentioned yet another option - memory capacitors. There only drawback is you have to turn on your game once in awhile to retain the charge. If you are not turning it on - say about once a month - you're simply not playing enough pinball. The initial cost is cheap and you'll never have to replace them. Solder two leads, about the same amount of install work as a remote holder, and you're done.

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from twisty4678:

    I've never heard about gas from leaking batteries affecting the board. By that logic, when batteries in an onboard battery holder leak, you would have damage all over the board not just directly where the battery has leaked. I wouldn't worry about it.

    this most certainly happens. i find corrosion far from where the batteries are. Sometimes in odd places like inside a chip socket half way across the PCB.

    If you use remote battery holders. Get them far from the boards. I have dealt with boards damaged by leaking batteries that had a remote holder with 4" of wire. I have seen people put the remote holder in a bag too. Probably not a bad idea.

    i vote for NVRAM. I may be bias tho =D

    #18 7 years ago

    I usually find the remote holders do not come with enough wire. I splice in an extension so that I can mount it on the floor of the back box.

    3 years later
    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    I just use lithium batteries and install them in the normal battery holder. I'm certain someone is going to mention NVRAM being far superior, and in most cases it really is; but for me, I don't like it when my date and time are off, yes I know its trivial but the only way for these games to keep time when turned off is by having batteries installed

    I am still using the same AA lithium batteries in my machine as I was when I made this post ... I'll let you know when they stop working.

    #20 4 years ago

    You've been looking forward to posting that for 3 years. Haven't you?

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pablito350:

    You've been looking forward to posting that for 3 years. Haven't you?

    you betcha, and God willing I'll post it again in 3 more

    1 year later
    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from Pablito350:

    You've been looking forward to posting that for 3 years. Haven't you?

    still going strong ...

    #23 3 years ago

    Let's ride the infinite of time. As long as carbon is expelled we will remain constant and unchanged

    2 years later
    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pablito350:

    You've been looking forward to posting that for 3 years. Haven't you?

    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    you betcha, and God willing I'll post it again in 3 more

    It's been another 2 years since my last post and 3 years since the above quote so time for an update. I'm happy to report that the original three Energizer lithium batteries I installed in my STTNG in 2015 are still in the machine and going strong holding settings and scores; additionally, none of the lithium batteries in any device I own (which is every device that takes 9v, AA, or AAA batteries).

    My STTNG is turned only turned on a dozen times a year or so at most these days and these batteries continue to hold up; the date is wildly inaccurate, but the time holds within an acceptable range. I assume the ASIC that controls both date and time was not designed to update the date when the machine is off for months at a time.

    I don't anticipate these batteries lasting another 3 years which will put them at 10 years+ ... but who knows. I do plan to update this thread when I turn on the machine and get the dreaded Reset to Factory Defaults message.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    I don't anticipate these batteries lasting another 3 years which will put them at 10 years+

    I bet they do make it. Easy way to check. Power on game, remove batteries and test voltage on each. New, they typically read 1.8 volts. I bet yours are still above 1.4.

    I tell my customers to replace the lithiums every 5 years, but I've yet to find dead ones. The bad news is that they're getting very expensive and no one wants to sell them locally because then they have to recycle them. Still worth it though.

    Battery protip: No matter what type of batteries you use, never use different brands. Make sure all three batteries are from the same 'batch'. I've seen too many mixed batteries leak. Slight differences in potential somehow decreases battery life. Don't do it.

    #26 1 year ago

    Lithiums --

    These were used in Gottlieb System 3's. I have sold a lot of Dallas Semiconductor (Maxim IC) 1210s to replace parts that were destroyed by lithium battery corrosion.
    Lithiums last a LOT longer - but they do leak.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from G-P-E:

    These were used in Gottlieb System 3's. I have sold a lot of Dallas Semiconductor (Maxim IC) 1210s to replace parts that were destroyed by lithium battery corrosion.

    As a board repair person you are going to see an abnormally large percentage of these issues, especially if the boards were in a storage building with no climate control for a decade or more. The boards you are referring to are 30 years old and if you leave a coin cell battery in a device for 15 years after it already lost power I would not be surprised that it leaked; personally, have never seen one leak and I'm willing to keep AA Energizers in my own CPUs until they actually fail to hold the memory.

    One question for you G-P-E ... How many AA Energizer Lithiums have you seen leak?

    #28 1 year ago

    Avoid battery leakage by only installing crapper tops in the nearest dumpster.

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    #29 1 year ago

    I have often seen Duracells leaked in their 4 AA-package, in store shelf, with a few years to "best before" date.

    Never ever buy Duracells again.

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