How often do you replace the batteries?

Started 2 years ago by Apekop in forum Tech > Tech: Generic.


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How often do you replace the batteries?

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By Apekop

2 years ago

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  • Started 2 years ago
  • 61 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by WesReviews

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There are 61 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
2 years ago

I'm using Duracell batteries in my games and read that you should replace them every year.
That seems a little quick to me, but what do I know.
Has anybody seen them leak that quickly or can I just leave them in for say 2 years.
I know they are cheap and boards are expensive but still.
I've added a little poll to see what people think.


2 years ago

Once a year, pick a date you can remember like your birthday. Like you said batteries are cheap and board repair is not.


2 years ago

I've seen batteries start to leak after a year or so. Duracells at that and very recent, in one of my remote controls. Maybe it's the FL heat and humidity, I dunno.


2 years ago

I'm converting my games to NVRAM presently, so the answer soon will change to never

But presently, with remote holders, once a year.

I find the 'old' ones are great for remote controls, kids toys, etc. Probably would be good for more like 4-5 years if you didn't worry about audits, customizations etc in remote holders.


2 years ago

Sometimes they leak still in the package, so once a year is a good schedule.

I take the old batteries and use them in all the remote controls in the house - remotes seemingly can run on almost dead batteries.


planters49

Pinball addict
3y
760,450
2 years ago

I've started writing the date the batteries are installed on the batteries. Picked up that tip from another hobbyist.


2 years ago

1 year for alkaline. 3 year for lithium. Part of my New Year resolution. I also put the install date on them.


2 years ago

I have all mine remote in a bag, so I normally change them only when they die.


2 years ago

i have a couple with batteries that i change at least once a year, most are in remote holders and also inside a bag and i don't plan on changing them till they die and i figure if they leak they are contained in a bag and i can replace the holders cheaper than changing batteries in them all yearly


2 years ago

I've switched to lithium AA batteries.. I'm guessing I can get 2-3 years out of them...Hopefully they wont explode like certain laptops and volts...
Al


2 years ago

come to think of it, i didn't change mine for the last year.
good thing someone on this board reminds me!


2 years ago

I'll be changing mine every July 4th. Pick an easy to remember date.
Like others have said, use the changeouts for remotes & whatnot.


2 years ago

Dang.....I feel bad but probably don't change them enough. I always have good intensions and buy enough to replace all machines, then don't get around to it and the kids swipe most or all of them for their x-box's and what not. I really should get around to that!


2 years ago

I used to listen to everyone who said to change them every year. I got tired of going through batteries. I change mine every 3 to 4 years now.


NM

Pinball master
3y
2,138,650
2 years ago
johnwartjr said:

I'm converting my games to NVRAM presently, so the answer soon will change to never

Unfamiliar with this John; please elaborate (with links too if you have them handy).

TIA!


2 years ago

what remote holder does everyone recommend?


2 years ago

I like this one. Easy and effective.
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1783

I believe John is talking about these.
http://pinforge.com/


2 years ago
vid1900 said:

Sometimes they leak still in the package, so once a year is a good schedule.

I take the old batteries and use them in all the remote controls in the house - remotes seemingly can run on almost dead batteries.

great idea, I just replaced mine and I am gonna go grab the others out of the trash.


2 years ago

I do every 2 years. I go through 75 batteries in all my games, so definitely not doing them every year. Never had an issue losing scores or leakage. Old batteries get used in flashlights, clocks, toys, remotes, etc.


2 years ago
Bryan_Kelly said:

I got tired of going through batteries. I change mine every 3 to 4 years now.

Same here. I installed lithiums in every machine, so 3-4 years doesn't seem like too long of an interval.


2 years ago
Spudgunman said:

I have all mine remote in a bag, so I normally change them only when they die.

That is what I do, I have bought brand new Duracells and they were leaking in the package.
If they spew I just toss the holder and solder on a new one.


2 years ago

Has anyone tried rechargeables? They don't leak, right? They just go dead & then you juice them up again.
I've used them for years in my cameras. Eventually they can't be recharged anymore but I've never seen one leak.


2 years ago

Change them at the new year along with your smoke detectors, and then use the old batteries for less critical things like remote controls or LED candles.


2 years ago
SealClubber said:

I like this one. Easy and effective.
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1783
I believe John is talking about these.
http://pinforge.com/

Thanks

Can someone explain how the pinforge NVRAMs work in noob terms? Great idea to be able to permanently get rid of batteries.


2 years ago

duracells once a year on christmas


2 years ago

Simplest terms I can say is NVRAM works kinda like a thumb drive.


2 years ago

If it's a game I plan to keep and can be easily done I'll put NVRAM in the machine as John said above. For games where that doesn't make sense, either put in a memory cap or change batteries once a year (after relocating batteries off boards.)

viperrwk


2 years ago
SealClubber said:

Simplest terms I can say is NVRAM works kinda like a thumb drive.

makes sense.

So does it ever wearout from overwriting itself/new scores a thousand times?


2 years ago

how much do the NVRAMs cost?


2 years ago
SealClubber said:

Simplest terms I can say is NVRAM works kinda like a thumb drive.

For not so simplest terms see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-volatile_random-access_memory
Kind of pricey initially, but I'd imagine well worth the investment if hanging on to a machine(s) indefinately.


2 years ago

Never. I've converted all of my WPC games to NVRAM!
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info


2 years ago

Every New Year's Day after getting one of those AA battery bricks for Xmas


2 years ago

The batteries in most pins simply provide battery backup to the RAM chip contents. The RAM contains things like high scores, audits, game customizations like free play, custom messages, etc.

NVRAM doesn't require the battery backup. It maintains the information without an external battery. It's not as cheap as 3 AA's in a homemade remote battery pack, and it requires you replace the RAM chip from your MPU board with a socket, if your game doesn't already come with a socket. Data East games, for example, tend to have socketed RAM. WPC games don't. The traces running to the RAM on WPC MPUs are small and delicate, so this is NOT the board to learn to solder on. But, I like the 'set it and forget' it idea. The only one of my machines I don't intend to install NVRAM on is Twilight Zone.

Why? The NVRAM doesn't keep the RTC (real time clock) accurate. Since TZ sets the time of the clock on the playfield to the CPU board, this is the one game I own where the clock's accuracy matters to me. For TZ, I'll stick with a remote holder.

It might also be an issue if you have a game with Midnight Madness mode.

I didn't go with the Pinforge solution; but it looks like a good alternative, and Todd @ Big Daddy sells them.

http://www.bigdaddy-enterprises.com/ProductPages/pinforge.html


2 years ago

John, if you didn't use the pinforge one, what did you use?


2 years ago

I like this one. Easy and effective.
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1783

Wow, that's a simple solution! And you can just take it out again when you sell the game and reuse it elsewhere.
I think I'm going to use the old batteries in my remotes though. Smart solution!
Thanks all!

Remote_Battery.jpg


2 years ago

Just started every two, used to be every year on new years.


2 years ago

I've got my birthday coming up next month. I'll make it part of the celebrations!


cfh

Pinball addict
3y
1,340,150
2 years ago

For the average person, NVRAM on most games is not a good solution. It requires the removal of the stock RAM chip (which is soldered into the board), a chip socket be installed, and then the NVRAM installed. These means you need to have a decent skill set and decent desoldering tools. Most people just don't have that level of skills. Also the NVram is expensive!

On non-WPC games, my weapon of choice is the CR2032 coin battery. I use this on nearly everything from Gottlieb system1, system80, system3 to Bally -17/-35/6803 to Williams system3/4/6/7/8/9/11, and all models of Dataeast/Stern games (except SAM, which already has a coin battery system installed.)

The price of CR2032 batteries is about the same as three AA batteries, roughly 65 cents. The battery holder is another 65 cents. (Obviously not Radio Shack prices, but from places on the internet.) So the whole system is under $2. The CR2032 system is small and tight, does not look out of place or un-natural, and mounts directly to the CPU board. No wires hanging off.

Since the CR2032 system is not rechargeable, on games that originally had charging systems, you'll need to use a blocking diode (Gottlieb sys1, sys80, Bally -17/-35/6803). I use a 1n4001 diode, which costs less than 10 cents.

709playboy7s.jpg

On WPC games I use a remote four battery AA holder (about 69 cents.) In the fourth bay I put a 1n4001 diode, which lowers the overall voltage of the three installed batteries. This gives you a "head up" that the batteries are going dead, with "Factory Settings" game errors. This is important because batteries usually die first, then leak, usually not the other way around. So having a heads up often lets you know when batteries are going low and you can change them before they leak.

Another good solution for WPC games is the remote battery holder that Rob B. sells, as seen in a picture above. That's a good no solder system. My only complaint is it's price (which is reasonable for a couple or few games, but in my situation, owning about 40+ WPC machines, it would be cost prohibitive.) But Rob's product is excellent and a great battery solution for any WPC game, and is economically (as long as you don't have to buy 40 of them!)


2 years ago
Hammerhead1550 said:

John, if you didn't use the pinforge one, what did you use?

I was able to track down a few DIP parts that didn't require the adapter board.

Those parts have pretty much dried up at this point, so the surface mount parts with adapter boards are pretty much your only choice.

The function is the same; the pinforge ones will work just fine


2 years ago

There is no one size fits all solution to the battery issue in games because of the different batteries used, the location of the batteries, the memory architectures of the different platforms, different game functions, etc etc. Rob Anthony's remote holder (sold on his site and at Pinball Life) is one of the more universal solutions, but won't work on every machine.

http://lockwhenlit.com/BatteryHolder.htm

You have to weigh your skills and tools when deciding to work on a board to swap out soldered-in memory for NVRAM and whether or not you can find the appropriate NVRAM for your machine. Lindsey is improving his site and lists the games that his adapters work with, but not all of them. For example he lists no Sega/Stern Whitestar machines that can use his 6264 adapter. If you're unsure about your machine and one of his adapters, you can email him.

Regardless, if for any reason I'm pulling a board out of a machine that I plan on keeping, and it makes sense for that machine, I'll spend the money and put in the NVRAM. Second choice is a memory cap. Third is a remote battery holder.

viperrwk


2 years ago

I am replacing all AA's on my birthday on even years (every 2 years). And also anytime I pick up a used pin. I buy Everyready Alkaline.

I am letting the Lithium coins go until they die. That could be up to 20 years. I just bought a pair of HUO Pinball 2000 machines. Checked the voltage on both coin cells in each. They were all over three volts and these machines were built 13 years ago. I am pretty sure that the coin cells are original.

Tom


2 years ago

I like how Stern went to the new watch battery system, those things last forever.


2 years ago

What about the Gott SYS 3 lithium batteries? Anyone have preference on those?


2 years ago
mrSATURN2012 said:

What about the Gott SYS 3 lithium batteries? Anyone have preference on those?

Sys 3 cannot use NVRAM because of the requirement for the DS1210 to see voltage at startup. You would get an error message every time and would have to press the reset button to get the game to work.

Best bet is to do as Clay describes above - replace with a regular coin battery and socket. Some have had success with standard AAs in a remote holder but some have reported problems. Others have said to use AA lithiums in the remote holder and that solves the problem boards have with alkalines. I'd just go with the coin battery.

viperrwk


2 years ago
viperrwk said:

Sys 3 cannot use NVRAM because of the requirement for the DS1210 to see voltage at startup. You would get an error message every time and would have to press the reset button to get the game to work.
Best bet is to do as Clay describes above - replace with a regular coin battery and socket. Some have had success with standard AAs in a remote holder but some have reported problems. Others have said to use AA lithiums in the remote holder and that solves the problem boards have with alkalines. I'd just go with the coin battery.
viperrwk

Gotcha. I just meant when people would replace the lithium battery that's in those games. Seems like the self life on those things is quite a while.


2 years ago
mrSATURN2012 said:

Gotcha. I just meant when people would replace the lithium battery that's in those games. Seems like the self life on those things is quite a while.

Yep - lots of folks still on their original battery in Sys3 games.

I'd check the battery voltage once a year. As long as it's above 3v and the battery looks good and no errors at startup, close it back up and play.

viperrwk


2 years ago
viperrwk said:

Yep - lots of folks still on their original battery in Sys3 games.
I'd check the battery voltage once a year. As long as it's above 3v and the battery looks good and no errors at startup, close it back up and play.
viperrwk

Awesome! Thanks for the advice.


2 years ago

Here ya go http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Remote_battery_holder

also I wanted to know why are the packs people putting them in bags? I have my remote pack velcroed to the bottom of the head. Its not by anything electronic or wires, etc. just sitting on the wood bottom of the head.


2 years ago
pinwillie said:

duracells once a year on christmas

If you wait till the end of January the old stock has been sold and you get fresher batteries.


2 years ago
Jeff_PHX_AZ said:

Here ya go http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Remote_battery_holder
also I wanted to know why are the packs people putting them in bags? I have my remote pack velcroed to the bottom of the head. Its not by anything electronic or wires, etc. just sitting on the wood bottom of the head.

The plastic bags protect the wood if/when the batteries spew.
You can just cut the wires and drop the whole mess in the trash.



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