I can't move to the Fediverse properly until I reproduce my famous pinned post from the birdsite, so here it is:
P.S.A. To all vintage computer and video game collectors:
Go through your collections and GET THE DAMN BATTERIES OUT!
Now! Don't wait! Seriously, put down the phone, go to your collection and take out all the batteries. Right now! Even if they look "okay" they are NOT SAFE after this much time.
@48kRAM The *real* horror is a system board with a battery-backed NVRAM loaded with irreplaceable firmware or factory calibration data. If you don't know how to extract it from software, accepting the time bomb is the only "safe" option...
@48kRAM is this something to worry about for a PCjr? I haven’t had the time or space to open that one up to take a look inside, but it’s been in office use mostly so it’s probably in decent condition internally
@spyro I don't think the PCjr had a battery in the main unit. The keyboard, however, used AAs and those can leak badly and destroy the keyboard.
But, then, I've found some terrible stuff in arcade cabinets:
* isolation transformers connected with alligator jumpers
* replacement marquee lights with ground strap wired to neutral
* A GUN!
* tokens shorting every possible thing on the PCB
Never trust an arcade cabinet
@hacknorris Lithium ion batteries can and do leak and swell. I separate all my LiIon batteries from devices I have packed away
@48kRAM I have an SE/30. It does *not* have a battery in it anymore.
Why they moved it from the back case (where damage would be noticed and contained) to the mainboard (which can only be reached with specialist tools) is beyond me.
@48kRAM I was given a Mac LC that unfortunately sat in a garage with a leaky battery eating the motherboard. Burned a large hole through it and chewed up a bunch of shielding.
@48kRAM We've been wanting old stuff like that, but don't have anything yet...
bet the Wii's new enough to be safe. I think the only battery it has is a CMOS battery in a little compartment.
What's dangerous about old tech's batteries? Something about the batteries themselves, or?
@topaz It's just the nature of batteries, sadly. They're made of angry chemicals and eventually the anger explodes all over the place.
@48kRAM also applies to some types of capacitors. They can be also very harmful when they start to leak.
@hazelnot Dreamcast has a rechargeable coin cell battery that you're going to want to replace sooner or later. It's in a location that's not likely to damage the main PCB, but could damage the controller ports. It's actually safe to run the DC without this battery at all -- I've removed it from my console and I just set the time on the occasions that I drag it out to play.
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