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Checked For Leaking Batteries, Glad I Did

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  • Member since
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  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
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Checked For Leaking Batteries, Glad I Did
Posted by BATMAN on Friday, January 04, 2019 2:10 PM

I bought 13 Rapido lightweight streamline coaches way back when they first came out and the last few months my sixth sense has been telling me to check the batteries for leaks as they are getting old. Glad I did as two sets were just starting to leak, no damage was done and the rest were fine but dead, so out they came. I will put in replacements at some point. 

The coaches also got a thorough cleaning in anticipation of being connected to my Royal Hudsons I have coming. 

Check those old batteries.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by tstage on Friday, January 04, 2019 4:44 PM

And that's my primary complaint about using batteries to illuminate passenger cars.  For me - a capacitor module is a waaaaay better solution.  You still get flicker-free lighting and you don't have to remember to turn the lights on or off.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by selector on Friday, January 04, 2019 5:26 PM

Wife handed me her clip-on LED-with-gooseneck reading light that she uses for reading when she's in bed.  It needs batteries she said.  No problem.  She uses it frequently, so I would have installed fresh ones maybe two months ago, perhaps three.  One of them, upon opening the cartridge, was leaking quite substantially at one end.  It was one of three Duracell red and copper ones, the pricey ones.

Any battery can leak, and when they do you should hope to catch it early before the acid has caused irreparable damage to the contacts.

I do wish the industry would 'grow up' some and just embrace capacitors in a big way.  We need them, they serve a good and useful purpose, and most of us would be willing to pay the extra $12 it would take to have one included in the engineering and assembly to improve our playing experience.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Friday, January 04, 2019 5:43 PM

    I found that unless you use an item often it is better to remove the batteries while not in use. Of course this is not always practical but it might save at least one disaster.
    Leaking batteries have ruined more than a couple of things in my life. When I was a kid I remember a few toys were ruined by batteries. In more recent times a DVD remote control was ruined and also a large Mag Light flashlight. Also a couple of battery operated remote transmitters for a burglar alarm system.
    I do have one model railroad car which has a battery inside for the FRED. I use a rechargeable battery in it in the hope that the battery will run out of power before it begins to leak.
    As for capacitors, I can’t wait for the day when all locomotives have them so that our trains won’t suffer the effects of dirty track or wheels.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 04, 2019 5:56 PM

 Alkaline batteries these days just seem to all leak - at least the "name brand" ones. Common complaint seen all over the place. ANd considering what Duracell and Energizer charge for the darn things - the quality REALLY ought to be better. 

                             --Randy

 

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by tommymr on Friday, January 04, 2019 8:08 PM

A couple thoughts on this...

1) Alkaline batteries seem to leak more after they are partially used and kept in a device.  If they are brand new, and you never use the device, they seem to last pretty long.  

2) The old style, carbon zinc batteries (usually called 'heavy duty') seem to be less likely to leak, and may be ok to use in certain applications.

3) Most of the time, the alkaline battery 'goo' can be cleaned up with just plain old water on a q-tip.  If there is still some corrosion, a bright boy or some such can clean up the contacts. Remember to wash your hands when you are done, the alkaline solution is hard on eyes, nose, mouth, etc..

4) Most of the major battery players have a guarantee.  If they damage the device they are in, they will repair/replace the item.  Most of the time they will send you a check for the value of the item and they will dispose of it, but I have had good luck going this route.

5) Maybe a chemist can chime in here, but as long as I can remember,  alkalines rarely leaked.  The leaking, to the best of my recollection, started when they started advertising "Mercury free".  I wonder if somehow there was added mercury, which kept the leaking at bay.  

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Posted by BATMAN on Friday, January 04, 2019 8:20 PM

The batteries in the Rapido coaches are just those little button type. I think Rapido is using track powered lighting now on their newer products. Not sure if the battery lighting is still available. I think I would prefer track powered lighting if given the choice. Maybe they will offer a conversion kit with a capacitor included in it.  

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, January 05, 2019 8:45 AM

I've cleaned up damaged battery cases quite effectively, even if rather heavily attacked by badly leaking battteries, using vinegar. It neutralizes the acid and seems to loosen the corroded metal flakes from the contacts. 

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Posted by selector on Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:12 PM

I believe the batteries of old, the large D cells and such used more during the 40's and later until the 80's, had acid in them, and when they leaked they had to be neutralized with something like a baking soda solution or a paste.  If the acid didn't ruin the contacts in the battery compartment, and one got to the situation soon enough, one could effectively neutralize the acid, rinse out the paste, allow to air dry, and chances were good you'd be able to enjoy the use of the flashlight again.

Modern alkaline batteries have a basic solution, potassium hydroxide, which is also corrosive and toxic.  As Mark says above, the way to neutralize a base is with acid, or tons of flushing with clean water.  So, with alkaline batteries, which they pretty much all are these days (not including rechargeables!), use a bit of vinegar in a Q-Tip or something.  Then, cleanse by rinsing with fresh water several times.

Always allow air drying over night.

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Posted by chutton01 on Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:15 PM

rrinker
 Alkaline batteries these days just seem to all leak - at least the "name brand" ones. Common complaint seen all over the place. ANd considering what Duracell and Energizer charge for the darn things - the quality REALLY ought to be better.

And sometimes they simply explode while just lying in the kitchen drawer (not near any hear source) after a year or so.

Exploded Battery

Yes, that was five years ago when Radio Shack was a going concern, but too many of the alkalines I've had simply leak after a few years...

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 10:00 AM

Not totally off topic (at least in my opinion Angel  ) but for those who like me have train themed Christmas trees, some of the Hallmark "Lionel" collectible ornaments have lights and batteries that could leak if neglected long enough.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 1:55 PM

Dave, it's one of my tasks each Christmas; I must locate and install the appropriate power cells into several animated Christmas toys and music-makers.  Then, on tear-down, I must remove all of them and store them for next year's use.

I have an expensive pair of image-stabilizing binoculars (Canon), and two cameras that use double-A batteries.  I watch them very carefully if I know there are batteries left in them, but usually I remove them if they'll be idle for more than a couple of weeks.  Same with the Bose noise-cancelling headphones...they take a single AAA.  Too easy to leave it in when gathering stuff up to exit the aircraft, and then not use the headphones again for a year or more.

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Posted by Trainman Jim on Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:48 AM

It's those LR-41 alkaline batteries.  Half the time I have them leaking before I even open the Rapido package.  The best thing to do is throw away the LR-41's right away, and use Energizer #392 (SR-41)  That is the silver-oxide equivalent of the alkaline LR-41.  It's the exact same physical dimensions and voltage, but the silver-oxide batteries last much longer, and never leak.  I have about 20 of the Rapido lighting units in use with the #392 batteries, and have never had a snigle case of leakage.  There are a bunch of websites where you can buy the button batteries for a good quantity discount.  The slightly higher price is worth it for the better quality.

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    March, 2016
  • 172 posts
Posted by dh28473 on Friday, January 11, 2019 7:24 PM
how do you change them do you have to open the cars

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