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Snowflake
08-08-2020 at 02:32 PM
22 Comments
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A mildly curious mystery

So I'm visiting my buddy and i brought my Donkey Kong Junior game and watch cause its awesome. Cause i'm cheap i put in the batteries backwards to preserve life until i chose to play when i then put them back proper orientation. At one point we hear a beeping and cant find where its from. i finally recognize its the g&w alarm. this was about 20 hours after i put the batteries in. also the screen was still off telling me that the backwards batteries sure enough did not give the screen any power. so they gave the screen no power (nor should they) yet they somehow triggered the alarm feature 20 hours later.

any speculation on how such a thing is possible?

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Comments
  1. datagod's Avatar

    I would never put the batteries in backwards. It just seems wrong. Not power saving at all, could damage the battery or even the electronics.

    LikesFly liked this post
  2. Snowflake's Avatar

    its definitely power saving. if it doesnt power the equipment, it lasts. this aspect i've proven through testing and experience, its why i continue to do it.


    so while you're wrong about it not extending battery life, you make an interesting point about damage. i hadnt considered that. and honestly this fluke occurence shows that something is going on that wouldnt happen if batteries are simply removed so you do make a valid point. thank you for that input as damaging a game is a very important concern, so i'm not dismssing that point, it worth thinking about, but it also doesnt answer the question at hand either.

  3. sdwyer138's Avatar

    well now we know why you cant be arsed to show the back of the unit: backwards battery alarm hack

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  4. datagod's Avatar

    Try reversing a car battery to save power. *dont really do it*

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  5. datagod's Avatar

    I am not wrong about the power saving. You are just abusing the current. To truly save batteries you should remove them. That will also prevent damage from crappy leaky batteries in case you forget out your toy for a while.

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  6. Snowflake's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by sdwyer138

    well now we know why you cant be arsed to show the back of the unit: backwards battery alarm hack


    sean: you broke the law!
    me: i am the law!!!!


  7. Fly's Avatar

    Just wrap them in foil so they don't make contact and jam em back in to save power. Backwards is unsafe.

  8. Snowflake's Avatar

    well not the info i was looking for, but useful info none the less. ok you guys have convinced me. i mean, backwards obviosuly did something since it powered the alarm.

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  9. datagod's Avatar

    [QUOTE=Fly;bt61187]

    Just wrap them in foil so they don't make contact and jam em back in to save power. Backwards is unsafe.

    [/QUOTE]

    I am pretty sure foil will (aluminum) will still conduct electricity. I used to put it in the microwave and watch the show. Also when you chew some and you have fillings you get a nice jolt right in the tooth nerves.

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  10. Joonas's Avatar

    So if I understood correctly you are essentially shortcutting the batteries by putting them in the wrong orientation. The only thing limiting the current is the inner resistance of the batteries. Maybe one of your batteries is not healthy anymore and the current rose high enough to trigger the alarm.

  11. Fly's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by datagod


    I am pretty sure foil will (aluminum) will still conduct electricity. I used to put it in the microwave and watch the show. Also when you chew some and you have fillings you get a nice jolt right in the tooth nerves.

    Speaking of microwaves, those are a good place to store extra batteries. Just put them all the way back so they don't get in the way. Good use of space.

    Fly

  12. omega175's Avatar

    I would just take out the batteries. If a circuit is cheaply designed (and there are no diodes and caps blocking the reverse flow of the electrons to some parts of the board), you could power up some low level parts. If the device is old, you could have leaky caps or some other part that is starting to short and you will get some flowing current as a result.

    As for batteries, stay away from any ALKALINE batteries, including Duracell. Lithium batteries are more expensive, but should not leak. Another way (reliable) is to use Panasonic super heavy duty batteries (these are carbon-zinc). These are cheap on Ebay in higher quantities (search for "Panasonic heavy duty lot"). My local 99c stores have them real cheap where I live.

    In case you are not convinced, check out this video of unpacking 25 years old Jurassic Park pinball:

    https://youtu.be/u4zJSduK9Pg?t=812

    In the follow up video they tested the batteries and they still worked fine after 25 years:

    Also, use a multimeter/battery tester to test your used batteries. Sometimes just one battery can be dead and the rest is still fine. You can reuse the good ones for your wall clock or a remote, instead of throwing these batteries out. You can make "leaky batteries" the thing of the past and one less thing to worry about.

    ThanksSnowflake thanked this post
  13. Snowflake's Avatar

    thank you. as for specifics, its lr44 in game and watch and i think some of your points are more specific to double a, but the more general points are appreciated

  14. omega175's Avatar

    Oh, for some reason I thought you were talking about a handheld. If you don't want to take out the batteries, try using some Scotch tape to insulate the batteries when not in use. Just make sure you don't stretch/bend the leads in your watch. Datagod started talking about leaky batteries, that's why I added the extra info. Hmm, maybe I should make a post about leaky batteries on the main forum while I'm at it? This post, this info could save two people's precious device ('very' broad Schindler's List reference ;)).

    ThanksSnowflake thanked this post
  15. Snowflake's Avatar

    it is a handheld, game and watch. not to be confused with wrist watch, more like a pocket watch.


    and yes by all means make more posts. i made this post thinking it would be mere trivia, but i've now learned how close i came to destroying my stuff. and i doubt i'm the only one. people on ebay will sometimes ship with batteries backwards to save on battery life, thats where i learned it, like alot of bad ideas, they spread fast.

    Likesomega175 liked this post
  16. sdwyer138's Avatar

    Some devices have a secondary sometimes non removable battery, that can retain things like clock/alarm settings while the primary batteries are being removed/replaced.

  17. omega175's Avatar

    This handheld format reminds me of the game I used to play for couple of weeks (my friend's) back around 1986-7. It was most likely a Russian knock-off. In that game you had vultures and a caveman. He had a rack of meat roasting on a fire and they flew down to steal it. He used his club to fend them off. Plenty of fun and fond memories.

    This handheld probably doesn't have a secondary battery. It was cheaply made. You may have some juice left for a moment when the capacitors are discharging, so it might save your clock for a few seconds when you replace the batteries.

  18. omega175's Avatar
  19. omega175's Avatar

    Did you do any maintenance on it? Some quick video about it and one can see how it looks like inside:

    One thing, I would not rub very hard the backs of the buttons like he does. That's where there is a layer of carbon conductor that closes the circuit when you press a button (same principle like with remotes). If that layer is worn out, you can find on Ebay special compound that will restore this connector and make faulty buttons work again.

    I can see few caps there. I would use an ESR meter to test them (these are almost 40 years old). I would at least replace that blue electrolytic cap that is in the corner. These are the first ones to go.

    ThanksSnowflake thanked this post
  20. Snowflake's Avatar

    i've done no maintenance on it, hopefully i wont have to. i switched over to game and watch after intellivision and atari issues that i wasnt up to learning maintenance on just yet

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