What is becoming a concern to me is that from the outside most owners could be oblivious to the kind of damage that there is a very real risk of occurring on the inside. Whilst owners are polishing their beloved synths many are blissfully unaware of what is going on inside! Lets face it - it doesn't matter what sort of ritual you think is going to save your beloved old kit from this sort of thing... it needs to be checked out periodically and rectified if necessary!
Some of these batteries are now getting on for 40 years old!
As someone who used to head an electronic design team I find it really quite depressing that so many peer reviewers thought nothing of their guys using pcb mounted batteries with a well understood failure mode to so many pieces of studio kit - some of which were extremely expensive! ..and its certainly not just limited to studio equipment - there are a ton of vintage computers also fitted with these darned things.
So for some time now I have wanted to start and maintain a definitive hotlist of what I and other contributors consider to be the most at risk from severe battery damage.
This is what I have so far. I have put these into two categories - firstly those that I consider to be at very real danger of severe battery damage and then those that can be prone to damage if the battery is left long enough in a discharged state. Please note that I appear to be singling out NiCds over Lithium backup batteries - this is because the chances of them leaking and causing severe damage are considerably greater.
..and its certainly not just less expensive/desirable gear either - I have had three AMS RMX-16s in the last few months alone with tracks on their CPU boards completely eaten away by leaking batteries!
At Risk of Severe Damage to PCB due to PCB Mounted NiCd Battery Leakage:
- Korg Polysix
Korg Trident I
Korg Trident II
Siel Opera 6
ORLA DSE 8, DSE 12 & DSE 24
- Roland CR-78
Movement Computers MCS-2 (NASCOM II Computer)
Böhm Digital Drums
- AMS RMX-16
Publison IM-90 "Infernal Machine"
Lexicon M97 Super Prime Time
Lexicon 224X with Memory Option Board
- Roland CSQ-600
- Memorymoog (Lithium but now of an age where severe damage to pcb is a very real possibility!)
Rhodes Chroma (with original CPU board fitted - Drycells can leak onto CPU, front panel and stack pcbs)
Roland JP-4 (NiCd battery mounted in floor of synth but can lead to corrosion to board through wires)
Hopefully this list can become a sticky for reference.
LIST LAST UPDATED: 10/05/18