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Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:00 am
by kogmachine
I was told that any synth with patch memory (analog or digital), contains a battery that will eventually rupture, leak over the pcb and ruin the synth. Is this true? I just opened up a Nord G2 looking for a button cell type battery and I didn't see one. If it is true, is there any preventative maintenance I can perform to avoid this as a lot of my synths would be very costly to replace? Thanks for any help.

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:48 pm
by synthparts
The only ones you really need to worry about are ones with NiCad or Alkaline batteries. Lithiums rarely leak.

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:55 pm
by meatballfulton
Typically not a problem with lithium cells. Alkalines, nicads, niMH, mercury (now banned) can all leak.

The Korg Polysix is known for leakage but used a nicad I think...Rhino?

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:01 pm
by fh991586
There should be one in the Nord G2, but it usually keeps its charge for at least 10 years (some are 25yo and counting, and still in good shape). When there will be a battery problem with your synth, the display will most likely indicate "low battery". I tried to find something about the battery in the manual, but there is nothing about it (and no troubleshooting section too)... No need to fear a leak!

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:24 am
by kogmachine
Thanks for the replies. Do you happen to know what year manufacturers switched to lithium batteries? And are most batteries soldered to the pcb or do they have a socket? I was thinking in the case of a battery socket, it might be wise to relocate the battery socket away from the pcb in case it did leak. Might be a worthwhile modification on a high risk synth.

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:37 am
by kogmachine
I see here that this Alesis A6 main board has a battery in the lower left corner.

A6 Mainboard

and uses a 3 prong lithium battery, likely soldered in.

Battery

I saw nothing like that in my G2 so I'm wondering if it has an unusual style of battery that I wouldn't recognize. Maybe it has some type of flash memory?

I'm mainly concerned about my Q+ and A6 getting wrecked, as they would be more expensive (perhaps impossible) to replace.

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:58 am
by synthparts
meatballfulton wrote:Typically not a problem with lithium cells. Alkalines, nicads, niMH, mercury (now banned) can all leak.

The Korg Polysix is known for leakage but used a nicad I think...Rhino?
Yes the Korg Polysix, Poly61, Kawai SX-210, SX-240, Roland CR-78, Jupiter-4, Siel DK-600/Opera-6, and OSCar had NiCad batteries. My OB-1 had an ancient mercury battery in it when I got it.

The Rhodes Chroma has AA alkalines on the CPU board which can cause a real mess. My first Chroma had the CPU board destroyed due to the previous owner storing the synth away for years with the old batteries left in it.

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:40 pm
by meatballfulton
Soldered in lithiums were common by the mid/late 80s...synths like the ESQ1 and Poly 800 (though mine didn't have the battery, just the spot on the PC board where it would go!) for example.

Lithiums in holders for solder-free replacement came along in the early 90s.

Re: Battery leakage in any synth with patch memory?

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:01 pm
by rhino
synthparts wrote:The Rhodes Chroma has AA alkalines on the CPU board which can cause a real mess. My first Chroma had the CPU board destroyed due to the previous owner storing the synth away for years with the old batteries left in it.
Yeah. Regular old "flashlight" drycells can be deadly too. Look out for this on toy(like) keyboards like Casios and the Poly800, keytars, etc.

Very few out there now, but the Peavey DPM-series boards used a Ni-Cad right in the middle of about 20 surface mount resistor and capacitor chips. Wadda mess!
One had a half-dollar sized "wasteland" where the copper traces were completely wiped out and the chips were laying on the bottom of the case.