Original Post

When I was about 5 or 6, I found a toy I wanted to play with again that had old batteries… I didn’t see any leakage in the compartment when I watched as they were being changed, and neither did anyone else, however…

When the new batteries were put in, this toy was still whining and sounding slurred and it was walking kinda messed up, me and others thought this was just a bad pair of batteries, or not a good brand… so we tried some different batteries and… it STILL did this!

It took about 7 or so battery changes (yes, I really wanted my toy to work) to get it to function like it did last time I played with it (mind you, I didn’t abuse said toy like some children of the same age might)

So heres the question: can battery terminals get worn without leakage or moisture or any type of corrosion like that? even if said object (like that toy) didn’t have many battery changes in its life? or did the toy have either a cheaply made battery compartment and/or wiring and/or got its battery compartment connections loosened possibly when I took the toy out of the closet it was in? or was it because I used it with old batteries? or can there be battery leakage that goes completely into the internals that doesn’t show in the compartment?

However… theres this camera someone has that can have freshly charged batteries put in it and it shows the “change the batteries” screen (is this from it being a 4+ year old camera, either being battery compartment damage (non-leakage) or wiring wear?) please note that the person who owns said camera used a few sets of rechargeable batteries for about 3 years in that camera (which were also used a bit on another camera, I think) and then bought some new rechargeables when it started showing that screen a lot (even this newer set, when charged, shows the camera’s “change the batteries” screen) is this because they used a few sets of rechargeable batteries for too many times on that one camera?

Is it just a cheap thing? meaning that products with quality (the original Gameboy, I’d think) would never get this while cheaply made easy-breakable things (TV remotes you can find next to the checkout counters at places like Wal-Mart) probably end up with problems like that?

Off-Topic: I can create a lengthly topic full of questions about battery compartments, but cannot write stories or articles that well… strange… 😕

2 Replies

Are you talking about using rechargeable cells in both the “mystery toy” (I’m guessing a Furby ;-)) and the camera, or just the camera? In either case, if the device is designed for primary (alkaline) cells, which operate at 1.5V (nominal) and you try to run it with rechargeable cells (either NiCd or NiMH) which operate at 1.2V (nom.) then it can affect the performance.

In the case of a motorized toy, the lower voltage could indeed affect the speed of the motor(s), the volume of sounds/speech, etc. In a digital camera (a notoriously “high drain” device), since it uses battery voltage as an indicator of battery capacity, it would show “low battery” even for freshly charged cells. However, since most rechargeables have a flatter discharge curve than alkaline primaries, it may well operate just as long or longer on the former than on the latter. It depends on the device. They do have a higher self-discharge, though (except for “Eneloop” and similar).

BTW, most of the time, damage to the battery terminals results in either no discernible change or complete failure of the device to operate. It rarely causes problems between these extremes, and only on the simplest devices (like flashlights, FM radios, etc.). Also, to my knowledge, rechargeable cells don’t usually leak corrosive materials when drained like alkaline/carbon-zinc batteries. I think they usually only leak Hydrogen gas from a safety valve when overcharged/overheated (at which point they’re useless).

The toy (which was not a Furby, it was a Blues Clues “Blue” toy, which was motorized) had Alkaline batteries (and never had rechargeable batteries)

The camera’s batteries were not used in the toy (and the camera never had rechargeable batteries) the older rechargeable batteries used on the camera were not eneloop, but the newer rechargeable batteries used on it are eneloop batteries


Write a reply

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.