Thanks - was Re: Cool calculator

From: Tothwolf <>
Date: Fri Apr 4 00:08:01 2003

On Thu, 3 Apr 2003, John Honniball wrote:
> Tony Duell wrote:
> > Ouch!!! How did it managhe that? Drawing excessive current from the
> > battery?
> I presume so, yes. Or conceivably, trying to charge the alkaline cells
> from the USB power input? I didn't actually see it happen, but I did
> get to clean up the mess.

I'd imagine something tried to charge one or more of the cells.
Theoretically, you can (sometimes) charge an Alkaline cell, under
controlled conditions, if it is not completely depleted, but you still run
the risk of splitting its case or blowing its seal. This is especially
true with cells that use cheaply made cases (I've seen cells that lacked
vents, and some that had very bad seals) and/or if too much current is
available while charging. Now, I'd still _not recommend_ anyone try to
charge primary cells, and under no circumstances should anyone ever
attempt to charge such batteries in a standard NiCad charger...

> > If I bought a device that caused the batteries to explode, not only
> > would I want a full refund, I'd _never_ buy anything from that company
> > again.
> Quite agree!

If you decide to clean up after the incident, plain old vinegar will help
remove the alkaline electrolyte. Of course, you also have to completely
rinse off the vinegar, or it will begin to corrode metals too.

Still, it could have been worse... A carbon-zinc cell's electrolyte will
stain plastics orange, and will also eat away battery contacts in a fairly
short time period.

Received on Fri Apr 04 2003 - 00:08:01 BST

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