VOGONS


First post, by Whiskey

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Hi Vogons, I have an ACT Apricot Qi-300 386SX-16 XT system which has the largest Varta battery I've ever seen in a PC inside.
It's housed its own plastic tray and has no signs of leaking but I thought I'd look into replacing it with some thing more modern.

Problem is I have no idea what it is or its values, there are no marking on the battery except for a warning and a Telephone number.
It's about 4cm in diameter and has a a lead with a plug to the motherboard (see socket labelled BATTERY in the photo).

Any advice on how to proceed would be very welcome, please see images.

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Thanks in advance.

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Reply 2 of 12, by wiretap

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It is. I had a VME multiplexer board use the same type at work. I only know what they look like inside because one catastrophically failed and shot the cells through a 120VAC muffin fan and I heard them pinging around.

Edit, 3 cells @ 1.2V each to make 3.6V.

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Reply 3 of 12, by Whiskey

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What sort of thing should I replace it with? I'm gessing its not a rechargeable cell. Thanks for all the info.

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Reply 4 of 12, by wiretap

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Yes, it's rechargable. The easiest thing to replace it with is a 3xAA or 3xAAA holder using rechargable AA/AAA batteries. Otherwise you'll have to use a custom solution with a diode to block the charge current.

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Reply 6 of 12, by Doornkaat

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dataino.it wrote on 2021-08-18, 12:31:
U can use this is a rechargeable battery coin format CR2450 […]
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U can use this is a rechargeable battery coin format CR2450

is from RS-components
Codice RS: 183-4295

3,6 V
120mah

CR2450 is a non rechargeable lithium coin cell.
The one at RS-components is LIR2450. It's a lithium cell as well. Are you sure it can be safely used as a replacement for a nicad pack?

Reply 7 of 12, by wiretap

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You would need a different charge controller circuit with limited current to use a rechargable lithium battery. Unless you like damaging batteries or the motherboard. Fire hazards ftw.

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Reply 9 of 12, by mlchanges

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Mind if I send those pics to a Varta rep to see if they can provide details? Not sure if Varta ever did NiCD coin cells but I'm certain they don't now. If they can confirm they're NiMH You should be able to find a replacement easy enough.

Reply 10 of 12, by Whiskey

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mlchanges sure go ahead.

I have a new problem, the scsi harddisk seems to have ceased. It was working a few months ago the last time I booted it. Now it spins up and down while the memory is counting, and then sits with the disk access on for a minute before giving me a 10428 error. If it's an IMB PS/2 clone i think that means its the disk rather then the controller card.

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Reply 12 of 12, by Whiskey

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mlchanges wrote on 2021-08-31, 23:15:

No luck with Varta. Did you ever cut the shrink off to see the markings on the cells?

I haven't taken it apart yet as it's still working and I have no replacement.
EDIT: I took the battery from the 2nd Qi apart it says Varta 600DK on the positive side of the Cell, no other markings.
I managed to find this archived Varta Portable & Micro battery spec/order sheet.
and 600 DK is listed as "Sealed Ni-Cd-button cells", the order sheet lists configurations for the batteries too ie. with solder tabs, wrapped etc.

This battery is 3 stacked cells with solder tabs.

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Edit2: I believe its a three stacked 1.2v cells wrapped to make up a 3.6v 600mAh NiCd battery. So as long as a battery meets those requirements even if its a different form factor it should be fine? eg. https://ebay.us/lkrwJk

In the process of trying to solve some other issues with the SCSI drive I ended up with another ACT Apricot Qi-600 which is a similar IBM PS/2 clone with a 386DX-25 and 12Megs of RAM.
This machine won't boot because it has the "7000 Chipset CMOS failure" now I can't find a detailed explanation for what this means exactly anywhere.

I'm not sure if it's a battery failure code/no settings or incorrect settings error or if it means the Non-volatile BIOS memory chip(s) are dead. The battery has failed though.

I stream retro games every wednesday here & I dump the recordings here