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Solar alarm clock dead(?)

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by 8bit, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. 8bit

    8bit

    97
    3
    Oct 30, 2013
    I'll start by saying I know very little about electronics so any advice will be welcome.

    I opened it up and found that it actually contains two batteries inside, a 3v CR2477 and a very thin blue rimmed battery, the type I can't make out as its hidden by the clasp holding it in. Would one of these be the cause of it not functioning? I had noticed the display was dimming prior to it stopping completely.
     
  2. Alec_t

    Alec_t

    2,629
    693
    Jul 7, 2015
    Quite possibly. If you have a multimeter you could check the voltage of both batteries.
     
    davenn likes this.
  3. 8bit

    8bit

    97
    3
    Oct 30, 2013
    Thanks, I'll dig one out and give it a go. Do I just place the meter's probes on either side of it?
     
  4. dave9

    dave9

    733
    166
    Mar 5, 2017
    Yes, on both sides of it. You'd want to do this with the solar cell covered so light doesn't get to it, and next you might want to test again with strong light getting to it, in case the solar cell is the fault, no longer charging it.

    The thin blue rimmed battery is probably NiCd, probably 1.2V since you reported thin, as a stack of multiple NiCd coin cells stacked would be thicker and have ridges for each cell in the stack, but you can desolder and take the shrink wrap off to be sure if there is any question.

    How old is it? Is it worth fixing? If there's space for it in the clock you could substitute a NiCd AAA in a battery holder with wires going to the PCB but who knows, maybe you can get the coin cell (with spot welded tab leads on it I assume?) for cheap on eBay. If you did use a larger cell it may need to sit in sun for quite a while before the minimum voltage to power the clock is reached (or pre-charge the cell and then you can also see immediately if the clock works again before closing it back up).
     
    8bit likes this.
  5. 8bit

    8bit

    97
    3
    Oct 30, 2013
    Thanks again.

    It's about 15 years old, doesn't have any real vavlue to me but I thought it would save it being sent to landfill and me having to buy another one.
    Would you know why there is a 'coin' battery inside as well as the rechargable one?
     
  6. Alec_t

    Alec_t

    2,629
    693
    Jul 7, 2015
    Probably as a backup, so that the unit's data is retained in memory when there is not enough solar energy to keep the main battery charged.
     
  7. dave9

    dave9

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    166
    Mar 5, 2017
    At 15 y/o it is also due for a new CR2477. I wonder if you can buy the equivalent new for less than the cost of these two batteries...

    Previously I mentioned putting a AAA NiCd in it. What you could do is put a NiMH in if you want to try to charge it with the solar panel, or put an alkaline in and disconnect the solar panel so it becomes a regular battery powered clock, then you "probably" don't need the CR2477 unless it is required to save the alarm setting or something (and of course you need the alarm setting).
     
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