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NES and SNES Cart Batteries Long Term


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Is there a point when these batteries are going to start leaking/failing in a manner that will damage boards? Obviously we’re coming up on times that many of them have needed replacement, but what about long term? As a collector I have a few games I don’t plan on selling. When should I be concerned about this? When will collectors have to start desoldering batteries from boards to preserve them long term? Does WATA/VGA do this to games before encapsulating them?

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I've never opened a cart and had a battery that leaked. Then again, remember that these button cells are not alkaline batteries, but rather lithium batteries. They don't don't leak, but when their seal breaks they react with the air and burn up.

To add to this, I wouldn't worry about the batteries seals breaking, if someone has a story about the battery bursting, please post it I wanna hear about it.

edit: after doing some research, I guess this is a problem, like I said though, I've never had it happen to me.

Edited by SNESNESCUBE64
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I just recently had a leaked CR2032 inside a Mario Paint.

The PCB was covered in acid from the battery and was a pain to clean.

A friend of mine also had a battery explode in his hands while desoldering it.
Nothing happened though but the risk is there.

I'm changing them when their voltage is below 3V or if they look bad.
I mean they're 30 years old and probably would last another 10 years or so, but safety first.

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Member · Posted
5 hours ago, Ice Man said:

A friend of mine also had a battery explode in his hands while desoldering it.

Did he put the soldering iron to the battery? Because that's generally discouraged for obvious reasons. Makes no difference between new or old batteries there.

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Honestly if one was concerned for the safety factor as a collectible, just remove the battery. Half of collectors don’t even play the games, just eliminate the problem and make a note of it. That’s why all my carts that I intend to keep, I’ve modified with a removable battery holder soldered in. I usually only play my carts once a year anyway and beat the game, then I can just remove the battery when I’m done. I’m not one to stress over a “save file”. Just start over and enjoy the game again.

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1 hour ago, Sumez said:

Did he put the soldering iron to the battery? Because that's generally discouraged for obvious reasons. Makes no difference between new or old batteries there.

No, he didn't.  He's not a soldering beginner. The battery was already leaked and he tried to be as careful as possible.

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I doubt there's a need as without knowing, I bet 95% of the batteries are still at 3V.

And yes, there's a list but I can't find it right now.
I usually use https://snescentral.com/ or https://jensma.de/snes__/index.php

Good databases to check the game and its board to see if it has a battery.
Otherwise google is your friend.

 

EDIT: A quick google gave me this:
https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?134961-NES-SNES-Genny-Games-with-Battery-Back-up-Save-feature

Edited by Ice Man
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Here's my list.  I check every battery for applicable games before I play them, and keep a log of the date of replacement, when necessary.  Excuse formatting as the copy/paste from my document to this forum seems wonky.

54 NES Games with Batteries:


  Al Unser Jr Turbo Racing

  Bandit Kings of Ancient China
  Bard's Tale
  Base Wars
  Baseball Simulator 1.000
  Baseball Stars
  Baseball Stars 2
  Crystalis
  Deja Vu
  Destiny of an Emperor
  Dragon Warrior
  Dragon Warrior II
  Dragon Warrior III
  Dragon Warrior IV
  Dungeon Magic

  Faria
  Final Fantasy
  Formula One Built to Win
  Gemfire
  Genghis Khan
  Ghost Lion
  Gold Medal Challenge '92
  Golf Power
  Heroes of the Lance
  Hillsfar
  Kirby's Adventure
  L'Empereur
  Magician
  Maniac Mansion
  Might & Magic
  NES Open Golf
  Nobunaga's Ambition
  Nobunaga's Ambition 2
  Overlord
  Pirates!
  Pool of Radiance
  Romance of the 3 Kingdoms
  Romance of the 3 Kingdoms 2
  Shadowgate
  Shingen the Ruler
  Star Tropics
  Star Tropics II: Zoda's Revenge
  Tecmo NBA Basketball
  Tecmo Super Bowl
  Ultima: Exodus
  Ultima: Quest of the Avatar
  Ultima: Warriors of Destiny
  Uncharted Waters
  Uninvited
  Wario's Woods
  Wizardry: Proving Grounds
  Wizardry 2: Knight of Diamonds
  Zelda, The Legend of
  Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link

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