Wednesday, May 25th 2016
In anticipation of camping this weekend, I finally went to the hardware store to repair a bunch of tiny electronics with battery replacement. Here’s what I learned:
A) Nearly ALL “button” style batteries are 1.5 volts… it’s just a matter of what SHAPE they are and how many of them is required by the device in question.
B) Forget even trying to read and interpret the model number on the battery itself. Not only does each size battery have many numbers that correspond to it, but many batteries preloaded in devices come from overseas where the numbering system is different anyway.
C) The contact between the battery and the device can be corrupted in many ways -corrosion, loose fit, broken node- causing the device not to work even with a new battery.
D) Just go to Inman Square Hardware and have the team of Al, his son Paul and the other guy John help you. You can borrow teeny tiny screw drivers and magnifying glasses etc., and Paul can even run your corroded flashlight bulb connection across the metal sander behind the counter to clean it off, and the flashlight your mother gave you in 1999 will work like new again.
E) Not surprisingly, in most cases the cost of replacing the batteries is greater than the original purchase price of the device in the first place. (e.g.; $6.99 laser pointer needs 3 batteries at $4.49 each… ouch.)
F) It is worth it because;
- you are not throwing away a perfectly good device into the landfill,
- you are supporting a wonderful and invaluable locally-owned family business,
- they can recycle the old batteries for you right there in the shop (!),
- you don’t have to go back to the store for another thingy that maybe you didn’t need in the first place,
- the cost in the end isn’t so bad afterall,
- your kids can now re-discover the joys of the excellent old-school game of “Simon” (in travel size!) on the camping trip this weekend, and moreover,
- you get to feel all superior for not succumbing to the Consume-and-Toss culture that has overtaken our country.
G) In conclusion:
- Seven batteries and one flashlight bulb cost $34.99.
- I was able to repair 4 out of 5 devices (tiny crappy $1 store flashlight interior design prohibited workable battery repositioning).
- I have a working watch again.
- With the laser pointer, not only can the kids torture the cats, but I’m hoping it will be a helpful read-along pointer for story time with ClaraJane whose reading skills are tenderly budding.
- After all this, Hardware Store Paul gave me a complimentary flashlight holster for my kids during the camping trip.
- Then he gave me another one so they wouldn’t fight.
- On second thought maybe I’ll keep them for myself and hubsand.
- All this is great but we are leaving in two days and there is still so much to do! How great I spent this valuable time on documenting the minutia, miright?