Discussion:
replace t.c. electronic Finalizer lithium coin battery that's stuck -- how to remove it?
(too old to reply)
Jason W
2004-08-28 16:56:52 UTC
Permalink
I have a tc electronic Finalizer that needs a new lithium battery.
The problem is I can't remove it from the metal contacts! Either the
oxidation over the last few years has "glued" it to the plus/minus
terminals or tc electronic engineers deliberately welded it in there.
(Yes, I know I can call tc electronic service dept for info, but
they're not open until Monday.)

So what's the trick to get this battery out? Use some kind of
deoxider spray and wait overnight to let it penetrate? Or apply heat
to the battery and hoping it will wiggle loose? I thought about
taking some pliers can just yanking it out but I'm afraid the force
will pull the soldering joints right off the circuit board.

I've replaced lithium backup batteries in Roland, MOTU, etc without
problems. I've never seen anything this difficult before.

Thanks for any suggestions.
U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
2004-08-28 18:43:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
I have a tc electronic Finalizer that needs a new lithium battery.
The problem is I can't remove it from the metal contacts! Either the
oxidation over the last few years has "glued" it to the plus/minus
terminals or tc electronic engineers deliberately welded it in there.
(Yes, I know I can call tc electronic service dept for info, but
they're not open until Monday.)
So what's the trick to get this battery out? Use some kind of
deoxider spray and wait overnight to let it penetrate? Or apply heat
to the battery and hoping it will wiggle loose? I thought about
taking some pliers can just yanking it out but I'm afraid the force
will pull the soldering joints right off the circuit board.
Is it a battery with leads?

The batteries in my DX-7 and JLCooper MIDI switcher are both standard
items . . . 2032 or 2035, with spot-welded leads.

My Alesis boxes look like they were built for them but had 1/2 AA
batteries with axial leads instead.

Compare the battery to what's in the digikey catalog. It's probably a
standard item.
Jason W
2004-08-28 19:24:49 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 18:43:07 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles
Post by U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
Post by Jason W
I have a tc electronic Finalizer that needs a new lithium battery.
The problem is I can't remove it from the metal contacts! Either the
oxidation over the last few years has "glued" it to the plus/minus
terminals or tc electronic engineers deliberately welded it in there.
(Yes, I know I can call tc electronic service dept for info, but
they're not open until Monday.)
So what's the trick to get this battery out? Use some kind of
deoxider spray and wait overnight to let it penetrate? Or apply heat
to the battery and hoping it will wiggle loose? I thought about
taking some pliers can just yanking it out but I'm afraid the force
will pull the soldering joints right off the circuit board.
Is it a battery with leads?
The batteries in my DX-7 and JLCooper MIDI switcher are both standard
items . . . 2032 or 2035, with spot-welded leads.
Aha! Yes, now that I look at it again, it must be a battery with
leads.

Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device. To me, it's
like taking your car into the dealership to have them fill up your gas
tank.

Hmm... the reasons I can think of to do this:
1. Our service dept has nother better to do than to replace
customer's batteries.
2. We want to give business to UPS and FedEx to ship your unit back
and forth to us. Nevermind that the cost of shipping exceeds the cost
of the battery itself.
3. Customer surveys said that when it comes to changing batteries,
the customer prefers to use a soldering iron and spend an hour on it
instead of a few seconds.
4. It looks retro cool and gives the circuit a "vintage" aspect.

All four reasons above seem totally retarded...
U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
2004-08-28 20:09:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 18:43:07 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles
Post by U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
Is it a battery with leads?
The batteries in my DX-7 and JLCooper MIDI switcher are both standard
items . . . 2032 or 2035, with spot-welded leads.
Aha! Yes, now that I look at it again, it must be a battery with
leads.
Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device. To me, it's
like taking your car into the dealership to have them fill up your gas
tank.
Except the expected life of a lithium cell is a LONG time. My Juno 60
is (knocks wood) on its first. Same song slot 1 on my TX-216.

Since the traces around the battery are "power traces"--big fat traces
designed to handle substantial currents, the stress of desoldering once
or twice in the life of the gear isn't significant.

Moreover, if you DO lift a bad, the traces are fat enough that it's easy
to fix.

Finally, you may not have noticed this, but audio gear tends to get
banged around rather a lot. My Juno, for example, fell offstage at the
Montclair State College (now a Uni) Rathskeller, landing beneath my
Rhodes Stage 88.

Juno's battery mounting survived just fine. I doubt that the replacable
battery holder on a typical motherboard would withstand the same abuse.
Jason W
2004-08-28 21:15:25 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 20:09:46 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles
Post by U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
Post by Jason W
On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 18:43:07 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles
Post by U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
Is it a battery with leads?
The batteries in my DX-7 and JLCooper MIDI switcher are both standard
items . . . 2032 or 2035, with spot-welded leads.
Aha! Yes, now that I look at it again, it must be a battery with
leads.
Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device. To me, it's
like taking your car into the dealership to have them fill up your gas
tank.
Except the expected life of a lithium cell is a LONG time. My Juno 60
is (knocks wood) on its first. Same song slot 1 on my TX-216.
But in tc electronics infinite wisdom, they used a less-than-optimal
RAM chip that drains the battery every 2 to 3 years! (I have an email
from tc electronic saying they later used a newer better chip that
gets 10 years out of the battery but I'm stuck with the old chip.) Of
course, I found all ths out after it's out of warranty. I'm about
ready to give up on this thing. Does anybody want a free
Finalizer?!?!
Post by U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
Finally, you may not have noticed this, but audio gear tends to get
banged around rather a lot. My Juno, for example, fell offstage at the
Montclair State College (now a Uni) Rathskeller, landing beneath my
Rhodes Stage 88.
Juno's battery mounting survived just fine. I doubt that the replacable
battery holder on a typical motherboard would withstand the same abuse.
Some of "replaceable battery holders for coin batteries" that I've
worked with sure seemed tight to me. For some of them, it took quite
a bit of force with a flat screwdriver to pop the battery out of the
holder. But I can see where a weak spring contact wouldn't do the
job.
U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles
2004-08-28 23:00:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
But in tc electronics infinite wisdom, they used a less-than-optimal
RAM chip that drains the battery every 2 to 3 years! (I have an email
from tc electronic saying they later used a newer better chip that
gets 10 years out of the battery but I'm stuck with the old chip.) Of
course, I found all ths out after it's out of warranty. I'm about
ready to give up on this thing. Does anybody want a free
Finalizer?!?!
Do you have space for a larger battery?

My Alesis gear is drilled for a soldered coin cell, but the batteries
were both 1/2 AAs, iirc. If you have the space, a physically larger
battery of the same composition will last longer.
Mike Rivers
2004-08-29 00:22:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
But in tc electronics infinite wisdom, they used a less-than-optimal
RAM chip that drains the battery every 2 to 3 years!
If I only had to service my car once every 2-3 years, I'd be really
happy. If this is too much of a burden for you to keep this unit
maintained, then perhaps you should spend several times the cost of a
battery replacemet on a new unit.
Post by Jason W
Does anybody want a free
Finalizer?!?!
I've never had a Finalizer and I'd be happy to take it for free, even
with a dead battery.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Jim Kollens
2004-08-29 01:39:08 UTC
Permalink
Mike Rivers: << If I only had to service my car once every 2-3 years, I'd be
really
happy. If this is too much of a burden for you to keep this unit
maintained, then perhaps you should spend several times the cost of a
battery replacemet on a new uni >>

I know what you're saying, Mike, but I can't help thinking of my old Concept
5.1. I've owned the thing since the early 70's and the only problem I had was
it blew a small electrolytic. That amp is running every day down at my day-job
and other than that one cap, has never been re-capped but somehow it still
sounds good enough to get compliments. Yet my Hafler P4000 had to be repaired
after a mere three years of use. I really don't know if these are just
coincidences. But back to the Finalizer, it seems to me that at two grand you
should get a lot more than a few years out of it. If the battery is expected
to go out that fast, it should be easily user-serviced. (Think an LA2A: the
tubes hang out the back, i.e. you don't even have to open it to change the
tubes.) I didn't have a whole lot of trouble fixing my M2000, but I've done a
lot of soldering and am not easily intimidated. But I AM easily irritated.
Mike Rivers
2004-08-29 10:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Kollens
I know what you're saying, Mike, but I can't help thinking of my old Concept
5.1. I've owned the thing since the early 70's and the only problem I had was
it blew a small electrolytic. That amp is running every day down at my day-job
and other than that one cap, has never been re-capped but somehow it still
sounds good enough to get compliments. Yet my Hafler P4000 had to be repaired
after a mere three years of use. I really don't know if these are just
coincidences.
I think the Hafler is just a fluke. I've had a Hafler for close to 15
years and it's never needed repair. But it's true that they used to
build stuff better because there was less competition, so less need to
cut corners to be able to sell what looks like more for less.
Post by Jim Kollens
But back to the Finalizer, it seems to me that at two grand you
should get a lot more than a few years out of it.
You can probably get another 10 or 20 years out of it, but just accept
that replacing the battery is something that you have to do
periodically. I had to check the alignment of my tape recorder every
week, but at least I always knew it was in good adjustment that way.
Post by Jim Kollens
If the battery is expected
to go out that fast, it should be easily user-serviced.
I just don't think that 2 years is outrageous. If it went out in 6
months I'd look for another solution, but I could live with 2 years.
It used to be that people would modify their equipment if they could
improve the performance or reliability. You'd always wonder why the
manufacturer just didn't that in the first place, but there can be
many reasons.
Post by Jim Kollens
(Think an LA2A: the
tubes hang out the back, i.e. you don't even have to open it to change the
tubes.)
If you want your next battery to be easier to replace, get yourself a
battery holder that holds two AA batteries, mount it on the back of
the case, and wire it up to where the lithium battery goes. Then you
won't even have to open it up next time the battery needs changing.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Jason W
2004-08-29 03:26:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Jason W
But in tc electronics infinite wisdom, they used a less-than-optimal
RAM chip that drains the battery every 2 to 3 years!
If I only had to service my car once every 2-3 years, I'd be really
happy. If this is too much of a burden for you to keep this unit
maintained, then perhaps you should spend several times the cost of a
battery replacemet on a new unit.
In absolute terms, sure, it's not a burden. But I think it would be
charitable to say it's "maintenance". I'd characterize it as "working
around a design flaw --- a design flaw made worse by a super glued
battery". It's about expectations when you buy expensive equipment.
When anything happens you don't expect, it just leaves a bad taste in
your mouth.

Maybe there's also be generation gap. A lot guys grew up
demagnetizing & cleaning analog tape decks. And spending hours
realigning & calibrating tape deck heads really put a lot of hair on
their chest. To them, this wussy battery nonsense is no big deal. On
the other hand, I'm part of the MIDI generation and I just expect my
equipment to work. Sure stuff breaks from time to time and that's
life. But this tc Finalizer isn't broken --- it's just got a dead
battery that's laughing at me and kicking my ass. I'd give it the
finger but it's got no feelings.
Mike Rivers
2004-08-29 12:48:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
Maybe there's also be generation gap. A lot guys grew up
demagnetizing & cleaning analog tape decks. And spending hours
realigning & calibrating tape deck heads really put a lot of hair on
their chest.
I'm part of the MIDI generation and I just expect my
equipment to work.
I resemble that remark. On the other hand, I've spent weeks trying to
find a problem with my computer. Maintaining or repairing a tape deck
has never been that frustrating.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Scott Dorsey
2004-08-28 21:05:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device. To me, it's
like taking your car into the dealership to have them fill up your gas
tank.
Because the electronics are cheap and consumable too. You're not supposed
to repair this stuff, you're supposed to replace it every five years.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Jason W
2004-08-28 21:32:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Dorsey
Post by Jason W
Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device. To me, it's
like taking your car into the dealership to have them fill up your gas
tank.
Because the electronics are cheap and consumable too. You're not supposed
to repair this stuff, you're supposed to replace it every five years.
--scott
It seems just as cheap to put a replaceable coin battery holder as it
does a battery with leads on it. I've been messing around with audio
gear for 15 years and I guess I've never run into a battery with
soldered leads on it before.

Maybe you're right --- perhaps lots of my old equipment had soldered
batteries but I coincidentally/randomly sold them before I needed to
replace them.

I guess I'm just pissed off that I have a $2100 piece of gear that
doesn't work. #1) your neighborhood Radio Shack doesn't sell soldered
coin batteries and #2) digging out the soldering iron is such a hassle
William Sommerwerck
2004-08-28 22:07:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
It seems just as cheap to put a replaceable coin battery holder as it
does a battery with leads on it. I've been messing around with audio
gear for 15 years and I guess I've never run into a battery with
soldered leads on it before.
The battery holder costs more and takes up more space. It also adds two
additional failure points to the system.

In the case of computers, the computer is usually obsolete before

The JVC XA-A1000 ambience synthesizer uses a soldered-in lithium cell. When it
failed I soldered in a battery holder. Getting the leads into the holes was a
real pain, as the holders don't match the cells.
Mike Rivers
2004-08-29 00:22:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
I guess I'm just pissed off that I have a $2100 piece of gear that
doesn't work. #1) your neighborhood Radio Shack doesn't sell soldered
coin batteries and #2) digging out the soldering iron is such a hassle
I'll be that if you took it to a competent repair shop, they could
replace the soldered-in battery with a holder and a fresh battery, and
then you would have an easier time replacing it. Whenver I had to
replace an IC in my Ampex MM1100 (which were all soldered in), after
removing the chip, I'd solder in a socket and plug in the replacement.
I never had to replace one that was socketed, but at least I knew it
would be easier next time if I did.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Mike Rivers
2004-08-28 22:21:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
Aha! Yes, now that I look at it again, it must be a battery with
leads.
Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device.
Typically those batteries last 5 years or more, which is usually the
service life of the equipment. The second-generation user should
expect to have to do some maintenance.
Post by Jason W
To me, it's
like taking your car into the dealership to have them fill up your gas
tank.
Really it's more like getting your transmission fluid changed, or your
brake system flushed out. The lithium memory backup battery isn't like
the battery in the flashlight that you use every night when you have
to get up to pee.
Post by Jason W
1. Our service dept has nother better to do than to replace
customer's batteries.
2. We want to give business to UPS and FedEx to ship your unit back
and forth to us. Nevermind that the cost of shipping exceeds the cost
of the battery itself.
3. Customer surveys said that when it comes to changing batteries,
the customer prefers to use a soldering iron and spend an hour on it
instead of a few seconds.
4. It looks retro cool and gives the circuit a "vintage" aspect.
Generally they don't even want the customer to open the case. Doesn't
it say something like "no user servicable parts inside" on it? Years
of experience with users trying to service their own electronics has
taught manufacturers that more people screw stuff up trying to perform
what should be a simple process than do it correctly. If you're clever
enough to figure out how to remove the battery, you're probably
knowledgable enough to not mess up the replacemnt procedure or get
yourself electrocuted while doing so. If you aren't and have to ask
how to do it, they would prefer that you keep your static-charged paws
off the workings lest you break something expensive in the process.

There may also be a reset procedure that you need to know about, or a
backup process that you should perform before removing the battery so
you don't lose factory or your own settings.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Jason W
2004-08-28 23:44:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Jason W
Aha! Yes, now that I look at it again, it must be a battery with
leads.
Excuse my ignorance and frustration but why in God's name would any
engineer deliberately want to put this kind of battery on a circuit
board?!?!?!?! A battery is a cheap consumable device.
Typically those batteries last 5 years or more, which is usually the
service life of the equipment. The second-generation user should
expect to have to do some maintenance.
But the engineering choices just seems so arbitrary. A Roland GP-16
guitar processor I bought in 1990 uses a replaceable coin battery.
The tc Finalizer I bought in 2000 uses a soldered battery. My Intel
Pentium 4 motherboard uses a replaceable battery and yet computers
have LESS service life than music audio equipment. What's ironic is
that I've NEVER had to change a battery on computer motherboards. It
seems things should be reversed: the tc electronic should have the
replaceable battery and computer motherboards should have soldered
ones.
Post by Mike Rivers
Generally they don't even want the customer to open the case. Doesn't
it say something like "no user servicable parts inside" on it? Years
Yep, the circuit board has a message imprinted on it saying "refer to
service manual to exchange battery."
Post by Mike Rivers
of experience with users trying to service their own electronics has
taught manufacturers that more people screw stuff up trying to perform
what should be a simple process than do it correctly. If you're clever
I'd go along with this line of thinking IF manufacturers gave a TEN
YEAR WARRANTY, but they don't. After the one year warranty, all bets
are off and we (as reasonable customers) *HAVE* to do it ourselves.
The tc electronic "bench fee" for out of warranty work is $250!
Wow... I'd think $250 would whip some competency into a lot of people
to change their own friggin battery!
Post by Mike Rivers
There may also be a reset procedure that you need to know about, or a
backup process that you should perform before removing the battery so
you don't lose factory or your own settings.
Good points. Thanks for your suggestions. I'm through bitchin about
it.
Mike Rivers
2004-08-29 02:23:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
But the engineering choices just seems so arbitrary. A Roland GP-16
guitar processor I bought in 1990 uses a replaceable coin battery.
The tc Finalizer I bought in 2000 uses a soldered battery. My Intel
Pentium 4 motherboard uses a replaceable battery and yet computers
have LESS service life than music audio equipment. What's ironic is
that I've NEVER had to change a battery on computer motherboards.
You just haven't kept your computer long enough. <g>

Engineering decisions are often made to satisfy the needs of the
marketing department. If Marketing tells them to make it cheaper, they
look for places where they can cut costs. If they save a dollar on
every unit that they expect to sell 20,000 of, that's a good saving.
When you don't have a price point to meet in order to be competitive,
you can make engineering decisions that are more user-friendly.
Post by Jason W
Yep, the circuit board has a message imprinted on it saying "refer to
service manual to exchange battery."
So, did you? It probably explains that it's soldered in, and provides
some tips and cautions about replacing it.
Post by Jason W
I'd go along with this line of thinking IF manufacturers gave a TEN
YEAR WARRANTY, but they don't. After the one year warranty, all bets
are off and we (as reasonable customers) *HAVE* to do it ourselves.
Unless the manufacturer goes out of business, you can always send it
back to the factory for repair, or perhaps find a closer authorized
repair station. You'd be kidding yourself if you didn't think that
they factor in a certain amount of profit based on repairs. When they
cut the cost on the selling price, they have to make it up somewhere.
And if you call Tech Support to ask them how to replace the battery
and they tell you, not only does that deny them that profit on the
service, it costs them money for the advice.
Post by Jason W
The tc electronic "bench fee" for out of warranty work is $250!
Wow... I'd think $250 would whip some competency into a lot of people
to change their own friggin battery!
Did you ask them how much it would cost to replace the battery and
they told you $253.25? Did you check with a local service shop? Maybe
they'd only charge you $50?


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Jason W
2004-08-29 03:11:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Jason W
Yep, the circuit board has a message imprinted on it saying "refer to
service manual to exchange battery."
So, did you? It probably explains that it's soldered in, and provides
some tips and cautions about replacing it.
Nope... I don't have the service manual. And I'm not going to read
the service manual when I change it out myself. Jim Kollens changed
out his M2000 which is similar so I'm sure it's no big deal.
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Jason W
I'd go along with this line of thinking IF manufacturers gave a TEN
YEAR WARRANTY, but they don't. After the one year warranty, all bets
are off and we (as reasonable customers) *HAVE* to do it ourselves.
Unless the manufacturer goes out of business, you can always send it
back to the factory for repair, or perhaps find a closer authorized
repair station. You'd be kidding yourself if you didn't think that
they factor in a certain amount of profit based on repairs. When they
cut the cost on the selling price, they have to make it up somewhere.
And if you call Tech Support to ask them how to replace the battery
and they tell you, not only does that deny them that profit on the
service, it costs them money for the advice.
Yes, I guess I was kidding myself. My first piece of tc electronic
equipment was the venerable 2290. I had a slight problem with when I
first got it and the tc guys were nice about. I've since bought half
a dozen of their processors. They just didn't seem like a company that
would deliberately design the products poorly to give you a hassle 3
years down the road.
Post by Mike Rivers
Post by Jason W
The tc electronic "bench fee" for out of warranty work is $250!
Wow... I'd think $250 would whip some competency into a lot of people
to change their own friggin battery!
Did you ask them how much it would cost to replace the battery and
they told you $253.25? Did you check with a local service shop? Maybe
they'd only charge you $50?
I talked to tc electronic about this last week. The tc electronic
service guy that answered the phone said their "standard" bench fee
was $250. If I sent that guy a bouqet of roses, maybe he'd cut me a
break on a mickey-mouse battery. I'll give them a call on Monday and
see what they say.

I'm not helpless and I can solder it myself. My soldering skills suck
but I'm not afraid to work on it. I'd RATHER work on it myself since
I don't want to ship this thing back & forth. It was just the
PRINCIPLE. I didn't EXPECT to change out the battery this fast and
then when I open the lid, I get hassled by a welded battery. And then
all sorts of evil thoughts go through my head like I want to kill the
engineer and all of his children, etc. (Just kidding.)
Mike Rivers
2004-08-29 12:48:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
I'm not helpless and I can solder it myself. My soldering skills suck
but I'm not afraid to work on it.
If your soldering skills suck, then you SHOULD be afraid to work on
it, at least if you expect it to work again after you finish your
hacking around. If this was an old tube amplifier with point-to-point
wiring, I'd say go ahead and practice your repair skills. There's
plenty of room around every solder joint so if you slip you won't do
any more damage than perhaps scarring the insulation on a wire. But
when working on a multi-layer circuit board with surface mounted
components, things are packed pretty close together. You can do damage
in the vicinity before you can say "oops."
Post by Jason W
I'd RATHER work on it myself since
I don't want to ship this thing back & forth.
I understand that well. I change the oil in my car myself because I'd
rather not take it to the shop. But I don't have to ask anyone how to
do that. And if I did, I'd look at the job closely before I decided to
take it on. And if there was something stupid in the design that make
the job more difficult than I thought it should be, then I might cuss
about it, but I wouldn't complain. If I wanted to deal with it, I
would, and if I decided that it was too much trouble, I'd pay someone
else to do it. It took me a long time to realize that my time (and the
safety of my gear) was more valuable than the loss resulting from
making a dumb mistake.

In fact, my car DOES have a stupid design involving changing the oil.
In order to remove the filter, you have to remove a belly pan. It's
plastic, it's in two pieces, and it's attached with a mix of sheet
metal screws and those expandable-shank plastic button fasteners. It
takes two hands and a nose to get them back into place. And the
plastic buttons break occasionally and they aren't a stock size, so I
have to buy replacements at the parts counter of the dealer at about
$2.50 a piece. The whole job takes me about 3/4 of an hour, not
counting the time to change my clothes before and after and dispose of
the old oil. $20 at the gas station up the hill looks like a pretty
good deal. (but $40 at the dealer doesn't)

Another example - the pilot light on the gas water heater in my house
goes out every couple of weeks. It always re-lights and works for a
while, and the house is in no apparent danger of blowing up, but
every now and then I take a cool shower in the morning. That's fine
in the Summer, but come Winter I'm going to have to get it fixed. I
suspect that the problem is that the thermocouple that holds the
pilot gas valve open isn't up to par and occasoinally it decides that
the flame has gone out and it shuts off the gas supply (which is
just what it's supposed to do). I've figured that much out. But I can't
measure the output of the thermocouple. Nor can I figure out what's
supporting it at the burner end. I can see one screw that I can't reach
without taking the cover off the heater, and I can't figure out how to
do that. I have the manual which gives me the part number of the
thermocouple, but if I buy another one (they can't be very expensive)
I'm not sure I'll be able to figure out how to install it.

If I could take it to my bench and study it out, I'm sure I could
figure out how to replace the part, but it's two inches off the floor
in a corner of my basement, firmly attached to the house by a gas
line and a flue. I think that when I decide that relighting the pilot
every couple of weeks is too much trouble, I'll make a call to a
repairman and let him lie on the floor, diagnose the problem, and
fix it. I expect it to cost $100, but I could waste a day on it and
still not fix it myself.

People who are "qualified" service personnel get that way because
they have access to documentation that we mortals can't easily
obtain, they've often worked with someone who's shown them
how to to the common jobs and how to gain access to the insides.
And sometimes they make mistakes and screw up the workpiece
and have to replace some parts that weren't broken when it came
in. This is what's covered in the $50 charge for the ten minute job
to replace a $3 battery. Sometimes it's worth paying for their
specialized knowledge and experience. Other times it's not. And
it varies from person to person and equipment to equipment.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo

Mike Rivers
2004-08-28 20:18:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason W
So what's the trick to get this battery out?
Does it look like it's in a holder and designed to be removable, or is
it soldred in? A soldered-in cell will still usually have a plastic
spacer under it that looks like a socket. The key is to look for clues
as to how it really is held in.

A holder will have a clip on one edge that you push sideways to
release the cell. Use the blade of a small screwdriver. You can't
really tell what you're doing if you try to push it with a finger.
Push it far enough and the spring contact on the bottom of the holder
will pop the cell out (unless it has in fact leaked and it's "glued"
in place). But you may have to push the clip further than you expect.
If it doesn't pop right out and you know you've fully released the
clip, try sticking a piece of Scotch tape on the top of the cell and
use that as a handle to pull it out. Maybe the spring has sprung.

If you can see welded-on leads, it's almost certainly soldered in. For
that you need real tools and real skill.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (***@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Jim Kollens
2004-08-28 21:47:46 UTC
Permalink
<< So what's the trick to get this battery out? >>

I had the same problem with my M2000. Perhaps the fix is the same for your
Finalizer. On the M2000 the battery is bonded to a device which is soldered
into the pc board. So, you need to get a soldering gun and soldering wick and
carefully remove the battery together with this device. TC Electronic service
will promptly send you a new battery free of charge. I suppose you could try
to remove the "device" and bond it to a new battery locally obtained. You'd
have to experiment as I'm not sure how to remove and re-bond the battery. It's
annoying that they've soldered them in, but that is the case.
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