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Is this a suicide battery?

hunterjwizzard

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
Messages
1,135
Hey guys, its me again, trying to restore my stupid dual G4. I finally got around to opening it up for a quick HDD swap and I found... THIS!!!!

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It hasn't leaked and the machine posted just fine a few weeks ago, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep knowing it was in there. So I need to know if this is one of the dreaded suicide batteries and if so how best to go about replacing it with something safe.

Also while we're here can anyone tell me what the heck this random card I found inside is?

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The later SAFT/Varta batteries are nowhere near as volatile as the Maxell "Super" Lithium batteries which can be identified by their red jacket.

The PCI card is as it states - an MAudio Delta Audio card, however the external break-out box is missing.
 
The later SAFT/Varta batteries are nowhere near as volatile as the Maxell "Super" Lithium batteries which can be identified by their red jacket.
Is that thing "as safe as" a CR2032? I don't want to put it back in there, forget about it, and have it kill my precious mac 20 years down the line. This thing's been through too much to die to a battery.

The PCI card is as it states - an MAudio Delta Audio card, however the external break-out box is missing.
I was very tired when I made that post. How easy is it to find a breakout box?
 
Suicide batteries refer to a machine that won't boot without a PRAM battery installed and at the correct voltage. The G4 can work without a PRAM battery, it just won't retain settings or the date/time. A Quadra 605 is an example of a machine that won't boot without a PRAM battery.

As for replacements, I always use Tadiran batteries. They are expensive, but I've never had one leak. I have a few with 1989 and 1990 date codes that actually still hold a charge.


Just keep the battery in a plastic bag outside the machine when you aren't using it.
 
The later SAFT/Varta batteries are nowhere near as volatile as the Maxell "Super" Lithium batteries which can be identified by their red jacket.
The SAFT batteries can and will leak (yes, even in systems this new). There's no such thing as a "safe" brand for these 1/2AA Lithium batteries. Maxells may be the worst of the bunch, but all the brands Apple used are known to leak. I've seen cases of Tadiran batteries leaking, Sonnenschein batteries leaking, and even the early black Lithium Vartas found in Mac SEs and Mac IIs that have a great reputation for not leaking.
If it's an original battery or it's over 10/15 years old, replace it.

I would recommend Tadiran or Varta for replacements. If the modern Varta Lithium batteries are as tough as the 80s black ones, they're the best choice by far. Tadirans also have very long lifespans.
 
Suicide batteries refer to a machine that won't boot without a PRAM battery installed and at the correct voltage.
Ahh. I had been led to understand "suicide battery" referred to batteries that leak when left unattended for years on end. What's the word for that?
 
I would recommend Tadiran or Varta for replacements. If the modern Varta Lithium batteries are as tough as the 80s black ones, they're the best choice by far. Tadirans also have very long lifespans.

Is it possible to replace the battery entirely with something leak-proof like a CR2032? I have a nasty habit of setting this machine aside and not touching it for decades at a time without actually stopping to properly mothball it.

I have a 486 somewhere in my inventory where the battery sits in a little plastic case velcroed to the inside of the case and hooked to the motherboard via a lead. It didn't leak in the ~25 years I had the machine in storage(did not know about battery leakage back in the day), but if it had it was fortunately clear of every component. Am wondering if I can do something similar here if it HAS to be a leak-positive battery?
 
What's the word for that?
Old batteries ;)

I have a 486 somewhere in my inventory where the battery sits in a little plastic case velcroed to the inside of the case and hooked to the motherboard via a lead. It didn't leak in the ~25 years I had the machine in storage(did not know about battery leakage back in the day), but if it had it was fortunately clear of every component. Am wondering if I can do something similar here if it HAS to be a leak-positive battery?
My IBM PC/AT 5170 had one of those from Tadiran leak and damage the board - so they can!

You can replace it with a CR2032. There was an adapter called the MeowToast but it is out of stock right now. Siliconinsider had his own solution too - I'll have to find that.
 
hey thanks a ton! Got 1 ordered and I will be able to sleep peacefully knowing my mac is safe for another age!
 
One of the problems here is that we have a very robust, government-subsidized e-recycler. So much of the old stuff eventually ends up taken to bits and stashed into gaylords of like stuff.
 
A solid waring about those CR2032 replacements:
There's a reason Apple went with a large 3.6v cell. The circuit it keeps alive is quite power hungry compared to a generally modern CMOS circuit in say a PC or even the later macs. Not only are you undervolting the circuit but you are also using a battery with a considerably lower idle drain rating. It works, but the CR2032 lasts nowhere near as long.
 
Its a very valid point but you have to understand I am more concerned with the battery murdering it than the battery dying. At the moment the machine is running just fine without the battery installed at all. So if I drop a CR2032 in there and it dies in 3 years... no biggy. I'm probably not even going to keep this machine plugged into the network.
 
I've hit a weird problem. The error says "An error has stopped the installation process. Some software has not been installed. What do you want to do? *Try to install Apple Remote Access again"

But there is no dialogue box, no "ok" no "continue" nothing to click on. The mouse works, the clock is advancing, and when I click outside the window it beeps at me. But short of a hard reboot nothing I can do will make it continue.
 
Well I went ahead and did a hard reboot, machine is booting to os 9 just fine now(albeit believe it is still 1904).

Currently attempting to load OSX for the dual-boot. So far MaxOS seems to be extremely picky about its install media. Does not like my burned disks at all.
 
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