Amiga 500 Battery Removal

Posted: May 3, 2013 in 80's, Commodore 64

(*) This was originally posted by me on Commodore is Awesome. Please visit that site to check all awesome features it has.

If you, like me, just bought an Amiga 500 with the A501 memory expansion, you are probably very excited and ready to start playing with it for hours and hours.

The original memory expansion is installed underneath the computer, accessible by the  trapdoor you will see below:

IMG_00000249

The problem is, that the expansion board, besides the 512K expansion has also a RTC (Real Time Clock) and a battery to power it up.

Usually after several years, that battery will leak, damaging other components surrounding it, risking the whole system – and you don’t want to kill your new “Amiga”, right?

So, your first task is not to fire up the Amiga into Workbench, but to take care of that battery! In my case, since I’m not very skilled, I decided to just remove the old one, but you can also install a new one if the RTC is important to you. To remove the old battery you are going to need a soldering iron, a screwdriver and desoldering braid to remove the old solder (or a solder sucker):

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To open the trapdoor, I used the screwdriver to gently pull the locker. It is very easy, so don’t apply too much pressure!

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After opening, you will see the memory expansion. The original one is enclosed in a metal case, and to remove just pull it as shown below with my pretty hand:

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The case is soldered in four different points, and you have to remove the solder in order to expose the board and the evil battery. For me, this was the hardest part, and I could only open after using the screwdriver as a lever while using the soldering iron and braid to remove the solder. Always try to be gentle!

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With the case opened, you will see the expansion board and the battery which is easily visible, as shown in the pictures below:

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I was lucky, as there was a leakage, but it wasn’t so bad (click the picture to see closer).

The next step is to remove the battery. If you turn the PCB upside down, you will see underneath the battery three solder points from where the battery is attached to the board:

IMG_00000265IMG_00000266IMG_00000267

Using the soldering iron and the sucker/braid, carefully remove the solder from these three points until the battery pops out. You need to be very careful to not damage the PCB. After the battery was removed, I could see the damage the leakage caused – it was scary but the PCB was still working fine so there was no permanent damage!

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You would say: “Great! Battery removed, time to Workbench it up!”

No! Not yet. We need to remove the acid that would continue to eat my precious PCB. For that, we are going to use lemon juice, a toothbrush and some  swabs:

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First, using the toothbrush, scrub the PCB very gently to remove the dirt from the PCB:

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After that, swab the lemon juice to remove the acid. I applied the juice, waited couple hours and then remove it with another swab using clean water. Notice from the pictures that the board won’t be back to its original state, the stain will stay there permanently, but at least the acid won’t keep doing its nasty job in my board.

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The last thing is to put the board back in the case and solder it again. There are people that won’t do that, but I like mine to be in its original state.

Put it back in place, close the trap door and enjoy your A500!

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Comments
  1. Marius Hov Lauritzen says:

    Thanks for sharing this… was looking for a guide to open the A501 because I wanted to remove the battery, and your guide is perfect!
    Wondered how on earth I would get that “box” open without damaging the PCB inside in any way…
    Amiga 4 ever!

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