How long can an old box battery last?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Gdrumm, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Gdrumm

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Aug 29, 2008
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    I bought an antique volt / Ohm meter from ebay.
    It is a Hickok Model 136.
    Has Army / Navy markings, and an MIT Asset Tag.
    It is in the original wooden box, with a leather carrying strap.

    The seller posted it saying it required a 45v battery, and that you could substitute 5 x 9v batteries instead.

    Question # 1, can I do that?

    When I opened it all the way, I found two very old looking batteries, 22.5 volts each. They were wired in series, but not connected to the meter.

    I tested them (in series) and found that they are still holding a charge of slightly more than 38 volts. They are each wrapped in a cardboard box, with the name of Rayovac printed on the label.

    They show no signs of corrosion on the Capped terminals.
    They each appear to have slight bulges near the bottom, on the side, and might have been dropped at one time.

    Question # 2, is this unusual that a battery may have survived since the early 1900's?

    Are they valuable in any way?

    Thanks,
    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,392
    1,605
    I doubt old batteries have a value but I've met people who trade bricks. Do remove them from the meter in case they continue to degrade, you don't want to damage the meter which does have value and probably works as well today as it did when made.

    The bulges mean the batteries are failed and increasing internal pressure.
     
  3. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
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    160
    Rayovac was still making batteries in the 60's. I remember my parents buying D-cells with Rayovac on them.

    I agree with ErnieM in that the batteries are degrading, so they are probably worthless.
     
  4. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
    920
    160
    You could do that, but there might not be enough amperage from the natteries to power the meter.

    You can still buy the original batteries here.
     
  5. Gdrumm

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    684
    36
    Thanks all, and thanks LDC3 for the link.
    I woudn't have thought they still sell the batteries.

    Gary
     
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