Big companies spend small fortunes on making sure their computers stay running and that they can be repaired quickly in an emergency. You wouldn’t expect an emergency repair on an Amiga 2000, though. [RETR-O-MAT] bought an Amiga 2000 that did boot, but was known to have a leaky battery on the motherboard. He wanted to rush to replace the battery before the leakage caused serious damage. You can see all this in the video below.
The computer looked lightly used over its 32-year lifespan, even when the case came off. The battery corrosion was evident, though. Even the bolt holding down the motherboard was clearly corroded from the leaking battery, causing it to be very difficult to remove.
The battery leakage also made unsoldering the battery a challenge. Several chips and sockets — including the CPU — were affected, so they had to come out. You can see a nice demonstration of the “old screwdriver trick” which might be eye-opening if you’ve only worked with SMD chips.
Even if you don’t care much about the Amiga 2000, it is interesting to see inside an old computer like this and note the differences — and similarities — to modern designs. The video is as much a tear down as it is a repair story. It also might be useful if you ever face having to tear out a leaky battery on any piece of gear.
The audio is a bit difficult to understand when [RETR-O-MAT] mentions the liquid he uses to neutralize the battery corrosive. It is vinegar. He refers to the corrosive as “battery acid” but, in fact, from that kind of battery it is a base. According to Duracell:
Follow these tips to clean up after a battery has leaked: Work in a well-ventilated area. Wear household gloves and glasses. Using a toothbrush or cotton swab, remove battery leakage from the electrical contacts. Make sure the electronic device is completely dry before trying a new battery.
To clean any leakage of the following battery types, Alkaline, NiCAD and NiMH batteries, use either one tablespoon of boric acid in one gallon of water or a mixture of equal amounts of diluted vinegar or lemon juice with water (50/50 ratio).
Although Duracell doesn’t mention it, [RETR-O-MAT] washed with water followed by an alcohol wash (you should use 90% or higher for this). We would have done the same but used deionized water, if we had any or maybe distilled water.
Turns out the video is only part 1 because he hasn’t done the PCB rework of replacing sockets and the like yet. However, at least he’s stopped most of the damage from continuing and we got a good look inside a very clean Amiga 2000.