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SPICE Battery Adapter is under way.

Many SPICE calculators have the flexible printed circuit board corroded and need a replacement.

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The good one and the bad one. I tried to repair the contacts with wires, but it doesn't look nice.

Therefore I made a layout for a replacement SPICE battery adapter and I'm waiting for the manufacturers offer. I hope producing the flexible foil is not too expensive. Also I hope the new battery contacts, which I want to use have 1mm more space for the todays AA batteries. The todays AA batteries are a small amount too long and cause to break the chassis when inserted.

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The outline of the battery adapter PCB was difficult to draw and I hope they will not charge extra for this complicated outline.

I want to know how many boards would be needed to have an idea whether my costs can be paid off.

Bernhard
I'd likely be interested in a few. Four maybe.

Pauli
One please
I just got the first offer from the manufacturer for 50 pieces. I'm very disappointed. The costs here in germany are too high. I will have to find a way to get the flex board from china.

Bernhard
HI Bernhard!

Great idea! Really interested. I have got many spice repaired.
Also the metal contact is a mess! Positive is always missing, or both.


Again: congrats!


Regards


Ignacio
Would it be feasible to make a version without the flex that could be connected with discrete wires?
(11-23-2019 08:17 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote: [ -> ]Would it be feasible to make a version without the flex that could be connected with discrete wires?

Thanks for this idea. This would be an alternative to avoid high manufacturing costs for the new flex cable. The old cable can still be used, because it contains the solderless adapter to the electronics. You just have to cut the corroded part of the flex cable and solder three wires to the remaining part. This would be an easy solution, easier than installing a new flex cable, which has to be soldered to the power supply. Of course this would not exactly look like the original, but will reinstall new battery contacts.

Perhaps there is another solution, which looks like the original and is easy to install: reproducing only half of a flex cable for only the battery part, which can be connected then to the old flex cable, this would avoid unsoldering the original cable and be cheaper in production, because the production costs are measured in square inches.

Bernhard
Keep up with this wonderful job !!!
Congratulations
This is how we fix ours ...
Spice flex cable repair
I'm not super fussy about restoration exactitude so, with that in mind:

I'd like to see a kit that replaced the battery end plate circuit board and flex cable with something that accepted standard AA or AAA cells, and connected to the main board with wires. Yes, it would look incorrect, but if the battery cover is on, no one will notice, and it would do away with needing the odd ball Spice battery pack as well.

I kludged up something like hat with two AAA battery holders while working on my (sadly unfixable) "pressure sandwich" 34. If I repair it with a Spice LP board I was going to make something a little tidier, but I think a battery holder integral to a new end board would be a lot nicer.
I might be interested in one. (And a spice low power as well).

Have you tried http://www.dirtypcbs.com? They are good value for money.

Cheers,
Harald
(11-23-2019 11:30 PM)Harald Wrote: [ -> ]Have you tried http://www.dirtypcbs.com? They are good value for money.

Thanks for the link. Yes, I checked them already.

At the moment I would decide for the half flex board solution. The advantage is, that you can leave the other half of the original flex cable connected to the power supply, this part is never corroded, and attach the new cable by soldering only three contacts. This is much easier than unsoldering the old cable and then solder the new one.

Battery contacts will arrive in the next days, then I can test whether AA batteries will fit.

Bernhard
(11-24-2019 11:06 AM)PANAMATIK Wrote: [ -> ]At the moment I would decide for the half flex board solution. The advantage is, that you can leave the other half of the original flex cable connected to the power supply, this part is never corroded, and attach the new cable by soldering only three contacts. This is much easier than unsoldering the old cable and then solder the new one.

Battery contacts will arrive in the next days, then I can test whether AA batteries will fit.

Bernhard

This makes good sense as it will be far easier and safer (for the board) since us mere mortals with limited soldering skills probably can solder small wires to the ribbon cable. I would even cut the board side ribbon as long as possible, allowing a mistake and then cutting the ribbon a bit shorter and trying again.

Maybe even sell the small contact board with 3 color-coded wires already soldered to it, leaving only 3 quick solder points to replace the assembly.

This small project will restore many Spice machines, thanks very much Bernhard for your continued quest to provide tools to keep these great old models running, it is much appreciated. I fear the only bad side-effect is the price for used Spice machines will start to rise... Smile
SPICE battery adapter is finally available

Yesterday I received the parts from dirtypcb, which is of course somewhere from china. I replaced the battery adapter of my HP-37E successfully and it works. Also charging with the original charger is doing well.

I decided to manufactur only half of the flex PCB strip. This simplifies the replacement, because you don't have to unsolder the old flex cable from the power supply board. You just cut it half the way and solder the three traces together.

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But not all is perfect. I had difficulties to remove the old solder resist from the original part manually and needed an abrasive "Dremel" tool. Then I discovered that the copper traces both were located at the same side of the flex cable and soldering the two parts together was not going too easy. The minimal thickness of the flex board prohibited immediate solder contact even when both pads had lots of tin. I soldered three small wires to bridge the gaps. I would have liked it without this complication for you, but no way, at least it was done in two minutes.

The new board offers about 0.5 - 1 mm more space in the battery holder. The board thickness is reduced to 1.2 mm compared to 1.5 mm of the original, and the battery contacts are more flat. Still the modern AA batteries are tight, but I think it is better than before.

By the way, I tried the known method of using dental floss for opening the SPICE case and this worked really well.

Have a look to my website. I will offer the SPICE battery adapter in january 2020, after I have written the instructions for the replacement.

Because the tiny flex board even from china is expensive and there is some work to do to solder the battery contacts the price will be 29,- Euro + shipping.

Bernhard
What's the status of this project and the Spice Low Power board? I don't see anything on the website.
Just talking to Bernhard, well email;

Nothing gets shipped out of Germany’s unless it is the really expensive way and those prices have doubled.

For me it would be no ribbon just the board and contacts. I can wire it myself.

In fact have two 34Cs here and both getting new battery contacts only as the ribbons are still excellent. These were sent to me from Norway for return and they will be ;-)

Geoff
(04-25-2020 11:43 PM)Geoff Quickfall Wrote: [ -> ]For me it would be no ribbon just the board and contacts. I can wire it myself.

I inquired about this option in Post #6.
Some time ago I was disappointed, may I say depressed, about my SPICE battery connector because it did not solve the problem of giving too much pressure to the case with modern AA batteries and it was a complete failure in my opinion. I was not aware, that there are smaller AA 4/5 batteries available until I read this thread here https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-15120.html

This gives a totally new approach and solves the above problem and after having ordered the 4/5 AA batteries I made the first SPICE battery connector for use with the smaller 4/5 size. Here it is.

You can see, that I soldered only two wires directly to the old flex cable other end. The shown calculator is my new "HP-32E SPICE Low Power" without power supply, which needs only two wires. Using wires instead of the old flex cable is an option, which is easier than to connect the two flex cables at their midpoint. But it is still possible to connect the flex cables as shown in my previous post.

I'm so grateful that the above thread showed this solution, because I didn't want to be responsible for any broken SPICE cases, of those who wanted to use my battery connector. Thanks!

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As conclusion of the above the new battery connector can be ordered soon. I will add it to my website. Also you can order it for DIY without flex cable for using wires as proposed by Dave in post #6 and #17

But there is still an obstacle, ordering from the US is still not recommended, because shipping has become extremely expensive. And shipping to australia and many other countries is completely suspended from germany.

Bernhard
The "SPICE battery connector" can be ordered!

There is an installation manual available.

Bernhard
(06-11-2020 12:29 PM)PANAMATIK Wrote: [ -> ]But there is still an obstacle, ordering from the US is still not recommended, because shipping has become extremely expensive. And shipping to australia and many other countries is completely suspended from germany.

Bernhard

I look forward to some semblance of sanity before the end of the year (please!) so that ordinary commerce can return to normal. Why such restrictions on shipping? Have travel restrictions reduced available air transport?

Anyway, a simple holder for a pair of 4/5 AA batteries in the style of the Woodstock holders might be a nice project for a bored 3D printer designer out there. Something with a shorting bar at one end that allows the batteries to be removed for individual charging.
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