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paper clips & broken Spice battery terminals .... - Printable Version

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paper clips & broken Spice battery terminals .... - Erik - 01-02-2006

Hi, all ... once again into the breach, this time regarding the Spice series. I've got nine of them that either have one or both of the battery terminals broken off. I myself am not interested in repairing them, I just want to see if the wee things still work. I'm thinking of getting a two-AA battery holder from Radio Shack, attaching some alligator clips to the leads, poking a paper clip into the rivet hole of the broken terminal, attaching the clips to the paper clip and seeing what happens. Does that sound like a promising idea?

I'm also curious as to what it was with the Spice series that caused these battery terminal problems. Seems to have been a not uncommon occurance with the series.

In other news, I fired up my HP-19C and it came to life brilliantly, with even the printer working and printing with no muss no fuss. OTOH, I have an absolutely pristine HP-10 (sans battery cover, drat) that I can't get an ounce of life out of; I find this very distressing, because something as graceful-looking as the HP-10 should never ever die. Bummer.

Anyway, thanks for any further help anyone might care to offer.


Re: paper clips & broken Spice battery terminals .... - db (martinez, ca.) - 01-02-2006

Use aluminum foil and regular batteries. Don't reverse the polarity.
It was another example of bad design; a springy but corrodable metal that was badly plated with chrome or something. The batteries leak, get into cracks in the plating, and there goes the spring. A stainless clip would have worked better. They needed a real door too.

Folks left the batteries in for 3 reasons:
1) So the battery door wouldn't fall off.
2)So they wouldn't loose the special hp battery pack that they were meaning to rebuild someday.

The "budget" RPN manufactures like Corvus and Privileg had positive doors and used off-the-shelf AA cells so one did not have to leave bad batteries in the unit.

Re: paper clips & broken Spice battery terminals .... - Jan - 01-03-2006

Hi Erik,

You can also try to weld some new metal springs made of parts of a paperclip to the connection points. I did that years ago on my HP-34C and it has been working ever since until the present day. The 34C was my first HP calculator (bought in 1983) and I have used it quite intensively during my highschool years and later on at university. One original spring came off after 5 years of rough treatment by a youngster, but this was easily fixed in the way mentioned above here.


Re: paper clips & broken Spice battery terminals .... - DougT - 01-03-2006

Hi Erik,

Although it sounds like you're not up for repairing them yourself, some folks may not be aware of Katie's great fix for busted Spice battery terminals:


I've revived a BUNCH of Spice units this way, and it works great. Which reminds me, I need to order some more of those teeny-weeny screws & nuts from Small Parts.

Regarding your proposed testing procedure, it should work fine - just watch the polarity, naturally. Hopefully the problems with your calcs are limited to broken terminals, and not caused by corroded flex connectors or other nasty, difficult-to-repair internal damage.

Good luck,


Re: paper clips & broken Spice battery terminals .... - Erik - 01-04-2006

thanks all once again for the help. and now i've got to get down to work ...