how do you store your calculator collection?


Every so often I take mine out of their boxes and fret, because it always looks like they're in worse condition than when I put them away. I mean, I don't have the batteries inside leaking all over the place, but it still seems to me that I see acidic moisture in the battery chamber and it's always got that smell. I don't know what to do about this. Suggestions?
And, if your calcs aren't on display, how do you have them put away? In boxes? Wrapped how? In what average temp? What else?


I just recently got some little wooden toolboxes in which most calculators fit nicely in the lift-out tray, but I've only been using them for a few months. Before that they were just sitting on various shelves gathering dust. Have you considered putting dessicant packs in the boxes? The silica gel ones that come with many items? I think these can be "recharged" by putting them in a very low oven for a while.


That's a good idea. Do you know if you can buy those packs? Trouble is, I've got about 10 boxes filled with calcs, so I'd need a number of them. And even then I wonder if they'll do the job.
One thing I've been wondering about are extremes of temperature and humidity. At the moment, all the calcs are in my office and, really, the ones not on display I'd like to put either in the basement or the attic, but I haven't do to cold, heat and humidity. Thoughts anyone?


I'd guess the basement would be more stable in terms of temperature as it should stay close to ground temperature. However I don't know where you live so if its the desert or the arctic you might have problems. As long as it doesn't freeze or go above body temperature you should be fine.

As far as humidity goes try putting the calculators in an air tight box on a dry warm day and add a few dry silica packs at the same time. If the box stays air tight then damp should not effect the contents. Any small ammounts of water hanging around should be soaked up by the silica pack.

What is probably more important is that you store them WITHOUT the batteries as these contain all sorts of nasty chemicals that will attack your plastic and metal calculators. This is all the more important if they are stored out of sight for months on end.



This is another good opportunity to point out Viktor Toth's excellent article on battery corrosion .


Various gun shops and military surplus shops have silica packs that come in a metal can (like a sardine can) and can be recharged every few decades by heating them in a oven.



You can buy silica gel from hunting / outfitter stores such as Cabelas or sometimes at army / navy surplus stores.


In addition to the outdoor equipment, military surplus, and gun shops that others have mentioned, they can also be purchased from hearing aid supply/repair shops, though they tend to be of the smaller variety than those intended for larger storage boxes. Also, depending on where you live, they are sometimes carried by industrial supply/surplus centers -- and are usually much less expensive than at a specialty shop. Happy hunting!


My son is the srtangest person...

He collects silica jells for a hobby! I may get strange looks for my calculator collection but he.

Anyway the point is if you go to many stores such as $2 shops tool stores, electronics goods stores and rummage arround the back you will find tons of the stuff in packets in the bottom of the cartons.


Well, thanks to eBay, I now have 50 packets of silica gel on the way, for $10. I don't know if that's cheap or dear; but I will say this: thanks, guys, for the suggestion.


I think you propably have some more problems with some calculators. All calculators which have motoric moving parts, esp. card readers, printers etc. should at least every few months be powered and the motor should be operated. Otherwise the rubber rolls may become deformed from continous pressure on one and the same position. This happens for example with the HP97 printer. Also some plastic and rubber parts are not long-time stable - you know the common card reader "gummy" problem. I would be glad to know all environmental circumstances which reduce the aging of those parts. I know that *light* is a problem with several materials and high temperature (above 25 deg C) too.
I store my calcs in a relative dry, moderate warm (18-22° C) living room, in a glass show-case outside of direct sun light. And I check the calcs every few months.
I like to look at my collection and I'm really not willing to put it in a dark cellar only to enhance its lifetime.

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