What's the deal with expensive battery packs ?


Lately I've seen a lot of expensive rebuilt battery packs for HP Classics being sold on TAS. I really don't see the point of this, given that there are much cheaper HP Classic battery packs available, that use the same 1000 mAh capacity AA NiCd cells and work just as well. Sure, the lower priced packs don't look like the originals, but they are hidden under the battery door, so who cares? Anyways, just another issue to ponder.


How do you define "a lot of"?


More than 2 listings from different sellers.


Which I Personally would not call "a lot"

But that is just me


A lot, a few, whatever. The point I was trying to make is that the more expensive battery packs do not make economic sense to me, since it's an expendable item that does not affect the exterior appearance of the calculator.


One of the sellers is Scott R. from the L.A. area. Seems he is including the plastic housing for the batteries that the less expensive sellers do not. This might explain why these sellers are asking for more. Scott is a nice person and I have invited him to attend HHC2011. He plans to.



For sure the expensive batteries use the OEM plastic housing, which the less expensive Waterhosko (Mark Hoskins) battery does not. Still, except for cosmetics or some dogged adherance to authenticity, for me it doesn't justify the 3 X cost. The cheap batteries work just as well.


I have the Waterhosko batteries too and they work just fine in my calculators. I have more than enough of these batteries that I don't need to buy any more and don't worry bout their cost.


Does any one know where to find batteries for the HPIL cassette drive or the HPIL printer?


Local batteries plus store in Canada supplied me with tabbed NiMh C cells which I used to replace the dead ones.

Conversely you could diassemble the packs and have your electronics store build you a new set. I say, disassemle your self to prevent harsh hands working on your pristine battery cases.

The Thinkjet printer HPIL battery pack is held together by clips AND double sided INDUSTRIAL strength tape. I used a hair dryer to heat the top of the case to soften the tape adhesive. Then gently pry appart after releasing the snaps. As DB said, you need the hads of Shiva, or a few fine knife blades and a pry tool. The Cassette pack is easy to fix. The 9114a and B is a sealed lead acid and is also found inside an easy to open plastic case.



There is a place called the Nicad Lady that will rebuild them for $47.00 each. I had four of mine done. They work great. You have to send in your old battery packs.



Look at the battery packs from seller waterhosko.
The battery pack for a HP 97 should fit perfectly in a HPIL cassette drive or HPIL thermal printer.


I looked at the Waterhosko batteries, and the cost certainly is reasonable. But I had two OEM packs that had dead NiCads, so I went to Batteries+ for a quote. It was $14.99, same as Waterhosko, so I said, why not?

Then things started to go wrong. I decided to cut the plastic apart and later glue it back together myself, so I could control the final result. Problem was, apparently in the original packs the plastic parts space the cells, but Batteries+ just re-soldered the tabs with the (insulated) cells touching. So now the cells won't allow the plastic halves to fully close, and the pack won't allow the door to close.

I am sure I will be able to remedy this problem, but I offer this as a word to the wise for any other unsuspecting Classic owners out there.


This has always been a problem with rebuilding Classic battery packs, which is why I don't bother and just buy the very affordable Waterhosko ones. It's especially bad in the card reader HP 65/67 models, where even the OEM battery packs are a very tight fit. Years ago I bought a number of rebuilt Classic battery packs on TAS that were all bad fits and had to be discarded. That particular seller has since departed. There's a new seller that I have not tried that sells Classic battery packs for more than Waterhosko, but still about 1/2 the price of the others. Perhaps someone here has bought them and would care to provide feedback.


Thanks for the info Martin. I have three or four classic battery packs for the 97 calc, 143A printer, 161A tape drive and the 162A printer that I want to rebuild. I've got the batteries but haven't had the time to replace them yet. I'm thinking of using a dremel tool or a razor blade to split the packs. What did you use?



Hi, Gerry.

At first I thought I would cut them with a razor knife, but the plastic proved to be a little thick to do this easily. So I got out my trusty Dremel. I happen to have an older Dremel saw blade that I use for just such jobs*. It has a very thin kerf, and I use it with one of my Dremels that allow reduced speed for better control. I was able to make a very neat cut this way. My intention, after I rectify the thickness problem, is to glue the halves back together with the epoxy just filling in the cut, so it can be opened up again by cutting out the epoxy.

I'm sure you realize it, but just in case, you cut the sides at the ends of the cells.

*Dremel doesn't make it any more, so I take real good care of it. It is 3/4" in diameter, and has its own arbor. Nowadays they make an expensive saw attachment that takes a 1-1/4" blade, with blade guard, etc. Lawyers. But all is not lost, because they also sell an abrasive-type blade that's made for use on plastics; it goes on the EZ Lock arbor.


Try Widget Supply for these blades. Their prices are very cheap compared to just about everywhere else I've ever seen.

Pick up a key-less chuck where you're there, you won't regret it.

- Pauli


Thanks for the tip. Looks like I can get blades similar to the one I am coddling.

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