Takes a lickin' keeps on clickin'
Imagine if you will, having a deadline where you have to finish a voiceover project in the next half hour or so. Part of the setup for your Macbook Pro is the bluetooth trackpad and keyboard.
I only use those items when I record, and I don't necessarily record every day. The reason I use them is so I can isolate the CPU fan in another room, leaving a nice, quiet work space in front of the microphone.
I turn on the keyboard, the icon on the screen shows me that it's engaged. I turn on the trackpad, no icon.
I opened the cap on the upper right end of the trackpad to see if a new battery might help.
This is what I found (left), only facing down, and not until I devoted about 20 minutes to attempting to extract it and its twin.
How do you remove a swollen battery from its enclosure when it's surrounded by corrosion and lodged tightly in its aluminum housing? Well, prying it loose doesn't work, so you have to bang it against something. It's only $69 after all, and if I break it, I can go to the Apple store and buy another one... for $69. And the Apple store is 15/20 minutes away. The whole trip should take an hour after parking, waiting in the checkout line, traffic. I'm still trying to finish my voiceover recording in half an hour. Time to start banging.
First few whacks: no movement. Do it again. Nothing. I know! I'll use some contact cleaner, some DeOxit spray right into the tube. What have I got to lose? It already doesn't work, and I might be able to fix it after all.
Pink contact cleaner dripped out the opposite end of the battery housing, past the jammed, decaying battery, onto my fingers, down into the kitchen sink drain. Still nothing. I bang some more. Now a little harder. It was clear that there were no real moving parts on this thing to break. Why not go for it. More DeOxit. More banging. Wiggle the battery with a screwdriver tip.
After about a shotglass full of contact cleaner and a few paper towels. Voila! that battery fell into the sink. Success!
I looked into the tubular casing of the trackpad to see the damage. Damn! Another battery! So, another shotglass full of DeOxit. Another round of banging and jabbing and scraping with a screwdriver, another 5 or 10 minutes, and out comes the second one.
I jam a piece of paper towel into the tube to dab up the liquid contact cleaner, and I stuff an old toothbrush into the hole to clean out the crud. I find a couple of new batteries. I slip one in. It won't go! Why? There's a rim of corrosion fused to the inside of the tubular battery housing where the two batteries had made contact before. Now I had to drench the tube with more liquid, scrape away however much corrosion I could with the tip of my screwdriver, and hope for the best.
I was already hopelessly beyond my allotted half-hour that I planned to finish the recording in, so I scraped and I sprayed and I dabbed.
Finally, one of the new batteries slipped in. Success again! The second one follows, I screw in the cap at the end of the battery-holder tube and I press the "on" button. And the trackpad worked just like it had when it came out of the box. "I just made $69," I thought to myself, even after doing the equivalent of pounding nails with a piece of computer equipment. Kind of reminds me of those old Timex commercials in the 50s: "Takes a lickin' and keeps on ticking."
Leave a Reply.