Rehabilitating vintage electronics is a hobby that gives you a look into the ways people made technology work in earlier eras. It’s a great way to get a feel for engineering history while preserving important artifacts of the past for future generations. One big challenge when you’re rehabbing old equipment, whether it’s a vintage radio or an early-era PC, is sourcing the batteries you need to make everything work the way it should. Many older electronics had small onboard batteries that powered the memory allowing things like digital tuners or saved video game states to persist. If you want them to work like new, you need to replace those batteries.
Dangers of Old Batteries
You might be thinking the battery on your old radio is working just fine, but if it’s more than ten years old, it’s time to replace it. Those proprietary battery packs that were often hard-wired to circuit boards were built to last, but when corrosion does set in, it can wind up costing you important components. It’s best to replace those batteries before they can do damage, so if they are working after ten years, it’s time for an alternative.
Luckily, if you’re looking at a new battery that powers the whole radio, it’s even easier to find a replacement. The standard Kenwood radio battery that powers boom boxes and other portable radio systems varies from model to model, but OEM and aftermarket manufacturers are keeping them alive. Typically, they expire before they leak, and they’re built from heavy-duty materials designed to prevent those problems. As a general rule, the more recently your old radio was built, the easier it’s going to be to keep it going without a soldering iron.
Keep Your Favorite Radio Going
Sound equipment isn’t like computer equipment. it doesn’t necessarily go obsolete, especially if it’s a radio, since broadcasts still use the same frequencies they have since the beginning of the medium. Rehab your old radio and hold on to your favorite sound, and preserve a little piece of tech history while you do it. Sometimes, all it takes is a new battery.