today I learned that the Philips CD-i consoles have a clock battery which is permanently formed into the clock chip, meaning you have to *break open the chip enclosure* to replace it 😨

@ticky bet this IC was like two cents cheaper or sth versus just having a battery holder like normal electronics

@ticky yup! Super popular with a lot of computers of the era.

I'm surprised there isn't a drop-in replacement.

@astraluma it doesn’t seem like it’d be that complicated, it just seems to provide BCD clock information…

@ticky i wonder if it's compatible with any of the others in

i would guess not, since ST apparently made a bunch.

@ticky This was ridiculously common in RTCs and NVRAMs of the 80s and 90s. The prevailing design was to just swap out the entire chip when the battery ran out. So ridiculous.

I'm actually really surprised that they're constructed in such a way that these mods are even possible!

@fluffy this is the first device I’ve ever heard of it in!

@TerrorBite @ticky I think the reason for the usage of this chip is that if the battery leaks, it will not destroy the circuit board as it is contained in an epoxy sealed package. Unfortunately this creates a planned obsolescence

@JennyFluff @TerrorBite that certainly isn’t something advertised on the data sheet, it’s all about it being a single component and therefore easier to assemble

@ticky oh yeah this or swap the entire chip

i know a few other devices that had similar units

@ticky It turns out the Glitch Works makes a repair board for this chip, which means it can be put back into service without unsoldering it. If you look at the last picture in the OP, the CAPHAT terminals the repair board needs are there.

@ticky Also, afaik the Timekeepers aren't MC146818-compatible like the Dallas 1285/1287 are, so just swapping one of those in won't work. (A DS12887 is about the same price new, anyway, and since these have lithium batteries in them, they have to be shipped ground, which is annoying when all the suppliers are in the middle of nowhere.)

@ticky Several arcades ( and SUN workstations ( seem to have the same problem (with the same chip family, even)

The SUN mod looks particularly engineer-y.
Sign in to participate in the conversation

cybrespace: the social hub of the information superhighway jack in to the mastodon fediverse today and surf the dataflow through our cybrepunk, slightly glitchy web portal support us on patreon or liberapay!