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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to share my buying experience with everyone who has ever tried to buy replacement PRAM batteries for their older Mac systems and CRT iMacs / eMacs. Almost every time I go to work on an old iMac I find that the battery is almost always dead so I have had to buy these regularly. This time I needed to find two for a couple of machines I'm trying to fix up to sell. I've previously purchased these at my local "The Source" store when I was in a hurry but since these machines are not going to sell for much I needed to find a better price than the $22.99 they go for.

The Source By Circuit City : Specialty Batteries - COMPUTER MEMORY BACKUP BATTERY TADIRAN TL-5101

You can usually find good deals on eBay if you're willing to buy 5 or 10 lots (prices of less than $6 per battery are common). But, then you've got the unknown condition to deal with as well as the length of time it could take for them to come to you.

What I ended up finding is that the industrial electronics company Digikey actually sells them. I bought four batteries for $6.37 each, paid $8 shipping, and received the batteries in 2 days via UPS. These were exactly the same batteries that The Source has repackaged in their own packaging and sells for > 3X that. Next time you need one of these - check out digikey.

Digi-Key - 439-1002-ND (Tadiran Batteries - TL-5101/S)

Hopefully this information helps someone.
 

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Palindromic Pooch
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Thanks, Larry. I've always bought mine through OWC, but it's good to have an alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
3.6v Newer Technology Lithium 1/2 AA PRAM Com... (3.6VPRAM) at OWC

Four batteries from there shipped via Post Office (more than 2 days) would cost me US$33.95 and there might be additional customs fees to pay at the post office too. Assuming an $0.80 exchange rate this would have been CAD $42.44. My order with taxes and shipping for four batteries from Digikey was CAD$35.15 and no duty or customs charges.

I had not looked at OWC before and tend not to shop at sites that do not have a US presence. In my case I went with Digikey which is US based but they have a .ca website with prices in Canadian $ and reasonable and fast shipping so I was happy with them.

Thanks Kazak,

Larry
 

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Thanks for the tip.

I hate paying $20 for these things in Canada when they're $5 in the US, but the shipping+GST+brokerage usually kills the deal from places like OWC.

There's a place here in Kingston called National Battery that sells them for more than you paid, but less than Radio Source.
 

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Try Total Battery

I was able to buy 3.6 volt batteries for about half or less than "The Source" price. I also needed a new pram battery for an old StarMax 3000. I brought the original in and they pretty much welded three batteries together and wrapped them in shrink wrap to give the same thing and attached the original connection end to it. They charged me for the three batteries only.

It was pretty nice - friendly, local and no shipping
 

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I was able to buy 3.6 volt batteries for about half or less than "The Source" price. I also needed a new pram battery for an old StarMax 3000. I brought the original in and they pretty much welded three batteries together and wrapped them in shrink wrap to give the same thing and attached the original connection end to it. They charged me for the three batteries only.

It was pretty nice - friendly, local and no shipping
Hmm wonder if you could do that with those old Alkaline 4.5v square batteries in the 630 etc.

I bought a dozen of the 1/2 AA's from a burglar alarm company via eBay worked out to under $5 each. From this guy, fast shipping and cheap too.

Now if anyone knows where to find cheap NeXT computer pram batteries.....

Kevin
 

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4.5v square batteries

Hmm wonder if you could do that with those old Alkaline 4.5v square batteries in the 630 etc.
That is the type that was in the StarMax. It is replaced with three 1.5 v with a shrinkwrap around. There was lots of room in the Starmax and they were just held down with a velcro so battery form was not an issue.


Now if anyone knows where to find cheap NeXT computer pram batteries.....

Kevin
Just bring the battery in to them and let them have a look. The fellow I talked to thought he might be able to rebuild my PB 1400 batteries but I have not had the chance to bring one in for him to look at.

I can't say if I just have some really nice people at that particular store or if all brances of Total Battery are like that. but I have been pleased so far.
 

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The key to PRAM battery replacement is to start with a good cross reference.

For a model-by-model reference, go here. If you service or play with older Macs, you might want to save the page (Safari: File: Print: Save as PDF, or equivalent). Once you have a battery manufacturer's part # equivalent to the Apple part #, then you can search for alternate brands with a good battery cross reference, such as those found at Digi-Key Canada or via almost any battery manufacturer's current literature.

For a very nice, comprehensive PRAN information page, go to the Macintosh Battery Web Page.

Some batteries are quite common and it may be worthwhile to buy in bulk.

Batteries, like all perishable items, can always be found at a discount in quantity.

If your source won't do that, it's a clear sign that they are maximizing profits for themselves, not savings to the end user.

Broadly speaking you should not be paying more than about $7 for a PRAM battery in quantities of one. Also note that the half-AA batteries are physically interchangeable but one is a low-drain type.

If you are in the habit of storing Macs unpowered (not connected to AC) or shut the AC supply off, the PRAM will wear much quicker on machines with the Rayovac 840 type (box type with wire connector). Note that this battery is a commonly used PC battery found in Dells, IBMs, HPs, etc.

These Macs will always choose to use a small amount of AC power instead of PRAM battery power to keep the clock running, for example, provided it's plugged into a live AC socket.

Similarly, peripherals that connect via the serial port (Zip drives, printers, modems, etc.) can increase this drain if you remove AC from the machine (this applies to any Mac). You may want to consider removing the PRAM for long term storage, and if you use a power bar or unplug the Mac from AC, consider doing the same for the peripherals at the same time.
 

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I bought a couple of PRAM batteries for iMac G3 motherboards for a system I eventually gave up on (power issues). This thread would have saved me some $, since my local institutional reseller charged me $15 each. I guess I can just include them with the motherboards....
 

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I found them at "The Everything For A Dollar Store"
 

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8 years later, does anyone know of a source in Ottawa or anywhere in Canada for the 1/2AA 3.6V batteries?
 

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8 years later, does anyone know of a source in Ottawa or anywhere in Canada for the 1/2AA 3.6V batteries?

They're still generally available at most computer type stores that sell parts and accessories and/or repairs etc. That includes other non-Mac places as well.
 

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Oddly... this is the thread I was about to look for - and here it was bumped! I have an older Pismo not booting and I think it's the PRAM BATT. Good to know.

Thx!
 
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