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Author Topic: The battery in the Gen 1 games  (Read 226 times)

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Nostalgia

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The battery in the Gen 1 games
« on: December 29, 2018, 06:29:55 am »
I have read that the battery in the first generation games can die eventually, but I've never experienced this myself and I've owned a copy of Pokemon Red from release date that never had a problem saving. I also a purchased a used copy of Pokemon Yellow a few years back from Ebay that also never had any save issues.

In the second generation games the battery issues are well documented due to the in-game clock feature draining the battery, but there is no such feature in the first generation games.

So I'm wondering has anyone here had an issues with the battery dying in first generation games and is there more detailed info on what causes it?

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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 07:23:14 am »
I've seen it happen, and it's because the SRAM has to always have power to retain data, regardless of whether there's an RTC in there or not. If there's no battery, it'll pull whatever noise from SRAM every time you turn on the system. IIRC, the noise is pulled from atmosphere, but I could be wrong there.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 07:23:44 am by Parzival »
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IceFlame

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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 10:19:43 am »
The SRAM consumes a small current to preserve the data, and also batteries can die eventually even without being used (this might happen more quickly in a warm climate).

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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 12:31:43 pm »
Batteries drain more quickly in cold temperatures, not hot ones.

Anyways, part of the drain problem is that the power is either supplied by the Game Boy (that's how all cartridge circuitry is powered in absence of a battery, eg Tetris), or the battery (SRAM chip only).
Therefore, the battery is only drained while the Game Boy is *not* powered on. How much the game is played may later the battery's life significantly.
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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 07:23:45 pm »
Batteries drain more quickly in cold temperatures, not hot ones.

Anyways, part of the drain problem is that the power is either supplied by the Game Boy (that's how all cartridge circuitry is powered in absence of a battery, eg Tetris), or the battery (SRAM chip only).
Therefore, the battery is only drained while the Game Boy is *not* powered on. How much the game is played may later the battery's life significantly.
Incorrect. I've never seen one that actually stops pulling from the battery when plugged in and receiving power via the console. It usually just ends up hooking them up in parallel, so it just draws amperage from both.
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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 10:14:19 am »
Sorry, yeah, by Kirchoff's law, it should drain *less* battery, but still some. Dunno exactly what ratio, though.
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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 02:16:07 pm »
Batteries drain more quickly in cold temperatures, not hot ones.
Some types of batteries, particularly alkaline, perform worse in cold temperatures (edit: well they all do once they get cold enough, but some types much more than others). But I was talking about shelf life. If not being used at all, most types of battery will last longer if kept cool. A battery supplying a very small current probably has a higher optimal temperature than one not being used, but actual hot weather could still shorten its life. I had a quick look but haven't found any specific numbers for the temperature response of lithium coin cells.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 02:20:28 pm by IceFlame »

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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 07:07:11 pm »
Batteries drain more quickly in cold temperatures, not hot ones.
Some types of batteries, particularly alkaline, perform worse in cold temperatures (edit: well they all do once they get cold enough, but some types much more than others). But I was talking about shelf life. If not being used at all, most types of battery will last longer if kept cool. A battery supplying a very small current probably has a higher optimal temperature than one not being used, but actual hot weather could still shorten its life. I had a quick look but haven't found any specific numbers for the temperature response of lithium coin cells.
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1496885.pdf
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Re: The battery in the Gen 1 games
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 10:37:30 am »
Thanks. So I think that document implies... 20C is slightly better than 0C while discharging through a 15kohm load; and storing at 60C for 20 days results in a similar amount of degradation to storing at <25C for 12 months (about 3%).

As <25C is specified for storage, and 20C is the highest operational temperature they're testing, it seems likely that storing Game Boy carts at higher temperatures than this would be harmful.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 10:44:10 am by IceFlame »