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LEGO Light Brick


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:43 AM

Have any of you tried unscrewing LEGO's light brick (from the Winter Toy Shop)?  -to replace or take out the battery.  A friend of mine wants to remove the battery as they plan not to use it until next Christmas.  Perhaps one of you might know if this is a good idea until use next Christmas?

Edit by Rufus:

For future reference, the 54930 Light Brick requires 2x LR41 batteries.

Edited by Rufus, 05 June 2012 - 10:55 AM.


#2 WhiteFang

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:49 AM

Brickster, this is a good question, and in fact it does not really restrict only to the Winter Toyshop.

I was wondering if its possible to replace the battery in it. As I owned the Exo Force, Stealth Hunter in 2006, until now, the red light is still working, even though it's not as strong as before despite of minimum usage. I was actually concerned if I can DIY myself to get the battery replaced, but I didn't actually dare to do anything to it, since there are very light bricks inside my collection including my Winter Toyshop. I don't know "if" overtime, storing inside the box MISB, will cause the battery to be drained or not.

Hope to find some answers too.  :classic:

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#3 TheBrickster

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:53 AM

I have a battery box for a 9V motor and had three C batteries in it a long time.  They ended up leaking all over the battery case.  If the little battery used in the light brick is similar, I might remove mine as well.

#4 WhiteFang

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:02 AM

View PostTheBrickster, on Jan 13 2010, 09:53 AM, said:

I have a battery box for a 9V motor and had three C batteries in it a long time.  They ended up leaking all over the battery case.  If the little battery used in the light brick is similar, I might remove mine as well.
Most electrial gadets such as "Gameboy Advance" and "Discman" which required the use of AA batteries, shouldn't be left remained inside for a long time especially if you don't used it for a long period of time. It will definitely caused leakage in most events.

Not sure if our small little Light Brick suffers the same way, but I do think it's similar like watches which used similar batteries. It does not cause leakage, well I think I quoted a bad example since the watch is always ticking.  :sceptic:

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#5 Svelte

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:04 AM

There are instructions in the manuals with all PF light bricks to show you how to change the battery!

Jamie Berard said that if left on, the battery would last about a day with continuous usage.


View PostWhiteFang, on Jan 13 2010, 12:49 PM, said:

Brickster, this is a good question, and in fact it does not really restrict only to the Winter Toyshop.

I was wondering if its possible to replace the battery in it. As I owned the Exo Force, Stealth Hunter in 2006, until now, the red light is still working, even though it's not as strong as before despite of minimum usage.

The Exo Force batteries are different, I think they are much harder to open and change the battery whereas the PF light brick is designed to be easily changeable.

#6 WhiteFang

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:07 AM

View PostSvelte, on Jan 13 2010, 10:04 AM, said:

The Exo Force batteries are different, I think they are much harder to open and change the battery whereas the PF light brick is designed to be easily changeable.
Opps! This is a clear sign that I have not start opening up my Winter Toyshop.  :blush:

Didn't know the batteries are different, and yes the Exo Force batteries is hard to open.

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#7 Svelte

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:12 AM

batterychange.jpg

Kids today, eh? Don't you read anything! This is from Page 2-3 of the instructions  :sadnew: :laugh:

Top row shows activation, bottom shows how you remove the casing and change the expired battery.

The battery voltage is on the box, but not in the instructions, annoyingly.

#8 TheBrickster

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:24 AM

View PostSvelte, on Jan 12 2010, 07:12 PM, said:

Kids today, eh? Don't you read anything! This is from Page 2-3 of the instructions  :sadnew: :laugh:
Thanks for the scan.  Unfortunately, my set is already boxed up with the Christmas decorations - otherwise, I probably wouldn't be asking.  
I was also wondering if the battery should be removed when storing for a long time (the 2nd part of my question).  - smartie pants!

#9 JayDuck

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:26 AM

Well, the front of the instructions has instructions for taking the light brick apart for changing the battery, so I doubt it would cause any harm.

That being said, unless the brick somehow got wedged so it was stuck 'on', I don't think the battery is likely to go dead if it's left in the brick, either.

EDIT: So the unscrewing question's been answered, and as to the storage part of the question, I've never had a watch battery leak out like an alkaline cell, but it apparently does happen, so it may be a case of better safe than sorry.   :thumbup:

Edited by JayDuck, 13 January 2010 - 03:34 AM.

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#10 Svelte

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:28 AM

View PostTheBrickster, on Jan 13 2010, 01:24 PM, said:

Thanks for the scan.  Unfortunately, my set is already boxed up with the Christmas decorations - otherwise, I probably wouldn't be asking.  
I was also wondering if the battery should be removed when storing for a long time (the 2nd part of my question).  - smartie pants!

That I cannot help thee with. Imagine the horror of all the MISB collectors when they bust open their 10199s in 20 years time to find battery acid has eaten away their super-rare caroller 'O'-face minfig heads!  :cry_sad:

#11 TheBrickster

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:32 AM

View PostSvelte, on Jan 12 2010, 07:28 PM, said:

That I cannot help thee with. Imagine the horror of all the MISB collectors when they bust open their 10199s in 20 years time to find battery acid has eaten away their super-rare caroller 'O'-face minfig heads!  :cry_sad:
I opened mine though - not like some other favorite sets.  
The person asking me is having trouble getting the screw off.  -can't turn the screw.  They had asked me, but as I said above, I may end up digging out the set and removing the battery until next year myself (if I can get it open).

#12 Svelte

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:36 AM

Don't LEGO designers cook the model in a moderate oven for 24 hours to simulate a year's worth of heat?

I wonder if they take out the PF components first :look:

#13 lightningtiger

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:37 AM

The battery in this is a humble watch battery, I suspect it's a 3mm LED in use here, it's current draw around 20mA - of course that's when the circuiit is closed. In open circuit mode, there is no current draw and batteries depending on their makeup will determine it's storage/standby life. Ask yourself this question - how often do you change your watch battery which is running 24/7 - I feel you are safe to leave that battery in there as long as the switch is not pressed or held down.
Thats comming from an electronics technican !

#14 TheBrickster

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:40 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on Jan 12 2010, 07:37 PM, said:

I feel you are safe to leave that battery in there as long as the switch is not pressed or held down.
Thats comming from an electronics technican !
Good info - from an expert.  We may not find our super-rare caroller 'O'-face minfig heads eaten away by battery acid afterall. :thumbup:
AKA. Shmelted! :laugh:

EDIT: You're safe White Fang - at least for the time being.

#15 WhiteFang

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:51 AM

View PostSvelte, on Jan 13 2010, 10:28 AM, said:

Imagine the horror of all the MISB collectors when they bust open their 10199s in 20 years time to find battery acid has eaten away their super-rare caroller 'O'-face minfig heads!  :cry_sad:
That will be so horrible!!!  :cry_sad:

I don't want to open it one day, seeing melted plastic bags with deformed heads...

View Postlightningtiger, on Jan 13 2010, 10:37 AM, said:

I feel you are safe to leave that battery in there as long as the switch is not pressed or held down.
Thats comming from an electronics technican !
That is some good assurance.

View PostTheBrickster, on Jan 13 2010, 10:40 AM, said:

EDIT: You're safe White Fang - at least for the time being.
I hope it will continue to stay safe. Not sure when I will get it started, but I will do something about building sets.  :blush:

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#16 Ricecracker

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 04:01 AM

View PostWhiteFang, on Jan 12 2010, 10:51 PM, said:

That will be so horrible!!!  :cry_sad:

I don't want to open it one day, seeing melted plastic bags with deformed heads...
On the plus side, if it melts through the plastic, it's likely to melt through the box too. Then you'll know before you open the box. :laugh:

#17 Sinner

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:35 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on Jan 13 2010, 01:37 PM, said:

In open circuit mode, there is no current draw and batteries depending on their makeup will determine it's storage/standby life.
:sweet: That's the same advice I was going to give! It's a simple circuit and the battery drain will be no different in or out. (I'm an ex-Electronic Technician!  :laugh: )

I will add though;

1. Batteries leak more often than not only when they are flat. Other factors do cause leakage (such as temperature) but it's mostly just dead batteries.
2. All batteries discharge over time, regardless of usage. Thus if it's not going to be used for years, remove them.
3. Lithium batteries rarely leak, and many button cells are Lithium. I don't have one handy at the moment so I'm not sure what type they are.





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#18 CP5670

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:08 AM

View PostWhiteFang, on Jan 12 2010, 09:49 PM, said:

I was wondering if its possible to replace the battery in it. As I owned the Exo Force, Stealth Hunter in 2006, until now, the red light is still working, even though it's not as strong as before despite of minimum usage.

I have noticed the same thing with this piece. I got it off Bricklink as a curiosity and didn't intend to do much with it, but it would be nice to have a way to replace the battery.

I never liked these standalone light and sound pieces TLG has produced in recent years. They don't interface with any other Lego electric components at all, which goes against the whole modular philosophy of Lego. :sceptic: If they had included 9V or PF connectors on these bricks and allowed you to power them externally, they would be far more useful.

Quote

3. Lithium batteries rarely leak, and many button cells are Lithium. I don't have one handy at the moment so I'm not sure what type they are.

Yes, these button batteries don't typically leak in my experience, although they do lose their charge over time even if unused. I got an unopened 5206 speed computer last month and the battery in that was DOA, although it was easily replaced.

On the other hand, normal alkaline batteries do often leak if left in battery boxes for long periods. This type of acid doesn't seem to damage Lego bricks though. I had a case a few years ago where two C batteries in a (version 1) control center were leaking and the acid fell on another model I had on the shelf below it. The acid must have been there for a week or two before I noticed it, but there was no sign of damage to the bricks it touched. Some of the control center's battery contacts got corroded, but it works fine. I don't use batteries in that control center at all these days, and have rigged up a 9V transformer to the battery contacts instead.

#19 Sinner

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:16 AM

View PostCP5670, on Jan 13 2010, 04:08 PM, said:

On the other hand, normal alkaline batteries do often leak if left in battery boxes for long periods. This type of acid doesn't seem to damage Lego bricks though.
Maybe because it's not acid, but alkaline.  :grin: (Yeah, it's caustic instead, which can be much the same in terms of damage. I just wanted to be a smarty pants...)





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#20 Svelte

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:18 AM

View PostCP5670, on Jan 13 2010, 03:08 PM, said:

I never liked these standalone light and sound pieces TLG has produced in recent years. They don't interface with any other Lego electric components at all, which goes against the whole modular philosophy of Lego. :sceptic: If they had included 9V or PF connectors on these bricks and allowed you to power them externally, they would be far more useful.

I have to say I much prefer the new PF standalone bricks with changeable batteries. They're a lot simpler and less intrusive than having complicated external PF or 9V connections for the casual MOCist. I am much more likely to use these functions if I can easily move a little 2x3 brick around than if I have to wire the whole set-up :laugh:

#21 ILikePi

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:45 AM

View PostSvelte, on Jan 12 2010, 06:04 PM, said:

Jamie Berard said that if left on, the battery would last about a day with continuous usage.
Ooh, thanks for that tidbit of info! I only turn on my light about one second every day, just before I go to sleep (it's right next to my bed because of a lack of other display space :grin:), so it'll last about...*goes to calculator application on Windows Vista*...86,400 days. :tongue:

I'm really happy that this light brick was included in 10199, as it's my first Power Functions item and my first electronic LEGO item. :sweet:

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#22 CP5670

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:53 AM

Quote

Maybe because it's not acid, but alkaline.  :grin: (Yeah, it's caustic instead, which can be much the same in terms of damage. I just wanted to be a smarty pants...)

I was actually thinking of this while writing that post, but I wasn't sure what else to call it and thought that "battery substance" would just be confusing. :tongue:

Quote

I have to say I much prefer the new PF standalone bricks with changeable batteries. They're a lot simpler and less intrusive than having complicated external PF or 9V connections for the casual MOCist. I am much more likely to use these functions if I can easily move a little 2x3 brick around than if I have to wire the whole set-up :laugh:

The best thing would have been to have both. These bricks could have had onboard batteries to allow them to operate by themselves, but also included 9V or PF connectors that would let them be powered and controlled externally, bypassing the batteries and onboard switch.

Edited by CP5670, 13 January 2010 - 06:56 AM.


#23 simonwillems

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 09:07 AM

View PostRicecracker, on Jan 13 2010, 05:01 AM, said:

On the plus side, if it melts through the plastic, it's likely to melt through the box too. Then you'll know before you open the box. :laugh:


Beware: If this tiny little button battery starts leaking I am sure nothing is safe for it: make sure not to store this set in any attic because the gallons of acid protruding from the battery might cause your entire house to be turned in a chemical pile of rubble....  :grin:  

Seriously: when this battery leaks all that's slightly damaged might be part of the housing of the lightbrick....

#24 brickzone

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 09:58 AM

Although leaking batteries is something we would all like to avoid, in my experience it hasn't usually caused much damage - just a mess. Battery contacts even OK after a clean.

So given that it seems less likely with button cells, I think I'd be inclined not to worry.

I won't however be leaving AA batteries in my RC battery box in the modified Holiday Train I'll shortly be putting away.

#25 Dennimator

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:20 AM

View PostSvelte, on Jan 13 2010, 04:36 AM, said:

Don't LEGO designers cook the model in a moderate oven for 24 hours to simulate a year's worth of heat?

I wonder if they take out the PF components first :look:
Well, they don´t really cook it, but yes, they heat it up. :tongue:

Also, battery acid doesn´t harm bricks.. if they´re not white. Once, in a galaxy far, far away ( :tongue: ), when I was a little child, I had a battery in one of my LEGO boxes. Needless to say it leaked, and many of the bricks got the sticky liquid on them. Most bricks was easy to clean, but the white bricks (which, luckily, was not many in that particular box) got extremely badly yellowed. :cry_sad:  I threw most of them out, but I might have one or two of them left. if I find them, I can take a pic.



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