I have three electronic desktop calculators. All battery powered with some
sort of solar input as well.
All are less than five years old.
One is Sharp, one is Casio & can't remember the name of the third.
All have had the button cells (CR2032) replaced within the last twelvemonth
and all working fine.
None of them are overused. I try to remember my maths, but struggle with
This Monday the one in my office didn't want to play, display mostly not
working, displaying gibberish.
No problem thinks I and gets the one from my workshop. Worked fine for about
ten minutes then exactly the same symptoms.
That evening I used the calculator at home for some while and it was spot
Took it to the office in the morning and within ten minutes it packed up
with exactly the same symptoms as the previous pair.
I have since moved all from the office and put new button cells in each.
All appear to be u/s.
I don't live on top of, or near, a nuclear waste site but this seems a bit
too much for a coincidence.
I was not serious about the EMP..
I didn't notice any news about a nuke going off today.
But aside... since you're not the OP, how are you in a position to deny
Malicious calculator-hating old-school maths teacher with a home-made
focussed EMP blaster?
static (air too dry)?
recently expired warranty?
all batteries installed at the same time, so leak away to zero after
the same period?
If the display becomes "gibberish", it might be the contacts between
the display and the calculator circuit board. From the one's I've
dissected (purely for scientific reasons, of course) the cheaper ones
seem to have some sort of conductive rubber contacts on the display
and this is simply held in more or less contact with the copper (no
gold plating here m'boy) contacts on the calculator's main board.
I doubt if it would take much in the way of oxidation or dampness
to form a non-conductive corrosion on the copper and stop some of the
contacts from contacting.
If you feel so inclined, take one apart and give all the circuit
board contact points (to the display and the keys) a good rub down
with a piece of normal, unused printer/copier paper. it's slightly
abrasive and may just shift any contamination off the contacts.
p.s. I have a PC that goes through phases of craching/locking.
There is one particular SIM where this "cure" brings it back t
life - of course it could simply be the mechanical pressure from
removing it and replacing it in the socket.
The human body can hold and produce a lot of static charge that can
interrupt the normal operation of electronics, but for three devices to
almost immediately go phut would mean this fellow has the biological
properties of a very large capacitor, kind of 'catfish' in capacity.
Probably a good idea for him to keep a safe distance away from flammable
gases and vapors.
That's a good point. It might have been the combination of the office
carpet and the particular shoes the OP was wearing.
In my old work in electronics, a salesman was demonstrating his
electrostatic meter and asked me to slide my feet along the floor to
get myself charged up. It didn't work because I was wearing shoes with
unusual soles made of the same type of plastic as the floor tiles.
Incidentally I wish I could find shoes like them now, because the grey
soles remained flexible for their whole life, not like the common
black material that splits right across, or wears down by 5mm exposing
vast cavities for built-in obsolescence purposes.
Anything changed or been moved in your office? New external hard drive (Big
magnets); router; powerful mobile phone (regular pips from these); new mouse
mat or keyboard; graphics tablet; radio clock; new polish or cover on desk;
new office cleaner; new office suit or other clothing; office cat; something
switched on in desk drawer; new phone/power lines outside; cfls on the
blink; dimmer switch on the blink; suspicious unmarked van parked
outside... Some other freakish thing (I notice BBC4 is pixcelating quite a
bit on our cable lately. Similar thing happened a year or two back: never
found out why.)
Call for Mr Holmes I think!
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