Assaultin’ Battery

Mandy\'s avatar

 This is my “normal.”

Fox\'s avatar

Jenna watched a while before asking. My assumption is that a great deal of that time was deciding whether or not she really wanted to know.

The saddest part of all of this is that Mandy drew me wearing a suit.
In reality I was wearing nothing but a bathrobe.
Fitz thought this was great.

66 comments on “Assaultin’ Battery

      1. Well, it’s a bit shocking this thread went longer than I expected it would. LOL.

  1. It’s always tough when people don’t realize you’re being literal.

  2. I don’t know if Fox was making a pun or just being literal there. Either way, I LMAO.

    1. Twist:
      C) None of the above
      I was being facetious

      At the time I said this, the battery had not yet been fully dislodged from the UPS, despite extreme amounts of physical persuasion. To offset this lack of victory, I was looking for a bright-side. Wanton destruction is its own reward.
      So basically, “Well, we haven’t gotten the battery out, but on the plus side, it’s dented to shit!”
      This, of course, is not to our advantage. I was also getting a little worried about the structure of the battery itself, and wondering what happens if it completely loses integrity. So I suppose I was also being sardonic.

      But by the time Fitz had said “How is THAT–” I’d already realized fate had handed me a pun I couldn’t let pass me by.

        1. Yeah, sometimes it seems that Mandy is a bit slow on the uptake. LOL.

      1. I’ve done this hundreds of times. You’re better off working with levers than a hammer. Use the frame and a pry bar. As the battery moves out of the frame you’ll have to add blocks of wood or steel pipe to move up the fulcrum for the pry bar. Steady even pressure on the back of the battery will slowly but surely work it lose. The hammer method usually makes the swelling WORSE and thus harder to remove the battery. I used a 3 inch wide 18 inch long flat pry bar, a Crowbar works but is harder to maneuver.
        If the unit is an APC smart UPS or similar you will need to remove the outer steel shell to get at the frame and the battery.
        It’s taken me over an hour to remove a badly swollen battery in this manner but it came out and the unit was absolutely functional for the replacement. The battery in question had actually got hot enough to burn before power was removed but after it had cooled and gassed out the UPS Unit was savable.

  3. Sorry for being the dumb one here but what in the world is Fox trying to get a battery out from? I seriously have no clue what that machine is supposed to be.

    1. Not dumb at all, no worries! It’s a battery backup for a server rack.

      I struggled some with the setup here. It’s definitely not a thing most people see much of, one that even fewer people have in their homes, and not something that’s easy to visually convey (a battery backup is a big nondescript metal box full of batteries – AKA, smaller nondescript boxes).

      Ultimately we went with just calling it a “system,” since it’s not important to the punchline to know exactly what kind of system it is, and devoting panel space to an explanation felt like a bit of a waste.

      1. I see. It is funny but my curiosity forced me to ask. I’m the kind of guy who just needs to know these things.

    1. It’s a battery backup for a server rack.

      I struggled some with the setup here. It’s definitely not a thing most people see much of, one that even fewer people have in their homes, and not something that’s easy to visually convey (a battery backup is a big nondescript metal box full of batteries – AKA, smaller nondescript boxes).

  4. “Really happened” and Fox said he was in a bathrobe at the time. I don’t know if I should be too afraid to ask for more details or not. :v

  5. I had to look up what a swollen battery was. I don’t know if I should be ashamed or not.

    1. Not at all! We glossed over some specifics in this one that didn’t feel important to the punchline.

      Never be ashamed for looking something up – be proud you took the time to learn something new!

    2. Don’t feel bad about having to look something up. By coincidence, I only learned about battery swell about a month ago, when I had to help a coworker extract such a battery from a DVR system. (We wound up having to use a Dremel tool for that one.)

  6. From the apparent size/shape of the enclosure and the battery itself, it looks to have been a UPS backup power supply.

    1. Probably. I went through the exact same thing with an APC BackUPS 250 (350?). I’d gotten it as a freebie, and got a replacement gel cell (also a freebie), so I went about trying to extract the old battery. In the case of said UPS, the battery hatch was at the bottom, not the back, so I went whanging on the case in several ways, but no matter how I tried, the battery just wouldn’t pop free. I ended up throwing the whole thing in the dumpster.

      1. We were about to do the same, but I stubbornly hit it a few more times and–surprisingly–on a half-hearted swing the battery flew free. (And down the stairs, creating even more racket)

        1. Well done! I probably could’ve gotten the battery out of the one I was dealing with if I’d taken it apart, but I didn’t feel it worth the effort to mess with it any more than I already had. Plus, we had the dumpster there already, so I got the satisfaction of hearing the POS hit bottom……….

        2. Oh wow, you mean that worked? Some things just happen regardless of apparent plausibility.

          1. Yeah, I was a little frustrated cuz I was like, “WTF? Why didn’t you just do that earlier? Why did it suddenly fly loose now?”

  7. Since Katsucon is coming up, and the Curtailed team is going to have panels, I wanted to ask the group, have you ever attended any unusual panels? For me it was Comic Book Court (People brought up cases), and I read Katsucon did Hetalia: Ask the Nations (Ask people cosplaying as personified countries from the anime show).

  8. LoL! This is the typical way of our conversations too. Also my brother would put some “optimistic” thing in the whole thing, mostly suggesting some other problems, wich would be far more worse, thanthat was.

  9. It could be that some malicious person put a tablespoon of sodium chloride in the battery acid. That will precipitate pretty (but useless) cubic crystals of PbCl2 and give off hydrogen chloride, corroding stuff all around the battery AND making it swell.

    It’s a crime of course – a saltin’ a battery.

  10. Yep, old style batteries or new, every now and then they’ll swell up when they fail. Sometimes getting them out can take a little electromotive force…
    Okay with that weak pun out of the way: People tend to throw their UPS away when the battery fails. This makes secondhand dead UPS units a pretty good salvage item.

    1. Aye. Mandy used to think I had too many.
      Now I’ve acquired so many more I completely agree with her.
      I just can’t decide which ones to keep.

      1. Since you have so much experience with UPSes, I’ll ask you:

        My UPS battery dates to July 2011. Am I risking a fire yet?

        1. I mean, it depends on the type of battery. If it’s lithium, there’s always a risk of a fire.

          If it’s SLI and it’s not swollen or showing any corrosion it’s fine.

          Frankly if you got 5 years out of an UPS and it still holds decent mAh I’d be more interested in the brand.

          1. It’s APC. I don’t really know how much it holds. I don’t have to fall back on it very often, and when I do, I’m perfectly happy if it lasts 10 minutes.

          2. I’d have guessed SLA instead of SLI, but yeah, three years is about all you’ll normally get out of them in a UPS. With lithium batteries getting cheaper and having greater capacity, maybe the old style sealed lead-acid gel-cell batteries will all just go away…
            Though there IS that annoying “fire” thing with Lithium Ion batteries, if you’re not up for a little unexpected excitement now and then.

  11. Depending on what kind of battery that is, they could have a seriously hazardous object there.

    Possibilities (depending, again, on the kind of battery) include acid leaks, fire,…

    1. I believe it was a 7.2v SLI
      I was starting to get a little concerned, but it wouldn’t have been the first clothing I’d had eaten by battery acid.

  12. Fox, I don’t have twitter, but I just read your progress on the Katsucon and is your Mustang going to be part of the Curtailed event?

      1. Got too excited and said the wrong brand. I’m having a hard time imagining a car and the Curtailed booth. Are you trying to have the car inside the convention area, similar to when conventions bring in cars from movies such as the Ghostbusters 2016 Ecto?

        PS: I love my Ford Focus.

          1. Is it because I brought up Ghostbusters (2016) or do you mean you have a different set-up?

        1. I liked my Ford Pinto! 🙂 (…and my first car was a Ford(of England) Anglia.)

          1. Sorry to hear that, Fox. Which Ford car? Mine runs well and has incredible gas mileage.

  13. Pretty much the same style of approach I take. Tree branches hanging too low? Spin in circles with a chainsaw over my head singing Dethklok.

  14. I got a really good laugh out of this one hahaha.
    I have had to do this myself few times, except I used a screwdriver to pry out the batteries…

    1. My reply to that situation would have been, “Well, screw that.” LOL.

  15. I gotta say, Fox, that’s quite a bang up job you did there. 😉

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