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Question: AA batteries leakage and the threaded lid won't open

I have the latest wireless bluetooth keyboard, I left two AA batteries inside and haven't used it for about 2 month until I found that there's a battery leakage ( some white corrosion is outside the threaded lid area), so I immediately tried to open it but the corrosion joined the parts together so strongly. I used a coin with a hold of pliers, the coin got twisted. Then I tried with a screw driver and there's still no luck.


So I took it to an apple-appointed service center, they basically did the same thing and couldn't open it either, in the end, they told me that there's nothing they can do about it.


It's funny that the service guys can't even open a corroded lid, on the other hand, I can there are so few people who are as forgetful as I am.


I wonder if there's any chemical product I can use to dissolve the corrosion and loosen the lid. Please advise!!! Thanks!

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May 19, 2011 1:30 PM in response to Asatoran In response to Asatoran

Thanks Asatoran!


I managed to open the keyboard from the bluetooth compartment, luckily enough, the bluetooth circuit board is not destroyed at all. I removed the electronics, and one of the AA battery that is touching the board side is still in good condition (on the outside at least), I removed the "good" battery, the other corroded battery was stuck in the tube. So the battery compartment is actually insulated from the keyboard part, it's a tube just like a Maglite. So I put a few drops of vinegar into the tube, and soak the lid into a container with vinegar too. Trying to get the corrosion from both inside and outside dissolved. I will leave it for maybe 5 hours and see what happens.


Thanks again, I will keep this post updated.


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May 19, 2011 1:02 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

Even if you were able to get the cover open, you've likely got damage to the electrical contacts, so you likely will still have to get a new keyboard anyway.


Having gone through many Maglites with leaking batteries, I can tell you that battery acid on aluminum is not just a pain in the tuckus, the odds are that they pieces are effectively "welded" together. Thus is does not surpise me that you can't open the cover. (Well, there are ways you can open it, but not without damaging the unit. 😟 )


There are chemicals that can "remove" the corrosion, but they will do more damage to the keyboard. You'd still need to get to the corroded areas first anyway. (IOW, you still need to open the cover first.) Otherwise, if you apply the chemical to the outside, the chemical will effectively eat away the "good" aluminum to get at the corrosion, which is definitely not what you want.


So bottom line is you need a new keyboard.

May 19, 2011 1:02 PM

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May 19, 2011 1:30 PM in response to Asatoran In response to Asatoran

Thanks Asatoran!


I managed to open the keyboard from the bluetooth compartment, luckily enough, the bluetooth circuit board is not destroyed at all. I removed the electronics, and one of the AA battery that is touching the board side is still in good condition (on the outside at least), I removed the "good" battery, the other corroded battery was stuck in the tube. So the battery compartment is actually insulated from the keyboard part, it's a tube just like a Maglite. So I put a few drops of vinegar into the tube, and soak the lid into a container with vinegar too. Trying to get the corrosion from both inside and outside dissolved. I will leave it for maybe 5 hours and see what happens.


Thanks again, I will keep this post updated.


User uploaded file

User uploaded file

May 19, 2011 1:30 PM

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Jun 15, 2012 12:25 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

I have the exact sam problem... I have not taken the electronics out yet, and am hoping that there is still a chance to unscrew the battery cover.


Were you able to unscrew the cover? Did the vinegar soak work? Friends recommended that I use baking soda instead of vinegar to neutralize the acidity of the battery corrosion.


Would appreciate any update on this topic.


Thanks.

Jun 15, 2012 12:25 PM

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Jul 6, 2012 12:15 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

I'd like to know what came of this as well. Just got a KB from a friend that was shelved. Lo and behold a bleeding battery has corroded the end cap. I too thought of where you're going but haven't done it yet.


I like my toqued nickle though, blew my mind you could apply that much force and not have it budge.

Jul 6, 2012 12:15 PM

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Jul 6, 2012 1:09 PM in response to ciordia9 In response to ciordia9

I followed the suggestion above (same way as show in the posted photos) and removed the electronics, then soaked both ends of the battery compartment with vinegar and baking soda, but nothing really helped except maybe loosen a little. Then, I wrapped the screw end in a towel and started hammering it while holding the keyboard on a carpeted surfaces. Slowly, one battery started coming out of the center opening, then I pulled it out with pliers -- was really stuck. Interesting that there was not much corrosion but the battery seemed to have swollen. Then poured more vinegar in the compartment and after soaking for a while, I used the hammer again to get the second battery out of the same center opening. I had to do a lot more vinegar soaking, empying and soaking again to loosen the threaded screw. I think I even applied WD40, and finally got it unscrewed. Nothing got damaged. The batteries are out, but I still have to clean all the corrosion residue before I attempt to replace batteries.


Good luck!

Jul 6, 2012 1:09 PM

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Apr 1, 2013 12:09 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

Having seen several recommendations to give up, I decided to just fix it forever.


I decided that being able to turn the screw with much more force was needed.


I filed down the outer case right where the battery cover screw slot was, and about an eighth of an inch more in the "unscrew" direction.


Then I used a hacksaw blade to extend the "coin" screwdriver slot right ouf the end.


This meant I could push a screwdriver SIDEWAYS into the screw slot, snd have much more torque.


So I suffered a little cosmetic damage that is only on the far side ... not visible when using it.


It now works fine.

Apr 1, 2013 12:09 PM

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Dec 1, 2013 8:28 AM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

For the benefit of other people looking at this thread with similar issues:


I managed to get the compartment open after applying huge amounts of torque, but the threads on the inside were caked with battery acid and getting the batteries out was a huge pain. Scraping the acid away with a screwdriver allowed me to get the batteries out after some considerable banging on a soft surface.*


What I hope to add here is that even though I could get new batteries into the compartment and had thought I'd cleaned everything up, the keyboard wouldn't power on. I thought I'd destroyed the electronics and gave up for a few days until I figured I'd give it one last shot.


After taking a q-tip doused in vinegar (expensive red wine vinegar, at that) and cleaning the threads on both the compartment and the cap, it all worked again. I took some care to really soak the areas, listening to the fizzy reaction, and making sure all the contacts had been treated. There is still some caking on the surface and the threads appear to have been somewhat dissolved from the battery acid, but that doesn't mean things are beyond repair. So don't give up!


*Huge testament to how these devices are constructed. The keyboard took a serious beating, yet now shows no signs of it, except a rather marred screw surface 😟

Dec 1, 2013 8:28 AM

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Jun 25, 2017 2:01 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

Hi All... I have the same problem with this ingenious bit of design too... I'd be most grateful if finddarkpoet or anyone else could let me know how they got on. As for removing the electronics, I'm having a lot of trouble loosening the tiny screw on the bluetooth module as it's really tight, and I'm in danger of burring the thread. I'm going to take the kb to a jeweller's and ask them to release it.

Also, how is the membrane on the module safely released? There is a plastic grip that holds it on to the circuit board, and I don't want to brutalise it unless I know there's a tricky technique for removing and re-fitting it first!


Finally, I'm hoping that once this is out that vinegar or some other solvent will loosen the battery and thread. If anyone's had success with this , please do tell!


Many thanks,


Barry
<Email Edited by Host>

Jun 25, 2017 2:01 PM

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Apr 29, 2014 1:46 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

I had the same issue, on a keyboard which is no longer used very often. I used domestic appliance descaler (concentrated acetic acid, I think) to disolve the worst of the gunk as in finddarkpoet's first picture. Then I clamped a large flat-blade screwdriver in a bench vice, and unscrewed the battery cap by turning the keyboard as KWVarde suggested, using brute force & ignorance (plenty of ignorance). The batteries were stuck fast. I drilled a small hole in the negative terminal of the first battery, then used a corkscrew to get it out. That was messy, although it came out in one piece! The second battery was free to move, but would not come out past the residual gunk on the inner bore until I scraped it off (using a dental pick to clear the threads, and a small file to scrape clear the bore). The innermost end of the battery tube looked OK, as did the positive contact at the bottom of it. I used the file, pick, and fine emery cloth wrapped round a pencil to clean up the bore, finishing off with a detergent soaked rolled up kitchen towel and a final drying stage. The inside bore near the battery cap looks a right mess, but it is clear of all potassium hydroxide residue.


The bluetooth module cover removes by squeezing the sides of the plastic tube together, which allows a jeweller's screwdriver to get under the rear edge and gently lever it up. Everything within was clean and shiny. I used a bit more of the appliance descaler to clean the screw-in battery cover, and the dental pick to scrape the thread in the aluminium body clear so it would make contact. Once everything was dry, I fitted 2 batteries and screwed the cap in. I checked the supply voltage inside the bluetooth compartment using a DVM (negative terminal is the Philips screw, positive terminal is the coil spring (bottom of finddarkpoet's first picture) and got about 3.6V which is OK. I did not find it necessary to remove the electronics module or disconnect the flex cable from the PWA (fortunately).


It took about 15 minutes after inserting the batteries before I was able to pair the keyboard with a Mac - I don't know why. I took the batteries out & put them back in a couple of times during this period, trying to get it to work. Eventually one of the 'power on' button presses gave me the green LED and we were operational.


Thanks to all the posters on this thread: I was about to put the keyboard in the WEEE bin for recycling before I tried one last Google search!

Apr 29, 2014 1:46 PM

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Jul 13, 2014 3:59 AM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

Hi everyone, I'm having the same trouble and I find it so absurd because it is something the engineers should have imagined when they created the system.


I was keeping my iMac in stand-by when I got back to it and discovered that the keyboard suddenly wasn't working. Just a couple of days ago I've got problems with Magic Mouse - it scrolls and clicks but it doesn't move the cursor anymore!


There's no way to open the cap on the keyboard. I have tried with anything that fits into it but **** it, no way! Batteries level was 62% so I really can't understand how this could have happened in a while.


Everything has worked perfectly for about 20 months but honestly I'm really ****** off with Apple because there's no trace of an advice and it's just a shame to pay 49,00 Euros for making a question to an operator when you're in a big trouble like this.


Btw guess I'm going to buy a new keyboard but the USB one, won't buy another bluetooth one even if that would be the only model available.

Jul 13, 2014 3:59 AM

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Oct 27, 2014 7:45 PM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

I could not believe how stuck battery acid could make that screw. I wouldn't have persisted without reading this thread. I took out the bluetooth insert and the first battery. Second battery and the screw were way stuck. I bent the heck out of a nickel, tried the vice, and any other options I could get my hand on. So, I took a hacksaw and sawed off the edge surrounding the screw so I could grip it with a pair of pliers. Finally got it off and the battery out. Vinegar and a small screwdriver to scrape and clean out as much acid as I could. Only a brillo bottle brush would be able to get it all. Got enough off to easily slide in AAs. Put it all back together and it works. Initially one strip of keys didn't work (23wesdxc) but I readjusted the strip that slides into the bluetooth apparatus and it worked again. Shows some damage, but not too bad and its functional again. User uploaded fileUser uploaded fileUser uploaded file

Oct 27, 2014 7:45 PM

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Jun 24, 2015 11:08 AM in response to finddarkpoet In response to finddarkpoet

This really helped. I took out the bluetooth hardware and used a syringe to inject vinegar around the batteries. I also set the end in a shallow pan of vinegar and let it sit for 2 hours. After that the vise and a nickel and I go the end off. Had to use a screw driver to push out the batteries. Then used a gun cleaning kit to clean the inside of the compartment. Put it all back together and it is working fine.

Jun 24, 2015 11:08 AM

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Jul 3, 2015 7:33 AM in response to maxfromwinter springs In response to maxfromwinter springs

I had relegated this wireless keyboard to the pile for the next electronics recycling day, but I so wanted to be the MacGyver hero (to myself) and fix it. This thread gave me hope and I enjoy a repair challenge...until it gets frustrating!


End cap came off with some pressure and a coin. How do I take out bluetooth hardware? Is that the button on the other end? Is the keyboard irreparably damaged if I put decalcifier down in the tube with the other end still closed? Do I have to be careful not to get moisture in the keypad?


Thanks!

PS: I noticed that diluted decalcifier does a good job at cleaning the keypad.

Jul 3, 2015 7:33 AM

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Jul 3, 2015 7:42 AM in response to Ellee H. In response to Ellee H.

There is a grey plastic panel located in the center of the rounded spine of the keyboard. You pop that off with a screwdriver and then remove a single phillips screw in the bluetooth module. After that you slide it out the opposite end from the batteries. User uploaded file

User uploaded file

Jul 3, 2015 7:42 AM

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Question: AA batteries leakage and the threaded lid won't open