Hamilton Pulsar QED 3031 battery polarity

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Elliott Wolin, Jun 4, 2020.

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  1. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    Nov 18, 2019
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    A friend dropped off a non-working Hamilton Pulsar yesterday. Upon opening it I found both #357 batteries dead. But it's not clear which side of the batteries goes down on the left side, the writing has faded or worn away. The right side is POS down. As received the POS was up on the left side, as in the pictures.

    I think the left side is the same, POS down, kindly verify. Also, are #357 batteries correct?

    20200604_153225.jpg 20200604_153242.jpg 20200604_153313.jpg 20200604_153434.jpg 20200604_153716.jpg
     
  2. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    I've since found on the web that #357 batteries are indeed correct. And all the pictures of Pulsars I've found have the batteries in opposite orientations, as when I received the watch. But confirmation would be nice!
     
  3. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good afternoon, Elliott!

    Looks to me as though if you put both in the same way, the two batteries would be "wired" in parallel. The case cover would connect the two sides facing up. Lots of people consider parallel wiring of batteries to be bad practice, since the lower-charge one gets "driven" by the one with the higher charge. Internal resistance tends to run both down fast.

    I think I see on the label on the left the word "UP" at about the 7-o'clock position. To me, wouldn't make logical sense to put – "UP" on the left, because, after all, that would be putting both in the same way (– up on the left, + down on the right: You'd need to print two different labels (extra expense) to get both batteries in the same way. "Heads I win, tails you lose.")

    So, I'm betting it's + UP on the left, + DOWN on the right, which puts both batteries in series for about 3 volts. Those little tabs on the case back seem designed to wire the two cells in series.

    The rubber spacers look totally different. The one on the left appears to be purpose-built, but the one on the right looks like a common o-ring. Might not matter. Looks like the case back fits on only one way, right?

    Just my opinions, based on my personal logic.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
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  4. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    I put in fresh batteries, right POS down, left POS up. One digit of the LED display partially lit up, the leftmost one. I tried everything I could find to make it do something, pressed both buttons three times in rapid sucession, used the magnet to try to reset the time, sacrificed a chicken, but no luck.

    I guess the module is no good. Should I try something else? Where do you get a new one? On the web I see that this watch uses the P3 module, but I only see P1 and P2 for sale so far.
     
  5. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    They both do different things but they both need to be positive up.
     
  6. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    Are you saying both sides need POS up? The third photo seems to say the right side has to be POS down. Or did you mean both sides need POS down? Or am I misunderstanding you?
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #7 roughbarked, Jun 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    Look at the two negative contacts staring you in the face. Then look to see if both positive contacts are still there. Forget about the writing.
    Then look at the rubber rings and the contact on the back. This would mean that the writing is correct and both positives should be down and both negatives up.

    This is why the rubber rings are there?
    Now try to read the writing on the left, It seems to say Pos + Up?

    So Tim is correct?
     
  8. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
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    The original battery was the 355/RW25. The spacers are needed to keep the smaller 357 batteries centered. The 357 are the closest battery you can find today.

    I agree with Tim that they probably go opposite directions, and you probably have them right. It's probably dead. If you have experience with this kind of thing, you could take the module apart and check for obvious corrosion and other damage. If you don't see anything obvious, try a different quartz crystal.
     
  9. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    I tried both POS up, both POS down, no response from the watch. Only with right side POS down and left POS up does the LED display come to life, albeit just one partial digit (just realized I didn't try right POS up and left POS down, but that would directly violate the visible writing on the right).

    How do you find out how to service these modules, e.g. replace the quartz crystal? Or even how to get the movement out?
     
  10. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
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    Nobody ever intended that to be done. You'll need watchmaker+electronics tech+intuition skills.

    (Yeah don't try the fourth combination, because the writing is correct, and that could damage it further.)
     
  11. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    It is corroded. Not a lot of chance of finding a good movement to replace it with. Wasn't meant to be repaired but if you wish to try even cleaning every contact, may still not revive it.
    Thus not worth thinking of replacing batteries or the crystal for that matter. Afraid it is a bin job.
     
  12. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    And that is how it should be!

    I Googled "3013 Pulsar battery change" and found several good pictures showing the original text inside the watch as well as pictures showing the batteries installed.
     
  13. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    I'm pretty sure the module is no good, I tried cleaning the contacts, installing new batteries, and every button command sequence I could find plus a few I made up. I'm out of ideas.

    There's a guy in the UK that first tries to repair the module, then transplants parts from the old module to a new one if he can't fix it, cost around $125 plus shipping, and he only charges shipping if he can't fix it at all (pulsarledtime.com). There may be other places that do the same.

    Since it's a friend's watch it will be up to him what to do next.
     
  14. Elliott Wolin

    Elliott Wolin Registered User
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    Does anyone know of someone in the US who can replace Pulsar modules? My friend prefers a US vendor.
     
  15. egg

    egg Registered User

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    Hello Elliott.

    You need to clean the oxidized "finger" battery terminals (shiny new) - - use 70% IPA (Isopropyl alcohol). Some will clean-up with a pencil eraser. If you use Contact cleaner, do not let it sit on any plastic surfaces too long.

    Contact cleaner is for removing oxides on conductive (metal on metal) surfaces.
    It's best to apply these magic chemicals with a toothpick or hatpin.

    As mentioned, one cell down, one cell up.

    Pulsar - Jeweler's technical manual - three-part pdf can be downloaded here.
    Troubleshoot Pulsar LED watch


    Greg.
    oh... check the "bow-tie" connector as well.
     

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