General Question

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Is there any way I can salvage my recorder?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1586points) July 27th, 2014

I have a mini recorder thing. I don’t know how else they’re called. Just one of those small recorders you can plug into your computer to transfer the recordings.

The other day it got submerged in water unknowingly. It was left there for several hours in the day. It wasn’t completely submerged but the bottom half was, and when I realized it I was like “Awwwww shhhhhhiiiit.” Of course it wouldn’t turn on. I emptied the batteries and let it dry overnight, hoping that by morning it’d be okay.

Upon closer inspection, I see that in the battery compartment, one of the flat metal ends where the plus end of a battery goes has rusted. I assume that could be the source of the problem, hopefully.

Any ideas how to McGyver my way through it?

I have 21 recordings on there. Thankfully nothing super important but still. It sucks.

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7 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

you’ll need to put it in a very low humidity environment to get all the moisture out. Like in the oven on the lowest setting with the door open, or hit it good with a hairdryer. It’s best if you can take it completely apart to make sure all the moisture is gone before re applying power. I’m afraid that with it being wet with the batteries in it it could be a lost cause. It really depends on how good the conformal coating on the circuit boards are if there even was any. Once that’s done you can clean the battery contacts and try it.

Strauss's avatar

I would recommend keeping the device in a container of rice (uncooked) for a couple days. Remove the battery, take the device apart as much as you are able, and just let it stay surrounded by the rice for 48–72 hours. This worked for me when one of my house guests left my wireless landline handset in the rain.

CWMcCall's avatar

Use some sand paper or a metal file to remove the rust from the battery springs and follow what @Yetanotheruser suggests and give it at least the 2 days in the rice before you try putting fresh batteries in it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Rice is not going to be enough, the quicker you can remove the moisture the better. Honestly the best way is to take it completely apart and hit it with a hairdryer but not too hot. Just hot enough to remove the moisture. Rice really does not work much at all. You need low humidity and airflow.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Well, the bad news is that I can’t seem to take it apart. I removed these two very small screws in the battery compartment but nothing’s coming off. There are no screws anywhere else. Seems put together pretty tight.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar


I connected it to my computer just for shits and giggles to see what happened.

At first nothing happened, so I was like, “Eh. . okay then. . ”

I tuned out for a moment distracted by other stuff, then my USB notification noise sounds and it detects the recorder. I was able to transfer all 21 recordings. The LCD screen of the recorder is on so I know that the top half is stable, and the computer must be giving it power then. It has to be the battery compartment then that’s screwed up.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Give it a good hit with the hairdryer just to be safe. Sounds like it’ll be ok.

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