Solar calculators BUSTED!

why do I have a bunch of cheap calculators on my table because we're going to do a little investigation
it all started with this one a telstar CA 4229 a very basic calculator that ive been using for a number of years now until recently when I accidentally
knocked it off the table and it fell on the floor and it stopped working
it wouldn't power on so I figured I must have broken something inside it so I
decided to take it apart and I was shocked by what I found inside it now
you may ask why even bother trying to fix a calculator so cheap why wouldn't I
just get a new one well I like this one I like the way the buttons feel and it
works fine and I just was curious to see what's inside it either way even if I
wasn't able to fix it on the back it says 2010 I don't know if that's the
year was made but we'll open it up and I'll show you what's inside and I pop
open the cover you can see everything is on one chip but that's nothing new
calculators been doing that since the 70s you can also see a battery and I
always assume this was a dual power calculator because even when I covered up
what appears to be a solar cell it would still work the display would not fade
out like a solar cell only calculator but you can see something funny here if
I pull away the LCD and the circuit board that's the so-called solar cell its
just a plastic decal there's nothing soldered to it it's just
a piece of plastic made to look like a solar cell
so I found this one at work its a Victor 1100 – 2 unknown date but probably from
sometime in the 2000s then I went back to the same dollar store where I found
this one well they don't sell these anymore but
they do sell this this bazic eight digit pocket calculator with a flip cover it says
auto power off square root key battery included ideal for school home and
office now on this entire packaging it doesn't mention
anything about the solar cell and in fact I saw a similar model on the shelf
where instead of a solar cell it was just an indentation in the plastic case
you can see where the solar cell would go but there was nothing installed so
they didn't even bother to put a fake solar cell on that model but I got the
one with the solar cell which is probably going to be fake here's
the receipt pocket calculator a dollar 59 and the reason why these light bulbs are
in the background because they're still selling these not legal for us sale
Spanish incandescent light bulbs so I was surprised to see that and I picked
up a few blanco suave and basica bulbs while I was there the Dietz Visi Flash has nothing to do with the video that's just for show and if you're
interested about that I have a video about it and then I found this one at
the thrift store is still new in the packaging and it has a price tag of a
dollar 99 from some unknown store but I didn't pay that much I actually paid a
little bit more but I was just curious to have another cheap calculator that I
could put in this video and then I broke the bank on this one I want to stop and
shop and it turns out they sell calculators under their own house brand
smart living and I say I broke the bank on this one because it costs $6.99 so
quite a bit more expensive than other ones you can see the same suspicious
solar cell there says battery power full function memory easyread display each
digit also does not say anything about the
solar cell on it you can see distributed by food hold USA copyright 2015 made in
China quality guaranteed or your money back
I wonder if they would get me my money back for having a fake solar cell so we'll
see what's up with that one so here is the Victor calculator and that's the
initials of somebody used to work for the company I work for and he left this
behind so that's how I ended up with it took out the screws so let's see what
hidden mysteries are in this one I can pop it open without breaking it it's putting
up a fight for some reason I don't know if it has some kind of clips so I have to
get something to pry this open there we go so there's the battery that came
popped out and LCD and it actually has the solar cell wired but that does not
necessarily mean it is a real solar cell I've heard some of these have a fake
solar cell that's wired up to look like it's real but it doesn't actually do
anything so I'm going to shine a bright light on this and measure the voltage
it's putting out to see if it's actually doing anything so I have this cordless
light switch it's a neat little thing I found it
ocean state job lot for five bucks looks just like a standard wall mount lights
which has magnets on the back and a little hooked about it except it has
built-in LEDs that are extremely bright when you turn it on so I'm going to put
that down there and I'm going to shine those bright LEDs onto the solar cell of
this calculator here now I'm going to measure its putting out any voltage
using my free Harbor Freight multimeter okay let's see what we get the solar
cells marked positive and negative so I'm going to
my leads on it and look at that it's putting out one point six volts so this
one actually has a real solar cell now does it work
just find the solar cell I'm getting inconsistent I've actually
broken the little cable when I was taking this apart but you can see who
was working oh that's our problem the cable tore even if I hold it yes okay
it's working just on the solar cell so if I hadn't broken that cable it would
work just by the solar cells you can see the battery that wasn't it is no longer
so whatever you see on the screen here is just through the solar cell so this
is a real solar cell calculator so unfortunately I ruined this one in the
process of investigating it but at least I got a good real working solar cell and
a good battery out of it so it wasn't all for nothing
let's tear into this bazic pocket calculator actually comes a whole cover yeah it's sort of falling apart already
bazic electronic calculator I assume I can sort of
put that back together hopefully or just tear the whole cover off let's see
if it works it's a very tiny display does seem to be working it has an off button
which you don't normally see on calculators that have a solar cell
because why would you need to turn it off it doesn't take up any battery power
for draining from a solar cell let's try the old trick over the square root of 2
times the square root of 2 now the answer is supposed to be obviously just
2 but most of these cheap calculators took a little bit off as you can see so
let's open this one up it says use battery LR 1130
1.5 volts they even has a little holder for the battery so you don't have to
take the whole thing apart to change the battery but we'll see what else is
inside so I took out the battery and yes I did actually break this cover trying
to just get this calculator out of the packaging so not a good sign already and
we'll see now it doesn't work without the battery in it so almost 100 percent
sure that is a fake solar cell I think we have a winner for the cheapest
possible design on this one because as soon as I crack the case open all the
keys came loose so that is just lovely and here is our fake solar cell just a
little plastic decal so I don't think I'm even going to bother reassembling
this one it's just so cheap I won't want anybody to suffer through having to use
this so only good thing we got out of that bazic calculator is the battery I
guess I can use this as a tray to hold the screws when I take the rest of them
apart so here is the century and this one is actually stating right on the
packaging solar with backup battery dual power so this solar
let's take this company has some explaining to do get down here it says
dual power solar with battery so we'll see what we get off this one until right
away the packaging is higher-quality and then that bazic calculator and this is
like a Sinclair spectrum very rubbery mushy keys okay oh there it is
and that is a dim display so probably the batteries getting weak because I
don't know how long this was in that packaging doesn't have a date on it
visit us online at century industries .com but it does work slowly because
it's on low power again a little bit off of the two it's supposed to be so we'll
see what we get in this one the one thing it says on the back is
made in China okay removed battery and it is working we've got the battery so
clearly that is a real solar cell but I'm going to take it apart anyway so
there it is taken apart you can see both the battery holder and the solar cell
are wired up so it is an actual solar cell to be sure and I'm going to see
this battery I took out the bazic will fit into this one at least there'll be
something good there we go there we go fully functional dual power
calculator with a new battery in it now finally the deluxe well the smart
living calculator from stop and shop it's
not coming out easily all right let's put it on the better use battery says
2016 on it so I guess that is the date of manufacture made in China
QC HN 17 so apparently passed quality control electronic calculator DC AG 10
1.5 volt these buttons are kind of cheap and rough feeling and I don't know what
this is supposed to be it has a cover over the display to peel that off right
now nice and shiny not likely to stay that way for long so we shall see what
treasures lie inside this well lookee here that does look like a real solar
cell or at least something that's actually wired up but I'm puzzled by
this diode here with the entire length of the leads just left in there and one
side is tucked under the battery terminal other side is this wire
soldered into it but they just look the rest of this just hanging in here that
just bizarre it's nothing back there for this to touch that would be conductive
but that's just weird that has this big circle thing over
where that weird cutout is on the front I don't know maybe they have a version
of this with a speaker in it I know in China they do sell talking calculators
that are roughly as cheap as this but they talk and they have a mode where you
can play music on the keys maybe that's what they put in the same
case as this I don't know but I'm going to see if there's any voltage coming out
of that solar cell let me turn on my magic light here it's now shining right
onto that solar cell I don't know the polarity but I'll just wing it here
since both wires are red that's not a good sign as to which side is positive and
which is negative and it's putting out almost two volts so that is a real solar
cell and that does beg the question why wouldn't they advertise it as having a
solar cell and dual power on the packaging doesn't say that anywhere so
knows let's do our square root of 2 test on this 1 2 root times 2 root equals
typical 1.999 998 instead of 2 well I just noticed it has a little icon that
looks like the Sun next to an icon of battery so I guess that's their way of
saying it's dual power it could have written out I mean they have plenty of
space there so the results of our experiment are a bit mixed we have two
calculators with fake solar cells the Telstar and the basic we have three
calculators with real solar cells the victor the century and the smart living
though the smart living had a very questionable looking diode soldered in
there but wait there's more I have a
late-breaking addition to this video I went to the thrift store again and I
picked up not only disco tape number four disco tape number one and disco tape
number six recorded and produced by Mike mangus approximately in 1977 I also got
one of these infamous American flag big button big display calculators you're
pretty much guaranteed to find at least half a dozen of these in any thrift
store you go to apparently this one is originally owned by Miss Dorothy Shehee
but we'll see if this solar cell is real or not first let's see if this thing
actually works yep and this is one of those cheap
designs where if you take it apart the wrong way the buttons all go flying out
but luckily this time I was a little careful and they stayed in place there you can
see another fake solar cell just a piece of plastic not even in there that
tightly there's that single chip calculator and single battery even
though the compartment looks like it was originally intended to hold two
batteries they want to put one in there so these infamous big display
calculators have a fake solar cell so if you have some of these calculators lying
around you might want to open them up and see if the solar cell in them is
real or fake you just gotta be careful some of these really cheap ones because
when you open them up the keys will go flying and it'll be a nightmare to get
those back in there

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