I have an old sony universal remote, the rm-v15. I opened it to get to the pcb, and a strange nasty smell came out of it. Is there anything I should be worried about? Any hazards used in old remotes?

  • \$\begingroup\$ How old is "old"? Do you know the date of production? \$\endgroup\$
    – Breakthrough
    Mar 10 '11 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ The pcb says 1995. July, I think. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 '11 at 2:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ This belongs on Electronics and Robotics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patches
    Mar 10 '11 at 2:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ooh. Sorry. I guess i should have posted there. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 '11 at 2:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @a sandwhich: That's okay. A mod should move it for you in a little bit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patches
    Mar 10 '11 at 2:47

You could have a leaky battery; you don't want acid all over your skin. There will be trace amounts of the heavy metals found in all electronics manufacturing.

And because remotes are handled so much and are often full of skin cells and food traces, you could be smelling mold spores.

Wear gloves, ventilate, and proceed. You should be fine as long as you don't lick anything!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Batteries haven't been in it since 2001, and there were not any corrosion traces. I just ate some popcorn, but I washed my hands first, so I think I should be ok. What type of heavy metals might be in there? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 '11 at 2:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Printed circuit boards can contain traces of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn as noted in research on the human impacts of e-waste recycling operations. \$\endgroup\$
    – goblinbox
    Mar 10 '11 at 3:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some very old batteries contained mercury. The EPA has clean-up procedures documented for mercury. Although I couldn't find anything directly for remote control units or batteries, this document may be of interest to you if you ever run into anything like this again and you just want to take precautions for additional safety: epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html \$\endgroup\$
    – Randolf Richardson
    Mar 10 '11 at 3:15

That was the magic smoke. It will not come back by itself. Remote is generally safer than other components that may use high voltage. Battery could be an issue, also get rid of anything leaking.


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