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CR2032 vs. CR2032L

What is the difference between CR2032 and CR2032L batteries?

June 24th, 2022 | Technology | , , | Comments: 2

Wisdom often is earned through frustrating “learning experiences.” I recently had one of these experiences with a CR2032 lithium battery.

Previously I thought that all CR2032 batteries were essentially the same—3 volts in a package 20 millimeters wide and 3.2 millimeters tall.

There’s more to it though.

I was replacing the battery in a Lutron Pico remote and grabbed a new-in-the-package CR2032. I popped the battery in, but the remote worked only intermittently and not as expected. Button presses would only register every few minutes.

I thought maybe the contacts in the remote were corroded. I took apart the remote. Inside the gold contacts were super clean, so that was not it.

I got out my multimeter to test the battery voltage. Batteries do lose voltage over time, even when not in use. Perhaps that was the problem? Nope. This new battery tested 3.1V, which was what it should be.

I had another Pico remote that was working properly, so I took the battery out of it and tried it in the other remote. And suddenly it worked perfectly. I tested the voltage on the older battery and it read 2.8V.

I put the new battery in the other remote and then it didn’t work. Clearly the problem was the battery not the remote.

After more than an hour of troubleshooting I was still scratching my head. Why didn’t the battery work?

Then I noticed that the new CR2032 battery I had been trying to use was actually marked CR2032L. The cardboard package the battery came in said CR2032, but the battery itself had a “L” on the end. I had never seen this before. What could be the difference?

This Quora post hinted at a possible explanation for why the CR2032L didn’t work in the Lutron Pico remote. The “L” likely stands for low discharge. I couldn’t find much else that gave a completely definitive answer, but this certainly makes sense.

These “L” batteries are apparently intended for applications where discharge is low and slow, like keeping the date and time set on your PC when the power is turned off. Lower discharge rate could explain why these CR2032L batteries might not work in the Lutron Pico remotes, which likely require quick bursts of power to send out pulses of radio signals.

Armed with this new knowledge, I looked for another CR2032 battery without the “L” and popped that in the remote. Sure enough, it worked immediately and as expected.

Lesson learned.

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Alesis ADAT HD24 Remote Control Pin Out

Here are the measured resistance values for each button press on the remote control.

front panel of remote control

The remote control for the Alesis ADAT HD24 recorder uses combinations of 1/8 watt ±5% resistors to alter an input voltage.

I don’t have access to the recorder unit. Based on what I see inside the remote control I’m assuming it determines which button is pressed by measuring the voltage that is returned. Each button would lower the voltage by a different amount, thus making the measured value for each button press unique and identifiable.

The supply voltage that the recorder sends to the remote is unknown to me, but is likely one of the modern standard rail voltages — 3.3V, 5V, or 12V.

To obtain the following values I connected a digital multimeter across the tip and sleeve of the 1/4″ cable attached to the remote. All measurements are in Ohms.

Interestingly, the switch labels on the PCB differ slightly from the button labels on the case.

Also, I know this technically isn’t a pin out.

Switch Button Measured Value (Ω) PCB Label
N/A N/A 1406 (value read with no buttons pressed)
S1 Auto Loop 126 Auto Input
S2 Locate 0 279 Locate 1
S3 Loop Start 228 Locate 2
S4 Loop End 177 Auto 2>1
S5 Rehearse 76 All Input
S6 Set Locate 432 Set Locate
S7 Punch In 330 Locate 0
S8 Punch Out 381 Auto Play
S9 Rewind 1107 Rewind
S10 F Fwd 1207 F Fwd
S11 Stop 1008 Stop
S12 Play 899 Play
S13 Record 1307 Rec

component side of PCB

solder side of PCB

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