IBM 5170  -  Battery

IBM supplied a 6 volt lithium battery.
In the 5170's technical reference, the pinout diagram for the battery connector (J21) on the motherboard shows "6 Vdc".

Pretty much, any 6 volt non-rechargeable battery with the required connector, is going to do the job.
Fitting a rechargeable battery is pointless, because the 5170 motherboard does not contain battery charging circuitry.

If you are changing the battery because of a 161 error, then note that after battery replacement, the 161 will remain until you complete the SETUP procedure.

Motherboard connection

The battery connects to J21 on the motherboard.


Original battery

Below is one of the IBM supplied batteries; there were others.

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It is 6 volts, lithium (not the same as lithium-ion), and IBM part number 8286121
Understandably, IBM do not sell the battery anymore.
There used to be many companies that sold a replacement as part number 8286121, but that is no longer the case.

The pictured battery has a resistor on top (possibly for short-circuit protection).  The replacement battery does not need to have a resistor.

Four 1.5 volt AA cells

Using the battery holder pictured below, four standard 1.5 volt AA cells can be used to provide 6 volts.

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A search of eBay using battery holder aa 6v may find this battery holder.  Pay attention to the connector.

I have not seen these (ones with the required connector) for quite a while.  Most of the AA holders that I see, have no connector at the end of the wires.  If you have soldering ability, you could bring across the connector from the old battery.  Or perhaps use single-post connectors as pictured at here.

Three 1.5 volt AA cells

As above, but three cells instead of four, to provide 4.5 volts.

3.6 volt lithium

Some people have used a 3.6 volt lithium battery.

I consider a 3.6 volt battery in an IBM 5170 to be borderline.  With a 3.6 volt battery fitted, some 5170 motherboards may keep the CMOS settings but lose time.  (technical info)

A particular type of 3.6 volt battery is pictured below.

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