Gate battery

My town (don’t know if is going on elsewhere else as well) is experiencing a wave of gate motor battery theft. Mine was stolen yesterday. When buying a new one the salesman told me they use the acid in drug production. That sounds a bit way out, can this be? I think it’s probably used to power a light or to charge a phone or something more mundane. The motor housing’s now got a bracket with a lock on it. Let’s see how long that can keep them out.

Didn’t know batteries had that kind of acid… :slight_smile:

Sulphuric acid is used in a host of organic chemistry preparations, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is also required in some drug cooks where a low pH is of importance. That said, I wouldn’t risk stealing a few cc’s of sulphuric acid when you can readily buy the stuff at hardware stores for R30/L. I think it’s much more likely that they are after the lead. Speaking of which, there must be some solubilised lead(II) in there too … so technically the criminal is getting away with a salt and battery.


As Zuma would say, heh-heh-heh! :slight_smile:

So what would they use the lead for? Is it that valuable? At one point I built up quite a collection of lead by simply picking up wheel balancing lead pieces that had dropped off cars.

Why, casting toy soldiers, fishing weights or hollow point bullets of course! Less dramatically, lead also has a nominal scrap value of about R10/kg.


Here in Joburg we cast the motor’s in cement, put a cage around it and padlock it for good measure and it still bloody gets stolen. On a related issue, I was told that they steal the fancy big screen tv’s not for resale but smash the screen as an additive to some drug or another. Not sure how true that story is but I’ve seen enough to give it some credulity.

Well, we always did know that TV is addictive. :slight_smile:

Lead the size of a brick will weigh about 50kg. That would mean R500 @ R10 per kg. Lead is easy to melt and cast too. Copper in the motor is of a far greater scrap value.

Can’t they use Li-Ion batteries in there? What wattage is required? Sorry, I’ve never had to deal with one.

Sure you could use Li-Ion. But it would be far more expensive and any fire would require a specialist fire fighting team.