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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 14th Jan 2012, 8:44 pm   #1
michael cumming
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Default Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

Certain batteries/cells are either nowadays virtually impossible to obtain, or can be obtained (usually from online sources) but are rather expensive. It may therefore be useful to know that certain of these can be found inside more easily available (and cheaper) batteries, hence we're putting this thread together.

The first example is the now all-but-forgotten Ever Ready U10 1.5V cell:

If your ever stuck for these you can get them cheap, simply hack a 1289 (3R12) battery and three are found inside wired in series but make sure you insulate them before use by wrapping a paper jacket around the cells. I am sure some test equipment uses these, it's cheaper than buying them as one of these 3R12s cost around 2.

Here is a picture of an Ever Ready U10.

Last edited by Darren-UK; 15th Jan 2012 at 11:16 pm. Reason: Added first paragraph.
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 10:14 pm   #2
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

The Ever Ready twin cell 3V 'cycle lamp' battery is in fact two large F cells, four can be found in one of those 6V square lantern batteries, I have not tried making this one up yet. The U14 was a fat battery and was used for those gaslighters, again these were 1.5V but they had a screw thread.

The U8 can still be found, that is if you can get the No.8 as it had two of these inside. The new code for the No.8 is 2R10. I am not sure if these have two cells in now though. Most hard to get batteries can be made up or are found in modern batteries but for test equipment it has to be a certain capacity. If an AVO meter did use a U10 I would think one cell out of a 1289 would be ok for it providing it was zinc-carbon. These batteries are made in alkaline form too.
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 11:00 pm   #3
Leon Crampin
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

If my memory serves me correctly, it was the Avominor (only) which used the U10 cell. This can be furnished from 1/3 of a 1289.

The Avo 7 used originally a square section 1.5V cell with a flying negative lead and a thumbscrew positive terminal, but most have been modified to take a single C cell. My model 7 Mk II has Avo's own adaptor consisting simply of a paxolin frame with two phosphor bronze strips to provide the connections. It works well enough.

I can see no problems in using alkaline cells in Avometers with the added advantage that reputable makes seldom leak. An alkaline AA cell will out-perform a zinc-carbon U10 and can be fitted to an Avominor with a spacer sleeve and end caps.

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Old 15th Jan 2012, 4:41 pm   #4
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

I've mentioned elsewhere, but if we're putting together a resource on replacements for obsolete batteries, the military no. 12 cell, as used by many field telephones, can be restuffed using one of the four cells from a 6V lantern battery (the one with the spiral spring terminals on top - called a "996" if I recall correctly).
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 6:00 pm   #5
michael cumming
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

I am not up on Military batteries as there not my area of collecting an they have different codes. The 1289 or 3R12 was never a layer cell, always round zinc cylinders. The cheap zinc-carbon PP3 is always layer cells but alkaline is six of those AAAA, people have hacked them to get these as it's cheaper than buying them as if I remember there packed two per card and there hard to find.

PJ996 or 4R25 = four F cells when taken apart, Two of these make up the 3V No 800 twin cell. You get eight of these cells from a 911 or 4R25+2. This battery has screw terminals and is bigger as it has four large cells in series then another four then the two joined in parallel.

The No.8 or 2R10 has two U8 1.5 cells in, the only use I know for these is that obscure Pifco torch that uses two.

Other old sizes such as 1839 two C cells together and 1829 which was two D cells together and the 1915 was two AA or U12 joined together, these were unit cells and the C and D sizes sometimes came in threes so any equipment that uses these you should have no problems with.

The old type 126 four volt with screw terminals can be made up using three D cells, I found some Ucar make ones when I took a red Ever Ready apart. They don't make U14s anymore but they're gaslighter cells and not used in radio.

The AD28 or 3R25 has three large F cells in, this battery was used in some Ultra transistor sets in pairs, this battery was also used in Bardic rail lamps, still made today.

The PP sizes were all layer type, even the 6v PP1. I rebuilt a PP11 for my Defiant radio using six AA cells two rows of three each in series as this battery is four half volts each side, it's 9V split in half.

Other B batteries such as the B122 can be found from certain firms by mail order, used in flash guns an hearing aids, also used in some AVO equipment.

Last edited by michael cumming; 15th Jan 2012 at 6:10 pm. Reason: Thoughts of more sizes.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 7:42 pm   #6
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

The U10 was also to be discovered in the famous 'Winner' 120v H.T. batteries and the 9v grid bias battery. J.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 7:53 pm   #7
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

This list may be of interest. It was given to me by the Ever Ready rep in the early 80's. He seemed to think it was from around 1914. John.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 10:05 pm   #8
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

It's certainly interesting, any chance of a higher resolution scan as it's difficult to read as is?
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 11:29 pm   #9
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

As will be realised by those who've already contributed, I've made a few changes. I have updated the thread title, removed some now-superfluous posts, added an explanatory paragraph to post #1 and moved Michael's U10 link to post #1.

Members can add relevant information so we hopefully end up with an interesting and useful resource.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 12:08 am   #10
michael cumming
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

Nice work Darren Sadly I don't have many early battery guides just the 1980s ones an a copied 1948 one. I can recall a few sizes of that scanned page, the square 1215 or No 15. they were used in those wooden lamps, easy to make up to, again three U2s inside. I wonder if folk in the old days took batteries apart to obtain single cells if they needed lots of them?

Early hearing aids only use their make which were probably more expensive so I wonder if folk just used the same size cell and voltage but not their make? I'm thinking this may well not be a new thing that we are doing now as folk probably did this years ago but back then there were so many sizes of cells. Even I have never seen some on that scan posted, a triangle battery.

Back on thread though I feel there should be included along with the info some battery scans if possible for many electrical items as I notice there is a household electrical section too on here and I guess that would include hand lamps, deaf aids etc.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 12:37 pm   #11
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

Not sure if it's relevant here, as this cell is still available, but 6 x AAAA (yes, quadruple 'A') cells are found inside of most good quality Alkaline PP3's.

Not a lot uses them but last time I checked they were about 5 each.

Dave.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 3:20 pm   #12
michael cumming
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

I have seen them made by Energizer. They come packaged two on a card, hard to find but I'm sure some Bluetooth head sets take these. I wonder what other uses they have. I hacked a Duracell PP3 and six of these were inside in series. You won't find these in cheap zinc carbon PP3s as they use layer cells like they did in the old days. Those 12V small round batteries that are used in car key fobs have button cells inside but not sure of the size, saying that though Pifco do a card of assorted sizes of button cells so may well not be worth hacking one for this purpose. That small Standard Micronic Ruby Radio uses those type of button cells.

I once found a large hearing aid battery by Ever Ready that had a load of those D23s or N cells inside. It was a HT battery for a Bonocord aid that used miniature valves. the battery was a W1435 and was a 52.5V one.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 5:56 pm   #13
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

Hello Chris,
I'm not sure how to increase the definition so that it can be posted on the Forum. If you would like the HD version on a disc, I could post it to you. John.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 7:10 pm   #14
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

The easiest way is to ZIP it and post the result.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 1:28 pm   #15
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

To add to the posts above regarding 996 lantern batteries containing 4 cells each F size, this is not true of all makes.
Some contain 4 D cells with a spacer. These can be recognised without dismantling by the off-center weight of the battery.

AAAA cells are indeed found in some but all small 9 volt transistor batteries.
They are used in some modern ultra slim LED penlights.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 2:10 pm   #16
michael cumming
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

I did see a lantern battery hack somewhere where they had D cells inside. If you ever find a Dorman road lamp cell, it's the same as a 6V 996 bit it's Alkaline Air. I took one apart to find four tray cells inside. The plastic trays had the black powder in with the electrolite paste in, it was like a jelly. Did not know that AAAAs were used in modern pen lights. They must be really slim.
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 3:17 pm   #17
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Default Re: Sourcing batteries/cells thought to be obsolete.

If you're stuck for those No.8 3V cells, today I made one up out of a 3V CR2 batter., I taped an AA to it to make the length up as I had some dead AA Lithium cells. I used these as I never mix battery types for safety reasons. I am not sure these would work in test equipment though but are fine for old torches. My local Tesco were selling these off for 51p each, they also had some AAAA cells to at 38p for two. Both lots still in date too.
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