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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 1st Feb 2014, 1:26 am   #1
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

I have re-stuffed a couple of old HT batteries recently and have discovered that certain makes of PP3 are more suitable than others for the purpose.

Like most, I suspect, I buy cheap zinc-carbon PP3 batteries in packs of two for £1 from my local Pound Shop and these come with various brand names, typically Panasonic, Kodak and Sony. I bought ten Kodak PP3s which I tried, unsuccessfully, to fit inside the case of an Ever Ready B126, finding that the batteries were fractionally too long to fit, lengthwise, across the case. In the meantime, I used the Kodak cells in a larger battery and bought ten Sony branded ones, only to find that these just fitted snugly inside the B126 case, and I have successfully made a working B126 90 volt HT battery using them.

I can only conclude that Sony PP3s are slightly shorter than Kodak PP3s. It's worth comparing different makes of PP3 for size when space is at a premium. These batteries are all much of a muchness when it comes to capacity, and they seem to last for ages with occasional use.

Phil
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Old 1st Feb 2014, 10:08 am   #2
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

I had not realised that with PP3s But on occasions have struggled to fit AA batteries, found a different brand and fit them without a problem. So it seems we can expect there to be a variation over most of the range of batteries. Thinking back I had some PP9s that would not fit in a set.

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Old 1st Feb 2014, 10:29 pm   #3
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Hi all,

Yes I've had this very same problem, on refurbishing my dad's Philips transistor radio from the 1970s. I had to cut quite a large proportion of the battery box spring out of the battery compartment, it seems that the 'D' size cells of today, (formerly known as HP2's) have become huge compared to earlier vintage sizes, growing by as much as 3mm for each cell .

Paul.
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Old 2nd Feb 2014, 11:00 pm   #4
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

I am old enough to remember the days when a U2 cell had a zinc casing covered by a thin paper wrapper that could be peeled off, and when an Ever Ready 'Bijou' 3-volt pen torch battery could be split into its two 1.5 volt AA-sized cells... I did, at one time, think that cells had increased in diameter due to some form of leakproof wrapping, but I don't think this is the case.

A couple of days ago I peeled the plastic wrapper off a couple of modern alkaline D cells to enable them to be squeezed into a 1970s Ever Ready AD35 battery case. The plastic wrapping was very thin indeed, barely a few thou', and the cell itself is actually sealed at the bottom rather than at the top.

Returning to PP3s specifically, I think that the casing is made of metal rather than plastic, and some manufacturers use a thicker metal than others, which as the metal is 'rolled' to form the seal at the bottom causes the variation in overall length.
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Old 3rd Feb 2014, 4:06 pm   #5
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

From my days at Ever Ready and, if memory serves me correctly, metal jacket batteries, including the PP3, were introduced to improve the safety of alkaline batteries and to reduce the risk of exploding batteries, usually caused by short circuit or over heating.

In same cases, especially AA, C & D size alkaline batts could explode if dropped on the +ve connection end.

I saw this demonstrated at Ever Ready labs when a non metal jacket, alkaline AA battery was inserted into the chamber of a specially designed 'gun' and when the 'firing' mech was activated, there was a loud bang and the contents of the battery travelled 2 metres and burried its self into a test block of Ballistic Gel !

However I think, just for standardisation, metal jackets were then applied to ZnCl batteries too.

As a collector of pocket transistor radios from the 1960's these metal jacket alkaline batts are larger than the cardboard PP3 zinc chloride batteries, that these 60's radios were designed to take and the metal jacket ones can cause the plastic case of the radio to crack or split.

The only modern PP3 that still fits into these radios is the Panasonic, metal jacket Zinc Chloride ones
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Old 3rd Feb 2014, 7:11 pm   #6
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

I remember cardboard-cased PP9's but I have never seen a cardboard-cased PP3. I do remember when Ever Ready had a strange two-sided clip for the negative terminal whereas other manufacturers had a proper Carr-type receptacle.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 12:49 am   #7
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Hi all,
I wonder if I was the only one that went around with a pair of long nosed pliers squeezing up the edges of the negative contact on the battery, when the inserted snap on connector became floppy on one side?

Paul.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 1:39 pm   #8
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post
I remember cardboard-cased PP9's but I have never seen a cardboard-cased PP3.
I've definitely seen plastic cased Ever Ready PP3s, though I too don't recall card cased ones.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 2:13 pm   #9
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
I've definitely seen plastic cased Ever Ready PP3s, though I too don't recall card cased ones.
Sorry, I've just re-read my post and meant plastic case, early ones covered in glossy printed paper.

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Old 4th Feb 2014, 4:09 pm   #10
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

I have an SEI photometer whose instructions say remove the outer casing of the battery (sic) to make it fit (an D cell) funnily enough modern D cells don't need this doing to them.
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Old 25th Mar 2014, 10:51 pm   #11
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

I've been getting over the problem of different sized PP3s by making my battery cases slightly oversize. I have a few Attache case radios (23 at the last count, but don't tell my wife), and I've only found one A Masteradio PB101 "Minor", where my battery wouldn't fit. I've just made an Exide DM526 and an H1184. the DM526 is a bit of a tight fit in a newly acquired HMV1415. The lid shuts and I think they look good, but there I would say that wouldn't I.
I attach a photo of the batteries in place.
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Old 26th Mar 2014, 8:26 pm   #12
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Yesterday, before reading this, I made up a replacement ersatz B114 for my Ekco Princess and noticed that it was the width dimension that seemed to vary between the two makes used, one type were more bulbous, for lack of a better word. I want to make up a proper battery box for this rather than just taping them all together but I starting to wonder if it is viable. I am going to feel a bit of a charlie wandering quids-r-us or wherever with a vernier!

Ian
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Old 27th Mar 2014, 12:09 am   #13
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

If you want some old batteries for comparison keep an eye open in the recycling boxes that shops have. PC World's ones are are conveniently transparent and recently I found some Ray-O-Vac U2s that were definitely from the 60s! Fairly good condition as well. The shop thought I was mad (along with the children) was I asked to take them.

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Old 31st Mar 2014, 10:35 pm   #14
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Over the past few years I've been very grateful to enthusiasts who have made their battery scans available on the net, so it's payback time. Please see the attached zip file which contains my attempts at Exide versions of the AD35 and B126. I have sort of made them up using details from the odd photo on ebay and an old catalogue, so they are not perfect by any means. I use Irfanview to print, as it's easy to set the size of the final image. If you use the the sizes in the images, you will get an H 1184 of the "legal" size, and an over-sized DM526 which is large enough to take 10 PP3s and will fit in most attache radios.
The batteries which I showed in my previous post were printed onto satin photo paper which I then stuck onto 200gm white card using spray mount.
I noticed that there have been almost 100 views of my HMV 1415, so thought that you might be interested in my meager attempts. I'm currently working on a set of ersatz GEC batteries which I will share when they are done.
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Old 1st Apr 2014, 8:09 pm   #15
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Those are very pretty exide repro's. Shame to close the radio!!!
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 8:27 pm   #16
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Splendid work, and a refreshing change from Ever-Ready blue. I seem to remember Drydex being grey and red though, so I'm probably confusing them with yet another alternative make. Not Vidor, which were dark blue and yellow. Any ideas?
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 12:01 am   #17
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Thanks for your kind remarks. It seems that the Drydex series were in green/black and red/grey, I don't know if these were made at different periods.
I do have artwork for a grey and red set, but as yet I'm not happy with the colours when printed. I started making these to be a change from the ubiquitous red and blue.

Please see the attached pictures, which show both types. I hope it's OK to reproduce the picture from the museum of technology website. The other 2 are from ebay. You don't get a view of the bottom of any of the batteries, so I've had to guess what they look like. I'm sure that I've seen a picture of an H1184 with a warning notice of some kind, but I can't find it now I want it.
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 9:00 pm   #18
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

It shows how closely I look at things..... I've only just noticed that the grey/red Exide is subtitled DRYMAX whereas the green/black is subtitled DRYDEX. Quite what the difference between a DEX and a MAX is, apart from the colour of the box, I don't know.

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Old 6th Apr 2014, 11:53 pm   #19
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Marketing possibly, it's not just a modern thing.
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Old 8th Apr 2014, 9:53 am   #20
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Default Re: Re-stuffing HT batteries with PP3s

Sorry folks, but another close look at various pictures on the net, has revealed that Exide batteries in the Hxxxx series are subtitled DRYDEX, and the DMxxx series are subtitled DRYMAX whatever the colour scheme. That means my DM526 artwork is incorrect as far as the side label and base are concerned I'll redo it, and post it with the grey/version, when I've corrected that as well.
This system would seem to correspond to the Ever Ready Alldry and Battrymax for LT and HT.

Last edited by antenna441; 8th Apr 2014 at 10:01 am. Reason: clarification
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