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01-23-2016, 07:57 AM   #1
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Spotmatic battery options?

Hi all,
Its been awhile since I used any of my spotmatics and was just going through the collection. Whats the latest battery options out there. Last I used was wein cells.. but I never really got great mileage from them.Maybe I just had a bad batch?It was a few years ago.

Thanks,
AL

01-23-2016, 08:23 AM   #2
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I have found the wein cells have very short lives too. I'm sure I saw a comment on the forum in the past that some Spotmatics had circuitry (bridge?) that allow modern batteries to correctly work with modern rather than mercury batteries. Hopefully someone will confirm if my understanding is correct
01-23-2016, 09:56 AM - 1 Like   #3
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1.5 batteries are fine, since yes, it's a balanced bridge. Regular button cells can be used if you put the right sized neoprene washer around them.

Weincells are zinc air, so they are constantly discharging voltage as soon as the little cover is removed and will die after a period of time, even if not used. They do supply a very steady voltage, and at the correct levels needed for some cameras, so they are the best option in many cases, just not with the Spotties.
01-23-2016, 10:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
1.5 batteries are fine, since yes, it's a balanced bridge. Regular button cells can be used if you put the right sized neoprene washer around them.

Weincells are zinc air, so they are constantly discharging voltage as soon as the little cover is removed and will die after a period of time, even if not used. They do supply a very steady voltage, and at the correct levels needed for some cameras, so they are the best option in many cases, just not with the Spotties.
Thanks! saw a guy on ebay selling the 1.5 volts with re-usable washer and was wondering if they would work on my spots
Guess I'll give them a try.
AL

01-23-2016, 02:24 PM   #5
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Not a pentax at its time of mfg but On a related topic....I also have a Ricoh Singlex TLS. Battery alternatives/suggestions/experiences anyone?

Thanks in advance.

AL
01-23-2016, 03:03 PM   #6
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The Singlex TLS used a 1.35v PX625 battery. You'll either need the equivalent wein cell 1.35v battery, or a 625-sized adapter that controls the voltage and lets you use smaller-sized 1.5v batteries.
01-23-2016, 03:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
The Singlex TLS used a 1.35v PX625 battery. You'll either need the equivalent wein cell 1.35v battery, or a 625-sized adapter that controls the voltage and lets you use smaller-sized 1.5v batteries.
Thanks, I was hoping get away from the wein cells. I'm guessing the adapters are pricey for the 1.5 volt battery. I'll probably put the Ricoh back on the shelf and play with the spotmatics a bit.

AL
01-23-2016, 04:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
I'm guessing the adapters are pricey for the 1.5 volt battery. I'll probably put the Ricoh back on the shelf and play with the spotmatics a bit.
I think they're about $40 from CRIS Camera. You can probably find sellers offering them cheaper on the usual sites, but no idea on whether you'd get the real thing or not.

If you're not planning on using it much then yeah, the price isn't really worth it.

01-23-2016, 08:37 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
The Singlex TLS used a 1.35v PX625 battery. You'll either need the equivalent wein cell 1.35v battery, or a 625-sized adapter that controls the voltage and lets you use smaller-sized 1.5v batteries.
QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
Thanks, I was hoping get away from the wein cells. I'm guessing the adapters are pricey for the 1.5 volt battery.
QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
I think they're about $40 from CRIS Camera

The cheapest and best method that I have found to replace PX625 mercury batteries in my cameras that need constant voltage, is my simple and cheap (pocket change) brass adapters with no voltage control circuitry which I use hearing aid batteries in to keep the voltage constant.
Hearing aid batteries are very cheap and easily available unlike Wein air cells.

Glenn
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01-23-2016, 08:57 PM   #10
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Glenn can you tell me more about your brass adapters? Ive read about using hearing aid batteries...but they are still zinc air like the wein cells?

From what i read they last even less than wein cells because the have 7 holes verses 2 in the wein cells. Do you block up 5 of the holes to get more life out of them?
Thanks Al
01-23-2016, 11:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
Glenn can you tell me more about your brass adapters? Ive read about using hearing aid batteries...but they are still zinc air like the wein cells? From what i read they last even less than wein cells because the have 7 holes verses 2 in the wein cells. Do you block up 5 of the holes to get more life out of them? Thanks Al
My brass adapters I made after I saw some-one using the emptied casing of a PX625a alkaline battery as an adapter.( I wouldn't recommend doing this with a mercury cell ) My Brother uses a "battery collar" cut from a piece of plastic tubing for his OM-1, he is very cheap and has no hand skills. This type of adapter can be made from many different materials as they are only spacers, you only have to remember to allow air to reach the cells air holes. Adapters can also be bought on the internet, most are made for A76 batteries which is same size as 675 hearing aid batteries.
I have been using 675 hearing aid batteries for quite a few years now and once activated have no noticable difference in lifespan to Wien cells, there is no need to block air holes. The big advantage of hearing aid batteries is that they are very cheap, can be found easily almost anywhere, are correct voltage, with no drop off and until activated last for ages in my camera bag. I buy my batteries in a pack of 8 for less than $3 AUD ( $2.10 US ) and they last for years.

Glenn
01-24-2016, 12:14 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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The most experienced members of the Spotmatic group have compiled the information below and many of them have been using Spotmatics since they purchased them brand new in the sixties and seventies. This information is being provided so that you do not have to ask about it as a discussion topic on the forum.

In relation to batteries, there are 5 groups of Spotmatic cameras:
1. SP Series. This includes SP, SP500, SP1000, SPII and SPIIA.
2. SP F
3. Electro Spotmatic and ES
4. ESII.
5. SL. This camera has no meter and, thus, no battery.

SP Series
The 1.35-volt mercury (mercuric oxide) battery originally used in the Spotmatic SP is no longer available due to environmental protection laws.
Replacement batteries available today are 1.55-volt but the Spotmatic uses a "bridge" circuit in its meter, making it insensitive to battery voltage variations. So, despite what you may have read - No meter recalibration is necessary as all Spotmatic SP series cameras can handle the increased voltage.

The alternatives are:
Spend about $30 for an adapter from CRIS Camera Services (http://www.criscam.com/) and a battery to insert into it. But this would be a waste of money as it is definitely not required.
Spend about $10 for a Wein Products MRB400 cell (modified Zinc-Air cell). They are quite expensive and have a limited life (about 6 to 12 months) unless you remove the battery after each use and seal up its air hole (it needs air to work). This is not a recommended solution.
Spend about $3.00 for one of the many 1.55-volt silver oxide batteries available over the Internet, at Radio Shack, most drugstores, camera stores and even some supermarkets. They will last you for about three years if our experience is typical. Make sure you insert it the right way for proper polarity, and take up the excess space in the battery box with a rubber O-ring from the hardware store, that will cost you about 49 cents. You might have to bend up the battery contact in the battery box to make good contact.
Silver oxide batteries that work are: Mallory PX-400 or RM-400-R, Varta V394, Maxell SR936W or SR936SW, Renata 394, or any type 392 equivalent.
Do not be tempted to use alkaline battery equivalents as they have a much steeper discharge curve. The silver oxide batteries have a flat discharge curve similar to the old mercury batteries.



SP F.
Mallory PX625, Duracell PX625A, Excel Z625PX, Eveready E-625N.
The Spotmatic F uses a dual coil meter movement that, like the bridge circuit, cancels out battery voltage variations on the level we are dealing with here. So it is immune to the difference between 1.35v and 1.5v, too. The original battery for the Spot F was a mercury type. In this case, Pentax used the identical circuit in the KM and K1000, without any electronic changes. They substituted the silver types with NO ALTERATION at all.

Electro Spotmatic and ES.
6-volt Eveready #544, Duracell 28L Lithium.


ESII.
Eveready S76E, Mallory MS-76H, in fact any 76-type battery works -A76, S76, MS76.
01-24-2016, 02:26 AM   #13
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Thanks for this very complete advice Ray
01-24-2016, 05:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rayallen Quote
The most experienced members of the Spotmatic group have compiled the information below and many of them have been using Spotmatics since they purchased them brand new in the sixties and seventies. This information is being provided so that you do not have to ask about it as a discussion topic on the forum.

In relation to batteries, there are 5 groups of Spotmatic cameras:
1. SP Series. This includes SP, SP500, SP1000, SPII and SPIIA.
2. SP F
3. Electro Spotmatic and ES
4. ESII.
5. SL. This camera has no meter and, thus, no battery.

SP Series
The 1.35-volt mercury (mercuric oxide) battery originally used in the Spotmatic SP is no longer available due to environmental protection laws.
Replacement batteries available today are 1.55-volt but the Spotmatic uses a "bridge" circuit in its meter, making it insensitive to battery voltage variations. So, despite what you may have read - No meter recalibration is necessary as all Spotmatic SP series cameras can handle the increased voltage.

The alternatives are:
• Spend about $30 for an adapter from CRIS Camera Services (http://www.criscam.com/) and a battery to insert into it. But this would be a waste of money as it is definitely not required.
• Spend about $10 for a Wein Products MRB400 cell (modified Zinc-Air cell). They are quite expensive and have a limited life (about 6 to 12 months) unless you remove the battery after each use and seal up its air hole (it needs air to work). This is not a recommended solution.
• Spend about $3.00 for one of the many 1.55-volt silver oxide batteries available over the Internet, at Radio Shack, most drugstores, camera stores and even some supermarkets. They will last you for about three years if our experience is typical. Make sure you insert it the right way for proper polarity, and take up the excess space in the battery box with a rubber O-ring from the hardware store, that will cost you about 49 cents. You might have to bend up the battery contact in the battery box to make good contact.
• Silver oxide batteries that work are: Mallory PX-400 or RM-400-R, Varta V394, Maxell SR936W or SR936SW, Renata 394, or any type 392 equivalent.
• Do not be tempted to use alkaline battery equivalents as they have a much steeper discharge curve. The silver oxide batteries have a flat discharge curve similar to the old mercury batteries.



SP F.
• Mallory PX625, Duracell PX625A, Excel Z625PX, Eveready E-625N.
• The Spotmatic F uses a dual coil meter movement that, like the bridge circuit, cancels out battery voltage variations on the level we are dealing with here. So it is immune to the difference between 1.35v and 1.5v, too. The original battery for the Spot F was a mercury type. In this case, Pentax used the identical circuit in the KM and K1000, without any electronic changes. They substituted the silver types with NO ALTERATION at all.

Electro Spotmatic and ES.
6-volt Eveready #544, Duracell 28L Lithium.


ESII.
Eveready S76E, Mallory MS-76H, in fact any 76-type battery works -A76, S76, MS76.
Ray, Thank you for this information summary I appreciate it greatly. Im sure many will find it very useful!

One comment though and I mean no disrespect by it but I don't think the part about "This information is being provided so that you do not have to ask about it as a discussion topic on the forum." was really necessary. If it was posted somewhere and discussed already a link would have sufficed.

My original question was to see what people are currently using as options...Technology changes over time.People come up with ideas and try things I think any topic on Pentax should be one that is open for discussion on a Pentax Discussion Forum....even ones that have been rehashed before. Whats old hat to some is new info to others. Discussion generates content and interest on discussion forum..

Again no disrespect meant but Id really like to hear what people are using currently with their Spots and related cameras.
Thank you,
AL
01-25-2016, 01:46 PM   #15
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If it needs a Mercury cell then a hearing aid cell and plumbers rubber o ring is ok except when the o ring acts as insulator.
The hearing aid cells last 4-5 months in temperate locations.

Some cameras and meters won't draw enough current to pull down the zinc cell off load voltage to near to the Mercury voltage.

If it has a bridge circuit then a silver oxide cell is ok, though a alkaline will also work ok in my K1000s.

It is a good idea to check the reading is ok in good and bad light against a known good meter! Some old light meter cells need replacing for age.
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