Mercury batteries

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Harris Tweadie, May 18, 2006.

  1. Is the mercury cell PX625 still available in the UK, or is it possible to
    get them mail order for delivery to the UK? I know about the Weincell, but
    apparently they don't last very long. A quick Google reveals that mercury
    batteries are available for use in sex aids, rather bizarrely, but I
    couldn't find any mention of them for use in photographic equipment.
    Harris Tweadie, May 18, 2006
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  2. Harris Tweadie

    John Bean Guest

    Not as far as I know. When I used PX625s I bought a single
    wein cell (because of the cost!) and when exhausted just
    pressed the 675-sized cell out of the ring that surrounds it
    and replaced it with an inexpensive zinc-air 675 cell
    available at give-away prices for older hearing aids at
    places like Boots.

    I used to get about 6 months from a hearing aid cell in my
    Gossen Lunasix at minimal cost.
    John Bean, May 18, 2006
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  3. Harris Tweadie

    Tony Polson Guest

    PX 625 is no longer available and it is illegal to offer it for sale.

    The Wein cell option is well known, but you can only expect 3-6 months
    life at best. Depending on the equipment, you may be able to use an
    alkaline or silver oxide cell with or without an adapter.

    If you can state what equipment you are using, it should be possible
    to advise you.
    Tony Polson, May 18, 2006
  4. Harris Tweadie

    harrogate3 Guest

    Try - still available at GBP1.99 each.
    harrogate3, May 18, 2006
  5. Harris Tweadie

    John Bean Guest

    Not mercury. Those are alkaline.

    Not all PX625s are born equal...
    John Bean, May 18, 2006
  6. Aye, I've seen the alkaline ones. They're a different voltage too. As are
    the silver oxide cells.
    Harris Tweadie, May 18, 2006
  7. It's for a Gossen Lunasix. An adaptor is available but it's about £30, plus
    the cost of the battery on top. I believe it's only illegal to sell mercury
    batteries in certain countries, but that it was legal to buy them elsewhere
    and import them. I just thought it was odd that other mercury batteries are
    available but not the ones used for photographic use.
    Harris Tweadie, May 18, 2006
  8. Harris Tweadie

    Tony Polson Guest

    They are PX625A, the alkaline equivalent that starts off at 1.5V and
    goes down as it discharges. They will work well in cameras that have
    a bridge circuit, such as the Pentax Spotmatic and the Canonet GIII
    QL17, but not at all well in others.
    Tony Polson, May 18, 2006
  9. Harris Tweadie

    Tony Polson Guest

    OK. That's it, you need the adapter or use a Wein cell.
    That was the case a couple of years ago, but not now. You used to be
    able to buy them in China and Canada, among other places, but these
    countries have now fallen in to line.
    Where they are still available, it is for a very limited range of uses
    and a rigorous system of recycling must be in place.
    Tony Polson, May 18, 2006
  10. Harris Tweadie

    John Bean Guest

    What a surprise ;-)

    Try fitting a zinc-air 675 with packing to hold it centred
    (o-ring is good) and see what you think. The adaprer ring
    that comes with the wein is a better fit of course, but the
    Lunasix battery compartment is easy to "modify" with an

    If you find the hearing aid cell works (it does) without
    loss of accuracy (there is no loss of accuracy) you'll need
    to drill a small hole in the battery cover to let the
    zinc-air cell breathe.

    Works well, costs next to nothing. The individual zinc-air
    cells have excellent shelf life until the seal is removed, I
    used to carry a spare just in case but six months on a 60p
    cell is ok in my book. These are the ones I used for years
    with no problems:
    John Bean, May 18, 2006
  11. It's for a Lunasix. I suppose it might be an idea to try them and then
    compensate for the extra voltage by opening up a stop or two, but it means a
    lot of trial and error and lots of possibly wasted film!
    Harris Tweadie, May 19, 2006
  12. Local camera shop used to get rid of them. Just had a quick look at the ones
    in it atm. Says made in West Germany, and they're still going strong!
    Harris Tweadie, May 19, 2006
  13. Harris Tweadie

    John Bean Guest

    They don't hold constant voltage, everything would be a
    guess. Been there, done that, waste of time and money.

    There are only two workable options for the Lunasix:

    1. Adaptor for silver oxide (doesn't have to be the official
    Gossen one)
    2. Zinc-air
    John Bean, May 19, 2006
  14. Thanks for that, but there's 2 in my meter, would I need to use 2 675s, or
    are they slightly bigger, it's hard to see from the picture? Is the o ring
    something I can pick up easily from a diy store? 60p sounds a damn sight
    better than a fiver a battery though, much as hate to deface the lovely old
    thing, I think I'll be getting the black and decker out later!
    Harris Tweadie, May 19, 2006
  15. Be nice if someone brought out a lithium equivalent. Last for ages and a
    constant voltage. Must be worth it with the amount of old equipment there is
    still knocking about.
    Harris Tweadie, May 19, 2006
  16. I think that the EU has banned batteries containing mercury.
    The replacement battery is a zinc-air cell.
    Regards Mike.
    Mike Cawood, HND BIT, May 19, 2006
  17. Harris Tweadie, May 19, 2006
  18. Harris Tweadie

    John Bean Guest

    Yeh, sold mine a couple of years ago, forgot it uses two.
    The 675 is smaller (by quite a lot) than the 625 and a bit
    thinner (but not by much) and the spring in the contact
    makes up for it. A "fat" o-ring of the kind used on some
    garden hose couplings makes a reasonable fit for a 675 in a
    625 holder and are easy to find. The advantage of zinc-air
    is they're near enough the same constant voltage as a
    mercury cell.
    John Bean, May 19, 2006
  19. The price is just one of the privileges of living in Rip-Off Britain.
    Regards Mike.
    Mike Cawood, HND BIT, May 19, 2006
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