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  #1  
Old 19-03-20, 18:26
James D Teel II James D Teel II is offline
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Default 19 Set Control Unit Batteries

I’m in the process of restoring the control unit for my 19 set. Are the batteries pictured 1.5v, and if so, can anyone direct me to where I can find proper period looking replacements?
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Old 19-03-20, 20:34
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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Hi James,

Yes, they are "Cells, Dry, X, Mk.II" originally, those are the post-WW2 cardboard cased version (one variety, anyway), Battery, Dry, 1.1/2 Volt, No.12
(WB 0200, NBA 300 or 6135-99-910-1135). The modern contents are a 1.5 volt size 'F' dry cell (original cells were actually square section and wrapped in tarred paper, modern ones are circular cells in cardboard cases and wax-dipped.)

I don't believe there is any modern production of this unit. (What we need is someone with a 3D printer to mass-produce a casing that will take a 'C' cell in a holder that can be "dressed up" as a WW2-style item.)

Best regards,
Chris.
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Old 20-03-20, 01:22
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What is the input voltage range that the radio can handle?


Might be worth it to mock up a top, and replace the innards with a Lithium-whatever battery pack and have power forever..
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Old 20-03-20, 01:28
rob love rob love is online now
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I picked up a pair of those remote control units form the local surplus store back around 1979. I was in the militia then, and the old signals Sergent went into the back room and brought out some reasonably fresh batteries for the units. I'm not sure what else they were used in back then, but they were still in use with some piece of equipment or another.

Come to think about it, I have a portable desklamp hiding somewhere which also uses those same batteries if I recall correctly. I saw those go surplus in the 1980s, so likely the batteries were still around for use in those.
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Old 20-03-20, 01:44
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie fitton View Post
What is the input voltage range that the radio can handle?


Might be worth it to mock up a top, and replace the innards with a Lithium-whatever battery pack and have power forever..
It doesn't really apply in this case. The battery is 4 cells, giving 6 volts tapped at 3 for the carbon microphone (it's basically a field telephone with added bells and whistles (well, in this case a keying relay and some extra switchery)).

The 6 volts is used to operate the keying relay at the 'local' (to the set) end, and extra cells can be added if the line circuit has too much resistance for it to operate reliably.

Chris.
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Old 20-03-20, 01:56
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
I picked up a pair of those remote control units form the local surplus store back around 1979. I was in the militia then, and the old signals Sergent went into the back room and brought out some reasonably fresh batteries for the units. I'm not sure what else they were used in back then, but they were still in use with some piece of equipment or another.

Come to think about it, I have a portable desklamp hiding somewhere which also uses those same batteries if I recall correctly. I saw those go surplus in the 1980s, so likely the batteries were still around for use in those.
They go back at least to the first world war, when they were used in Telephone Set 'D' Mark II (and later models), Fullerphones, the Daylight Signalling Lamp, and other things that needed a small battery supply.

Switchboard U.C. (6-line or 10-line) uses three of them, the 10-line Magneto Switchboard (W.D.) used a pair for the "night alarm" (plus another pair in the operator's Telephone Set 'J').

It's possible that they're not completely obsolete yet, though adapters were made to fit a pair of 'D' cells in Telephone Sets J & L by the manufacturer, and modern field telephones tend to use C or D cells.

Chris.
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Old 20-03-20, 03:30
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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To follow through with Rob’s comments a bit, I have a pair of these dated 04/77 and 02/78 made by Union Carbide in Toronto. Plain beige cardboard with black printing, identified as “CF BATTERY BA-300/U”. I have never seen any dated beyond the 1980’s.

Wartime production batteries I used to have were made by WILLARD BATTERY. Identical in construction but in olive green waxed cardboard with black trim and printing. A very ornate design compared to the bare bones look of the postwar product.

The brass terminal assemblies are still available and beige Manila cardboard is very close to the look of the postwar product. It would not be difficult to dummy working D Cell driven replicas.

David
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  #8  
Old 20-03-20, 03:57
James D Teel II James D Teel II is offline
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All,

Thanks for your help. It should be a fairly easy thing to fabricate batteries since the dimensions are known. I found this fellow during a web search. He seems to be knowledgeable on batteries. I’ve emailed him and hope to hear from him soon.
https://www.radiolaguy.com/Batteries..._Batteries.htm
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  #9  
Old 20-03-20, 12:40
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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Defence Standards specification for the postwar version (includes engineering drawings, etc.).

Chris.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1.5V No. 12.pdf (43.6 KB, 36 views)
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  #10  
Old 20-03-20, 14:22
James D Teel II James D Teel II is offline
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That’s a great resource. Thank you, Chris.
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  #11  
Old 26-03-20, 01:59
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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Members of a nervous disposition may wish to sit down now, and have the brandy and oxygen mask (or smelling salts handy).

It appears that the humble 'X' cell lives on (or, at least is not quite extinct).

(FX: Drum Roll)
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Package.jpg   Front.jpg   Top.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 26-03-20, 04:52
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Well I couldn’t stand it Chris. I emailed the company to see what I can find out about commercial availability of that battery.

I will post what I find out.

David
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  #13  
Old 26-03-20, 08:59
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is offline
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Since I don't plan to make a working radio setup, reasonable visual facsimile batteries would fill my needs. In fact, they might better represent period equipment than a modern functional battery.
My thought is a block of wood wrapped in suitable printed card stock with terminals out the top. This is based on what I can see in the photo of the initial post. One advantage to the visual replica is that it can't ever go flat and leak as "dry" cells have been known to do.

I was about to post asking if anyone has photos of original batteries to share to help with the markings on the side (top is shown in the photo and there's some guidance for the side in the PDF Chris provided), then I remembered a basic rule - search before asking to avoid looking stupid/lazy (or at least any more silly than necessary). Found photos (from an ebay listing out of London UK https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Crompton-Par...item2f3da67425 ), but not much more. More photos will be gladly accepted.....
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WS19 RCU battery 3.jpg   WS19 RCU battery 4.jpg   WS19 RCU battery 5.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 26-03-20, 09:00
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is offline
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one more photo found
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  #15  
Old 26-03-20, 11:27
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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It may turn out these batteries are still in production via a ‘closed’ MOD contract to provide them as needed, which begs the question as to what equipment would still be in service today, requiring such batteries?

David
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  #16  
Old 26-03-20, 12:01
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
It may turn out these batteries are still in production via a ‘closed’ MOD contract to provide them as needed, which begs the question as to what equipment would still be in service today, requiring such batteries?

David
They look hand-made, which means that the cost will be astronomical.

It will be for some very low-volume application, possibly for use in the very old field telephones (e.g Telephone Sets F & J) that may still be used on firing ranges.

I suspect there's just a 'D' cell inside and that they cost the MoD over £20 per unit, possibly over £50.

Chris.
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  #17  
Old 26-03-20, 16:54
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Well that was fast, but pretty much as expected.

These batteries are made only on an an ‘as ordered’ basis from the MOD. No orders, no batteries. A non-MOD order would be considered, but the batch run would have to be high in number to do so.

Pricing was skillfully avoided, but I did learn they provide individual batteries only. They are never done up in pairs with the small jumper cable. The end user would need to source those.

David
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  #18  
Old 26-03-20, 17:42
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
They are never done up in pairs with the small jumper cable. The end user would need to source those.
My remote control unit came with a small bundle of jumpers tied by string to the wiring from RCU to batteries. In my naive state I didn't realize this wasn't standard. Sometimes better lucky than clever.
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  #19  
Old 26-03-20, 18:36
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hi Grant.

Yes, I remember finding a small pallet piled with NOS RCU’s just inside the front doors of United Army Surplus here in Winnipeg, back in the 80’s. All three manufacturers were represented. The first one I opened was an RCA and it had the same three jumpers tied in place and a manual tucked inside with the other accessories and the carry strap. I pounced on it straight away at the staggering price of $5.00. Then I got curious and opened examples of the other two. Same thing. I humped my way home on the bus with four of them. Two over each shoulder.

Those were the days!

David
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  #20  
Old 26-03-20, 19:14
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is online now
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All the cells shown so far have been modern ones, with NATO stock numbers, etc., and not the WW2 style.

I'll try and dig some of my older ones out and see if the camera is working.

(Worst case is I could stick them on the flatbed scanner!)

Chris.
p.s. that small blue "Crompton Parkinson" battery with the white label is a DS-7 and I think was a Post Office type used in multimeters for the low resistance range. It's rather smaller than an 'X' cell.
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  #21  
Old 26-03-20, 19:30
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is offline
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Compared to the plain look of the postwar batteries is this Australian WWII version. https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/diamon...?language_id=3


It looks like the same type X cells were used for Aldis signal lamps - which doesn't make them a lot easier to find as I suspect they were mainly tossed when they went flat or when the equipment that needed them went out of service.
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Last edited by Grant Bowker; 26-03-20 at 19:37.
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  #22  
Old 12-07-20, 18:52
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is offline
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Another image of X cell batteries was found at https://www.sentimentaljourney.co.uk...cell-batteries
The site says they have 3 for sale (fourth one, dated 1944, being kept by owner for his collection).
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  #23  
Old 12-07-20, 20:15
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Grant.

I have a set of photos of a wartime Canadian Willard Battery Company cell tucked away somewhere on a drive stick. Dull Olive Green overall with all black markings.

When I next run across them, I will post a set here.


David
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  #24  
Old 13-07-20, 12:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Suslowicz View Post
It doesn't really apply in this case. The battery is 4 cells, giving 6 volts tapped at 3 for the carbon microphone (it's basically a field telephone with added bells and whistles (well, in this case a keying relay and some extra switchery)).

The 6 volts is used to operate the keying relay at the 'local' (to the set) end, and extra cells can be added if the line circuit has too much resistance for it to operate reliably.

Chris.
Nom voltage for a LION battery is 3.6v per cell, if the circuits can handle that, then your radio will run for months between charges. Keep the rare batteries for show.
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  #25  
Old 17-12-21, 05:30
James D Teel II James D Teel II is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Suslowicz View Post
Members of a nervous disposition may wish to sit down now, and have the brandy and oxygen mask (or smelling salts handy).

It appears that the humble 'X' cell lives on (or, at least is not quite extinct).

(FX: Drum Roll)
I’ve just received word that MOD has now completely made this battery obsolete. It looks like we’re now going to have to make our own, as some have already done.
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Old 22-12-21, 05:56
Colin Alford Colin Alford is offline
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Gents,

I just stumbled across this eBay listing for replica X cells:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115142074...=&toolid=10050
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Old 22-12-21, 17:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Alford View Post
Gents,

I just stumbled across this eBay listing for replica X cells:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115142074...=&toolid=10050
Ah! I bought some of his "800" replica batteries (the 2 x 'F' cell cycle lamp type) used in the Lamp Electric No.1, Lantern, Electric, Traffic, No.2, the "bomb disposal" intercom set, and a few other things. I asked about the possibility of 'X' cells and we had a discussion which ended up in my sending him the Defence Standards specifications for them. I'm sure other 'wrappers' are possible if required, as the body of the unit is 3-D printed with an external label applied.

Best regards,
Chris.
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Old 22-12-21, 21:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Suslowicz View Post
Ah! I bought some of his "800" replica batteries (the 2 x 'F' cell cycle lamp type) used in the Lamp Electric No.1, Lantern, Electric, Traffic, No.2, the "bomb disposal" intercom set, and a few other things. I asked about the possibility of 'X' cells and we had a discussion which ended up in my sending him the Defence Standards specifications for them. I'm sure other 'wrappers' are possible if required, as the body of the unit is 3-D printed with an external label applied.

Best regards,
Chris.
Proper Job!

Am looking for repros of the batteries for the Hellesen lights... do you have the specs for those too by any chance?

Cheers

Tim
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  #29  
Old 22-01-22, 18:13
James D Teel II James D Teel II is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Alford View Post
Gents,

I just stumbled across this eBay listing for replica X cells:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115142074...=&toolid=10050
That's very nice. Thanks for posting! I just purchased four from him. They're a little on the expensive side for me, but it beats me buying a printer and doing all the other set up myself.
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Last edited by James D Teel II; 23-01-22 at 03:51.
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