Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Cheap and Effective

Mercury Battery Replacement
Inexpensive Hearing Aid
Image by Voxphoto
A lot of old cameras and light meters were designed for mercury batteries–which have now been outlawed worldwide because of their toxicity. Replacement alkaline batteries do NOT give the correct voltage. The question "what do I do now?" comes up often enough that I’m posting this note.

If you want to read more about the situation in mind-numbing technical detail, please download this excellent PDF document by Frans de Gruijter. The graph of voltage versus time for different battery chemistries (on page 3 of that document) really tells the whole story.

A few camera brands (like Pentax) were insensitive to variations in battery voltage and give accurate exposure no matter what battery type you use. However, generally if a meter was designed for 1.3 volt mercury batteries, it will give the wrong exposure when powered by alkaline, lithium, or silver replacements.

There are a variety of more or less complicated & expensive solutions–but using #675 hearing-aid batteries is by far the simplest.

The photo notes give the details. Please go large if you need a closer look at the shape of the batteries.

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