Highfields Amateur Radio Club
Glossary Appendix.
copyright date

Battery Details.
Notes and Further Information.

General

So many manufacturers are now making battery operated equipment (or battery backup for memories etc.) that the use of battery (or more properly cell in most cases, I will use "cell" and "battery" interchangeably here, as is common useage) names is becoming confusing!

This confusion is because of the practice of manufacturers to assign novel names and numbers to their batteries, disregarding common, colloquial, IEC, and ANSI naming conventions. Often this is done to steer customers towards a specific brand, and away from competing or generic brands, by obfuscating the common name. For example, if a remote control needs a new battery and the battery compartment has the label, "Replace with ND65V type battery," many customers will buy that specific brand, not realising that this is simply a brand name for a common type of battery (in this case the common PP3, a simplistic example as you would probably recognise that type straight away).

Often manufacturers will change slightly the battery code number, for example: a 301 type button cell is also called, D301, GP301 and V301. These numbers with the different prefixes are all the same cell. Other manufacturers have called this same cell: 1132SO, 1133SO, 226, 260, 280-01, 280-41, AG12, D, D226, D260, D386, G12, GS12, H, LR43, S1142E, S04, S07, SB-A8, SB-B8, SP301, SP386, SR43, SR43SW, SR43W, SR1142, V226, V386! So that's 32 different numbers for one "equivalent" cell (and more as I discover them)!

Sometimes there is a slight variation in the battery between manufacturers, for example the CREATIVE NP-60 and Fuji NP-60 are interchangeable but the Fuji NP-60 is rated at 1050 mAh, while the CREATIVE NP-60 is 1150 mAh, a whole 100 mAh more. Always check specifications for the best deals.

I have included, where possible, older and obsolete type batteries that are no longer in mainstream production as there are some small companies still making replacements to keep older equipment, AVOs, radios etc, working and it is just as important to find the correct fitment. You will also find hints and tips on how to easily replace a battery that is no longer available, that type of information is in the details pages.

Some battery chemistries, i.e. Mercury, are no longer produced due to their toxicity and I have tried to include them with the nearest replacement. The replacement type should physically fit but you may notice reduced useage times or other effects.

Some notes about the ANSI / NEDA letters.

The letters after the Ansi / NEDA number have certain meanings:

Some notes about the IEC numbers.

Lets look at the IEC number and voltage of 3 different batteries:

Can you see a pattern? Well in the first example there is no number before the letter(s) and it is a 1.5 Volt battery. The second example has a 4 before the letter(s) and the third example has a 6 before the letters. Now a little math! 4 times 1.5 is 6. 6 times 1.5 is 9. Now do you see a pattern? The IEC numbering series is set so that any number before the letter(s) is how many 1.5 volt cells make up the final battery, the letters and numbers denote the cells used for the battery. Take a look at the A413 Battery, 20F20, 30 Volts (20 times 1.5? = 30 of course!). There are some exceptions in the IEC CR series but for general domestic types of battery it holds true, or at least it did until NiCd, NiMH and other chemistries came along with differing voltages.
Further to this the letters tell us something as well, this time the chemistry and shape. The first letter is chemistry, the second shape (some only have 1 letter, denoting shape):

Sometimes there is "-2" after the number, ie the Lantern 6V (Big) battery is "4R25-2". The -2 means that there are 2 sets of cells connected in parallel to double the capacity.

Let's take a quick look at the ever popular PP3, 9 volt battery. In particular a 6LR61. What does the IEC number tell us? Well it's a 9 volt battery (6LR) made from AAAA size cells (LR61).
Now I just happened to have one of these on the bench as I was writing this so out came the camera and here it is before and after opening. A quick check with a steel rule and referring to the AAAA page for the size, I can confirm that the 6 cells inside the battery were AAAA size. Some PP3 types are "6F22" and they have 6 flat cells stacked up inside.

I do not recommend doing this yourself as there is electricity, chemicals and sharp metal edges to be careful of.
battery     battery

The IEC CR series (Coin cells and Camera batteries).

These are Lithium Manganese Dioxide chemistry in a round (usually, some camera batteries have shaped plastic casings) package.
Since LiMnO2 cells produce 3 volts there are usually no alternate chemistries for a CR coin cell. Conversely one LiMnO2 cell can replace two alternate chemistry cells, in a 3, 6, 9, or 12 volt battery.
CR cell numbers correlate with the cell dimensions, being the diameter in millimetres (except for the extra half millimetre in some cases) followed by the height in tenths of a millimetre, this also holds true for most of the camera types as well.

Some notes about Button Cells.

AG series are Alkaline chemistry and provide 1.5 volts, dropping to about 0.8 volt at the end of their life.

LR series are Alkaline chemistry and provide 1.5 volts, dropping to about 0.8 volt at the end of their life.

MR series were Mercury chemistry and provided 1.35 volts and were stable until end of life. These are now banned.

MRB series are made by a company called WeinCELL and are a Zinc Air voltage compatable replacement for the Mercury cells.

SR series are Silver Oxide (Ag2O) chemistry and provide a steady 1.55 volts to end of life.

Since there are no "common" names beyond the AG designation, many places use the LR and SR terms interchangeably, and they will both fit and work. The only difference is that the SR series typically have 50% greater capacity than the LR series. In low-drain devices like watches (without lights) this isn't very important, but in high-drain devices like novelty key chain torches, or laser pointers the SR type is preferred. Typically SR and LR will be around the same price so there is no reason not to get the SR version. Often the free "demo" batteries that come with a device are the LR version. Having said that there are several brands of "Battery Cards" on the market that hold, typically, 30 batteries of several different sizes for around a pound (in the UK). These tend to be Alkaline batteries but, with a single battery coating £2 or more they are certainly well worth a look (check production, use by or card printing date to get the freshest batteries you can).

The MR series can usually be replaced by either LR or SR but some equipment is voltage dependent so an adaptor or the MRB series are really the only choices, the options are given on the battery details pages. The adaptors I have linked to are supplied by a British company called The Small Battery Company. I am not connected with this company in any way, I have, as yet, had no dealings with them either. I have used their website as one of the cross referances for the equivalents and placed the adaptor links as examples of what is available. Other suppliers are available.

Important notes about the MRB series:

Back to Equivalents page.