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Russian Radio Batteries

KNP-20

2mk5-2

All of the older Soviet radios that use batteries use a variation similar to the ones above, either in blocks of two or blocks of up to 12 in a cradle. These batteries are alkaline rechargable which either use Nickel Iron or Nickel Cadmium.   The radios are usually found without batteries and replacements are hard to find.

Secondhand batteries are usually dry due to age, however we and others have had success just topping them up with distilled water as the electrolyte is still present in crystal form. Original electrolyte ‘Lithium Hydroxide (mainly)’ is very hard to find but is still used in some Forklift/electric golf buggy batteries. We do now sell  small amounts of electrolyte in powdered for that will work in these cells please enquire for price etc.

The original cells generate 1.2v  which means that using modern ni-cad cells it is possible to build much better batteries. Below is an example of the two packs needed to power the R107 set. Originally the two cells would have provided +2.4 volts and -2.4v at around 20 amps. Using 8 nicad ‘d’ type cells we end up with 2.8 volts per pack at 16 amp hour which works well with no problems.

The cells we have used were taken from a cheap surplus Clansman battery pack and soldered together to give the correct output. Simple electrical tape holds the pack together and the wiring plug adapter is made from plastic with brass terminals glued on.

D series cells from old clansman battery pack (below)