How To: Battery Conversion for Polaroids
I am very excited about today’s Vintage Tuesday post as it’s my “How To” for converting Polaroid cameras to take AA or AAA batteries instead of the original camera battery. I’ve been waiting a long time to do this modification to my Polaroid Land Camera 210 and as soon as my battery holder arrived in the mail I pounced! Most older Polaroid Land Cameras use a custom 3V or 4V battery type that is hard to find (not impossible mind you if you look online) and relatively expensive. So it’s ideal to do this simple and cheap conversion and that way you can spend more money on film! Speaking of film, I heard right after doing this mod to my camera about the discontinuations of FP-3000B Fujifilm Black and White instant film. Let’s just say I am very sadden by this news and have signed this petition to have Fujifilm reconsider – highly suggest you sign if you use instant film because this the last and only black and white instant film on the market anymore. Anyways sad news aside below is simple steps for the conversion, it took me no time at all and the only thing I bought was the battery holder for $2. Make sure to click on the photos for the better view of the steps.
- A Polaroid camera
- Electrical tape
- Electronic pliers
- Battery case holder
*for AA or AAA batteries (3V bought here)
*to figure out what voltage you need for each type of Polaroid camera this guide is great!
- Using pliers snip off the old battery ends as we will not be using them.
- Using the pliers stripe the plastic coating so you have exposed wiring for both black and white.
*I did go back and restrip so I had more exposed wiring as this amount was not long enough
- The battery holder I am using comes with wiring already and had the ends striped. However you can trim down the length.
*it’s been awhile since I’ve done any wiring so I left mine intact in case I made any mistakes.
- Now twist the wires, black to black and red to white.
*I had to do this a few times as my wires were not that long and the older Polaroid wiring was frayed badly.
- Before doing anything else put batteries in the holder and test to make sure the connections are being properly made. There is two ways to see if the shutter is working. First: open up the back of the camera where the film goes and try taking a photo, you should be able to see the light from the open shutter. Second: Fire off the shutter once when there is no batteries in the holder and again when there is and listen for the difference. If the batteries are connected correctly there should be a 2nd distinct click sound when you let go of the shutter that wasn’t there before.
- Take electrical tape and wrap the exposed wires.
- Take pliers (or anything that will work for you) and snap off all the old battery holder plastic to make room for the new case. This step should be #1 but I wasn’t very confident and well I am one of those people who hates doing permanent modes to cameras.
*this was actually the hardest part and took me an hour, keep in mind I had to be careful about the wiring so I think it’d be much easier if done as the first step. I also gave up towards the end so my holder just barely fits.
- Insert the battery holder with the batteries and close the case.
*you can add foam to secure the case so it doesn’t move around however since I didn’t gut the insides out completely it’s tight enough that it doesn’t move.
*as you can see my wires are very long – would reccomend trimming them however not a big issue.
- Take photos!