Modern Batteries

For some of the earliest MiniDisc portables, they used proprietary batteries. They are almost all guaranteed to be dead by now; no longer holding a charge, or chargers not detecting it at all.

Here we want to show you a (growing) list of modern replacements, and the units they belong to.

Sony MZ-1

The MZ-1 uses a NiMH BP-MZ1, these will no longer work.

There are a few modern equivalents. Both are 3D-printed shunts; they are basically just structural holders for 18650 cells.

First, is a two-piece shunt. For this you will need two 18650 cells, and some kind of conductive material (nickel metal strips, or copper tape) to get the power into the device.

Second is a one-piece shunt. Same general idea here; you will need to have some kind of conductive metal on one side of this.

Gumstick batteries

For the units that use the so-called gumstick batteries, this solution is easier.

There are several vendors that make these, and they do work.

Common brands are HQRP and Vapex.

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With these there are no special handling or prep for getting them to work. Unfortunately the way NiMH batteries work is something you need to keep in mind when using them. They have what's called a memory effect.

But the long and short of it is, you need to complete a few charge/discharge cycles when you first get them to get their full capacity.

That's it. Your Minidisc portable that takes gumsticks? It works now!

LIP series

Unfortunately, there aren't many modern replacements for these. You can take a chance with the 'remanufactured' or no-name replacements, but they are likely to be NOS (new-old stock; just sitting in a warehouse somewhere for a while).

There have been some attempts to do what is called 're-celling' some of the LIP units. This is *generally* a destructive process, even in the best DIY'ers hands. This involved separating the case halves from each other, desoldering the battery, and soldering in a new cell.

However, here is a less destructive tutorial on how to rebuild a LIP-12.

The LIP-12 series use plain 18650 cells, and the LIP-8 uses a 14650 or a more-common 14500 cell.

It can also be dangerous if you aren't careful, because these are lithium-ion batteries. If mishandled they will catch fire or explode.

NetMD units

Starting in late-2000/early-2001, NetMD units were released. A few of the first models continued to use gumstick or proprietary LiIon batteries.

But later, as technology improved, they started using standard AA alkaline batteries.

For many models, you can use modern rechargeable batteries (Eneloops and the like) to power these devices.


If you are using a new gumstick battery, sometimes it can be beneficial to add a bit of roughness to the positive end for better conductivity. This is not a standard thing for all batteries used in all units.

This might be helpful for a unit with corroded or physically damaged positive terminals (negative terminals are always inside the unit), or to test with.

Basically you take a nail file or emery board (preferably metal) and file a teensy bit of the top of the positive terminal. Just enough for you to see or feel a bit of texture to the top.

Standard AA

Some models will not like modern lithium batteries, like Energizer Lithium. The MZ-R37 is one that is a bit finicky. It will use standard alkaline AAs or Eneloop rechargeable batteries, but not lithium non-rechargeables.

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