Jim, I'm not even sure what battery is in it. The meter looks lively enough, but I'm shooting it w/ that R 100 f2 lens of mine and waiting on an FD 135 2.5 that will meter w/ it. It doesn't like metering w/ the R lens, but that's OK w/ me. I played w/ one of the little arms in the mirror box that apparently work with the FD and FL lenses, and the meter needle works well when I do that. But the R lens has no connection whatsoever in there, so I think it needs the FL or FD lenses to meter right. Fine w/ me, that R 100 is good enough to put up w/ hand metering the scenes. I've been shooting a tiny Nikon EM that I modified to shoot a non a.i. H 50 lens with, and compared to that the F-1 is like a medium format camera! Very big and heavy, but pleasantly so.
The ping is on all the speeds, and it comes a little after the shutter has fired. It's probably not the shutter itself, ii may be one of those little arms in the mirror box that are for aperture movements. It's not real loud like the Nikkormat EL I used to have, but it's there. I just know that it wasn't part of my old, original F-1's way of firing the shutter.