Topics

Extending HT Battery Life

Clint Bradford
 
Edited

First inquiry of 2019 ...

>> ... Have you had any experience with any of the batteries that are shown on eBay at cheaper prices
for the FT-60R?

I tend to stick with local dealers or otherwise well-respected battery suppliers for aftermarket cells/packs. 
There's a lot of rubbish out there ... with either no one to contact for support, or expensive or non-existent 
return policies.

The stock NiMH pack for the Yaesu FT-60R is the 1400mAH FNB-83. About US$36 at Yaesu dealers everywhere.
Properly charged, you should achieve about 1,000 discharge-charge cycles from quality NiMH packs. 

Personally, I still use the empty Yaesu FBA-25 AA "shell" and populate it with 2700mAH Maha NiMH AA
cells. That instantly nearly "doubles" my run time (from stock 1400 to 2700mAH).

I further increase my run time by improving my antenna, and turning DOWN the TX power to 2W. I mean, 
if you are not making it line-of-sight with a decent antenna at 2W on 2M and 440 - then you're probably not 
going to make it at full TX 4-5W power. (Example: I worked the ISS FM voice when it was a few hundred
miles downrange at 2W and a handheld tape measure beam.)

I FURTHER increase my battery run time by using a headset or speaker-mic. What eats up batteries? Keying 
the mic and transmitting, and turning up the VOLume of the received audio. What is the first thing you do when 
you have a shoulder-mounted speaker-mic or are wearing a headset? You turn the VOLume DOWN.

SO ... Just using the stock 1400mAH battery packs - there's how to more than DOUBLE time between charges: 
improve your antenna, turn TX power down, and use an audio accessory!

There are Li-Ion packs for the FT-60R. The advantages pf Li-Ion are that they will maintain their charge longer 
than NiMH, and they perform better in freezing temperatures. And they weigh a little less than their NiMH 
counterparts.

Personally, I do not charge up a radio and put it away for months - to be used later. And I do not live in 
a frigid region. And the minimal weight difference? Nothing to get excited about.

BUT - quality Li-Ion packs will only provide about ONE-HALF the total number of discharge-charge cycles 
as NiMH provides.

And so it goes ... Happy 2019!

Clint

SOURCES: 

The Cadex Corp for portable power info: https://batteryuniversity.com/
Ham Radio Outlet: http://www.hamradio.com
Batteries America: http://www.batteriesamerica.com
Heil HTH and other headsets: http://www.heilsound.com
Smiley 270A antenna: https://www.smileyantenna.com/product-p/27000.htm

AF7ZA
 

Thanks for the update Mr. Clint.
What’s your take on Eneloop NiMH Batteries ?

Happy New Year
Bill AF7ZA

On Jan 1, 2019, at 12:49 40PM, Clint Bradford via Groups.Io <clintbradford@...> wrote:

First inquiry of 2019 ...

>> ... Have you had any experience with any of the batteries that are shown on eBay at cheaper prices
for the FT-60R?

I tend to stick with local dealers or otherwise well-respected battery suppliers for aftermarket cells/packs. 
There's a lot of rubbish out there ... with either no one to contact for support, or expensive or non-existent 
return policies.

The stock NiMH pack for the Yaesu FT-60R is the 1400mAH FNB-83. About US$36 at Yaesu dealers everywhere.
Properly charged, you should achieve about 1,000 discharge-charge cycles from quality NiMH packs. 

Personally, I still use the empty Yaesu FBA-25 AA "shell" and populate it with 2700mAH Maha NiMH AA
cells. That instantly nearly "doubles" my run time (from stock 1400 to 2700mAH).

I further increase my run time by improving my antenna, and turning DOWN the TX power to 2W. I mean, 
if you are not making it line-of-sight with a decent antenna at 2W on 2M and 440 - then you're probably not 
going to make it at full TX 4-5W power. (Example: I worked the ISS FM voice when it was a few hundred
miles downrange at 2W and a handheld tape measure beam.)

I FURTHER increase my battery run time by using a headset or speaker-mic. What eats up batteries? Keying 
the mic and transmitting, and turning up the VOLume of the received audio. What is the first thing you do when 
you have a shoulder-mounted speaker-mic or are wearing a headset? You turn the VOLume DOWN.

SO ... Just using the stock 1400mAH battery packs - there's how to more than DOUBLE time between charges: 
improve your antenna, turn TX power down, and use an audio accessory!

There are Li-Ion packs for the FT-60R. The advantages pf Li-Ion are that they will maintain their charge longer 
than NiMH, and they perform better in freezing temperatures. And they weigh a little less than their NiMH 
counterparts.

Personally, I do not charge up a radio and put it away for months - to be used later. And I do not live in 
a frigid region. And the minimal weight difference? Nothing to get excited about.

BUT - quality Li-Ion packs will only provide about ONE-HALF the total number of discharge-charge cycles 
as NiMH provides.

And so it goes ... Happy 2019!

Clint

SOURCES: 

The Cadex Corp for portable power info: https://batteryuniversity.com/
Ham Radio Outlet: http://www.hamradio.com
Batteries America: http://www.batteriesamerica.com
Heil HTH and other headsets: http://www.heilsound.com
Smiley 270A antenna: http://www.htantennas.com



Clint Bradford
 
Edited

According to the Cadex Corp ...

"The Eneloop NiMH by Panasonic and Sanyo has reduced the self-discharge by a factor of six. This means you can store the charged battery six times longer than a regular NiMH before a recharge becomes necessary. The drawback of the Eneloop to regular NiMH is a slightly lower specific energy."

The manufacturers of Eneloop also state their cells can be charged up to "2,000+" times - which is a little 
contrary to existing literature on the NiMH chemistry. The Eneloop "Pro" only "500" charges.

Clint