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Old 11-28-2017, 3:10 PM
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Default Icom F9011 Portable is a Battery Hog

The Icom F9011 seems to be a battery hog. Even with the 3800mAH batteries some of our public safety officers are having difficulty getting 12hrs of use out of them.

I have been tweaking with some of the programming settings and options to see if we can stretch a little more life out of these batteries.

Does anyone have a recommendation on that to set the 1st/A and 2nd/B Timers for in regards to the Power Saver feature for the radio?
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:39 PM
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The Icom F9011 seems to be a battery hog. Even with the 3800mAH batteries some of our public safety officers are having difficulty getting 12hrs of use out of them.

I have been tweaking with some of the programming settings and options to see if we can stretch a little more life out of these batteries.

Does anyone have a recommendation on that to set the 1st/A and 2nd/B Timers for in regards to the Power Saver feature for the radio?
With the 3040 mAh battery the radio is rated at 9 hrs with 5/5/90 duty cycle. That radio draws over 300 ma in standby in contrast with Motorola ASTRO Saber at 105 ma. The Saber radios typically have 1800 mAh batteries, though up to 5500 mAh lithium ion is now available.

I am not familiar with the ICOM battery save options, but in my experience getting 12 hours of operation from a portable , you are doing pretty good. The trick is to maximize the time the radio receiver circuits are off during standby and yet have the radio sample the channel often enough to recover when a transmission is made toward it. For example, off for 800 milliseconds, on for 200 milliseconds. You could miss the first 800 milliseconds of a transmission, but in doing so, of the 300 ma idle current, .effectively only 60 ma would be consumed.

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Old 11-29-2017, 8:24 PM
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With the 3040 mAh battery the radio is rated at 9 hrs with 5/5/90 duty cycle. That radio draws over 300 ma in standby in contrast with Motorola ASTRO Saber at 105 ma. The Saber radios typically have 1800 mAh batteries, though up to 5500 mAh lithium ion is now available.

I am not familiar with the ICOM battery save options, but in my experience getting 12 hours of operation from a portable , you are doing pretty good. The trick is to maximize the time the radio receiver circuits are off during standby and yet have the radio sample the channel often enough to recover when a transmission is made toward it. For example, off for 800 milliseconds, on for 200 milliseconds. You could miss the first 800 milliseconds of a transmission, but in doing so, of the 300 ma idle current, .effectively only 60 ma would be consumed.

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Thanks for your reply. That makes a lot of sense. Just to clarify I don't think that our personnel are actually getting a full 12hrs out of their batteries. The radio may be staying on for the full 12hrs but it is not operating at full capacity for that long. In fact I would say that it is probably closer to 6-8hrs of full operating capacity. I did read the specs on the F9011 regarding the standby battery draw, fairly significant at 300mA! I think that our personnel probably exceed the standard duty cycle of 5/5/90, sometimes probably by a lot.

The F9011 is rated at 6watts output which doesn't help anything either. I think that this must have been an attempt to keep up with some of the competitors. It would have been better for them to stay at the traditional 5watts and save the battery!! The batteries are rated at 7.4volts however I have done some field testing and have found that starting at about 7.5-7.4volts at standby the radio will start going into Low Power Mode when transmitting since the voltage drops while transmitting. The Low Power Mode brings the transmit output down to 1watt. There does not appear to be any way of overriding this setting. On the one hand the radio allows you to continue to transmit although its only at 1watt and on the other hand the radio traffic is usually unreadable and therefore not very beneficial.

In regards to the Power Save feature there is a 1st Start Timer and a 2nd Start Timer. The default settings in the Icom CS-F9010/F9510 software is 20sec for the 1st, and 60sec for the 2nd. Yes, I did mean seconds and not milliseconds. After reading through the Help Contents in the software and doing a little bit of searching on the internet I still haven't found a very good explanation of what these 2 timers actually do. Maybe they enable a slightly different standby timers for the receiver for example 800ms off and 200ms on for the 1st Timer and 500ms off and 500ms on for the 2nd Timer?
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Old 11-29-2017, 8:56 PM
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For a lithium Ion battery, 7.4 volts is the minimum voltage the battery should be operated at. It is approaching the limit to go further. >>>>>>>> When charged, the battery will produce about 8.4 V .

I could find no documentation about the timer features. I would guess that the duty cycle (example 800/200 mSec) might be fixed in firmware and your first and second start timers might be the behavior when a message is received and then when the radio transmitter has been used. You would want the power save to be disabled for a while to receive complete messages or to conduct a conversation.

Are these radios being used on a trunking system or conventional mode? Is the channel busy? All these add to the consumption.

You might want to give ICOM a call and ask to speak with their engineering department. Last I heard they had one sole Japanese engineer working stateside for the P25 products.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:13 PM
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For a lithium Ion battery, 7.4 volts is the minimum voltage the battery should be operated at. It is approaching the limit to go further. >>>>>>>> When charged, the battery will produce about 8.4 V .

I could find no documentation about the timer features. I would guess that the duty cycle (example 800/200 mSec) might be fixed in firmware and your first and second start timers might be the behavior when a message is received and then when the radio transmitter has been used. You would want the power save to be disabled for a while to receive complete messages or to conduct a conversation.

Are these radios being used on a trunking system or conventional mode? Is the channel busy? All these add to the consumption.

You might want to give ICOM a call and ask to speak with their engineering department. Last I heard they had one sole Japanese engineer working stateside for the P25 products.

I will try to reach out to Icom and see what I can find out.

These radios are being used in a conventional analog system. The channel they are primarily used on I would describe as fairly to really busy...
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:23 PM
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How old are these 9011's you speak of?
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Old 12-01-2017, 3:45 PM
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How old are these 9011's you speak of?
The Icom F9011 VHF Portable Radio is the replacement for the Icom F70 Portable Radio which has been discontinued. These radios are brand new and we have been using them for less than a year. We have had continuous and significant problems with these radios.

It's too bad that the radio manufacturers are not making radios designed for the agencies who still use conventional analog multicast or simulcast systems. I understand planning for the future and the need for including P25 capabilities however many of these newer radios are so computerized that they are getting bulky, heavy, and a drain on the battery.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:17 PM
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The Icom F9011 VHF Portable Radio is the replacement for the Icom F70 Portable Radio which has been discontinued. These radios are brand new and we have been using them for less than a year. We have had continuous and significant problems with these radios.
I know the 9011's had issues when they first released, that's why I asked. I still use a F70 and a F80 for personal use. The battery lasts forever and I have no other issues, I hate to upgrade.

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Originally Posted by BlueDevil View Post
It's too bad that the radio manufacturers are not making radios designed for the agencies who still use conventional analog multicast or simulcast systems. I understand planning for the future and the need for including P25 capabilities however many of these newer radios are so computerized that they are getting bulky, heavy, and a drain on the battery.
I agree with this, especially the standby battery drain. There is a huge market for a scalable dual band radio (even just 150/450) that is built on a public safety frame. The market I am talking about is between a baofeng and a APX. Analog only, digital, multi mode digital, dual band would be ideal at much less than what is offered today. Many many agencies just need vhf and uhf just analog only in a public safety radio. I always hope Icom realizes this. AND... with GOOD battery life, low standby current draw.

The newer 7500 series P25 portables apparently address the standby current draw issue.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:33 AM
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Its weird that radio would consume 300 ma in standby. That is like 2.4 watts.

An ancient Motorola ASTRO Saber consumes 105 ma (max 180 with co channel carrier, different PL or NAC). This is about 840 milliwatts.

True battery technology has come a long way, but it is outrageous that a new radio like that requires so much stand by power.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:57 AM
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Its weird that radio would consume 300 ma in standby. That is like 2.4 watts.
Not really surprised. Modern digital radios have multi-core CPUs, tons of RAM, and full color bitmapped displays. Our APX8000's came with the standard 3400mah battery, and typically with 5/5/90 duty cycle, they are drained to around 30 percent capacity after 10-12 hours of being on.

Can't find the current drain specs on the APX8000, but I'd venture to guess based upon watching the battery capacity drop over a day of use, is around 200-250mah just sitting there, and of course, when the audio amp is turned on during RX, that probably jumps to double that to get the rated 1 watt of audio.

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An ancient Motorola ASTRO Saber consumes 105 ma (max 180 with co channel carrier, different PL or NAC). This is about 840 milliwatts.
Keyword ancient. The SABER CORE/COPE processors were built in an era where storage was a premium price. 8K of EEPROM for codeplug storage. The APX has what, 64MB?

The Saber used the original MC68HC11 series CPU. Designed for low power consumption. Your $89 flat screen from Wal-Mart has 100 times the processing power these days.

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True battery technology has come a long way, but it is outrageous that a new radio like that requires so much stand by power.
Not really, modern digital radio has much more going on under the hood. Consider the average smartphone has a 3000-4000mah battery and barely lasts a full day with average use.

The days of 30ma standby currents ended with crystals and channel elements.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
Not really surprised. Modern digital radios have multi-core CPUs, tons of RAM, and full color bitmapped displays. Our APX8000's came with the standard 3400mah battery, and typically with 5/5/90 duty cycle, they are drained to around 30 percent capacity after 10-12 hours of being on.

Can't find the current drain specs on the APX8000, but I'd venture to guess based upon watching the battery capacity drop over a day of use, is around 200-250mah just sitting there, and of course, when the audio amp is turned on during RX, that probably jumps to double that to get the rated 1 watt of audio.


Keyword ancient. The SABER CORE/COPE processors were built in an era where storage was a premium price. 8K of EEPROM for codeplug storage. The APX has what, 64MB?

The Saber used the original MC68HC11 series CPU. Designed for low power consumption. Your $89 flat screen from Wal-Mart has 100 times the processing power these days.


Not really, modern digital radio has much more going on under the hood. Consider the average smartphone has a 3000-4000mah battery and barely lasts a full day with average use.

The days of 30ma standby currents ended with crystals and channel elements.
It would be interesting to know what the APX series radios consume. Motorola is good at hiding that information, but you can generally find it within the service manual addendum. When you bench a radio, that is one of the initial checks.

At 105 ma, the ASTRO Saber functionally does everything an APX does with exception of multi band and fancy display and audio features. Heck it does everything the ICOM F9011 does. It really makes no sense to be creating modern radios that require so much standby current. There are microprocessors that draw microamps these days.

Apart from the display drivers, synthesizer and microprocessor, the receiver LNA and gain stages require significant power to bias the transistors to maintain a linear response under strong signal conditions. I would gladly forgo a color display to have a receiver with improved spurious and inter-modulation specifications. Heck we would not have needed all that 800 MHz rebanding if engineers had paid better attention to filtering and linearity when designing those products. But they didn't, figuring they could hide the sins with robust signalling.
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Old 12-02-2017, 4:00 PM
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I'm not sure on the specs, my EFJ 51SL ES Burns through an 1800 mAh battery in about 6 hours, whereas my XTS5000 runs on the same battery in about 12. Both on 700/800 and P25 trunking.


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