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Old 04-11-2017, 2:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Post Ham Radio with common battery


I feel kinda stupid asking this. But during an emergency where one would depends on Ham radio for information, specially during a power outage, you would need your ham radio battery to last days if not weeks before you can charge it. Unless it uses more common batteries found everywhere like AA batteries.

So i guess my question is: for emergency Ham radios would you recommend where it can easily be charged (common power, like USB) or uses common batteries (AA batteries).
without compromising too much on quality and range.

please advice
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Old 04-11-2017, 4:27 PM
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Location: Southern California
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Many ham handlelds have a 12v axial connector that will power the radio and recharge the battery pack. Some will also use AA or AAA battery packs.

Another option is a 12v mobile inverter (converts 12vdc to 110vac) to power the regular plug in charger. And still another option are 12vdc "power stations" that have an internal rechargeable battery with a variety of output connectors. One of these can run a handheld for a considerable amount of time.
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Old 04-11-2017, 4:42 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
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"Clamshell" batteries are made for many portable transceivers. They'll hold AA or AAA batteries and let you run the radio off of alkaline "off the shelf" batteries.
Many years ago I had a Yaesu FT-170 2 meter hand held, and I had the AA battery holder for it.

My work radios have a AA holder for them and I encourage my customers to purchase them if they intend to rely on the radio in a disaster. Keeping a pack of Costco AA batteries with them will run the radio for days.

If you have a choice, go with the AA batteries as they will supply more current for a longer period of time than a AAA battery will.

Also, as ladn said, 12 volts DC is pretty standard, so finding a cigarette lighter adapter for your radio can be a good option.

On the commercial side, there is a company producing 2 way radio batteries with a mini USB jack on them. That'll let you easily charge off vehicles, computers, wall warts, etc.

If range is a concern, it might e a good idea to consider a mobile radio hardwired into your vehicle.
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Old 04-11-2017, 9:19 PM
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And another reason why a person should study and obtain his amateur radio license. Lot of this is discussed during the lessons or in conversations with fellow hams. During the cases where I helped during some floods in our area and to avoid having to charge batteries, I used the batteries supplied with the radio and an AA battery pack that initially had rechargeable NiMH, with regular AA as back up. As well had 12 volt battery with 5 v charging socket to charge a radio when not using. As well, I have a couple of jump start batteries that I can use to charge or run radios on DC.

Encouraging proper use of two-way radio spectrum including CB.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:03 PM
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There are several solutions to having "unlimited" battery power for your ham radios. One would be to have a couple of (or more) 12v gel cells where you use one to power the radio and the other(s) being charged using whatever is available for charging them up (more on that later). Another solution would be to have an extra standard car battery to power the radio.

Charging is a different story but still can be done for extended periods. One solution is to get some solar cell panels designed to provide enough current to charge the batteries. Perhaps having enough to both power the radio and charge the batteries at the same time. You might substitute a wind powered generator for the solar cell panel(s) or possibly both. Worst case you can use your car to charge the batteries, but make sure you have sufficient gasoline and have the car in an open, well ventilated area while charging (or use it to run errands, check on damage, etc.).
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Old 04-12-2017, 9:00 AM
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Location: Woodlands, MB
Posts: 793

Get one of those portable gel cell portable power packs along with a 12 volt adapter for your radio and a solar panel of 7 Watts or greater.

These power packs contain batteries with 6 or more Amp capacities. You can charge it with the solar panel. A 7 Watt panel will take a while. If you need to charge it quicker, then get a larger panel.

I've had one for years. I've had it so long, I had to take it apart and replace the battery because it just wore out.

Here's an example of what I'm referring to: 3-in-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Starter
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