Running a BCT15 off batteries

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sulk

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So I really like my BCT15. No regrets about buying it at all, (although it would be nice if it had digital)

But I'm basically wondering if anyone has any experience running scanners on batteries?

I never got around to getting AA battery clips, so I didn't get a chance to see how long it would run off of them. I was thinking about either running it off of AA batteries (probably pretty short life) but more likely D-cell batteries.

I havn't seen any info about how much power the unit draws, but I was just wondering if anyone had any experience running a BCT15, or any scanner off of batteries, before I got out and buy the stuff to put it together.

Thanks.
 

mancow

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Batteries internal or external?

If it's external you might consider a small rechargeable jump start pack.
 

sulk

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heh, it would be external, but I dont wanna go that big.

I have a belt bag that the BCT15 fits into, and I have more space for some batteries, but I'd want to keep it within that bag. Pretty much keeping it portable.
 

KC0QNB

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Why not just buy a portable unit?, now if you wanted automatic battery backup, so when the power fails and the scanner will then operate off batteries that is different.
If you use rechargeable batteries with your idea you will need 10, if you go "D" cells your battery pack will weigh nearly 4 pounds just for batteries, you want to haul that around?
you can find 7.2aH gel cells but they weigh around 6-7 pounds a piece.
It is really up to you a but a radio with batteries that you can stick in your pocket that weighs less than a half a pound would be my choice.
 

LordJ

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I bought an 8 AA cell battery holder from Radio Shack and put the proper end on it. I used this to run my 780 when I went camping. I put velco on the holder and on the top of the radio so the pack wouldn't be flopping all over. I used AA because they are small, cheap, and easy to find.. Worked fine...
 

Caesar

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I bought an 8 AA cell battery holder from Radio Shack and put the proper end on it. I used this to run my 780 when I went camping. I put velco on the holder and on the top of the radio so the pack wouldn't be flopping all over. I used AA because they are small, cheap, and easy to find.. Worked fine...
did you get over an hour out of the batteries? thats funny but glad it worked for you.

to OP, just make sure you turn display light off and and lighten the contrast as much as you can to atleast conserve some power..
 

n2mdk

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Another way to go would be getting a 12V gel cell and run it off of that or as mancow mentioned a small car jump pack.
 

rbm

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Here's something like what I use.
You can get them at Sam's Club Auction site. They're normally around $85+ at Sam's Club, but sell for around $20-$35 (plus shipping) on their auction site.

I bought quite a few of them.
One for each vehicle, two to keep in my garage and a number of them for gifts.

The ones I have a are the 'yellow' version and in addition to the features below, they'll also charge any USB devices.

You can spend a little for your radio hobby and also use it for soooooo many other things. In fact, I've used mine to jump-start two cars that had dead batteries in the last month and a few others during this past winter. They can be a life-saver.

Rich

Power On Board Jump-Start-System
http://auctions.samsclub.com/scripts/ListingInfo.asp?LotNo=79447875

Item: 12771
Model #JS450CP
12 volt DC output socket with automatic short circuit protection

Features

# 12 volt DC portable power supply
# 120 PSI air compressor inflator
# 450 amp instant starting power
# Built-in emergency area light
# Charging and battery status indicators
# 12 volt DC output socket with automatic short circuit protection
# 22 inch heavy-duty cables
# Rugged, weather-proof, unbreakable housing
# Automatic charger prevents over-charging during AC recharge
# 15 inch air compressor hose
# Includes air inflator nozzle adapter set


And, if you want something bigger that provides portable DC and AC and has a built-in NOAA radio. (There's a yellow and a black version of this one also with minor differences in features.)

Power® Rechargeable Power Center
http://auctions.samsclub.com/scripts/ListingInfo.asp?LotNo=79425954

Item; 7340
# This power center includes:portable household AC & vehicle DC power - Powers and recharges appliances
# AM/FM & NOAA weather alert radio - Automatic alert signal of emergency public broadcasts directly from the National Weather Service as well as Amber Alerts
# Detachable LED flashlight & area light - Portable light source when it's needed most

Features

# 400 watts
# Dual 120 Volt AC outlets
# USB charging port
# 12 Volt DC charging cord and port
# Ultra-bright LEDs

Inverter:
# Input - 12.5 Volt DC, 36.5 amp
# Output - 120 Volt AC, 60 Hz, 400 watts
Class 2 Power Unit:
# Input - 120 Volt AC, 60 Hz
# Output - 12.5 Volt DC, 1000 mA
Battery:
# 12 Volt, 19 Amp Hr, Sealted, Lead-acid
Safety Protection
# Overload, overheating & short circuit safety protection
 
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mancow

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Just for info, contrast adjustment won't make any difference. You would just be varying the twist in the LCD. It consumes the same power.

did you get over an hour out of the batteries? thats funny but glad it worked for you.

to OP, just make sure you turn display light off and and lighten the contrast as much as you can to atleast conserve some power..
 

N9JIG

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ScannerMaster used to sell an internal battery pack for the BC780XLT, I had one and it worked great! Basically it was a set of NiCad AA's (10 I think) with a charging circuit. It charged automatically when the radio was plugged into power, and ran the radio for 5 or 6 hours with the backlight on and up to 12 with the light off.

You could do something similar for the BC15 and BCD996D scanners, there is room inside for the cells and charging board. The problem is that now there are pretty much comparable handheld scanners available, when the 780 came out there really was none, sales would not be suffucuent for the expense of the item IMHO.
 

LordJ

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did you get over an hour out of the batteries? thats funny but glad it worked for you.

to OP, just make sure you turn display light off and and lighten the contrast as much as you can to atleast conserve some power..
I actually would get a full day out of it easily...and yes the backlight was off..
 

sulk

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Yea, I've had a couple of those gel batteries around, but they're about 6v now, and I dont have a charger for em. But the whole purpose was to be something that I could walk around (a little bit) with, or just to run if I dont have power nearby.

But yea I ordered the parts to put together a AA battery pack and D cell battery pack, so I should have them soon to test it out/see how long it lasts for.

And yea, I'd rather spend 20$, and get a semi portable scanner, then have to go out and buy a new scanner (Though a portable unit would be nice)

And as for the antenna, the stock whip picks up my local police, and follows their trunking system fine, so hopefully itll work.

Thanks for the replies, hopefully everything works out.
 

N9JIG

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At the last hamfest I went to I found a mag-mount whip antenna, about 18 inches tall, with a dime sized rare-earth magnet. This works great for this type of application.
 

N8IAA

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At the last hamfest I went to I found a mag-mount whip antenna, about 18 inches tall, with a dime sized rare-earth magnet. This works great for this type of application.
Rich, I believe he has a pouch or bag that he will be carrying the radio in. That is why he is going for a small battery pack.
Sulk, I'm sure that a dualband like the RH77 with a couple of right angle bnc connectors would complete your setup. You're giving me ideas for taking my new 163 portable:))

Larry
 

sulk

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Sulk, I'm sure that a dualband like the RH77 with a couple of right angle bnc connectors would complete your setup. You're giving me ideas for taking my new 163 portable:))
Yea I have a RH77, and I completely didn't think about using that. So I'll probably end up using it! Thanks for the suggestion. Though its SMA, so I'll just have to get a couple more adapters.

But just as a little update, it does power up off the AA batteries. Though I just tested to see if it turned on, havnt checked how long the battery life is. Though I'm sure if I were to wear a pair of headphones it would be a lot longer then using the speaker.

Once I get one of those big packs of AA from price club, I'll do some testing to see how long it stays powered up for. And I'll take some pictures to show you what it looks like. sometime whenever im not so lazy ;p
 
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