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What is the best option for a Baofeng emergency battery?

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Ziggy925

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I have a couple of UV-5R's with the OEM Lithium Ion batteries. If I charge a spare battery, and don't use it, how long will it hold it's charge sitting on a shelf? It seems like if I want a spare "emergency" battery I might be better off with one of those "batteries" you fill with AA batteries. Or, I could fill it with Eneloop rechargeable batteries that have a very long shelf life.

All thoughts welcome.
 

mike_s104

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I saw on Amazon where someone modded the battery eliminater (one that has the cigarette lighter plug) to use two 18650 batteries. I ordered the tray to try it myself. I'll post images when I get a chance to do it.

You could get that cigarette lighter adapter and use a car or other 12v battery. Won't be very portable but will work.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

N4GIX

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I've stored a fully charged Lith-Ion battery for seven months. It still retained nearly a full charge when I went to use it.
 

jonwienke

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Or, I could fill it with Eneloop rechargeable batteries that have a very long shelf life.
Lithium batteries have lower self-discharge rates than NiMH or NiCd. You're better off just getting extra large-capacity OEM batteries and dropping them into a charger every 6 months or so. After 6 months of storage, they usually don't even torn the charger light from green to red.
 

Ziggy925

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Thanks so much for the replies. I'm pretty well covered, home, car, extra batteries, but I'm thinking in terms of when the SHTF scenarios. I had no idea Lithium Ion batteries held their charge for so long.
 

kb5udf

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AA battery pack

AA battery holders are available. You might want to consider one of those.
 

jonwienke

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I had no idea Lithium Ion batteries held their charge for so long.
I just found a radio that had been in storage for a year, and the battery still showed a full charge.
 

Rred

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Makers will disagree and part of that is because all batteries are not the same. Icom says to fully charge their lithium battery packs every 3 months, IIRC. Other makers say they can go a year between charges, others six months. Good NiMh cells from Panasonic and Eneloop may hold a 75% charge after a year.

But without knowing what you've got...Buy a $20 digital multimeter. Don't assume it is accurate, because many are not. Charge your spare battery, let it sit overnight, then measure the voltage. Now put it away for two or three months, measure again. Whatever your personal tolerance is, that's when recharge time is. If you can accept a 75% charged "emergency" battery...you can let it discharge that much. If you think 85% is all you want to let it go, pick that point.

If your battery pack is maybe rated at 7.2 volts fully charged? That would be two lithium cells in the pack, nominally 3.6 volts each. Maybe they charge to 4+ volts...again that varies. See
Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries
for some notes on how charging the batteries affects their overall life, and what voltage (per cell, and yours probably have two) really reflects what charge capacity.

A real emergency backup would be the battery tray, plus some "10 year shelf life" alkalines, easily replaced at exorbitant convenience store prices if there's a real emergency.

And FWIW, think about keeping the spare batteries (actually, anything with a lithium battery) in something like a metal surplus ammo can. Lithium has this funny thing about spontaneously bursting into flames. Metal containers can make that an inconvenience, instead of a problem.
 

Ziggy925

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But without knowing what you've got...Buy a $20 digital multimeter. Don't assume it is accurate, because many are not. Charge your spare battery, let it sit overnight, then measure the voltage. Now put it away for two or three months, measure again.
Great post, but a multimeter will not test a battery unless it has that function built in. A battery must be tested under load to determine if it will power anything, and even a cheap "battery tester" will do that, although most are preset at specific voltages. Otherwise, I'm puzzled that all Lithium Ion batteries don't have the same characteristics, as few manufacturers make their own batteries.
 

Rred

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Yes, testing should be done under load. And in the dc volts mode, not ohms or amps. And if a battery tester has the right scale and all for lithium chemistries, sure, it would also work and no doubt someone out there makes one.

But as jon says, there are different chemistries. Heck, that applies to lead acid car and deep cycle batteries as well. Some are 12.6v when new and fully charged, others are 12.8 volts. That 0.2v difference would also reflect a 20% capacity change within each type.

And unless you're buying a calibrated multimeter, i.e.$100++ for a Fluke, it can easily be off by more than 2/10th's of a volt on the 20vdc scale. Had a free one from Horror Fright that disagreed with my good one by 4/10's of a volt on "12" volts. That could be a nasty surprise, so now I've got a calibrated voltage source to make sure my meters aren't off.

But you have to start somewhere. No-load testing IS a start, for NiMh and NiCd AA's and such in storage. Not so good on primary cells, but even there, it has some meaning.
 
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