Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Location: Independence, OR
|Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:58 pm Post subject: Alkaline battery holder for handheld radio
Thought I'd post about my surprising experience with alkaline battery holders for my handheld radio. I have two of them and last week when I ran down the Li-ion pack and needed them (after a panel-mount radio failure), both were dead! Not just weak, but dead as a doornail. Both of them.
The radio is a Vertex Standard VXA-700 using the FBA-23 battery case for two "AA" cells. (It's my understanding this same battery case is used with the VX-5R, VX-6R, VX-7R, VX-6E, and other radios). http://store.batteriesamerica.com/FBA-23AlkalineBatteryCaseforYAESUVERTEXSTANDARDHORIZON.aspx
After landing I put two fresh cells into each and measured the voltage at the battery case terminals. Good: 4.5 volts. Wait, what? How can that be? There are only two AA cells.
It turns out that the FBA-23 battery case contains hidden circuitry (a boost converter?) and places a small but constant drain on the batteries even when not installed in the radio. I measured about 50 microamps on the bench.
So now my alkaline battery holders are kept without their alkaline cells installed. The cells will last a lot longer in storage if I install them just before use.
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