Battery Life, Wouxun and other handhelds.

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Garand69, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Garand69

    Garand69 Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I am just curious as to what kind of battery life one can expect. I have had bad luck with Cordless drills and such that are not used regularly. My favorite, but hardly used Makita Drill is useless due to the Batteries crapping out from non-use. Are the hand held comms dealt the same issues?

    I have a pair of Wouxun KG-UVD1P's that I bought several years ago with an extra battery for each. Only one radio was ever used for a week long Winter FTX, I had severe issues with cold induced battery issues until I started keeping it inside my jacket, but other wise it was fine. Had not used them since.

    Last night after spending hours wading through the Comms section here I decided to drag them out. Put them on the chargers and immediatly figured I was SOL, flashing red light instead of steady, but I left them on anyway. After about 20min one went steady and 15 after that the other went steady. Overnight they were fully charged.

    I'm headed out the door now for work, but I'm goping to turn them on and see if they hold a charge without actual use and go from there. What do the Folks here think? Should I pick up a few new spares? Or should my old "New" spares be fine because I never charged them?

    Seepalaces likes this.
  2. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I've had good luck with the batteries on my Baofengs so far. My radios typically sit for long periods of time. While it seems that all batteries self-discharge over time, the Li-Ions appear to handle it a bit better than the older NiCD and NiMH batteries do.

    I have some 20+ year old Kenwood commercial handhelds that use NiCD and NiMH and those batteries are dead if you leave them sit a month or two. If you leave them on the charger for extended periods, they're completely destroyed when you go to use them. Add the memory problems and they're a real pain.

    Ebay has the newer Li-Ion replacements for the Kenwoods, but they're $40 each and you can buy a new UV-5R radio (dual band) with Li-Ion battery for about $30. Makes me wonder if the old Kenwoods are worth saving.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You are running afoul of Battery Chemistry..... Those Mikita Batteries, if they are like Mine, are NiCad... where the Boefang Batteries should be LiIon, or NiMH.... LiIon or NiMH are much less susceptible to Age Deterioration than the older NiCad Technology...
    Garand69 and Seepalaces like this.
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Old nicads really only work if used often and run down until they quit and then only if you have a good charger.
    Using them all day and every day at work they would last a couple years longer than the ones I had at home and used ever month or so. Lilon seems to last for less total charge-discharge cycles if used every day, but seem to take a lot more abuse if used now and then. That said, all nicads are not created equal either and the quality of the battries and the chargers are all over the place. Would like to know what luck people have had with nimh battries as I have little experience with them.
    Garand69 and Tikka like this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I supply, and service, Handheld Radios for the Cannery Folks here at Excursion Inlet, Alaska... A Fleet of a dozen or so.. We used NiCads first, and usually got about two years out of them, with a 12 Hour Day, swapped Batteries, and a 2-3 hour Recharge, overnight.. Once they went south, you just tossed them... Then the better NiMH batteries came out, and we went to an 18 Hour Day, with a 1-2 Hour Recharge... Batteries lasted about that same 2 years of service. Now we have LiIon Batteries, and have 24 Hour Days, with a 2-3 Hour Recharge... We are coming up on the third Year of service, so we will see how they do, this summer...
    Garand69 likes this.
  6. Garand69

    Garand69 Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    Well that's refreshing news! Thanks for the feedback everybody!
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    That is exactly what I wanted to hear. If I were to depend on batteries in a radio or for a camera and had a solar charger, what kind of life could I expect. The real life large scale use of a tool or car or whatever, will find all of the exceptions that are missed in the testing process. My old 18 volt Bosch nicads are about done. Should I buy new tools that use lilion or should I buy new nicads. Still haven't decided, but sounds like you are getting at least 50 % longer useful life and more hours of use per charge and that would be a real plus if new batteries were not available..
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