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Old 05-07-2014, 19:24   #31
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

this lithium battery thing is confusing. my spot locater beacon specifically states to use lithium AA's only. last cruise i absentmindedly used regular duracell AA's and it worked perfectly.

to be perfectly honest i've never used the AA battery tray in my standard horizon, although i always keep it loaded with duracells just in case.
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Old 05-07-2014, 21:10   #32
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
this lithium battery thing is confusing. my spot locater beacon specifically states to use lithium AA's only. last cruise i absentmindedly used regular duracell AA's and it worked perfectly.

to be perfectly honest i've never used the AA battery tray in my standard horizon, although i always keep it loaded with duracells just in case.
SPOT will work with alkaline/NiMh (even lower voltage), but they won't last as long. Either work fine if you just power on to send a check in and then power off, but if you leave it on in track mode they will not last nearly as long as lithium. Shelf life is shorter too...esp for NiMh (self discharge much faster than alkaline).
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:43   #33
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

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Shelf life is shorter too...esp for NiMh (self discharge much faster than alkaline).
are the nimh batteries the rechargeable ones? i once used rechargeable AA's in my handheld gps and they had really short lives; probably didn't outlast the old carbon/zinc batteries but at least they're rechargeable...
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Old 06-07-2014, 16:45   #34
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

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are the nimh batteries the rechargeable ones? i once used rechargeable AA's in my handheld gps and they had really short lives; probably didn't outlast the old carbon/zinc batteries but at least they're rechargeable...
Yes, rechargeable (IIRC: 1.2V vs 1.5V for alkalines and 3.0V for lithium). Some electronics work OK with them and some not.
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Old 06-07-2014, 17:13   #35
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

The reason lithium AA non-rechargeable batteries don't work in some VHF radios is they cannot deliver the current needed to transmit. Above 1A their internal resistance goes up significantly and the radio can't regulate the voltage. Use regular alkaline or whatever the manufacturer says. They have reasons for making specific recommendations.
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Old 06-07-2014, 17:45   #36
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

Has anyone tried the Energizer Lithium Ultimate batteries in a tray?
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:42   #37
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

i have a Uniden MHS235.

it is what is it is...pleased with it so far.
battery life is better than expected..dont really use gps features too much (or rather...never)
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Old 06-07-2014, 20:19   #38
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

Onestep-
That small difference (~1.25v vs 1.5v) between either type of rechargeable (NiCd or NiMH) and conventional AA's adds up. Four AA's give you six volts, four rechargables only give you five volts, and that's all it takes to shut down equipment that is made for six volts. Or expecting it.

dockhead-
The Wiki says they are the exact same 1.5v as alkaline AA's. And Eveready, the only common source of them says:

Classification:
"Cylindrical Lithium"
Chemical System:
Lithium/Iron Disulfide (Li/FeS2)
Designation:
ANSI 15-LF, IEC-FR6
Nominal Voltage:
1.5 Volts
Compatible With:
Storage Temp:
-40C to 60C (-40F to 140F)
Operating Temp:
-40C to 60C (-40F to 140F)*
Typical Weight:
14.5 grams (0.5 oz.)
Typical Volume:
8.0 cubic centimeters (0.49 cubic inch)
Max Discharge:
3.0 Amps Continuous
(single battery only)
5.0 Amps Pulse (2 sec on / 8 sec off)
Max Rev Current:
2 uA
Lithium Content:
Less than 1 gram
Typical IR:
60 to 210 milliohms (depending on method)
Shelf Life:
20 years at 21C
Shipping:
Please refer to PSDS Document


so there's got to be something besides voltage and amperage going on. It sounds like Dan has the handle on this. Somehow, the battery is behaving differently under load and I expect that it is not matter of the battery failing to produce power, but there's something queer about how the radio sees the power and can't regulate it properly.

9v "transistor" batteries used to be made of six "pancakes" that were stacked up. Now they are made from six AAAA cells, or something very close to AAAA cells. But from the outside...we're not supposed to know about these things. I'm also told the dangerous "two bare contacts at the same end" part of them isn't dangerous because the size of the internal cells restricts them to only 125mA, even in a dead short. While common coin cells can easily cause burns and fires.

Go figure, huh?

SH needs to rethink their circuit design on this one.
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:59   #39
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Has anyone tried the Energizer Lithium Ultimate batteries in a tray?
Yes, specifically those. Don't work in the HX851.
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Old 07-07-2014, 23:35   #40
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

Your talking ditch bag so your in trouble. The first thing on my list would be the delorme inreach hand set. One push of the emerg button and your distress call is beaming up to the satellites and to all coast guard stations. I hope this helps


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Old 08-07-2014, 06:59   #41
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

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Your talking ditch bag so your in trouble. The first thing on my list would be the delorme inreach hand set. One push of the emerg button and your distress call is beaming up to the satellites and to all coast guard stations. I hope this helps


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I think all of us were assuming an EPIRB or similar would already be accounted for as the first item of importance. A DSC radio is a good solution for initiating contact with ships/airplanes, as well as providing location coordinates should your epirb stop transmitting them.

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Old 08-07-2014, 07:34   #42
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I think all of us were assuming an EPIRB or similar would already be accounted for as the first item of importance. A DSC radio is a good solution for initiating contact with ships/airplanes, as well as providing location coordinates should your epirb stop transmitting them.

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If my boat were to (God forbid) sink suddenly in the Solent or Christchurch Bay or similar waters, I would much prefer a DSC handheld to any satellite signalling device, if forced to choose (which I wouldn't be, since I always have a PLB lanyarded inside my lifejacket). Much faster response, direct signalling to boats around you, and you can talk to people. For coastal waters, where most people sail, I would consider DSC to be Plan A.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:41   #43
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

I don't disagree with that, but in coastal sailing, few people have liferafts or ditch bags.

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Old 08-07-2014, 08:34   #44
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

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Originally Posted by Cephious1 View Post
Your talking ditch bag so your in trouble. The first thing on my list would be the delorme inreach hand set. One push of the emerg button and your distress call is beaming up to the satellites and to all coast guard stations.
my first choice would be, and is, an epirb. i have a spot with a distress button but, like the delorme, it contacts a private company, not the worldwide distress system. not saying delorme or spot wouldn't work or be useful, but epirb is what the worldwide web of rescue facilities is expecting....
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Old 08-07-2014, 20:04   #45
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Re: Best handheld VHF (or otherwise) radio for ditch bag

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Onestep-

so there's got to be something besides voltage and amperage going on. It sounds like Dan has the handle on this. Somehow, the battery is behaving differently under load and I expect that it is not matter of the battery failing to produce power, but there's something queer about how the radio sees the power and can't regulate it properly.



Go figure, huh?

SH needs to rethink their circuit design on this one.
The problem with the SH models is they use AAA batteries. TransmitterDan is partly correct. What he describes is exactly the problem with lithium AAA batteries, not AA's. The internal resistance curve on Energizer Ultimate lthium AAA's pretty much goes vertical after 1.2A. The AA's can deliver around 3A before the resistance goes too high. The HX851, which has been used as an example here, uses AAA's in the tray and draws 1.6A on 5-6W TX. This would exceed the recommended current draw. I bet it would work just fine on low power setting though. Alkaline batt's have pretty poor performance curves with higher current devices. Awesome for running a low current LED flashlight, not so great trying to run a portable transmitter. The advantage of lithium batteries is to deliver higher current while maintaining voltage for longer time.

In a ditch bag, I still vote for the alkalines. They are cheap, have good shelf life, and easy to cycle through other devices as shelf life ends. Most radios with battery trays won't operate on high power setting anyway. I would have any electrical devices in the ditch bag using the exact same batteries. I guess I said that already.
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