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Old 15-03-2014, 11:27   #1
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Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

When I bought my Standard Horizon HX851, one of its purposes for me was to have a DSC handheld for the grab bag. So I bought the AAA battery tray with it and a bunch of long-life lithium batteries ($$$), which have been in my grab bag for a few years now.

Today I decided to make sure the battery tray even works -- usually recommended procedure for safety gear!

And it doesn't

It works on voice but only on low power. Any DSC function causes the radio to shut down, even with fresh unused lithium batts

So it means that this whole idea was worthless

So now what? Maybe it's time to retire the HX851 (which I don't like all that much anyway) and try one of the newer DSC handhelds?

Anyone face this?
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Old 15-03-2014, 12:06   #2
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

I don't like my hx851 either. The standard battery dies way too fast! Even with the GPS turned off, it does not last long. I wish I had not bought it.

I also bought the battery tray, but have ever tired it. I am cruising now, and the radio is dead as I type this... I have used it exactly one time since November!

My advice for all is to skip these GPS/vhf combos, I do not think they are ready for prime time yet.
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Old 15-03-2014, 12:13   #3
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Yes, but a DSC handheld is a truly great thing to have in the life raft.

I have also found the DSC functions to be really useful for other purposes, especially position polling.

I want a DSC handheld which is about half the volume of the HX851, with good battery life, and with the ability to use AA or AAA long-life lithium cells with all functions.
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Old 15-03-2014, 12:29   #4
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Well Crap...

My honeymoon after a awkward courtship with the 851 was waning anyway... Looks like the writing is in the wall so to speak.... Thanks for the investigation DH...

There's another thread here where guys are using HH's with DSC... Polling in anchorage and such...
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Old 15-03-2014, 12:52   #5
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

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It works on voice but only on low power. Any DSC function causes the radio to shut down, even with fresh unused lithium batts
Sounds like a serious shortcoming if not fault. Try contacting SH customer service for resolution, replacement, or refund. From the SH website:

Because the HX851 is built better, it’s back better. If your Standard Horizon HX851 ever fails for any reason including water damage during normal use in the first three years, STANDARD HORIZON will repair or replace it free, without hassle or charges…period! If it fails thereafter in normal use it for the life time of the product it is covered by Standard Horizon’s Lifetime Flat Rate Service and Customer Loyalty Programs.

Link, bottom of the page: Welcome to StandardHorizon.com
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Old 15-03-2014, 13:40   #6
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

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Originally Posted by Richard_W View Post
Sounds like a serious shortcoming if not fault. Try contacting SH customer service for resolution, replacement, or refund. From the SH website:

Because the HX851 is built better, itís back better. If your Standard Horizon HX851 ever fails for any reason including water damage during normal use in the first three years, STANDARD HORIZON will repair or replace it free, without hassle or chargesÖperiod! If it fails thereafter in normal use it for the life time of the product it is covered by Standard Horizonís Lifetime Flat Rate Service and Customer Loyalty Programs.

Link, bottom of the page: Welcome to StandardHorizon.com
Hmm... Seems like we roll over and take it too easy sometimes... Thanks Richard!

DH... I'll pull mine out and test....
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Old 19-03-2014, 18:50   #7
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

I have one and I think it's great. Get a spare rechargeable and keep it charged. AA batteries can't deliver the high current required for full power transmit and all the other functions unless you get the highest AH rated AA rechargeables. If you are in a raft and u press that red button and it works, I promise you will forget all about its short commings. You can buy a fold out solar charger and keep that for your grab bag. There,s a lot going on in the hx851. The battery is subject to the laws of physics, you can't expect it to perform the same as your standard handheld battery wise. SH have in my view got the balance right. Well worth having in my view.
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Old 19-03-2014, 19:40   #8
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

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Originally Posted by cajucito View Post
I have one and I think it's great. Get a spare rechargeable and keep it charged. AA batteries can't deliver the high current required for full power transmit and all the other functions unless you get the highest AH rated AA rechargeables. If you are in a raft and u press that red button and it works, I promise you will forget all about its short commings. You can buy a fold out solar charger and keep that for your grab bag. There,s a lot going on in the hx851. The battery is subject to the laws of physics, you can't expect it to perform the same as your standard handheld battery wise. SH have in my view got the balance right. Well worth having in my view.
+1, I feel like my HX851 outperforms my ICOM fixed vhf sometimes! I love it. I didn't find the AAA's to fail prematurely, but then again I didn't try to use it while making calls using DSC, so maybe that's the difference.
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Old 20-03-2014, 05:51   #9
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Update... Well... "Un-Update" really...

Went to slap the batt pack in the radio and try a DSC broadcast only to find out my battery pack is MIA....

Anybody else willing to try??? Maybe a second rechargeable pack is in order...
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Old 21-03-2014, 13:17   #10
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Dockhead,

The FBA-38 for the HX851 was designed to be use with Alkaline batteries. I tested the HX851 today with Alkaline batteries and the radio transmitted at 5W. Per the instructions supplied with the FBA-38, "Do not install batteries cells other than Alkaline".

Regarding the battery life for the HX851 you should get 10+ hours or normal use on a 5/5/90 duty cycle (5% Transmit / 5% Receive / 90% Standby) using the supplied FNB-121LI Li-Ion rechargeable battery. In 2013 we increased the battery capacity by 20% or 1150 mAh to 1380 mAh which will increase the battery life by two hours, approximately 10 hours of use.

R. Jason Kennedy
Executive Vice President
Standard Horizon
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Old 22-03-2014, 05:48   #11
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Well...

It seems like I probably will continue trying to buy SH first... I was unaware of the 3 year "no questions asked warranty", or their loyalty program...

To back this up even further, I was just sent a PM for my address so SH could send me another battery tray...

Watch out Mantus and Greg... Standard Horizon is knocking at the "Stellar Customer Service Door!"



PS Alkaline/DSC feedback forthcoming!
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Old 22-03-2014, 06:10   #12
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Jason -- I'm curious why the radio can't use lithium batteries.

Is there a voltage difference? If that's the case, couldn't your engineers add a voltage regulating circuit to accommodate either type?

It would certainly be a great boon to all sailors if we could use longer-lasting lithiums instead of just alkaline.
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Old 24-03-2014, 06:13   #13
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

Quote:
Originally Posted by StandardHorizon View Post
Dockhead,

The FBA-38 for the HX851 was designed to be use with Alkaline batteries. I tested the HX851 today with Alkaline batteries and the radio transmitted at 5W. Per the instructions supplied with the FBA-38, "Do not install batteries cells other than Alkaline".

Regarding the battery life for the HX851 you should get 10+ hours or normal use on a 5/5/90 duty cycle (5% Transmit / 5% Receive / 90% Standby) using the supplied FNB-121LI Li-Ion rechargeable battery. In 2013 we increased the battery capacity by 20% or 1150 mAh to 1380 mAh which will increase the battery life by two hours, approximately 10 hours of use.

R. Jason Kennedy
Executive Vice President
Standard Horizon

Thanks for that! Very useful!

I can confirm that with new Duracell alkalines, my HX851 does indeed transmit on high power and the DSC functions work. Bingo!

Why it doesn't work with the Lithiums I have no idea -- these batteries are specially designed for high current applications like this. I guess the cell voltage must be less than alkalines. I was really surprised and would not have even tried it but for this post.

So it's great that this radio can be restored to its place of pride on my grab bag list. I guess I will have to keep a big bag of fresh Duracells in the grab bag, which get rotated from time to time. A minor PITA, but I agree with the posters above that having DSC in the life raft could be an absolutely crucial advantage.
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Old 24-03-2014, 06:29   #14
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

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Thanks for that! Very useful!

I can confirm that with new Duracell alkalines, my HX851 does indeed transmit on high power and the DSC functions work. Bingo!

Why it doesn't work with the Lithiums I have no idea -- these batteries are specially designed for high current applications like this. I guess the cell voltage must be less than alkalines. I was really surprised and would not have even tried it but for this post.

So it's great that this radio can be restored to its place of pride on my grab bag list. I guess I will have to keep a big bag of fresh Duracells in the grab bag, which get rotated from time to time. A minor PITA, but I agree with the posters above that having DSC in the life raft could be an absolutely crucial advantage.
DH,

I think you may be overlooking the most important thing that developed out of this thread... I got a new battery tray....

All kidding aside... Great discovery, and great resolution.... Good post Bud!
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Old 24-03-2014, 07:00   #15
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks for that! Very useful!

I can confirm that with new Duracell alkalines, my HX851 does indeed transmit on high power and the DSC functions work. Bingo!

Why it doesn't work with the Lithiums I have no idea -- these batteries are specially designed for high current applications like this. I guess the cell voltage must be less than alkalines. I was really surprised and would not have even tried it but for this post.
Dockhead,

Lithium batteries (non rechargeable) are not really high current devices. In fact, they are intended for low current long life operation such as clocks and wireless devices that are not easily accessed. The internal resistance of lithium AAA batteries increases exponentially above about 1A. Thus it's not advisable to use these in high current low duty cycle applications. There are plenty of alkaline batteries with multi-year shelf life available today.
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