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Old 28-05-2024, 09:33   #1
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Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

I have a pretty old HX870 which I don't want to "upgrade" to the HX890 because of the loss of DSC functions. It's a perfectly good radio and I have other things to spend money on.


I'm just concerned that the battery must be reaching the end of its useful life.



For others with this radio, does this sound about normal?


From fully charged, I've the radio on in standby with the GPS switched on, and still have one bar after 10 hours. I've talked on it in high power but not more than a minute. I've had it on priority scan and listened to a bit of audio.


Does that sound like the battery is still ok? What kind of life do you get?
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Old 28-05-2024, 16:52   #2
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

I was having exactly the same thoughts with my HX870. A replacement battery was about $40.00.

https://defender.com/en_us/standard-...ttery-sbr-13li
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Old 28-05-2024, 20:36   #3
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

You can get the SBT-40 battery tray for it and run it on rechargeable AAA batteries, which will always be available. For standby use cases, they're fine, and sometimes an improvement. You can put however many AAA batteries you want in your ditch bag, and the good ones last 10 years.
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Old 29-05-2024, 00:03   #4
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

What DSC function loss?

I have an HX890 and feel the battery life is annoyingly short. Unfortunately I don't have numbers, so will try to keep an eye on it. Sufficiently annoying that I was considering a switch to Icom.

Given you have an 870, a spare battery seems of batter value compared to an "upgrade".
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Old 29-05-2024, 01:11   #5
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
You can get the SBT-40 battery tray for it and run it on rechargeable AAA batteries, which will always be available. For standby use cases, they're fine, and sometimes an improvement. You can put however many AAA batteries you want in your ditch bag, and the good ones last 10 years.
I do have the tray and a vacuum-sealed bag of alkalines in my ditch bag (which I rotate out for fresh ones every couple of years). But AAA alkalines only have 1.8 watt-hours of capacity at best, meaning a tray of new ones is only 9 watt-hours -- at best -- and in reality much less than that because the radio cuts off when voltage drops even a little. So the radio cuts power to 1 watt when the tray is used, and even so you only get a few minutes of talk time with one set. This is really an emergency only thing.

The rechargeable ones are 1.25v and don't work at all; nor do lithium AAA's. The resultant voltage of the pack is below the cutoff level of the radio, which won't switch on. Don't ask me how I know.

I've ordered a new battery but I was surprised yesterday that the old battery lasted for about 12 hours on standby plus about 10 minutes of talking, which seems not that much worse than it was before. Having two batteries will be a good thing in any case -- I can carry the old one on a long day, or charge it and put it in the ditch bag.


I'll be glad to get a few more years out of this radio, which I always liked -- chalk and cheese compared to the old HX851, which I disliked.
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Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
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Old 29-05-2024, 03:53   #6
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a pretty old HX870 which I don't want to "upgrade" to the HX890 because of the loss of DSC functions.
What DSC functions would you lose?

We have a relatively new HX890, and it has DSC... but I haven't used it yet.

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Old 29-05-2024, 04:49   #7
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

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Originally Posted by ranger58sb View Post
What DSC functions would you lose?

We have a relatively new HX890, and it has DSC... but I haven't used it yet.

-Chris

Several of them -- you can't do position polling, reporting, nor I think routine DSC calls.


I actually use position polling on mine to get the position of buddy boats, own boat if I'm on shore and worried, etc.
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Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 29-05-2024, 08:00   #8
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Several of them -- you can't do position polling, reporting, nor I think routine DSC calls.
There was a firmware update to add that functionality back after the ITU revised the regs, so those features have been available on the 890 since then.
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Old 29-05-2024, 10:18   #9
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a pretty old HX870 which I don't want to "upgrade" to the HX890 because of the loss of DSC functions. It's a perfectly good radio and I have other things to spend money on.


I'm just concerned that the battery must be reaching the end of its useful life.



For others with this radio, does this sound about normal?


From fully charged, I've the radio on in standby with the GPS switched on, and still have one bar after 10 hours. I've talked on it in high power but not more than a minute. I've had it on priority scan and listened to a bit of audio.


Does that sound like the battery is still ok? What kind of life do you get?
DH- We have 2 HX870 handhelds purchased in late 2016.

They live on our PFDs and only get used when we are out in the dinghy or kayaking [or paddle boarding…] Then they are on all day [with GPS] and we poll them from the mothership for position reporting.

I haven’t tracked battery usage closely, but both radios can still typically go 2 days in a row before needing charging. [Say 16-20 hrs of on time with an off rest period between days; and little talk time- maybe 10 mins total?]

We use GMRS radios for chit-chat/ walkie-talkies; especially for guests out in the dink/kayaks, etc. and on shore, so talk time is nil on the HX870’s.

This is much better battery life than we get from our ICOM M92D of the same era…

In case this helps.

Cheers, Bill

PS: I forgot to mention when the HX870’s haven’t been used for a while [sitting in our PFD’s] we routinely charge them once every month or so. The battery typically still shows as fully charged, or sometimes 1 bar down from full at that time.
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Old 29-05-2024, 21:29   #10
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by requiem View Post
There was a firmware update to add that functionality back after the ITU revised the regs, so those features have been available on the 890 since then.

Oh, that's good news. Thanks!
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 29-05-2024, 21:31   #11
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
DH- We have 2 HX870 handhelds purchased in late 2016.

They live on our PFDs and only get used when we are out in the dinghy or kayaking [or paddle boarding…] Then they are on all day [with GPS] and we poll them from the mothership for position reporting.

I haven’t tracked battery usage closely, but both radios can still typically go 2 days in a row before needing charging. [Say 16-20 hrs of on time with an off rest period between days; and little talk time- maybe 10 mins total?]

We use GMRS radios for chit-chat/ walkie-talkies; especially for guests out in the dink/kayaks, etc. and on shore, so talk time is nil on the HX870’s.

This is much better battery life than we get from our ICOM M92D of the same era…

In case this helps.

Cheers, Bill

PS: I forgot to mention when the HX870’s haven’t been used for a while [sitting in our PFD’s] we routinely charge them once every month or so. The battery typically still shows as fully charged, or sometimes 1 bar down from full at that time.
Thanks! Very useful data point, which I think will be useful for more people than just me.


My experience with the HX870 vs. most other radios was also that the battery life was much better. Poor battery life to the point almost of uselessness was my HX851.


I think it's down to power management, which is sophisticated technology which we have in our phones, but handheld marine VHF sets have not undergone nearly so much development.


Oh, another handheld which gave very decent battery life was an old Cobra 325. That was actually a great radio. Stolen years ago in Cherbourg.
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"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 29-05-2024, 21:58   #12
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Amazon's got the battery.
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Old 30-05-2024, 05:09   #13
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

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Amazon's got the battery.

That's a Chinese generic, and 1100mah instead of the 1800mah of the original.


I would stay away from that one.


I ordered an original one but it was twice that expensive.
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I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 30-05-2024, 05:22   #14
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Defender has the 1800mah battery SBR-13LI for $36.99

https://defender.com/en_us/standard-...ttery-sbr-13li
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Old 31-05-2024, 03:56   #15
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Re: Standard Horizon HX870 Battery Life Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Several of them -- you can't do position polling, reporting, nor I think routine DSC calls.


I actually use position polling on mine to get the position of buddy boats, own boat if I'm on shore and worried, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by requiem View Post
There was a firmware update to add that functionality back after the ITU revised the regs, so those features have been available on the 890 since then.

I looked at our HX890 yesterday, it'll do all that.

I don't, but the radio will.

-Chris
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