What’s next Kris? – A car that runs on NO GAS? *chortle
In the picture we have a standard 1400mAh Yaesu FT-60 battery (FNB-83 on right) that lists for $65, next to an FT-60 AA pack (FBA-25 on left) with 6 Sanyo Eneloop AA’s which total out to $50 and that price is for the 8-pack, so you have 2 more rechargeable AA’s for your walkman. I’m sure you could find the stock battery for cheaper, but even if they were the same price this new Eneloop pack lasts a third longer with 2000mAh of power.
Tech stuff: I numbered the batteries thinking that I may have to take them out and put them back in. This keeps them in the same order in the pack and I won’t mix in other batteries of various age and charge states. You also may notice the small piece of foil wrapped around the negative terminal of battery #6. This is done in order to mimic the factory battery pack. It may be part of its charging circuit, or simply may connect to the external charging pads found on the FNB-83. Either way – I want the FT-60 to recognize this as a rechargeable NiNH battery pack… because… that’s what it is. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the stock battery is just 6 AA sized cells sealed in the case. Now – This is actually a somewhat controversial modification that Yaesu won’t warrant, but it means that you can charge your new batteries in the unit. Controversial because if you are a moron – you can try to charge non-NiMH batteries and you will start a fire. A chemical / metal fire. Don’t bother reaching for the ABC class extinguisher. They also say something about about missing a temperature charging circuit in the AA case (thermistor maybe), but I can’t find one in the FNB-83, so I think this is part of the ‘cover your ass’ portion of their battery charging guide.
The Sanyo Eneloop is finally a good rechargeable battery worthy of your attention and their super flash marketing. I’m done buying ‘rechargeable’ batteries from companies that make the bulk of their money on disposables. I’ve had particularly horrible luck with bunny batteries. We got a charger and 4 of their batteries for Christine’s digital camera. After maybe 5 recharge cycles the battery life was down to 1/5th alkaline AA’s, and I’ll explain how charging them wrong was most of the problem.
Your super speedy rapid fast $9 plug in battery charger is crap. I discovered that keeping your batteries topped up and on the charger until use, is what’s killing them. I learned this too late to save a pile of NiMH Motorola TalkAbout batteries… sorry Earth. It’s A charging BASE. It’s where you keep your TalkAbout when not in use. It’s also plugged in and overcharging your batteries constantly.
The secret to making rechargeable batteries last? Effort. I know you don’t want an Excel sheet of your battery packs, voltage, and temp – so I’ll make this easy. Charge them up for no longer then 12 hours (overnight) and take them off the charger. I know the little green light comes on. I know the red light stops blinking. Take them off the charger! They’re ready to go! When they die, charge them! Don’t throw them in a drawer. Get them on the charger as soon as you can. After they have been charged up and sat in a drawer for 6 months – you’ll need to charge them again. Although with these new batteries that’s becoming less of an issue.
10 ECHO “Charge for 12 hours and stop.”
20 ECHO “Use Whenever.”
30 IF BATTERY = DEAD THEN 10
40 ELSE GOTO 20
You can buy these off the shelf and they are ready to run.
You can get a better then stock NiMH battery for your gear.
They stay charged and ready for an emergency.
Check out the data.
Check out what the digital camera guys had to say.