AA batteries for HT ham radios (particularly Baofengs)

For those of you who use AA battery packs as backup power supplies for your HT radios, particularly Baofengs, what kinds of batteries do you use? Alkaline? Disposable lithium? Rechargeable? How long do they batteries tend to last when powering the radio? (I realize this is dependent on the usage, but some idea would be helpful.) How many sets of batteries do you carry for your radio?


  • Comments (6)

    • 2

      Energiser Lithium or Duracell Lithium only  I keep a minimum of 50 AA, AAA and 20 CR123A batteries  for Radios, Recievers, Flashlights etc.  No rechargables I have not found them reliable after more than a couple of recharges.

      • 1

        How many of these batteries do you carry in your BOB? And how long does each set last you for powering the radio?

      • 1

        Eight for the UV5R and Four for the flashlight, fortunately the UV5R has an integral FM 88 to 108 radio built in so I dont need a seperate radio reciever.    I also keep a battery adaptor to plug the UV5R into my cars power socket.

        Our radios are only turned on 5 minutes before to 5 minutes after the hour to conserve battery life. That way the batteries last weeks.

    • 2

      If using your radio in a home base setting during the good times (now), then I would use rechargeable batteries because it will save you trips to the store for replacements and can be cheaper in the long run.

      If you are planning on this being the power source for your radio in your BOB and have a small portable solar panel and other gear in your bag that could benefit from AAs, then I would still stick to rechargeables.

      But if you are trying to shave weight and not pack a solar panel, charger, and batteries, then just go with the best and longest life disposable lithium batteries. A set for the radio and a backup set should be a lot of juice for you.

      I am always cautious about plugging batteries into electronics that will just sit there in a bag. Although you won’t have the issue of acid leaking all over if left in there for too long if you use lithium batteries, you might accidentally bump the radio on or there may even be a slight phantom power draw that drains your batteries just sitting there. So for my bag, I keep batteries and electronics separate if possible.

      • 2

        Same here Flashlights, GPS, two way radio and other radios are carried without battery, the batteries are stored in containers specific to their size / type.

    • 2

      I would use lithium batteries due to their cold weather performance and lighter weight. If you have Baofeng radios, you can get the following battery pack for for BF-F8HP, UV-5X3, and UV-5R Radios: https://www.amazon.com/BTECH-BaoFeng-BL-5-AA-Battery/dp/B00LAPTWE4?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1&psc=1.  You can use regular and rechargeable batteries.  There might be cheaper ones but I would purchase from Baofeng Tech as they have US warranty and support.