Fitting NiMH AAs in the 817/818 battery tray

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KI4POT, Jun 26, 2020.

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  1. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was watching a youtube video where the "star" was using demonstrating how long an 817nd would run on AA rechargeables. He mentioned not being able to fit the batteries in the tray because they were very slightly fatter than alkaline AAs. I ran into this problem myself and solved it by removing the plastic divider that separates the two rows of 4 cells. By cutting out this wall, installing the tray, then installing the batteries (and removing the batteries while the tray remains in the radio), using rechargeable AAs is super easy.

    I thought this was one of those things *someone* would have figured out, but it doesn't seem anyone has tried it. I found it on my own, kind of in a fit of pique. I've used it for a couple months in this manner and it has worked great with no downsides I've noticed.

    W9WQA and KA0USE like this.
  2. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page

    well, SOMEONE had to be first! looks like you is him.
    and maybe a strip of electrical tape to hold them in the tray?
  3. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The batteries stay in the tray just fine. I suppose if I turned the radio upside down and shook it, they *might* dislodge, but there's not enough space for them to come out completely. But in normal use, including packed in a backpack while hiking to a summit, they stay in place.

  4. W8MLJ

    W8MLJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting! I'm intrigued, looking at battery enhancement options for the 818 myself. The Windcamp option looks good but at ~$100 I'm open to looking at some lower cost options. However, the manual says: "Do not attempt to use Ni-MH or other rechargeable cells in the FBA-28 (battery holder) because it does not contain the protection circuitry required when using rechargable cells." The Windcamp apparently has the required protection circuitry.
  5. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    how about lithium aa ??

    Energizer AA Lithium Batteries, World's Longest Lasting Double A Battery, Ultimate Lithium (12 Battery Count)

    cant find ahr?? nno mention of current. i ordered 12 to check out...
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  6. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I seem to recall something about rechargeables in the 817 tray -- IIRC, it was the springs get hot and lose their tension. Better to use an external battery or a Windcamp, et al pack.
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    NiMH AAs are old school.

    Lithium is the way to go now a days.

  8. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That would get expensive. I would burn through at least a set each time I did a SOTA activation.

  9. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven't had a problem.

  10. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    They make rechargeable lithium AAs? ;)

    I'm going to get an external LifePo4 pack, but I like the self-contained aspect of AAs in the tray for shorter duration work.


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