Running a Baofeng UV-5RA Radio on AAA & AA Batteries

Batteries - Energizer Sucknote: article first appeared September 2015

I’ve never seen anything so conclusive in all my testing of gear. I mean it was crystal freaking clear what the outcome is. Here’s the short of it:

  • Don’t try to run your Baofeng UV-5R on AAA batteries. It just doesn’t work out well whether rechargeable batteries or high-quality alkaline batteries…it just doesn’t work. In three separate tests I never got more than 1.5 hours of radio run-time out of the Energizer 850mAh rechargeable nickle metal hydride batteries. And that meant no heavy transmission time.
  • Batteries - TenergyI got just under 3 hours of run time on Tenergy 1000mAh rechargeable nickle metal hydride batteries.
  • The AAA battery tray works just fine and fits well without any modifications.

So, the bottom line is…only use AAA batteries when you don’t have any other battery option available.

What my testing showed for AAA batteries:

  • AAA batteries just don’t have enough power to keep the radio running for very long. Even with the best of the AAA batteries, 3 – 5 hours of run-time is just not adequate. Well, unless there simply is nothing else available.
  • Rechargeable AAA batteries suck. Energizer AAA rechargeable batteries really, really, suck.
  • Alkaline batteries are marginally better. But only marginally better.

What my testing showed for AA batteries:

  • AA batteries (the big brother to AAA batteries), are exponentially better for radio operations. They lasted 5 – 8 times longer their smaller counterpart.
  • Rechargeable AA batteries are also acceptable for using in radios, but only quality Batteries - TenergyAABatteries - Duracelrechargeable batteries such as Tenergy or Duracell. Energizer rechargeable batteries are worthless.
  • Running my UV-5RA on Duracell alkaline batteries (5 to start with and a dummy battery to prevent over voltage) I was able to get 38 hours of operation. When the radio shut down I swapped the dummy battery for a brand new Duracell and got another 1.5 hours of radio operations out of it.

For rechargeable AA & AAA batteries I like Tenergy batteries. Remember, there isn’t a good rechargeable AAA battery for radio operations.Batteries - Energizer SuckAA

I won’t ever depend on Energizer AAA or AA rechargeable batteries. Energizer batteries suck…period.

 

 

For alkaline batteries…Duracell. Period!

For alkaline batteries…Duracell. Period!

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Running a Baofeng UV-5RA Radio on AAA & AA Batteries

  1. How do you deal with Duracell batteries leaking. I have quit using Duracell because they leak almost every time, then I have to clean the item or more often just throw it out.

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    • I assume you mean leaking “over time”? Any alkaline battery will leak if you leave it in a piece of electronic gear long enough. I’ve had batteries not leak when left in gear for as long as two years. But, I’ve also had batteries leak within a year. I think it has to do with humidity and other environmental conditions creating perfect conditions for out-gassing. Out-gassing is a chemical reaction caused by the slow introduction of voltage. So, my answer is this…keep batteries in your gear when you know you are going to use that gear. If that gear is going into storage (or non-use) for any length of time then take out the batteries. If you are using the gear and have the same batteries continuously in the gear, take out the batteries periodically, about every 2 – 4 weeks, and wipe them down with a clean dry cloth, then reinsert them. Hope that helps. AH

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