Baofeng Battery Test Results

A listener, Hank, recently performed a  battery test with his Baofeng BF-F8HP.   The tests were conducted to determine the best long life back-up AA battery solution for the Baofeng HT.

A Very Special Thank you to Hank for sharing!  Following are his findings:

hp8

 

Baofeng BF-F8hp

UPDATE #2: Test #6, 3800 lithium-ion battery test, completed. Comparative price per minute costs calculated.
UPDATE #1: Test #5, Duracell Quantum, completed.

AA Battery Monitoring-Only Duration Test

Conditions:
Radio: Baofeng BF-F8HP with original factory settings except for 10 second LCD display backlight on-time (Menu 6) to induce heavier battery drain.
Battery Adapter: Baofeng (Baofeng Tech) BL-5 AA Battery Adapter (and “place holder” battery as needed).
Environment: Indoor environment with stable 72° temperature and typical indoor relative humidity values.

 

Tasking: Radio continuously monitored local fire band frequency with an average of 3 to 4 calls per hour at 3/4 full volume.

 

Test #1
Energizer brand “Advanced Lithium” batteries (5 batteries + “fake” jumper)
Started on 4/10 at 11:50 AM
Ended on 4/14 at 6:35 AM
Duration: 3 days, 19 hours, 25 minutes (91.4 hours)

Test #2
Kodak brand “Max” alkaline batteries (5 batteries + “fake” jumper)
Started on 4/14 at 7:15 AM
Ended on 4/16 at 6:17 AM
Duration: 1 day, 23 hours, 2 minutes (47 hours)

Test #3
Baofeng OEM BL-5 Extended Capacity 2100 mAh Li-ion battery
Note: Battery was cycled with four previous charge/discharge cycles to maximize charge capacity.
Started on 4/19 at 10:00 AM
Ended on 4/21 at 7:57 PM
Duration: 2 days, 9 hours, 57 minutes (58.9 hours)

Test #4
Panasonic brand “eneloop” Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (6 batteries)
Started on 4/26 at 11:47 PM
Ended on 4/29 at 12:40 PM
Duration: 2 days, 12 hours, 53 minutes (60.9 hours)

Test #5
Duracell brand “Quantum” Alkaline-Manganese Dioxide batteries (5 batteries)
Started on 5/7 at 8:00 PM
Ended on 5/9 at 11:20 PM
Duration: 2 days, 3 hours, 20 minutes (51.3 hours)

Test #6
ExpertPower brand 3800 mAh Extended Capacity Li-ion battery
Note: Battery was cycled with four previous charge/discharge cycles to maximize charge capacity.
Started on 6/11 at 8:00 PM
Ended on 6/15 at 8:45 AM
Duration: 4 days, 0 hours, 45 minutes (96.8 hours)

PRICE PER MINUTE (PPM)
Notes:
1. Batteries are considered one unit regardless of the actual number of individual cells, i.e. five alkaline or lithium AA’s and six Eneloop are each, for comparison purposes, considered one battery unit.
2. All prices are based on the best available Internet price and do not include shipping or taxes.
3. The initial cost of the Baofeng BL-5 AA Battery Adapter, $15.69, was equally divided amongst the four types of AA batteries tested and that price, $3.92, was added to each of the appropriate battery units.

Test #1
Energizer brand “Advanced Lithium” batteries (5 batteries)
Duration: 5485 minutes (91.4 hours)
8/$11.98 or $1.4975 each or $7.49 per unit plus BL-5 adapter share for a total of $11.41
PPM of $0.00208

Test #2
Kodak brand “Max” alkaline batteries (5 batteries)
Duration: 2822 minutes (47 hours)
24/$16.66 or $0.6941 each or $3.47 per unit plus BL-5 adapter share for a total of $7.30
PPM of $0.00261

Test #3
Baofeng OEM BL-5 Extended Capacity 2100 mAh Li-ion battery
Duration: 3477 minutes (58.9 hours)
$17.69 each
PPM of $0.00508

Test #4
Panasonic brand “eneloop” Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (6 batteries)
Duration: 3653 minutes (60.9 hours)
8/$22.95 or $2.8687 each or $17.21 per unit plus BL-5 adapter share for a total of $21.13
PPM of $0.00578

Test #5
Duracell brand “Quantum” Alkaline-Manganese Dioxide batteries (5 batteries)
Duration: 3653 minutes (51.3 hours)
12/$10.68 or $0.89 each or $4.45 per unit plus BL-5 adapter share for a total of $8.37
PPM of $0.00271

Test #6
ExpertPower brand 3800 mAh Extended Capacity Li-ion battery
Duration: 5805 minutes (96.8 hours)
$16.09 each
PPM of $0.00292

6 comments

  1. Another consideration in addition to the one-time PPM is battery lifetime, ie. the number charge/discharge cycles you get.

    1. @Robert
      I totally agree but there is no way that I can reasonably conduct a charge/discharge lifespan test. This test caused enough household friction with fire calls blaring out in the middle of the night while I waited for the dreaded and endless cries of “Low-Voltage!”

  2. I would like to know how the different batteries compare when you increase the load by transmitting. Will some of the batteries drop to a voltage that allows reception, but fail when you key the transmitter?
    A periodic transmit test might change the usable time for each battery type and therefore alter the price per hour calculation.

    1. @Jim
      This is just a rough estimate but, with the radio on high power (8 W), in the course of a normal net night rag chewing session, say 15 to 20 minutes of accumulated transmitting time I can easily kill a ½ to ¾ discharged 2100 mAh OEM battery. I imagine it’s far worse with the AA battery pack. The PPM calculations were conducted simply as a way to visualize the individual battery initial investment cost values vs. charge longevity.

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