Marine Radio - AA holders?

-- Last Updated: Sep-25-08 9:35 AM EST --

Just got a used West Marine VHF50 radio. Can you refer to any sources for AA or AAA battery holders (trays) for it? The ones which can be used instead of the bult-in battery, to clarify.

Not sure if that thing exists though, since the battery pack is 7.2V and is rather small so may be there is no room in the radio for that many 1.5V batteries inside...

So, the next question - do you know a good source for OEM or replacement lithim rechargeable batteries for these things? eBay is hit or miss and the others I've seen in cursory searches seem to sell for outrageous prices (like upwards of $100 for the battery pack)...

Lastly, if you got any hints on that particular model radio - share (I'm new to the VHF thing). I got the manual and have some knowledge of using RF communications on the water, just asking if that radio has any quirks I need to know of. Planning to probably keep it in a small dry bag anyway but other than that...

Here is a USCG link

It has pretty much everything you need to know about VHF protocol.

You should check with West Marine. If the radio was made for a AA or AAA tray they can tell you.


Otter cases?
As in something dry to hold spare batteries, that what you need? Otter cases have protected batteries, cell phones and all kinds of other stuff for us.

As to 1.5V batteries, try Radio Shack. But you are going to be challenged to get them in quantity anywhere I think.

I think he is looking for a "tray"
to allow AA or AAAs to be used in lieu of the NiCad or LiO2 rechargable.

BTW, Case Logic (Google it) makes fine cases for holding spare AA batteries. Not waterproof but fitted.


I updated my post to clarify - looking for two things:

(1) a tray to use some sort of standard batteries (rechargeable or not) instead of the OEM 1-piece rechargeable (AA, AAA or “camera” batteries or whatever I could buy from most stores)

(2) a source of OEM replacement rechargeable batteries

I think I got some suggestions to check.

That’s the problem with any device that

– Last Updated: Sep-25-08 3:27 PM EST –

uses proprietary batteries, from cell phones to digital cameras.

(1) a tray to use some sort of standard batteries (rechargeable or not) instead of the OEM 1-piece rechargeable (AA, AAA or "camera" batteries or whatever I could buy from most stores)
Unlikely. Your VHF uses LiIon, std batteries will be NiMH, may not have enough ampacity to operate the VHF.

(2) a source of OEM replacement rechargeable batteries

Just read

– Last Updated: Sep-25-08 4:27 PM EST –

that several people have experienced repeated battery failures within 2 years on this radio... Not a good start as the one I just got is already a year old, at least!

And the batteries seem to have been discontinued by West Marine... Have yet to find someone who carries replacements...

However, I think I might be able to sqeeze-in a standard 7.2V camera battery such as from my Nikon DSLR - it has similar if not larger capacity too (1,600 mah vs. the 1,300 on the radio). Shape is a little different, but if it fits physically under the cover I'll be all set with replacements - they come cheap in third-party versions ($15 or more) plus I already have one for my camera that I can use if I need to...

AA Battery Pack
I have a Raymarine Ray 102 Radio which came with a AA pack. This is a 7.2v radio like yours and uses 5 AA cells. The instructions warn about limiting power if you use Alkalis - I’ll probably use Lithiums since I normally will be listening rather than broadcasting.

I’ve just got this radio and the Ni-Cad had failed on it so I “shocked the Nicads” by momentarily connecting it to a high-current 12-volt source — auto battery charger. After shock treatment, the measured voltage jumped from an unacceptable 4.0v to 6.0. At that point, I recharged it and it seems to be working fine. The procedure for “shocking” indicates that you should drain and recharge the battery repeatedly afterwards – draining the battery to different level (by running it different times) before recharging. Goggle “Ni-Cad Shock” for more detailed information. The site that I found indicated that the batteries are good to go awhile after this procedure.