Monday, September 16, 2013

Charging a Baofeng UV-5R with a Kaito Voyager Pro KA-600 PT2

OK will the Kaito Voyager Pro KA-600 charge the Baofeng BF-F8 battery or not ?

That Baofeng battery really put up a fight.

 I have to say that darn little 7.4 Volt battery really put up a fight. I had expected it to be partially drained by the end of the day after listening to the local repeater all day. It actually lasted longer than I thought and only today after listening to the FM broadcast radio while running the flashlight did it finally completely deplete the battery.
 One oddity of the Baofeng batteries is that once the voltage drops down below 5.4V dc the radio shuts off. What is strange about this is that when tested with the VTVM (Vacuum Tube Volt Meter) it shows ZERO voltage on the meter.

A little about the Kaito KA-600 emergency radio.

The Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 is small enough to carry with you wherever you go
The Kaito Voyager Pro KA-600 is an emergency hand crank radio designed for power outages. It is an AM/FM/shortwave radio that includes a hand crank to keep it charged up. It also receives that NOAA weather channels and includes a weather alert function so that you only receive extreme weather alerts. It also includes a solar panel to keep itself charged up as well as a flashlight and a reading light conveniently placed on the bottom side of the solar panel. Placing the Kaito KA-600 in a window will keep the internal battery charged up for use in an emergency as well.

SO will it work ?

 OK, we finally have the battery at 0 VDC according to my VTVM (Vacuum Tube Volt Meter) and we are ready to use my MacGyver charging system to try and recharge the batter with a kaito KA-600. With just a minute of charge time from the Kaito KA-600 i was able to turn the Baofeng UV-5R on and listen to the FM broadcast band for several minutes. This is encouraging. In an emergency situation I would be able to call for help or listen to important updates on the FM broadcast band or weather channels, and have 2M 440 communications. Maybe not for very long, but it IS possible. OK, so what happens if I bring the battery up to an almost full charge  ?

Round and round we go. 

After five minutes of cranking that darn handle on the Kaito I was able to bring the battery up to 6 V dc, which is enough to power the radio on, but still isnt enough to transmit. I could theoretically listen to weather updates or FM at this point, but for how long is unsure. The radio shows zero bars for a charge. After 2 minutes the radio started beeping at me and after three minutes it shut off again. Testing the battery shows ZERO Volts DC again.

Maybe ten minutes will work.

 OK, let see what happens when you spend ten minutes cranking the handle on the Kaito hand crank radio. After turning that hand crank for 10 whole minutes the Baofeng battery still only shows about 6Vdc, which makes it barely usable. When trying to transmit on low power at 146.760 (Local repeater W7FEL) it beeps indicating that the battery is in too low of a state to transmit. This means that after 10 minutes the Kaito KA-600 was barely able to charge the baofeng battery enough to listen to the radio. No transmit at all.

The final verdict.

 OK so it would seem that the Kaito KA600 just doesn't have enough to charge the 7.4V battery on a Baofeng UV-5R dual band handheld. Even set at low power the battery just wouldn't take enough of a charge to transmit on 2M. It was enough to play the FM broadcast band for several minutes. You would also be able to listen to one of the weather channels or the 2M/440 repeater for updates. 
 Overall the Kaito is great for charging cell phones with low battery values and other items like that, but for the high amp 7.4V dc battery the Kaito just doesn't cut it.


More information on the KAITO KA-600