scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Walkie Talkies
Wed Aug 30 2000 - 14:30:05 CDT
In a message dated 8/30/00, Bill Sheehan writes:
>I will keep this in mind for future purposes. We only have AAA type radios
>and they are real battery eaters. The ones Wal-MArt ones are the "ranger"
>brand.We've never gotten a second day out of them.
We started out with Walmart purchased "Ranger" models, starting
at $24.97. We soon returned them against Walmart's satisfaction
guarantee policy and upgraded to Motorola models FR-60, TA-250
and TA-280. (The TA-280 has a rechargeable battery pack option.)
The Motorola models operated from Sunday travel to summer camp
through Friday afternoon with daily use. With replacement batteries
in place, they continue to work for the remainder of summer camp
PLUS a weekend camporee in Pennsylvania, Friday afternoon through
The differences between Motorola and the Rangers are ...
Motorola circuitry is a constant current circuitry design. It does
not matter what the battery voltage is, the power output remains
constant by drawing a constant current until the batteries are
The Ranger radios use a less expensive constant voltage circuitry
design. As the battery voltage diminishes, so does the output voltages
resulting and less transmitting power; therefore, batteries have a
shorter operating life. Constant voltage circuits cannot deliver if
there is not enough supply voltage to begin with.
We found Ranger radios would operate erratically after 1-1/2 days.
After testing the batteries, they were only 50% consumed. When the
Motorola models went dead, the batteries were fully discharged with
no more battery service life.
We also found the Walmart $39.97 Bell South radios a good fourth
choice. They use the constant current circuitry, but also include a
4 x AAA NiCad rechargeable battery pack and a 120VAC charger. We
have been getting 2-1/2 days operation out of a single charge. The
downside is you need a current bush to recharge the battery pack!
Good luck with your radio purchases and may the buyer beware.
See ya'll on the trail.
Your friend in Scouting~\
West New York