I broke out my 2AT after a number of years. The nicads in it are dead. What kind of replacement inserts should I be looking for? Nicads are so 1980s. What is the current 'best' technology?
Nickle Cadmium (NiCd) batteries are still quite popular for a variety of uses, however Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries have, for the most part, replaced NiCds.
Lithium Ion batteries are generally considered the better of the two, but each have their pros/cons.
Li-ion batteries have over twice the energy density of NiCds and about 30% more energy density than NiMHs.
Considerably less self discharge than both NiMH and NiCd.
More recharge cycles which means longer battery life (as a whole).
Little to no memory effect.
Lighter than both NiCd and NiMH.
- Expensive. Lithium Ion batteries are more expensive than both NiCd and NiMH.
Cheaper than Li-ion
About 40% higher energy density than NiCd.
Less toxic than NiCd.
More common (at least, for HTs).
More self discharge than both NiCd and Li-ion, means battery should be plugged in as much as possible when not is use.
Experiences memory effect.
Here are some interesting charts I found. Please note that this data is for camera batteries, although still applicable.
Here's a DIY option: I used 3 LiPo 14500 batteries and a charge controller / battery protection module to replace the NiCds in my IC2AT's original battery pack. It's a tight fit. The PCB holding the LED and charger jack is intact. I now have more voltage (higher transmit power) and more capacity. Note: perform a capacity test on your batteries when they arrive and claim a refund from seller if they don't meet the claim. A claim exceeding 800 mAh on a 14500 is unlikely to be true.
IC-2GAT has a spec to 16V operation. Suggest it might run well on 4 lithium batteries - battery pack for a helicopter or car. 11.1V 3 cells or 14.8V 4 cells. The BP4 battery pack took AA size dry cells - 4 of these could be replaced with Lithium. Use a electric model charger of some sort. 14500 Li Battery same size as AA.