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?

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    $\begingroup$ I never use the batteries it comes with Im just like "hmm where can I get a 7 volt source" :) $\endgroup$ – Skyler 440 Nov 2 '13 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ 8.4 volt character comes with the standard battery $\endgroup$ – EvilTeach Nov 2 '13 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ Batteries America has all sorts of 3rd party replacement batteries for HTs. Look at the chargers too, especially if changing the battery chemistry to something that was not original equipment, e.g. Li Ion. $\endgroup$ – Paul Nov 6 '13 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ Inserts will cost you more than buying a brand-spanking-new pack off of Amazon. (Which is a shame, but that's the way it is.) amazon.com/HQRP-1600mAh-Battery-IC-2GAT-Replacement/dp/… $\endgroup$ – Andrew Beals Nov 6 '13 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ The "NiCD Lady" has a nice (accurate!) compatibility chart for older Icom radios here: nicdladyonline.com/battery-rebuilding-icom.html $\endgroup$ – Andrew Beals Apr 20 '16 at 20:26

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.

  • Cold resistant.

  • 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.

  • Cold susceptible.

Here are some interesting charts I found. Please note that this data is for camera batteries, although still applicable.

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(Primary) Sources:

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    $\begingroup$ This is a fantastic answer. The only thing missing would be the giant "Con" point for Lithium technology - that they can catch fire or explode if mistreated or mis-manufactured. (I've personally seen two puffed LiIon/LiPo packs, but no fires/explosions.) That said, I'll go for Lithiums if I have the option, otherwise, NiMH is a drop-in option where you once had NiCd cells. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Beals Nov 6 '13 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewBeals Oh, right. I can't believe I forgot that point. Still, I've read that NiMHs require more care than Li-ions.. $\endgroup$ – Seth Nov 6 '13 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Seth Absolutely. Lithiums, due to the dangers &c. come with (or are plugged into) charge controllers that carefully tend the batteries. You can get smart chargers for NiMH (and NiCd), but the cells will tend to have a shorter life-span and of course don't have the energy density of Lithium. For this application, buying a third-party NiMH pack is the solution. The other "disadvantage" of Lithium is that their chemistry means that you have a 3.7V cell and have to work around that, rather than 1.2V cells. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Beals Nov 6 '13 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ The other interesting chart to add in here would be discharge capacity - NiCd wins that one as it will happy deliver to a high-draw sink (a saw or drill, for example) and not destroy itself in the process. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Beals Nov 6 '13 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewBeals Maybe I misunderstand, but that isn't what ryobi says. (that's for lithium+, I couldn't find the one with just lithium, but it's similar). $\endgroup$ – Seth Dec 29 '13 at 2:16

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.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Ted, and welcome to Stack Exchange and the Amateur Radio SE. We work a little differently from forums which you may be used to; answers are supposed to answer the question as asked, and are not meant to ask further questions. Please take the tour for a two-minute brief on how the site works, and visit the help center for more in-depth information. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jan 25 '15 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Since the first part of your answer does appear to apply to the question, I am going to simply edit your answer and delete the second part. We tend to discourage questions specifically seeking off-site resources, and even more so when there is not enough information in the question to base an answer on. Remember that this site is very international in nature. To buy equipment, I suggest that you check with local resellers. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jan 25 '15 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ I would also encourage you to register an account. While not mandatory, registering an account will enable many features on the site, including later editing of your own posts and earning community reputation from both questions and answers (unlocking additional features of the site), which are not available to unregistered users. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jan 25 '15 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ The 2GAT is spec'd to run between 5.5 to 16.0VDC, but the initial question was about the 2AT, which is a much older radio — it's simply not built to take that kind of voltage. (The BP-3 adaptor "battery" steps down 13.8VDC from a lighter socket or car battery down to 8.4VDC.) The highest-voltage supply source for the IC-2AT is the 10.8V IC-BP5 NiCD pack. icom.co.jp/world/support/download/manual/… $\endgroup$ – Andrew Beals Apr 20 '16 at 20:22

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