Buy the Drop-In Charger

I’d like to pass along a tip that has taken me about 25 years of ham radio experience to figure out. I’ve owned many different models of handheld FM transceivers through the years and have always just used the standard “wall wart” charger to charge the batteries.

Recently, I decided to “splurge” and get desktop chargers for the pair of FT-60’s that inhabit our two-ham household. I never realized how handy the drop-in style charger could be until I had one…the HT is always sitting there ready to go. Most of these drop-in chargers are rapid chargers that sense the battery condition — charging them quickly but also dropping back to a trickle charge once they are full.

Since then, I’ve made it a point to always pick up a desktop charger with a new HT. Yes, it does cost $60 to 75 extra but it is well worth the convenience.

73, Bob K0NR

6 Replies to “Buy the Drop-In Charger”

  1. I myself love having a drop in charger for all my rigs.

    In the future, I might recomend to you getting the W&W Manufacturing charger. US Made.

    WIth their charger you buy inserts for each radio you own. So you are able to buy one drop in charger for life. Then, buy the insert for what ever radio you have. I have inserts for the three differnt HT’s I use. The product works great.

    73 de N8MDH

  2. I agree! I can’t imagine not getting drop in chargers now, have one for my ID-92 and VX-8R, which are the two HTs I tend to use the most.

  3. Hi Bob,

    I use the same desktop charger for a number of years. Yes, they are convenient. Yes, they’re fast. Unfortunately there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    You will notice that the capacity of the FNB-83 batteries will degrade faster than ever. After discovering this, I only use the desktop charger when I need a full battery quickly. Once every few weeks I drain the battery completely and use the overnight charger. This simple system slowed down the degradation considerably.

    Hans / PD0AC

  4. Hans,
    Interesting information. I have not seen a degradation in battery capacity but I have not been monitoring it very carefully either. I will watch more closely now.