Potential Source For Non-OEM Liberty Batteries

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Samg381

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Jul 22, 2019
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I found my self in somewhat of a research black hole a few days ago.. figured I'd post the results.
For background, Thales competed for (and lost?) a contract for the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio program around 2017.

While they are two distinctly different radios, I believe Thales re-used the Liberty battery design in the Rifleman Radio.
Since there is obviously no longer a source for Liberty batteries, I explored the possibility of sourcing a PRC-154 battery to try in the Liberty.

I was not able to find any OEM Thales PRC-154 batteries, however I did stumble upon an oddball reproduction. On Amazon, of all places.
What we are left with here is a bootleg battery for a radio that may or may not share the same battery specifications as the Liberty.

Here is the link. Obviously proceed at your own risk.
If anyone does pull the trigger on trying one, all I'd ask is to post your results.
 

PSEhub

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Good find, the Liberty OEM is 7.2V 52WH, I think 10.8 is a stretch.

I would reach out to the seller about this.

Instead of two sets in parallel of 3 cells in series, for the Liberty it would need to be 3 sets in parallel of 2 cells in series.

Should be an easy adjustment for them.

I still find it hilarious that Thales shipped Motorola OEM NTN8266 belt clips with the Liberty.

I have started rebuilding some batteries based on the DIY spot welders shared by this Youtuber https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjYVl9n1Giijx3spfuOO-zw

Sourcing LG MJ1 or 18650GA can be hit and miss, but if you can repack with those top of the line cells, it will be better than OEM.
 
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Samg381

Samg381

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Jul 22, 2019
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I concur. I don't think I'd be comfortable pushing 10.8V either (not that I'd question the quality of the voltage regulator sourced for the Liberty)
It's so strange to think that some random bootleg laptop battery manufacturer in China thought to make a replacement for an obscure LRIP prototype radio.

If I stumble upon some spending money, I might reach out to that seller and see if they're willing to whip me up 5 or so Liberty-spec batteries.
I would definitely be curious to hear if you have any success making/refurbishing Liberty batteries with high end cells.
 

m0th

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Jan 27, 2016
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40
I took a look at my Thales Liberty battery along side a PRC-154 batt I had laying around:

side by side.jpg

(I have no idea why there is an "X" sticker on the battery.) If you notice, the Liberty battery is a "1600691-1 Rev A" and it's indeed 10.8 volts. I'm not sure if I have an early version of this radio, or why the "Rev C" version is only 7.2 volts. Follow at your own risk.

The only mechanical differences are at the top. The PRC-154 battery has some extra plastic that keeps it from engaging with the Thales Liberty.

original.jpg

After bobbing off the extra tabs with side cutters and an exacto knife:

modified 154.jpg

My radio seems to work fine with it. The gas gauge appears to work as the battery LEDs match the radio display. The only downside so far is that the battery charger does not fast-charge on the Liberty charger I have. It will error out, but it does keep trickle charging very very slowly. Of course two weeks to charge a battery isn't very operationally suitable.

M
 

CARC383

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Jan 16, 2019
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Several companies make a military BB-X90 series battery adapter for the PRC-154 like this one: https://www.tacticaleng.com/bb-2590-adapter-prc-154
I have a similar unit for the PRC-153, which is an XTS-2500 and it includes a battery case. It works very well and lasts a long time with a BB-2590 battery. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Military-A...pter-4000-4004-336-w-Carry-Case-/184000248932 I picked up the PRC-153 adapter in perfect shape for about $15 on fleabay.

BTW, the big Thales Modular Universal Charger I use for the BB-2590 also charges the PRC-154 Rifleman and MBITR batteries. https://adsinc.com/product/thales-modular-universal-battery-charger/
 

Outlander Systems

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Sep 25, 2020
Messages
12
If there’s any way to verify the internal voltage tolerance, there’s another alternate route the could be taken. For reference, I have a portable HF radio which has a voltage tolerance of 9v-15v. If the Liberty is, indeed, tolerant of 10.8v input, here’s a recipe that would absolutely work.

XX90 Adapter from Battaxx, fits on Thales PRC-148 batteries, effectively turning them into miniature BB-2590s. The PRC-148 batteries are plentiful and dirt cheap.

Coupled with the eliminator posted by CARC383, this would be a pretty affordable way to source power to the PRC-7332s.

The question is whether or not 10.8v is going to cook the Thales guts, or if it’s got any sort of step-down converter integrated into the radio itself. I’m also extremely curious why the batteries went from 10.8v to 7.4v...
 

Outlander Systems

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Sep 25, 2020
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I shot a message over to Kingsener about the referenced batteries, as well as potentially doing a 7.4 version.

There were some language barrier issues, but it sounded like they might consider doing these. I'd imagine if enough people were to e-mail them/use the amazon "ask a question" feature [cough cough], they might just do it.

Good find, the Liberty OEM is 7.2V 52WH, I think 10.8 is a stretch.

I would reach out to the seller about this.

Instead of two sets in parallel of 3 cells in series, for the Liberty it would need to be 3 sets in parallel of 2 cells in series.

Should be an easy adjustment for them.

I still find it hilarious that Thales shipped Motorola OEM NTN8266 belt clips with the Liberty.

I have started rebuilding some batteries based on the DIY spot welders shared by this Youtuber https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjYVl9n1Giijx3spfuOO-zw

Sourcing LG MJ1 or 18650GA can be hit and miss, but if you can repack with those top of the line cells, it will be better than OEM.
 

CARC383

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Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
285
There are a boatload of Liberty radios out there and if someone would make a legitimate battery they should sell like crazy. I even had a Liberty for about a week before I gave up on batteries and traded it off. I liked the radio for the price I paid and would have kept it if batteries were available. If the company is considering making it you could hit up all the radio boards to see how many people might commit to buying then let the seller know the potential customer base out there and the potential buyers would know where to get them.

I shot a message over to Kingsener about the referenced batteries, as well as potentially doing a 7.4 version.

There were some language barrier issues, but it sounded like they might consider doing these. I'd imagine if enough people were to e-mail them/use the amazon "ask a question" feature [cough cough], they might just do it.
 

Outlander Systems

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Sep 25, 2020
Messages
12
Solid advice.

I’ll see if I can rodeo up some interested buyers. I’d be in for several alone.

There are a boatload of Liberty radios out there and if someone would make a legitimate battery they should sell like crazy. I even had a Liberty for about a week before I gave up on batteries and traded it off. I liked the radio for the price I paid and would have kept it if batteries were available. If the company is considering making it you could hit up all the radio boards to see how many people might commit to buying then let the seller know the potential customer base out there and the potential buyers would know where to get them.
 

CARC383

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Jan 16, 2019
Messages
285
I've instigated a number of things like this and after the mfr got a bunch of new orders they sent me some of their products for free as a thank you for generating business.

Solid advice.

I’ll see if I can rodeo up some interested buyers. I’d be in for several alone.
 

Outlander Systems

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Sep 25, 2020
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I wouldn’t turn my nose up at freebies for sure, but I’d just be happy if WE all could get access to new Batteries. I spoke with someone today (not Kingsener) but the minimum order would be 500.
 

parker4782

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I had a conversation with a GTS Senior Sales Executive it seems they are going to sell Liberty batteries by 1st Qtr of next year. The big question will be how much will it cost 150, 200 or 250.
 
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