What's New 9 April 2004The latest batch of 5BA adapters (Version 2) have the top engraved:This is a cap designed to fit the SDU-5/E Distress Marker Light and allows the use of readily available type 123 commercial photo batteries. Photo installed on SDU-5/E Strobe
The main advantage of engraving is that it will last. When it's time to replace the batteries or a few years in the future you will know that the cap is positive and to use CR123 type batteries. The prior marking would not last as long.
It turns out that the adapter allows the SDU-5E to stand on it's end without any batteries, the BA-1574/U is shorter and the SDU-5/E falls over. When batteries are installed it will stand on just the cap. In top right photo it's standing on my asphalt driveway.
Positive end of Lithium battery goes to the cap. May use:
May 2007 - there are now rechargeable 123 batteries (LIR123A). They are intended for uses where you get the classical cost savings of rechargeable batteries, like flashlights, cameras, or even the SDU-5 IF it was used as a disco light. I do NOT recommend these for any survival use since they self discharge in a short time but the primary CR123 batteries can sit on the shelf for at least 10 years.
- 2 each Duracell DL123A, (tested with RS 23-155) or,
- EverReadyEL123AP or Tekcell CR123A or,
- 2 each NEDA/ANSI 5018LC or,
- 2 each IEC CR17345
- 2 each BA-5123/U
- One customer says that 4 each 1.25v NiCad Sanko Cadnica batteries N-225AE work with this adapter, but they are only 0.225 AH capacity vs. the 1.4 AH capacity of the 123 battery.
Less than 1% of the time an SDU-5/E is made with a defective female battery brass flange height (or the pin at the bottom of the battery compartment is too high) that will cause the battery to make contact before the O-ring. If you install the BA-1574/U or BA-5374/U in these units the O-ring will not seat properly. If this happens to you let me know and I will send you an O-ring that is thicker and has worked for all these cases. The 5BA ships with the standard O-ring. (No point in throwing away 99 out of 100 O-rings).
BA-1574 Gap 5BA Gap
I have not tried to certify this adapter to any specifications or get any approvals for it. I know of no problems but, if you use it for life saving applications you do so at your own risk.
Using the BT-2B batttery test set shows the SDU-5/E adapter (and two each RS 23-155) at 100% of capacity. Note that the hours remaining table is not correct for any new battery, just obsolete ones.
The LiMnO2 DL123A is rated at 1.4 AH with a 100 Ohm load., The SDU-5/E pulls about 100 mA (12V/100 mA = 120 Ohms) so might last 14 hours. The BA-1574/U is rated for only 9 Hours at 80 deg F, so this adapter may offer over 50% more capacity.
The booklet in the bottom of the BT-2B battery tester shows the effect of cold on Mercury batteries. At 80 deg F and a meter reading of 1.0 there are 9 hours operation in the battery, but at 32 deg F there is only 30 minutes of operation. The LiMnO2 battery looses only about 10% capacity at 32 deg F.
The SDU-5/E is designed to be attached to a Personal Flotation Device (PDF) and it does NOT float, this is why a lanyard is attached to the SDU-5/E, so that you will not loose it. With a stock BA-1574/U Mercury battery it weighs 6 oz in air and 2 oz when completely submerged in fresh water. When the 5BA battery adapter and two 123 type photo Lithium batteries are installed the strobe weighs 6 3/4 oz in air and 3 oz when completely submerged in fresh water.
I used to have links to web pages, but most of them changed. Just google for 123 photo battery
The military BA-5123/U is the same battery used in the ANCD (CYZ-10). NSN 6135-01-351-1131.
18 Sep 2005 - SureFire has the 123 batteries prices at $15 for a dozen. ($21/dozen May 2007)
The ACR Firefly 4F and 4G Strobe Distress Lights, some Life Preserver and some Minesweeping Equip may also use the BA-1574/U and this adapter should work with them also, but has not been tested.
Alta Vista Translation page - http://plaza15.mbn.or.jp/~INFINITY/equipment-sdu.htm - cut this link and paste into the translator
In the book Power Up they suggested removing the dead BA-1574/U battery and then using a stack of four Mercury button cells or a PX32 Mercury battery. The PX32 has been replaced by the A32PX Alkaline which has a capacity of about 325 mAH which would last about 3 1/4 hours. The USCG 161.012 specification on the distress light (including battery) requires more than 8 hours of operation.
Mike Murphy - SDU-5/E strobes
Warden's Supply - SDU-5/E strobes
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