[TenTec] Battery change on the Orions

Peter Frenning [OZ1PIF] peter at frenning.dk
Thu Dec 15 12:27:01 EST 2016

Both the 565 Orion and 566 Orion 2 are equipped with a "Snaphat" battery 
module, this is a Lithium Ion battery and crystal packed together in a 
yellow 4-legged package, which plugs into a realtime chip soldered to 
the control board of the Orions. This real time module has no 
discernable function the Orion, other than keeping the configuration 
data alive in CMOS RAM. One could have the thought that this was a piece 
of the HW design that never got implemented in the SW! While we are at 
it: the tuner module of the 566 is also equipped with a Lithium battry, 
a CR2025, but stores no configuration data in actual operation, again: 
HW design that never actually got implemented in the control SW!

Instead of waiting for the the battery in my my 566 to actually run down 
and leave me with an Orion in need of a Hard reset, I decided to make 
the change in time. My Orion was manufactured in 2008 and is thus 8 
years old. It has been in daily use all the time, the only problem being 
the need to repair the A9 power distribution board (new electrolytic 

To make the switch you need the following tools:

A #10 Torx screwdriver for the 18 black screws on the rear, (don't use 
the small angled Torx tool delivered with the Orion, it'll drive you insane)

A #1 Phillips screwdiver for the four large screws on the side

A #0 Phillips screwdriver for the 14 (I think) screws holding the front 
to the main chassis

You'll also need a suitable tool to extract the Snaphat battery, it sits 
rather tight and can't be pulled by fingers only.

The trick is to power up the radio once you have taken it apart and 
positioned it for the battery switch, once the boot is completed you can 
safely pull the old battery and fit the new one, while at it, I switched 
the CR2015 battery in the tuner as well, mostly to avoid the risk of age 
related leakage at some point.
Now you can turn off the radio again and reassemble everything.

If you've done everything right your radio is now good to go another 
8-10 years!

See http://tentecwiki.org/doku.php?id=565battery for additional 
information and some pictures.

Vy 73 de OZ1PIF/5Q2M, Peter

** The day Microsoft makes something	**
** that doesn't suck is probably the 	**
** day they start making vacuum		**
** cleaners ! 				**
**      	-- Anonymous Wise Guy	**
email: peter(no-spam filler)@frenning.dk
Ph. +45 4619 3239/ +45 2332 9464
Peter Frenning
Ternevej 23
DK-4130 Viby Sj.

More information about the TenTec mailing list