10 Tips for Extending Your Two-Way Radio Battery
On average most two-way batteries will last around 18 to 24 months, depending on the quality of the battery and how you use your radio. Your rechargeable batteries can be charged and used over and over again. There are many ways you can help your batteries to last longer.
- Initialize Your Batteries: New Two-Way Radio batteries come with near 50 percent of their capacity charge for two main reasons: Safety and the battery charge decreases with time. By the time you’re using the battery, it’ll be below max load.
- Proper Storage at Room Temperature: For new uninitialized batteries, store them in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place to preserve their capacity and several life cycles. Avoid storing your two-way radio batteries near flammable substances.
- Discharge Used Batteries before Storage: At times, you may want to store batteries. In that case, you should discharge them to 50 percent of their capacity. Afterward, store them in a cool, dry place away from flammable substances.
- Proper Maintenance: Ensure that your battery contact surfaces are always clean. Dirty contact surfaces are a primary source of charging issues. Regular cleaning will optimize performance. How do you clear the dirt and residue? Use a soft cloth to clean the contacts. Use pure alcohol to get rid of grease and other contaminants.
- Discharge Used and Stored Battery Before Recharging: When you initialize your batteries, use them, discharge them to 50 percent and store them, it’s best to discharge them before recharging them again. Don’t confuse this process with the initializing process since the batteries have already experienced a load at the time of use.
- Use Battery Conditioners: Every NiCad cell battery suffers a condition known as the “memory effect.” When your two-way radio batteries suffer the condition, they will not charge back to full capacity. How can you prevent this? You should use a conditioning battery charger. This charge can detect and try to correct memory effect. What if you can’t find a conditioning battery charger? Consider discharging your battery completely before recharging it. It’s worth noting that regular top charges are among the leading causes of memory effect.
- Don’t Charge Batteries Before the Batteries Are 100% Discharged: You should charge your batteries only when completely discharged. It is advisable to buy a spare battery for longer duty cycle applications. In fact, having an extra battery in tandem with the main battery is a more cost-efficient solution than purchasing a new, primary battery every six months.
- Don’t Continually Charge Two Way Radio Batteries: Office-based employees tend to leave their handheld radio in its charging port on their desk. That is wrong. It explains why their batteries degrade faster compared to those used by field-based employees. You should not leave your radio connected to the charger for prolonged periods of time. Likewise, avoid using the battery charger as a stand when it is plugged in. When you subject your battery to continuous charging, it ends up losing its capacity.
- Never Return a Fully Charged Battery to the Charger: Your employees might be tempted to return their already charged batteries to the charger for an extra boost. That is a costly mistake. They should never try to increase battery life by extra charging. Otherwise, they will reduce the life cycle and capacity of the batteries.
- Replace Old Radio Batteries: Even if you give your two-way radio batteries the best care in the world, they won’t last forever. They will wear out one day. It is advisable to replace any batteries you have used for over 18 months. When you are ready to shop for battery replacements, be sure to go for reputable brands, such as Motorola. Likewise, it is imperative that you recycle your old batteries. According to EPA, rechargeable batteries are a hazardous waste. You should contact your local Hazardous Waste Authority to find the appropriate location for disposal.
Always remember, Transmit will be affected first as it uses more current. You can receive on a low current battery for the most part with no issues. We are here to help you with all your Two-Way Radio needs! Call us Today!