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How to Better Take Care of Your Batteries

Two-way radios are really dependable and important pieces of equipment that are gifted to us by our own ingenuity and intelligence. Batteries, on the other hand, are also an important technology that powers many devices and gadgets, including the one we cannot take off our hands on: smartphones. Two-way radios are powered by batteries, and we all know that batteries do have a lifespan. Your radio will never be dependable if its battery does not last long. So, how can you better take care of your batteries? 

Use Your Radio Properly

We all know two-way radios are basically telephones that are as tough as an army tank. These radios are water-resistant, dust-resistant, and impact-resistant. But make no mistake, the word “resistant” is different from the word “proof”. These safety features have a limit too that you should take note of. When you use your radio, be sure to keep it away from heat-emitting sources since heat is the number one enemy of batteries. Cold temperatures can also wreak havoc on your battery especially in sub-zero temperatures.  

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Charge Your New Batteries Overnight Before Using It

This is called initializing and is done so it is possible to obtain the maximum battery capacity of your battery pack. For nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride batteries, you should charge them for 14-16 hours. For lithium-ion polymer batteries, charge them an additional 1 to 2 hours after the battery charger light displays a green light. You should also avoid draining the battery, just like smartphones, as doing this can mess up your battery cycles. 

If you do not intend to use your two-way radio for a long period of time, be sure to take out the battery to avoid further power draining. 

Ensure Proper Battery Storage

If you have new and uninitialized two-way radio batteries, make sure to store them in a well-ventilated and cool space away from direct sunlight. Like we mentioned before, temperature can affect a battery’s longevity and performance. If you have the initialized batteries and you do not intend to use your radio for a certain period of time, you should also store them in a cool and dry place to prevent the batteries from having a shorter lifespan. 

Use a Stored Battery Longer Than Usual

If you stored your two-way batteries for more than 2 months, you should discharge the battery and recharge it again to its full capacity before using it again. Batteries have memory cycles and using the battery again after a long hiatus can be detrimental to the overall battery health if you do not reset this memory cycle by completely discharging and recharging the battery before using it. The same logic is applied to laptops: when the battery indicator seems to be laughable and outright inaccurate, technicians reset the battery by fully discharging the battery and completely recharging it again so the cycle is reset and the battery indicator is accurate.

When Your Battery is Busted, Get Repairs

This is the harsh and often unpleasant reality with batteries. They are not designed to work for the amount of time you want. No matter how much you care for your batteries, these little energy-producing tech will not last long. Batteries may last a couple of years but they do not last for a decade, and anything longer than that is outright impossible. Nuclear batteries are present, but they are not used for handheld devices such as radios and phones. You also do not want to see a green glow coming from your two-way radio system, right?

So when your radio battery is busted, do not fret. You can get the battery replaced by a certified technician here at Tidewater! All you need to do is schedule a repair

Two-Way Radio Battery Care Tips

At Tidewater Communications, our goal is to keep you connected with the best two-way radio rentals on the market. Improper care for a radio’s battery, however, can significantly decrease its lifespan. By following some of these battery care practices, the battery of your two-way radio will remain reliable for a long time. After all, the battery is like the heart of the radio. Most batteries are created on a system of 5/5/90. This translates to utilizing the battery for 5% talk, 5% listen, and 90% standby.

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Don’t Leave Radios on While Charging

Leaving your two-way radio powered on while on the charger can do more harm than good. When this happens the radio draws a current simultaneously while it charges. As a result, the battery life can deteriorate.

The Charger Should Not Be Used as a Stand

When a radio is left on the charger like a stand, the battery life of the device ends up being shorter. While the charging unit might seem like a great place to put a radio while you are not using it, this is not a good idea if you want a long-lasting battery. Unless the radio is completely or almost dead, you should not be placing it on the charger. Wait until the radio has lost almost all charge, and then place it on the stand to charge.

Unused Batteries

Unused batteries will stay good for quite a long time. It is important to note that if you plan on not using a battery for longer than 30 days you should discharge the battery to less than half of its normal charge before storing it away. The best place to store a battery that is not in use is always in a location that is cool and dry.

New Batteries Need Initializing

Despite the previous warnings of overcharging batteries, new batteries must be overcharged before they are used. For NiMH batteries, charge them for roughly 14-16 hours, and batteries that are Li-Ion should be charged 1–2 hours past the charger light turning green. Following these steps will help optimize your new battery in the long run.

The Memory Effect

Remember that you don’t want to place your radio on its charge unless it is completely or almost dead. Why though? Well, the battery could potentially remember the charge percentage that you always put it on the charger creating a memory effect and causing your radio to no longer fully charge. An example would be if every time you put it on the charger when it is 60% charged, then in the future it may only hold a partial charge up to 40%. Since every time you put the radio on the charger, it has only utilized 40% of its battery life, it will think that this is all the battery power that it has and it will send your radio into an ineffective state.

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Ensure the Battery Charges in the Right Position

Sometimes we do things quickly and in a hurry. Placing your battery into its charging slot quickly may result in the battery not properly charging. The battery should click when it is placed in. This will indicate that it is in the charging slot correctly. This is important because the time it takes to charge may be prolonged and it might not get the full charge that it needs if not properly placed. The majority of batteries will have some sort of charging light that indicates whether or not it is charged. For example, a red light means that the battery is properly in place. So be sure to listen for the click and make sure that the indicator light goes on if your charging station has one. Remember, the battery has to line up properly, as there are grooves that allow the battery and charging port to line up with each other.

Test the Battery

Not sure if your battery is still good? Or if the issue is with the radio itself? Try taking the battery out of its current radio and place it into a radio that you are positive is working. If this radio works then you know the other radio might be not working. If this radio doesn’t work then your battery’s life has most likely just come to an end.

Battery Replacing

How do you know when it is time to bring out the spare batteries? Even if you have been following all of the battery care best practices, as with most things, the battery life will eventually come to an end. Typically the battery needs to be replaced if there is a persistent beeping that occurs when it is on, or you notice that the battery needs to be charged more and more.

For all of your two-way radio needs, Tidewater Communications is here to provide you with the best radio rental equipment. Stay connected with our radios and charging stations, and ensure your radio’s battery is always charged and ready to go.


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