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.
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 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.
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.
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.