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Tips for recharging your two way radio battery

Two way radio chargerFor more help with radio maintenance, call our friendly experts on 0800 294 7766 for a free consultation.

With the right care, you should enjoy the full extent of your two way radio battery’s life. Depending on how heavy your usage is, a rechargeable battery could last 2 to 3 years, but if yours needs replacing more frequently, you might find the following tips useful to get a longer life cycle from your battery.

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions

All radios are slightly different, so do familiarise yourself with the specific recharging instructions of your two way radio battery manufacturer.

Turn radios off when recharging

Nearly all manufacturers will advise you to turn your radio off while it’s charging. If you don’t, the radio is both drawing current and charging at the same time. This can shorten the life of the battery.

Don’t use the charger as a stand

We’ve seen some situations where tidy-minded offices use the charging unit as a stand to store the radio when not in use. If your radio is already fully charged, keeping it in the charger could shorten its battery life. Only put the radio in the charger when it needs recharging!

Initialising new batteries

New batteries need a long overnight charge before you use them for the first time. This is known as “initialising”, and it will help you obtain the maximum battery capacity. Charge NiMH batteries for 14-16 hours, and Li-Ion batteries for an extra 1 to 2 hours after the charger light turns green.

Memory effect of NiMH batteries

If you routinely recharge a NiMH battery before it’s fully discharged, you could be affecting its long-term battery life. Something known as the “memory effect” means that charging batteries that still retain a charge will cause the battery to only partially charge. For example, if you regularly recharge a battery when it still has 50% of its charge, it may eventually remember that point, resulting in it only holding a charge for 50% in future.

Place the battery in the charger correctly

It sounds obvious, but make sure your battery is positioned correctly in the charger. Line up the grooves on the battery and the charger – you should almost feel it “click” into place if it’s sitting correctly. If it’s not, it will affect the charging process.

Most chargers have a light system which indicates its status when you’re charging the battery. Manufacturers differ in their approach but as an example, a solid red could mean the battery is sited correctly and is charging. Green would mean the charge is complete, but a flashing light can indicate a problem with the battery or charger. If you’re sure the battery is correctly placed in the charger, but the light is still flashing, contact your two way radio supplier for advice.

If your radio doesn’t turn on

It may not be a problem with the battery. Put the battery into another radio (which you know is working) to check whether the issue relates to the battery or the radio. If the second radio won’t turn on either, you probably just need a new battery.

When your battery needs replacing

Even with the best care, your rechargeable battery will eventually need to be replaced. Signs of this include your radio constantly beeping when turned on or transmitting, or the battery needing to be recharged at shorter and shorter intervals.  

For expert advice about your two way radio, contact DCS 2 Way Radio on 0800 294 7766.

Released On 10th Sep 2015

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