Often, performance issues with a two-way radio can be resolved by swapping in a fresh battery. That’s why it’s just as important to maintain your batteries as it is the radios themselves. Not knowing how to might lead you to send your communication gear in for service, unnecessarily taking valuable and critical tools out of circulation.
So, here are a few ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your batteries.
1 – Don’t drain them all the way
Older chemistry batteries were known to suffer from a memory effect. If batteries weren’t full drained and charged, they would seem to forget how much capacity they really could achieve. It was important to fully drain and charge the battery each time it was used. Newer chemistry batteries do not suffer this restriction and survive longer if you prevent your batteries from getting too drained. Take advantage of the display on your radio (if it has one) to monitor your battery capacity and replace it with a spare once it starts to drop in capacity.
2- Check the Capacity
ALL batteries start losing their ability to hold a charge (capacity) the day they are assembled. That’s why the IMPRES battery is designed to hold a charge that’s above spec. That way, when you put it into use, you will get at least two, maybe even three years out of it (the average life of a battery).
The IMPRESS charging station does more than recharge. It shows you the battery’s actual capacity. That means you can decide to replace a battery before it starts underperforming rather than after.
The display show here comes from an IMPRES station, and it shows that the battery is at 99% of its original rated capacity, meaning it can hold 1% less of a full charge. But 99%is still excellent. But, when that capacity gets down to…say…80%, you may want to consider buying a replacement. That way, you can avoid any unexpected performance issues in the field
3- Use them regularly
Batteries produce power through a chemical reaction. That reaction is happening even when the battery is sitting idly on a shelf. Tridon technicians have heard from customers who left brand new batteries sitting on a shelf, only to find them underperforming when they FINALLY put them into use three years after purchasing them. Don’t let this happen to you. Use batteries regularly so you can get the most out of them. They’re an investment just like your radios or speaker mics.
4 – Software applications
And not just for recharging, either. IMPRES batteries have a computer chip built inside them. Those chips relay information to a piece of software you can easily install on your computer. Plug the battery in the docking station connected your computer and the software will give you the full history on the battery: manufacturing date, when the first charge was, number of charges…all the information you need before deciding if the battery is fit for use. Occasionally a battery will be deemed “not able to charge” on the IMPRES charger simply due to the fact that the memory in the battery has been corrupted. A quick visit to this specialized docking station can make the battery chargeable again.
Running back and forth to swap out batteries is a major drain on productivity. Making these tips part of your routine maintenance will help that valuable piece of equipment back you up every single time you hit the call button.
Tridon is a full solution Telecom Systems Integrator with CSA certification and licensed by APEGA. Our Engineering, Service and Tower Divisions collaborate with customers to build engineered solutions including communications systems design, tower inspections and co-location, wireless broadband, fiber optic cabling, site security, and two-way radio communication.