When your battery fails, your radio fails. When your radio fails, your business communications fails. This can have a severe impact on productivity and the safety of your staff. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that you know how to effectively use, store and care for your batteries.
Starting with a few do’s & don’ts:
- Use the battery in a suitable environment. Check the IP rating to see if it is resistant to dust and water.
- Frequently inspect all battery contacts for dust and dirt.
- Clean the contacts using a suitable micro fibre or lint free cloths.
- Attempt to tamper, disfigure or alter the form of your battery
- Store batteries alongside flammable materials
- Use a source of heat to attempt to dry a battery if it gets wet
- Discard your battery in a fire
How to Store:
- Before storing, ensure that the battery is unattached from the radio/device. As this helps reduce drainage of the battery.
- New batteries which are to be stored should be charged above 50% but not to full capacity.
- Batteries must be recharged to more than 50% every 9 months.
- Ensure batteries are stored in a well-ventilated temperature (68F/20c – 86F/30c) & humidity (30% - 60%) controlled environment.
It is worth noting that batteries which have been removed from storage may take numerous charge/discharge cycles in order to reach optimum capacity.
How to Recharge:
- Turn the radios off, if the battery is drawing current whilst charging simultaneously the battery life can shorten.
- Remove from the stand once fully charged as leaving it plugged in can also shorten the battery life.
- When using a new battery, it is important to charge (initialise) them before use. Li-Ion batteries need to be charged for 15-17 hours whereas NiMH batteries require 14-16 hours prior to first use.
- Bare in mind that if you continuously recharge NiMH batteries before they have run out, they can suffer from the ‘memory effect’ which results in a drop in the batteries capacity and only partially charging.
When to Renew:
Batteries typically have a life-span of 12-24 months, however by following the best practice advice I have laid out, it will increase the lifespan for a period, but as with all things electrical or mechanical the time will come when it must be replaced.
When that time comes, we are always here to assist.