Radio Battery Recharging Tips

Get the most from your two-way radio batteries with these battery recharging tips. In a few minutes, we'll tell you have to improve two way battery life and ensure that you're always fully operational with the best signal available and greatest range. Yes, the radio's output can affect its coverage, and the higher the wattage of your radio, the faster the batteries will wear down. One way to improve the range of a walkie-talkie unit is the make sure the batteries are well cared for.

Properly store non-initialized new batteries. If your battery has not yet been used, you can minimize cycle life reduction and loss of capacity by storing it in a cool, dry and well-ventilated location. With proper storage, a lithium ion battery (Li) or nickel metal hydride battery (NiMH) can last up to 18 months, and a nickel cadmium battery (NiCad) can last up to 2 years.

Initialize your new battery before using it. If you've just purchased a two-way radio battery, initializing it will enhance the battery's capacity. To initialize, charge new batteries overnight for at least 14 hours. For a NiCad or NiMH battery, charge for 14-16 hours. For a Li-ion battery, charge for 1-2 hours after the light on the charger changes to green.

Do not store batteries in the charger. Continually charging the battery will reduce the battery's life. When the battery is fully charged, immediately remove it from the charger. A charger should not be used as a radio stand.

Charge batteries only when they are at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Charging batteries that are below 40 degrees or above 104 degrees Fahrenheit will decrease the battery's cycle life.

Partially discharge used batteries for extended storage. If a used battery is removed from the radio for an extended length of time (more than 30 days), discharge the battery to approximately 50 percent of its capacity and then store it in a cool and dry location.

Re-initialize batteries that have been stored for more than 2 months. If a battery has been kept in storage for more than 2 months, they should be fully discharged and recharged as if they were brand new batteries (see Initialize your new battery). Previously stored batteries may require several charge and discharge cycles to reach their optimal capacity. This reconditioning cycle will help speed up this process.

When to replace old batteries. If you notice that a battery has stopped holding a full charge, it probably needs to be replaced. Batteries older than 18 months should be replaced, especially if they are used on a daily basis and regularly recharged.