When should I replace my walkie-talkie batteries.

Handheld two-way radio batteries last for a variable length of time depending on how they are used and treated. In general, most radio dealers will advise that batteries are replaced every two years. This will mainly apply to equipment that is in use every day and where batteries are charged every day or every other day. However, if you only use your radios, say at weekends, they will last quite a lot longer. I have seen batteries that are six or seven years old which still last a shift where handsets are used only on weekends or perhaps monthly. The life of a battery will also largely depend on how it is treated and charged. They do not like to be charged in very cold or hot conditions. Ni-Cad and Nickle Metal Hydride batteries, when stored for a long period, (Over two weeks) prefer to be fully charged when stored. In use it is advisable to let the batteries run completely flat before charging them to prevent premature loss of capacity. If this is not possible, leave the radio on once every two or three weeks and let the battery drain completely.

Li-Ion batteries should be stored at about 60% charged and never when flat. For long life always use the correct charger as supplied with the radio, this will prevent possible overcharging or a rate that is too high for the capacity of the cells, which could lead to overheating and a fire. Li-ion batteries should always be charged with the recommended charger as they are more prone to fire if overcharged or if charging is not terminated once the cells are fully charged. Unlike other batteries, Li-ion types should not be run completely flat and most equipment will shut down once the battery approaches a low level to protect the battery. This protection circuit will also ensure charging is stopped once the battery is full.

As a sole trader I do not have the space, time or facilities to test batteries sent in with radios that come in for repair. This is why I ask on the "Repair Form" that batteries are not sent in with repairs. (Download the form from the page on the link) Further, there are hundreds of different batteries which would require me to carry a large range of chargers or POD's for the battery analyzer and the cost and space required for this would be prohibitive as a sole trader. Sure, I could do a quick overvoltage check and see how much current the battery draws, but this would also depend on the charge state, so is not really a great way to test the battery.

So, when should you replace your radio battery? Well much like your mobile phone you will notice that a charge no longer lasts two days, or one day and you know it's time to have the battery replaced. If you notice that you radio soon starts beeping after a charge indicating a low battery, or if a charge no longer lasts for the shift that it used to, its time to replace the battery. Sometimes the radio can have a fault that is using more current from the battery so it's best to charge the battery and try it on another radio to rule out a fault with the radio. It should also be remembered that when you are transmitting you are consuming a large amount of battery power, so the more you talk the quicker the battery will go flat. If you suspect a battery is low in capacity, mark it with a permanent marker or label. This way staff can see the battery is suspect and will monitor how long it lasts. If it's not doing the job replace it with a new one and ensure that the marked battery cannot get back into circulation.

I am happy to answer your questions regarding batteries and the use and care of them, please do noit hesitate to contact me. (+44 (0) 3339009008)