How to Best Maintain a Two‑Way Radio Battery

Batteries are designed and manufactured to ensure optimum radio performance. Still, battery capacity naturally decreases over time. These tips for caring for your two‑way radio battery are part of an overall plan for two‑way radio maintenance and troubleshooting that can keep your communications clear and reliable going forward.

  • Charge a new two‑way radio battery overnight before using it. This is referred to as initializing and will make it possible to obtain maximum battery capacity. For a Nickel Cadium or Nickel Metal Hydride battery, charge for 14 to 16 hours. For a Lithium Ion/Polymer battery, charge 1 to 2 additional hours after the charger light turns green.For new Motorola IMPRES batteries, the first battery charge should take place in an IMPRES desktop (not vehicular) charger for proper initialization of IMPRES data in battery memory. When inserted in a Motorola IMPRES charger, the battery will indicate a calibration cycle by displaying a steady yellow light on the charge status indicator. Allow the battery to be fully charged through a solid green charger status indication.
  • Avoid drain. When the battery is not in use for an extended time, remove the two‑way radio battery from the radio to eliminate additional drain.
  • Check the environment. Store batteries in a well‑ventilated, and temperature‑ and humidity‑controlled environment and not with flammable materials. The temperature should be 68°F/20°C to 86°F/30°C, and the humidity should be 30% to 60%. New batteries stored in these conditions may be stored between up to 18 to 24 months depending on the type of battery.
  • Store the battery at the right charge. The optimal battery storage condition is 30% to 50% of the two‑way radio battery’s charge state. New batteries should be stored as delivered. Used batteries should be charged or discharged to approximately 50%.
  • Take extra time when using a battery after it has been in storage. Batteries that have been in storage for more than two months should be fully discharged and recharged before being used again. It may take several charge and discharge cycles to achieve optimal capacity. One or two reconditioning cycles will accelerate capacity recovery.
  • Charge a battery only when it needs it. If it is not fully discharged, do not recharge it. If you’re concerned about not having a full charge when you need it, carrying a spare is the most cost‑effective solution for users requiring longer operating time.
  • Charge batteries at the right temperature. Stabilize batteries to room temperature (72°F) before charging. Charging below 40°F and above 104°F will decrease their cycle life.
  • Do not leave the radio and fully‑charged battery in the charger when not charging. This includes not using the charger as a radio stand. Continuous charging will shorten battery life. Also, do not return fully batteries to the charger for an “extra boost.” This action will significantly reduce cycle life.
  • Follow ratings. Use the two‑way radio battery in accordance with its water and dust Ingress Protection (IP) rating.
  • Use with care. When using a battery, take overall precautions for safety and performance. Do not replace the battery in any area labeled “Hazardous Atmosphere.” Don’t disassemble, crush, puncture, shred, or otherwise change the form of the battery. Don’t discard the battery in a fire. Don’t dry a wet battery with an appliance or heat source, such as a hair dryer or microwave oven. If the radio battery contacts are wet, dry the battery contacts before attaching the battery to the radio. Finally, exercise care in handling any charged battery, particularly when placing it inside a pocket, purse, or other container with metal objects such as jewelry, keys, or coins.

These tips can keep your two‑way radio battery in optimal condition to provide the most value over time. To learn more, browse our blogs.

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