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Replacement Two Way Radio Battery

10 Steps To Improve Your Two Way Radio battery Life

A flat battery in a two-way radio can be a frustrating experience. Here are some quick tips to improve the lifetime of your battery.

1 - Go Digital
Digital radios use a technology called Time Division Multiple Access. When you are transmitting with an analogue radio it sends a continuous radio signal. Digital radios with TDMA rapidly switch the transmitter on and off, effectively only transmitting half the time. This can increase battery life by up to 40%.

2 - Be Brief
Reduce the time you spend transmitting by sticking the principles of Accuracy, Brevity, Clarity and Discipline to convey a message quickly. Aside from saving battery life, your colleagues will thank you for not tying up the radio channel and allowing them to speak. A great example of good radio communication practise called AirwaveSpeak can be downloaded from the National Policing Improvement Authority .

3 - Disable GPS
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) consumes lots of battery power. Consider disabling GPS if you don't need it, or reduce the polling frequency. You may consider on-demand positioning, where the radio only activates it's GPS positioning system when polled by a dispatcher.

4 - Reduce Transmission Power
Configure your radio to use the minimum output power necessary to communicate effectively. Some digital technologies automatically adjust transmission power, while others need manual settings by your radio dealer. The lower the transmission power the longer your battery will last.

5 - Use Battery Conditioners
All batteries suffer from a condition called the "memory effect" including Lithium-Ion. This results in the battery no longer charging back to full capacity. To avoid this, use a conditioning battery charger which can detect memory effect and try to correct it. If you don't have a conditioning batter charger, try to fully discharge the battery before recharging it. Regular top-up charges are most likely to result in memory effect.

6 - Switch To Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-Ion batteries are the preferred choice for two-way radios as they suffer less from memory effect, hold the charge for longer, have a better power-to-weight ratio and generate less heat which wastes power. Some older analogue radios may allow the use of modern Lithium-Ion batteries. Check with your radio dealer.

7 - Use Non-Display Radios
Radios which LCD and graphical screens can drain significant power, particularly high resolution colour versions. Unless you need a screen for sending text messages or accessing large numbers of channels opt for a non-display radio for extended battery life. If you must have a screen, make sure the screensaver option is enabled. This will blank the display when it's not required. Consider disabling the screens backlight.

8 - Charge New Batteries Overnight
When you receive a brand new battery, make sure you charge it overnight for around 14 hours. This will give you maximum battery capacity from day one and prolong battery life.

9 - Do Not Continually Charge Batteries
Don't leave the radio connected to the charger for long periods of time as this will reduce the battery life. A classic example is an office based employee leaving a handportable radio constantly in it's charging pod on their desk. You will find this battery degrades quicker than those used out and about.

10 - Replace Old Batteries
Even with careful ownership, batteries don't last forever and can suddenly degrade without warning. Aim to replace all batteries older than 18 months, especially if they are regularly used and recharged.

Hopefully these steps will help you extend your two way radio battery lifetime.