Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Second installment of the 'better' battery issue...

Yesterday we talked about the technology of the battery and what's 'better'.  Tonight we'll look at the mAh as the 'better' part of the 'better battery question'.  Very often we'll get a call asking for the highest mAh battery that we offer for a particular Two-way Radio because the user views it as being a 'better' battery.  In a lot of cases the user may not realize what mAh really means.  mAh (milliamp hours) translates to the amount of talking and receiving that you can do on the battery before having to charge the battery.  The higher the mAh, the longer you can talk and receive before having to charge the battery.  However, if you don't USE them all, then it's a waist having them.  In other words, if you are putting your battery in the charger after every shift, then a 1200mAh is more than enough for that 12 to 18 hour shift.  If you are going to DRAIN the battery all the way before charging it, then it makes sense to go with the higher mAh because you can talk much longer before having to charge the battery thereby extending the life of your battery in 'years'.  In this case, you may not charge the battery for a few DAYS depending on the usage of your Radio and the drain on the battery.  Aftermarket companies will often use the higher mAh feature as something with which to draw in the customer to detract them from staying with the OEM version of the battery.  Again, if you are not using the mAh then it's wasted and will not extend the battery life in YEARS.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is this a better battery? What does that really mean...

I get this question a lot..."is this a 'better' battery".  In most cases the individual asking is usually referring to one of two things...either the technology of the battery (NiCad versus NiMH or LiON) or mAh (the thing in a battery that tranlates to the amount of talking and receiving you can do on a battery before having to charge it up).  Tonight I'm going to tackle the first item...the battery technology and wether it's a 'better' battery.  As we all know 'better' is a relative term.  Most of us look at the NiMH and LiON battery as being 'better' because it doesn't have the memory issues as the NiCad battery.  But is it actually 'better'?  If you, as the user of your battery, is draining your battery before charging it back up again, then NiCad is always the way to go because you can charge the battery 1,000 times before having to replace it, AND a NiCad battery in almost all cases is a less expensive battery. If you don't have the ability to drain your battery before charging it up, then NiMH or LiON is the way to go.  You can only charge it 500 times before replacing it, but if you can't drain it before charging it, and you don't have a Battery Maintenance System to remove battery memory (which is not available for cell phone or PDA batteries), then go with the NiMH or LiON battery...in the long run you will save money.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alkaline Batteries...are they all alike?

Most people are unaware that there are 3 grades of Alkaline Batteries.  Generally speaking the first and lowest grade is usually found in your convenience stores, the second grade is usually found in your mart type stores and the highest grade alkaline batteries are NOT sold in a retail outlet; you must purchase them from a company like AGT Battery Supply.  They are high performing and will last longer than the other grade alkaline batteries.  Not all Alkaline battery manufacturers have the Industrial grade batteries.  Two, that we find are the best are the Duracell Procell and Energizer Industrial.  Unfortunately, like other products, there are knock-offs of these brands made to look the the 'real thing' but they're not.  Make sure to purchase them from a reputable, trusted source and you will get the authentic battery.  In this case, you get what you pay for!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Battery Memory...what is it, how does it happen, why it's bad, and how to avoid it.

Been talking a lot about battery memory and most of you probably know what that is.  But for those who might not, let me explain what it is, how it occurs, why it’s bad, and how to avoid it.
Battery memory prevents you from accessing FULL USE of your battery when you use it each day.  It occurs when you put the battery in the charger BEFORE the battery is drained.  If you do this continuously, then crystals build up on the battery and will ‘block’ you from getting to, and utilizing the ENTIRE battery thereby creating what is called ‘ battery memory’.  Once battery memory occurs, the ONLY way to get rid of it is to purchase a piece of equipment called a Battery Maintenance System and put the battery through a conditioning cycle.  Batteries that have memory need to be conditioned every 6 to 8 weeks to maintain the best battery life.  You can avoid battery memory by letting your battery drain as much as possible, if not all the way, before charging it back up again.  How many times, after just a few months of using a new battery, have you noticed the battery not lasting all day and into the evening...it's probably becuase the battery was put into the charger long before it was drained and now it's a shorter life battery because memory has developed.  As mentioned in an earlier installment, NiCad batteries will retain a very heavy memory while NiMH and LiON will retain a memory but not as heavy as a NiCad. 
I like to give the following illustration:  For those of you using a portable radio, if you have a battery that will give you 12 hours of talk and receive time before having to charge the battery, and you WORK a 12 hour shift, you have NOT used 12 hours of battery life JUST BECAUSE YOU WORK a 12 hour shift.  You may only have used 3 or 4 hours of that 12 hour battery.  Please know that you will use more battery energy when you push the button on your radio to talk, and you will use much less battery energy when you are in listening mode.  If you do a test on your battery, you may find that you can use it for two 12 hour shifts before having to charge the battery rather than one because your ‘hours of work’ during shift do NOT equate to ‘hours of battery usage’.  Again, if you put your battery in the charger after each shift and you’ve only used 4 hours of battery life, you are actually ‘telling’ that battery to become a 4 hour battery; battery memory now occurs, and the only way to get rid of it is putting it through a condition cycle in a Battery Maintenance System.  The only other option to getting rid of battery memory is to purchase all IMPRES Batteries and IMPRES Chargers.  The IMPRES batteries will also retain a memory; however when put into an IMPRES Charger, the battery will AUTOMATICALLY get rid of memory…this is the benefit of the IMPRES Technology, available on Motorola product ONLY.  It knows the battery has a memory and AUTOMATICALLY gets rid of battery memory without you even knowing it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NiCad, NiMH and LiON technology…what is the difference between them

There are three main differences between these three technologies:
NiCad – 1) will develop a HEAVY memory, 2) can charge 1,000 times before replacing the battery, 3) heavier in physical weight
NiMH and LiON – 1) will develop a memory but SIGNIFICANTLY less than a NiCad, 2) can charge 500 times before replacing the battery, 3) lighter in physical weight
Getting back to IMPRES batteries and the benefit of IMPRES technology in AUTOMATICALLY getting rid of battery memory and ‘which’ technology to use?  If the benefit of IMPRES is to AUTOMATICALLY get rid of battery memory and you can get 1,000 charge cycles out of a NiCad battery versus 500 with NiMH and LiON, then the choice is an easy one…STAY with the NiCad battery.  Yes, they might be a bit heavier but in this economy isn’t battery life lasting TWICE as long better on your budget?! Not all IMPRES batteries offer the NiCad technology but when they do we always recommend staying with the NiCad.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IMPRES Chargers versus NON-IMPRES Chargers...can batteries be charged in both?

We are getting a lot of questions regarding the use of IMPRES Batteries in NON-IMPRES Chargers and vise versa.  You CAN charge a NON-IMPRES Battery in an IMPRES Charger but you will not get the benefit of the charger erasing battery memory.  In addition you CAN charge an IMPRES Battery in a NON-IMPRES Charger but again you will not get the benefit of the charger erasing battery memory.  In summary, if you want to reap the benefit of IMPRES Technology (AUTOMATICALLY getting rid of battery memory, otherwise known as battery conditioning), then you must use and IMPRES Battery with and IMPRES Charger.  Hope that clarrifies...

Monday, November 14, 2011

IMPRES versus Non-IMPRES Motorola technology

Motorola IMPRES Technology...what does it do and what are the advantages to switching?

In simple language, IMPRES Technology AUTOMATICALLY gets rid of battery memory thereby allowing you full use of your battery each and every time that you use it.  At the end of every shift you can put your IMPRES battery in your IMPRES charger and the battery, which has a special chip in it, will tell the charger the it has a memory and to get rid of it.  That's it!  It's done AUTOMATICALLY and you don't have to worry about putting it into a battery maintenance system every 6 to 8 weeks like you used to.  The initial investment in the IMPRES charger is worth the longterm investment of NOT having to replace your batteries as often as you used to.  This is great technology and something that has been a long time in coming. Please note that Motorola is the ONLY company who has this technology.  You will not find this with any other brand as it is proprietary technology.  Give me a call at 1-800-340-3900 x:120 and ask for Angela.  I am more than happy to go into greater detail on how you can benefit from this technolgy.