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'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.


  1. Appreciate all the good information. Learning from blogs. What is the difference between lithium and alkaline batteries? Eric H

  2. EricH...that's a great question! There are 2 main differences between non-rechargeable lithium batteries and non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. Alkaline Batteries have a 5-year shelf life and they do NOT handle extreme temperatures well (extreme hot or cold). Lithium Batteries have a 10-year shelf life and they DO handle extreme temperatures well. In some cases, depending on what you're putting the batteries in, you can't just automatically switch between both batteries. Check your owner's manual to make sure that you can make the switch. Hope this was helpful


Thank you for sharing your comment.