Charging New Batteries

Rechargeable Batteries from most manufacturers are not fully charged when they are shipped. The best policy is to give them their initial full charge as soon as possible arter receiving them. This is true whether they are being put into immediate daily use, being used in concert with emergency backup radio systems, or are being stored for future replacement of daily use batteries. Remember the proper exercising of rechargeable batteries, (especially NiCd's), is an essential part of maintaining your batteries optimum performance level. It is important to get off to a good start by bringing your new batteries up to their full operating capcity.

In order, to properly exercise rechargeable batteries you must first charge a battery to its maximum capacity, then allow it to be discharged to its lowest level. Whether your batteries are being sent out into the field and discharged through normal use on radios, or being set on a shelf to self-discharge, it is important that they begin the exercise with a full charge. We will reserve discussion of battery chemical self-discharge for another time. Let it suffice to say that this occurs at a rate of approximately 1 % per day, when batteries are stored at room temperature, (65 to 75 degrees).

When using rapid chargers, it is important to note that when the "Little Green Light" comes on, it does not indicate  that your battery is fully charged! For more on this subject see "Tech Tip #1. Rapid chargers typically have an initial high current charging cycle, which cuts out when a battery is at about 85% of its actual capacity. The charger then switches into trickle charge mode, in order to complete charging the battery at a lower current. This procedure reduces problems related to overheating the battery. For New Batteries you should allow additional time, (2 to 3 hours) minimum, for this "Topping Off " procedure. I recommend leaving a new battery in the charger overnight for the initial charge, though this is not a good practice for normal charging.

If you are using a standard rate, (overnight charger), allow 14 hours for your initial charge on new batteries.

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