How to increase battery life – although this article is written for radio and mobile terminal users, the information in this article may be useful for anyone who utilizes technology with rechargeable batteries.

If you use a two-way radio or a hand-held mobile terminal you probably have experienced a problem with batteries suddenly losing their ability to maintain a charge. This is especially true if you use Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) or Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) batteries.

This phenomenon is called “memory effect” and it can quickly develop when the battery is not completely discharged prior to being charged again. When the battery has repeated shallow discharges, only a small portion of the battery chemicals are exercised, and in effect, this causes the battery voltage to drop. The net effect is ownership of a perfectly good battery that no longer holds a decent charge.

“Memory effect” can usually be fixed in two simple steps. First, completely discharge the battery and then completely recharge it. With a trickle charger this can take up to 16 hours for the battery to become fully charged; a rapid charger can fully charge a battery within just a few hours. Repeat these steps 2 to 5 times depending upon the severity of the problem.

To avoid “memory effect” try not to return the battery to the charger immediately after each use. You should also completely discharge the battery at least once a month followed by a full charge.

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