Communication is essential across many different business sectors and industries, so it is not surprising that choosing the right two-way radio batteries is a high-priority for professionals, tradespeople, and lone workers.
Whether it is for safety, keeping connected over a large worksite, or for security, if your two-way radio batteries let you down, you are in trouble. You might not be able to work or be unable to call for help if an emergency occurs.
With all of this in mind, it is essential that you choose your walkie talkie batteries carefully. You need to ensure they are suitable for your working environment and can see you through your typical shift.
Here we take a look at the four main types of batteries found in rechargeable 2-way radios. These include Lithium-Ion (Li-ion), Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Motorola IMPRES.
Lithium-Ion is the most common battery type today. These two-way radio batteries are lighter than the other battery types. They have a tremendous energy-to-weight ratio, making them popular with those who work with a walkie talkie every day. Lithium-Ion battery packs do not contain mercury or cadmium, making them more environmentally friendly.
Nickel Cadmium two-way radio batteries are a good choice for people who work in low or high-temperature environments. They perform very well in temperatures as low as -30C and as high as +50C. They are generally viewed as a reliable product.
Nickel Metal Hydride two way radio batteries have superior life between charging cycles at normal temperatures. They can last up to 40% longer than Nickel-Cadmium battery packs and contain no toxic metals.
Motorola IMPRES batteries offer a working life that is 43% longer than Motorola’s non-IMPRESS units. These are extremely practical because they show the battery status on the display of the device. With this information available, you always know if you have enough power to see you through your next shift.
Before we take a look at the disadvantages of two-way radio batteries, we must understand what is known as the memory effect. The memory effect occurs when the battery is not sufficiently discharged before recharging. The battery remembers where it was in the previous discharge cycle and will no longer fully charge. This effect is also known as the lazy battery effect or battery memory.
Lithium-Ion is very popular but also the most expensive and least durable option. They can lose between 5% and 20% of their storage capacity each year, but they do not suffer from memory.
Nickel Cadmium has low energy density and is susceptible to memory effect. The charge can last progressively less time each cycle and thus require charging more frequently. To keep them in good condition, they need to be fully drained before recharging, making these two-way radio batteries a high-maintenance item. They also contain cadmium, which is a toxic metal bad for the environment.
Nickel Metal Hydride units don’t work as efficiently as Nickel Cadmium batteries at temperature extremes, and their life is generally shorter.
In a standard commercial environment, Lithium-Ion and Motorola IMPRES are the most popular choice. Where the environment is harsh, Nickel Cadmium takes the lead.