7 Tips to Improve Your Two-Way Radio Battery Life

Those of us in businesses that use two-way radios as opposed to cell phones know the reasons why. There is a durability and a reliability that you just can’t get with conventional cell phones, not to mention most modern smartphones have plenty of apps that distract more than assist. In addition, those apps also drain the battery. While longer battery life is a benefit to two-way radios, even the best digital two-way radio is going to have its limitations.

As with most things, there are right and wrong ways to store and care for your radios to get the maximum use from your batteries. Here are seven different two-way radio battery saving tips to get the most use out of your radio.

Fully discharge your batteries

You’ve likely heard a similar tip for use in extending the life of smartphones as well, and the same holds true for two-way radios. The reason has to with a phenomena known as the ‘memory effect.’ Basically, if you usually charge your battery at 20%, it may begin to only hold a charge up until that point, “remembering’ that position. By fully discharging the battery before recharging, you ensure getting the best charge. Charging your battery overnight for the first time is also a good idea. (This is called initializing.)

 

No extreme temperatures

It goes without saying extreme temps aren’t great for technology in general. Batteries do best when charged at temps above 40 degrees and below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is the best for extending battery life.

Don’t leave radios in chargers

A radio should not be left in its charger for long periods of time. Not only does the constant charge degrade the ability of the battery to hold a charge, but it can heat up the battery which also decreases its life span. It’s also a good idea to cycle batteries out on the same radio so one is always fully charged and so you can fully discharge the first battery with confidence.

Digital is the way to go for extra battery life

While there are plenty of reasons to upgrade from analog, battery life is yet another one. Analog radios send out a continuous signal which drains the battery faster. The best digital two-way radios like RCA BR200Ds use tech known as Time Division Multiple Access which cycles the signal on and off rapidly, effectively saving about one-third to one-half of the battery of an analog.

Keep it brief

A relatively straightforward tip — use your radio less! Obviously not applicable in all situations but the more time spent on the radio will eat up more battery life. Keeping it short and sweet on a regular basis can add up, so maintain discipline and cut back on the chatter and jokes.

Use the right battery

Even with the best battery care, you will need to replace the batteries for your radios every 18 to 24 months on average. Lithium ion batteries hold the longest charge, weigh the least and produce the least amount of heat of conventional battery options. Two-Way Radio Battery

Turn off the junk you don’t need

Some sophisticated digital two-way radios have features like GPS, text and display functions and the like — and they all drain the battery. Most people don’t even need them. Disabling these functions and dialing back the screen lighting can help reduce battery usage.

When applied in concert, you can achieve many more hours of usage on your radio and improve overall battery performance.

Please visit our main website If you need a spare two-way radio battery.

When Your Two-Way Radio Accessories Don’t Work

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Are you having problems with your earpiece, headset, speaker mic or other accessories? Cheapie has a solution for you!

Let’s say your accessory is plugged into your two-way radio and for whatever reason, the accessory stopped working. We’ll label this “Accessory #1.” Cheapie suggests you conduct a test; try taking another working accessory you have (earpiece, headset, speaker mic, etc. – we’ll call this “Accessory #2”) and plug it into the radio you used the defective accessory on.

Two outcomes may occur:

1) If Accessory #2 stops working, you may have a bad accessory jack on that specific two-way radio.

2) If Accessory #2 works on that radio, then that confirms Accessory #1 IS defective.

If Accessory #1 does not work, it’s time to get that replaced. If you’re interested in getting a new accessory replacement or have more questions, call our radio experts at (844) 438-3897. Cheapie and his compatriots are standing by to help you!

Simple Tips to Improve Poor Two-Way Radio Coverage

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Have you noticed your radio coverage area is not what it used to be and you’re getting static transmissions and “dead spots”?

Here’s a few things you can try that might help improve your radio’s effective range:

Batteries – One of the easiest ways to make sure your radio transmits as far as possible at all times is to use fresh batteries and to make sure that your batteries are fully charged. After about 1.5 to 2 years of normal usage you may start to see some degradation in your battery’s ability to take and hold a charge. This is a natural and expected occurrence in all rechargeable two-way radio batteries. If you start to notice that your two-way radio signals are not reaching as far as they used to, it may be time to get new batteries. Just give us a call for the best prices on fresh, new batteries.

Antennas – Is your antenna cracked, bent or broken so much that the metal coiled antenna piece is completely exposed? Is your antenna screwed on well to the antenna connector of the radio? Damaged or improperly attached antennas can reduce your coverage dramatically. Replacing these old, damaged antennas is a very simple, cost-effective solution that will help improve your radio’s communication range.

Old, Tired Radios – How old are your radios? Are they older than 5-6 years? Have they been serviced recently or at all? We all know that business environments can sometimes be very rough on their equipment. Radios get dropped or bumped into things regularly, which over time may cause some internal components to go bad. To ensure maximum performance, just like your car needs regular maintenance, oil and filter change, your two-way radios need to undergo minor maintenance and tuning, especially after they’ve been in service for a while.

Your Location – If at the moment of the transmission you are inside a building or even just a room with really thick concrete and steel walls you will most likely see a reduction in the strength of your transmissions. The metal of a car or a building can block the signal from getting out to the person you are contacting. This is especially present when you are in the “bowels” of a building such as a HVAC area or parking structure. If this is a location where you need coverage just temporarily, the simplest solution will be to just step outside or get near a wall opening or a window. Additionally, the higher you can go with your handheld when transmitting, the farther your signal will travel. So, if you’re needing to transmit to someone that is outdoors and maybe a bit out of range, get to the top of an exterior staircase or the roof of the building. Transmitting from the highest point of a natural or manmade structure can noticeably increase the range of your handheld radio. If this is a location where you need coverage at all times you will need additional equipment such as a repeater to boost your signal strength and help go around the thick walls.

If you’d like to know more two-way radio tips or if you are having a specific problem with your current two-way radios, just call our knowledgeable radio experts right now at 844-438-3897. No question is too small and no problem is too big. We’re always standing by to help you!

Fun Facts from Cheapie: Narrowband Analog Radios & the Transition to Digital Radios

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 In 2013, the FCC made it mandatory for all analog two-way communications operating on wideband (25 kHz bandwidth) to transition to Narrowband (12.5 kHz bandwidth).

This has left those using analog systems frustrated by the poor coverage and scratchy signal they started to get after going Narrowband. This narrowband mandate has created more “dead spots” where the signal doesn’t reach and when operating on 12.5 kHz bandwidth radio users are not able to perform at their best because important transmissions are now being lost in all the static.

By switching to digital two-way radios, you can regain your signal clarity due to the radios ability to filter out broken and scratchy transmissions. Digital radios remove the environmental interference from the transmission as it is sent to the receiver, thus creating a clearer, more understandable transmission for the users. You will have a much better radio signal that will cover your whole property and eliminate your “dead spots.”