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Author Topic:   Handheld Electronics: Long-term Storage
Matt F posted 10-03-2010 07:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for Matt F   Send Email to Matt F  
Is there any conventional wisdom in terms of fully discharging or fullinf charing the batteries in handheld electronics prior to long-term storage? In my case, I am wondering about a Standard Horizon VHF with Lithium-ion batteries. I have a feeling that I will get a much more definitive answer than the age-old full versus empty fuel tank.

Thanks for any insight.

contender posted 10-03-2010 07:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Some batteries have memory, some do not. Some batteries should go all the way down before the recharge. Best to check with the company, also see what other batteries are compatible with your unit. Take care.
Chuck Tribolet posted 10-04-2010 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Put the [electronics] away fully charged, and turned off. It's worthwhile to put on a bit of tape so they can't get turned [ON].

The classic case of memory in NiCD cells was a space craft that would discharge to exactly 50% and then start recharging. Memory rarely affects the rest of us.

There are two things that are not good for cells: Complete discharge, and long-term trickle charging.

What model [Standard-Horizon] handheld? The current ones all seem to have smart chargers that stop when done, start again when required. I've got an HX-450 that I've had for a bunch of years and I'm on the second battery. It lives on the charger Sunday eve through Saturday morning, and then just sits on the boat turned off. Some of the older S-H handhelds had dumb trickle chargers. Not good for long term charging,


jimh posted 10-04-2010 07:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For long term storage I would start with the battery fully-charged. Remove the battery from the unit, if convenient. All batteries have some self-discharge, so if stored long enough, they will become discharged. Periodic re-charging is necessary.

I don't know much about Lithium-Ion batteries in particular.

A good float charger should have precise voltage regulation. If the voltage is too high a prolonged float charge can "cook" the battery.

Tom Hemphill posted 10-04-2010 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill    
Conventional wisdom may not be accurate; better to consult the manual for your specific make and model. The manual for my Standard Horizon HX500S (which has a lithium-ion battery) notes the following:

To prolong the battery when not in use, store it in a cool dry place at approximately 40 percent capacity. Also, avoid exposing a lithium ion battery to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods of time, and recharge constantly when in use.

This advise is pretty consistent with what Motorola says about their recent public safety portable radios.
Matt F posted 10-04-2010 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Matt F  Send Email to Matt F     
Thanks for the good word. I have a HX751, but I think it has the same battery. 40% it is. And, this will teach me to toss the manual... Thanks to all.
PeteB88 posted 10-04-2010 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
So far lithium ion batteries are weird. Device I have powered by them shuts down entirely apparently when the batteries drop below a certain level.

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