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Fire dept using kenwood portables

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chad691

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Mar 21, 2011
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The fire department i work for uses all kenwood products. Now our problem is we are starting to have severe problems with battery life. we use kenwood tk 3140's and tk 380's on our air packs. The 3140's we carry while on duty. Most of our batteries only last 2 hours and thats when we are not busy. The batteries are ni-mh batteries. What recommendations or options are out there? Is there a setup like the Motorola impress batteries for kenwood? we really dont want to switch to Motorola due to cost issues. Any recommendations will help us!
 

DisasterGuy

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The most likely issue with the batteries is either age or memory. Do you have battery conditioners? Have the batteries been in service for over a year? A good rule of thumb is to condition NiCad and NiMH batteries every month if used daily and replace batteries (rotate them to non public safety users) every 12 to 18 months.

There is nothing special about impress. It is just the way Motorola brands Lithium-Ion batteries. You should be able to find Lithium-Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries for your Kenwoods but you will likely have to replace all your chargers when you do.


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mmckenna

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Yep, sounds like your batteries are old enough that it's time to replace them. Rechargeable batteries will not last forever. Getting 2 years out of them in public safety use is about the most I'd expect. Your department really needs to have a program and budget to deal with radio batteries.

Motorola Impres batteries are only made for Motorola radios and they will not be compatible with the Kenwood radios. Impres batteries and chargers have some circuitry in them that allow some record keeping functions, charge cycles, etc. It helps squeeze some more life out of them.

A battery conditioner and plan to properly use it is a good investment if you have a lot of batteries to manage, and the discipline to properly use it.

Even with all that, you are still going to want to replace batteries every 1 1/2 to 2 years.

In the fire service, you may need to get IS (Intrinsically Safe) rated batteries. You can get these from Kenwood.

If you are looking for other brands, I've had good luck with Power Products.
 
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