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396 batteries

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patrolman123

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It seems as though my rechargeable batteries in my 396 are not lasting long after they have been charged up for a good while. Has anyone had the batteries go bad so quickly. If they are bad can any rechargable battery be used in the radio.
 

WX4JCW

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Temprature affects the charging cycle, i have heard, do NIMH batteries develop memory similar to the ancient NICads?
 

Gilligan

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W/ my 246T I use the NiMH AA batteries from Wal-Mart and they absolutely work great. I charge them in like 3 hours in a fast charger from Radio Shack. Usually last anywhere from 7 to 12 hours.
 

1075

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Are you charging the batteries in the radio?

Looks to me like this may be an area where Uniden dropped the ball with the 396. They recommend and supply Nickel Metal Hydride batteries with the radio however the charging system in the radio is a timed charger instead of a smart charger. This type of charging is not good for NiMH batteries and is prone to overcharging them which will drasticially shorten their life. See the section that addresses charging procedures for NiMH batteries in the link below.


http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-11.htm
 

unitcharlie

a Kentucky DB Admin...
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Plz forgive this Uniden newbie question (My 396 is into its first 24 hours with me): the label inside the radio says to use 2300mAh, I prefer to keep all my rechargeables the same type and size (currently Duracell 2650 mAh), can I safely use and charge 2650's in my new 396?
 

linuxwrangler

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unitcharlie said:
can I safely use and charge 2650's in my new 396?
Only if you want it to run longer :)

Since the 396 just uses a timer, I suppose it's possible that it won't charge long-enough to fully-charge higher-capacity cells. But if you poke around you will find numerous posts recommending an external charger. I have the original batteries plus a couple extra sets. That way I can grab a fully-charged set from my MH-9000 in the morning and run all day. Every month or two I run a full-refresh cycle which also gives me a status report on each cell. Even a top-end charger like the Maha MH-9000 is only $63 - well worth the money for anyone who regularly uses rechargable AA/AAA batteries.
 

enine

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Buy a good charger. I started having issues with rechargeable batteries after a while of using them because the cheap chargers you get in the stores don't charge well. I paid $40 for a MAHA C401FS and all my older batteries that weren't lasting as long are now lasing longer.
 

linuxwrangler

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I also have a 401 that I bought before the 9000 came out but I find it handy to have two full sets available - especially since I also sometimes use them in AA powered FRS radios.

Now that the 9000 is out I think it's well worth the extra $20-30. It really takes any guesswork out of the status of your batteries and is especially useful in diagnosing problems caused by a single cell going bad.
 

VA3QRM

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what works for me.....

patrolman123 said:
It seems as though my rechargeable batteries in my 396 are not lasting long after they have been charged up for a good while. Has anyone had the batteries go bad so quickly. If they are bad can any rechargable battery be used in the radio.
I bought a separate battery charger for my 396. I would rather have any heat from charging or accidental leakage occur outside of my $529 radio.......just my opinion. MAHA and Energizer make good product maybe thats another topic.
 
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Skud

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linuxwrangler said:
I also have a 401 that I bought before the 9000 came out but I find it handy to have two full sets available - especially since I also sometimes use them in AA powered FRS radios.

Now that the 9000 is out I think it's well worth the extra $20-30. It really takes any guesswork out of the status of your batteries and is especially useful in diagnosing problems caused by a single cell going bad.
do you have a link to the 9000?
I saw this one that looks pretty good.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/maha-mh-c801d-battery-charger.htm
 

MarkWestin

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What type of batteries (brand and capacity) are you using? I have 40 Energizer 2500 MAh (made in Japan) batteries that all went bad in less than a year. I have heard that the 2500 Energizers that are made in China don't have this problem. If you decide to buy a charger, make sure to buy one that can charge an odd number (3) batteries as opposed to those that only charge "pairs" of batteries.

Mark
 

Lodis

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I use UniRoss Rechargeables (2700 Mah) NimH batteries in my 396 and they last for ages, usually over 10 hours+ depending on what im doing with the radio.

I use a UniRoss (Sprint) 1hr fast charger which charges each battery individually. I also use the same charger for the GP 2300 batteries that came with the radio.

I will never use the actual radio to recharge any batteries at all. It is not worth the risk and I dont think there is any excuse for using it. I dont think Uniden should have bothered building this into the radio, I think time could have been better spent elsewhere.

Edit: My 2500 Mah Energiser batteries also went bad within 1 yr of use.
 
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linuxwrangler

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I'm still using the batteries that came with the scanner and they test out at a >90% of original capacity. I also have a couple sets of "Ultra-PRO" (Fry's - had 'em before the scanner) and they are working fine, too.

Got the MH-9000 from Thomas Distributing.
 

wyldman

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The radio actually does a decent job of charging most NiMH cells.I don't plug it in until the batteries are almost run down,and then leave it plugged in until complete.

It may not be the perfect charger,but it does a good enough job.What are 3 decent rechargeable AA's worth anyways ? Less than $10 ? If they last a year,so be it.Even $10 is cheap to run a scanner for a year or two.I've got 4 BR330's,and 3 BCD396T's that I have been doing it this way for about a year,and not one battery failure yet.Performance is pretty much the same as when new.

I used to spend a lot of time,and money,buying fancy chargers,running batteries in matched sets,making sure they were correctly charged each time.I found it doesn't matter.I'd rather spend my time enjoying my scanner.
 

GTO_04

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If you take your scanner to work and use it in the car, it is very helpful to have a quick charger so you can always have extra batteries ready.

I have a $40 Maha Charger and it works great. You can charge 3 batteries at time too.

I have a 396 and Pro-96 that I have to keep fed and happy. I have several sets of Powerex 2500 and 2700 batteries and they are great!

GTO_04
 

Lodis

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I am sure the built in charger of the Uniden 396 does do a good job but thats not the issue. I just think it is a bad idea using an expensive radio to charge your batteries. There will be extra heat and all it would take is some bad batteries to leak to ruin your investment. I prefer to use an external charger, if anything happens to that it won't be any major loss. I see using the built in charger as the very last resort.
 

wyldman

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I've never had a NiMH rechargeable leak....yet.It's not something that happens on a regular basis like alkalines.

I found the wear and tear on the battery door worse than worrying about a leaking battery.


I'm not saying everyone has to use the internal charger,just don't be so afraid of it it,it doesn't do a bad job.
 

scanrrman

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I have used the internal charger everyday since Aug. 06' charging Energizer 2500's. I let the battery low come on after all day and hook it up to the adapter and keep listening all night. Not one problem "yet". In only 6 hours of charging it will still last at least 8 hours. After a good 12hr. charge in the radio, the batteries last at least 10hrs. Everyday for months. That's just my experience. My worries have subsided after awhile.
 

loumaag

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Just a comment on my experience. My 396 will be 2 years old this upcoming June, I am still using the original batteries that came with the radio and they have just recently started to show a tendency to not perform as well as they have in the past. They certainly have outlasted any other rechargeables I have purchased. I too am considering a replacement for my external charger and considering both the Maha 9000 and the La Crosse BC-900.

See this thread for a discussion/links on these:
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67981
 
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