SDS100: Bad battery, any way to restore?

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N9JIG

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My original (small) SDS100 battery seems to have gone south. It has been unused for a year or so. It does not power the radio and the charge light starts flashing a few seconds after plugging in to a USB charger. The charger has plenty of current and has no problem charging the large battery even when the radio is on.

Has anyone found a way to restore the SDS100 battery?
 

Hit_Factor

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I don't think that's an option with these batteries. Typically a charger has to have a condition function built in., and that's not an option in the SDS. I'm not even sure this battery chemistry is one that may be conditioned.
 

N4DJC

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Below a certain level of voltage they go into mode that won't allow them to be charged. That's why when the charger attempts to charge it then flashes after a few seconds. Typically when they go below the voltage for more than a week, that's it. It's part of the protection circuit. You could disassemble the pack and check individual cell voltage but I doubt it would be helpful.
 

n1chu

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One last thing you can try... Keep trying to charge it. You get the flashing lamp... unplug it and plug it in again... numerous times. I had a similar issue with another radio’s LI battery and I lucked out.
 

dave3825

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I have nimh aa batts that on occasion won't trigger my smart charger to charge them. Most likely because they fell below a certain voltage. I usually just jump start them with a charged battery for like 5 seconds. Plus to plus and negative to negative. Then drop in charger and they charge up.

I am not familiar with the sds battery or lithium-ion batts but if it was me, I would figure out the voltage and try a universal dc charger and pump in an equivalent voltage and then try charging. I were safety glasses.

 

nessnet

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These are Lithium Ion batteries. I'm not going into the chemistry of these, but in order to make them commercially viable, they require some intelligence built in, in order to make them safe, or they are explosive.

If it is dead, it is dead, for a reason. You need to replace it - which (big ones and a bigger door) are available.

Why didn't you get the free bigger battery replacement? Did you buy used, or??
 

N9JIG

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I do have the larger battery but there are times when I would like to be able to use the smaller one.

I guess I will have to get a replacement when the next batch come in at Scanner Master.
 

n1chu

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On the topic of being safe; This topic is nothing new in the ham community where most all portable radios are LI battery powered.

My experience is as follows;
I purchased two LI batteries, one for a motorcycle and another for emergency backup (scanners, ham radio). These batteries came with instructions on what to do if the batteries fell below a certain voltage and would no longer take a charge. (A fully charged lithium-ion battery will have a good year of shelf life. But when they go below that cutoff value, the following is what they recommend.) These batteries have protection built in that saves the battery from dropping to zero because once that happens the battery is toast, non-recoverable, junk. So, at a certain voltage they open circuit... nothing in or out! I do not believe the batteries for the SDS100 have this protection built in so they accomplish it by making chargers that sense the voltage level instead. Getting back to the automotive LI batteries, the manufacturer recommends attaching a source that is of the same voltage as what the battery is rated at and then, with this source still attached for a few seconds, connect the charger. Then disconnect the good source and see if the charger works. (Some LI automotive chargers have this ability built in (you don’t need to connect an alternate source) and there are aftermarket LI chargers that also can do this by themselves for our scanner, ham radio needs.)

I suggested trying to recover your battery as others have here. Placing a “like” fully charged battery in parallel with your discharged battery for a few seconds, and then disconnecting them before you place the discharged one in the charger will not cause you or your batteries any undo harm... but...

It’s important to understand Uniden does not recommend trying to “fool” their charger or charging circuits into recovering a battery that may only suffer from a low voltage level that is below that recognized by the charging circuit but still above zero. Uniden may publish the usual cautions but I don’t believe they specifically caution against this? ...I will stand corrected if anyone wants to point out that Uniden does provide guidance.

And the science is the same for the LI batteries that come with the SDS100... they just don’t have that sophisticated method of recovery should the battery drop below a certain voltage, I suspect because the charger circuit they use is designed on the side of consumer safety. The charger is designed to NOT recognize a battery below that cutoff voltage. And because a bad voltage level could be an indicator of a defective battery, which could get hot, swell up, catch fire and explode, the charger won’t work... until you fool it into thinking there is an adequate partial charge in the battery. That is why people are recommending a voltage be placed in parallel (plus to plus, minus to minus) across the discharged battery for a short period of time. Using another (like) charged battery will suffice for this. When you pair up the two batteries monitor any immediate warmth (hold or touch the battery) emanating from the discharged battery and disconnect immediately if the battery gets warm. That is a sure indicator of a battery that has become defective. IT SHOULD NOT BE USED! Dispose of properly (there are drop off bins at Lowe’s or Home Depot).
 

N4DJC

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A lithium ion battery discharged below a certain voltage can develop a copper shunt, creating a short.
 

n1chu

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Are you referring to “wishers”? ...common occurrence I first learned about regarding satellites... where a service call cost a bit more.
 

trp2525

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After reading this thread I decided to take some action to help prevent my SDS100 batteries from becoming unusable due to a low voltage condition. I purchased my SDS100 in early June 2018 (when they were first offered for sale) and it came with the small battery. I then received the promised large battery and large battery cover from Uniden in late 2018 but I never charged it or used it. It has been sitting in my drawer in the original packaging ever since. I finally installed the large battery this morning and lucky for me it is charging fine in the scanner with the red charging LED illuminated.

For those who may need a replacement battery right now for their SDS100, I've compiled a list of available retailers and their current prices. This list is for the large Uniden BPS100 battery (aka Uniden model BT-954):

Scanner Master $49.95 plus shipping based on your zip code (currently out-of-stock)
Universal Radio $49.95 plus $6.95 flat rate shipping
Ham Radio Outlet $54.95 plus $9.95 standard shipping
Bearcat Warehouse $55.90 plus $7.95 flat rate shipping
Webtron-x.com $59.99 with FREE shipping included
Zip Scanners $79.99 plus $9.99 shipping
 
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darkness975

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I only have one battery that came with my SDS100. It's plugged in most of the time unless I take it mobile. I have only had it actually run low enough to indicate a charge was needed once, and I have the charge needed indicator set to the lowest setting possible (I think 3.2 volts?)
Since I only have the one battery I'm not concerned about it going unused and discharging low enough to cause this issue.
Eventually I will get another battery to have a "backup" in case I need it for whatever reason. To avoid any issues I will swap them out on a routine basis so they're both being used.
 

trentbob

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From what I have read in the past it appears to be a good idea to the store the battery with about 80% charge, not fully charged and of course not to let it go dead.

Also there have been reports of batteries swelling and becoming non-functional. It's good to examine your battery carefully to see if there's any splitting at the seams or signs of warping or swelling. Haven't heard anybody talk about that for a while but there is a thread referring to that.
 

darkness975

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From what I have read in the past it appears to be a good idea to the story of the battery with about 80% charge, not fully charged and of course not to let it go dead.

Also there have been reports of batteries swelling and becoming non-functional. It's good to examine your battery carefully to see if there's any splitting at the seams or signs of warping or swelling. Haven't heard anybody talk about that for a while but there is a thread referring to that.
I remember that thread. I haven't looked at mine since the day I stuck it in there.
 

N4DJC

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From what I have read in the past it appears to be a good idea to the store the battery with about 80% charge, not fully charged and of course not to let it go dead.

Also there have been reports of batteries swelling and becoming non-functional. It's good to examine your battery carefully to see if there's any splitting at the seams or signs of warping or swelling. Haven't heard anybody talk about that for a while but there is a thread referring to that.
I normally rotate battery packs on my handhelds. Storing charged batteries shouldn't cause an issue like swelling unless it was stored near full discharge and a cell (or cells) caused a short.
 

trentbob

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I remember that thread. I haven't looked at mine since the day I stuck it in there.
You're good, the fact it's working means you have no problem because once it starts to split at the seams it stops working.

So I'm a little compulsive about battery health. I have been doing what you're doing. I use the SDS 100 in my bedside setup with five other scanners. I use my mot gear for portable and Mobile use because I need the volume punch.

I have it plugged into the wall, I have charge while on disabled. With the lockdown my radio is pretty much been on constantly for about 4 weeks but I do turn it off when I go out and when I turn it off I always unplug the wall wart so it does not charge.

My display shows a constant 3.8v, it actually loses very little juice on its own over a long period of time.

Once in awhile I'll put it in the case and use it in the car and let the battery run down till it calls for charging. Then I charge it. And use it till it gets down to about 3.85v and plug it back in by the bed again using the same process I described.
 
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trentbob

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I normally rotate battery packs on my handhelds. Storing charged batteries shouldn't cause an issue like swelling unless it was stored near full discharge and a cell (or cells) caused a short.
Yep, normally battery shouldn't be warping, from what I remember from this thread there was no formula or Rhyme or Reason that resulted in a battery warping. I'm thinking it was just a bad batch and we haven't heard of the problem again since that thread. It's almost like it wouldn't have mattered what you did to maintain battery health, these batteries were going to Warp.
 

darkness975

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You're good, the fact it's working means you have no problem because once it starts to split at the seams it stops working.

So I'm a little compulsive about battery health. I have been doing what you're doing. I use the SDS 100 in my bedside setup with five other scanners. I use my mot gear for portable and Mobile use because I need the volume punch.

I have it plugged into the wall, I have charge while on disabled. With the lockdown my radio is pretty much been on constantly for about 4 weeks but I do turn it off when I go out and when I turn it off I always unplug the wall wart so it does not charge.

My display shows a constant 3.8v, it actually loses very little juice on its own over a long period of time.

Once in awhile I'll put it in the case and use it in the car and let the battery run down till it calls for charging. Then I charge it. And use it till it gets down to about 3.85v and plug it back in by the bad again using the same process I described.
I leave it plugged in even when it's off. Like right now because I am at work the 100 is plugged in but off. Light is green.
 

n1chu

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“You're good, the fact it's working means you have no problem because once it starts to split at the seams it stops working.“

Not necessarily so. My 6S iPhone’s LI battery started to swell-an obvious swelling, bulged out the case. I took it to the Apple Store. The phone still worked but the guy took one look at it and swapped out the entire phone. Good thing I had everything backed up to the cloud! I have not heard of the Uniden batteries going bad... yet...
 
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