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Battery shelf life

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kd9adh

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We have a neighborhood watch system in place and use f21's for part of that system. We would like to have spare batteries but don't want to waste money with batteries sitting on a shelf or going bad. Is there a standard on battery shelf life. We use the BP-210N 1700mAh battery. We use GMRS legally for the system.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Mark
 

12dbsinad

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About a year or so. If storing longer, it is important to charge them to prevent leakage and deterioration in performance due to self-discharging.
 

mmckenna

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This is the perfect application for an alkaline cell battery case.
Our "cache" radios are set up with these. Instead of using rechargeable batteries, which will eventually self discharge or just fail, I encourage them to use a AA cell battery shell.

It's pretty easy to just keep a package of AA alkaline batteries with the radio. The have a longer shelf life. Once a year, swap them out with some new ones. Use the old ones for whatever you want. That way you always have fresh batteries on hand.

And, the AA battery shells are usually cheaper than a new rechargeable battery.
 

AZDon

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If you are using rechargeable batteries a new, fully charged battery will lose about 1 to 2 % per day. .
 

slicerwizard

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We have a neighborhood watch system in place and use f21's for part of that system. We would like to have spare batteries but don't want to waste money with batteries sitting on a shelf or going bad.
Rotate your batteries in and out of service every month. That way, nothing sits as a "spare" for more than 30 days.
 

Rred

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The newest "brand name" alkaline batteries claim something like a 10-year shelf life. Personally? I don't trust any of the three major brand names, I've had all three leak too often before. Sometimes, yes, in less than a year. For long-term storage the batteries should be out of the device. For the stuff that needs to stay loaded, put silicone grease on the battery terminals (sold inexpensively as "high temperature brake grease" in the auto parts stores) so that any leaking crud simply wipes away.

For serious storage, you can use lithium primary cells, which are not at all the same as LiOn rechargeables. Made by SAFT and steeply priced, they easily last five to ten years, the only problem is that they have a limited current rating, make sure your device can work on them. They just don't leak, they are used in devices like emergency locator beacons where the battery MUST be reliable after five years on a shelf.

With rechargeable batteries...there's nothing shelf-stable. NiCd and NiMh batteries may lose 75% of their charge in 30 days, and the commercial radio packs are designed that way, because they are intended to be left in chargers at the end of every daily shift. A FEW brands and types (like Sanyo's Eneloop) are designed to retain more like 75% of their power for 6-12 months, there's a trade-off in the number of cycles, or the price, or something else, but they are better on the shelf.

Lithium-ion batteries are also good on the shelf, but expensive and a fire hazard, especially since you rarely can find out the real source of the cells being used. And, sometimes there are thermal monitors or other bits of circuitry in the pack, which may take those down within a month as well.

A real case can be made for keeping the "spares" and the radios in charging stands, and just using a cheap clock timer to turn on the power and run the charger for 1/2 hour every day, to keep them topped up.

So there are solutions, but there's a compromise to every one of them.
 

kd9adh

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Our best option now is to date the batteries and rotate them. These radios and batteries are cheap enough and reliable for our use. We will start investigating new equipment so when we are ready we can make the investment that is best for us.
Thanks, Mark KD9ADH
 

wa1nic

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In my experience, NiMH batteries have a definite life based on recharge cycles, and also based on age.

I have a few extra batteries for my ICOMs but not a lot. If one acts up I toss it and replace it with one of the spares, and then order a freshly dated spare. I dont want to get stuck with a bunch of 10 year old batteries all dying at once.
 

Jimru

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The newest "brand name" alkaline batteries claim something like a 10-year shelf life. Personally? I don't trust any of the three major brand names, I've had all three leak too often before. Sometimes, yes, in less than a year. For long-term storage the batteries should be out of the device. For the stuff that needs to stay loaded, put silicone grease on the battery terminals (sold inexpensively as "high temperature brake grease" in the auto parts stores) so that any leaking crud simply wipes away.



For serious storage, you can use lithium primary cells, which are not at all the same as LiOn rechargeables. Made by SAFT and steeply priced, they easily last five to ten years, the only problem is that they have a limited current rating, make sure your device can work on them. They just don't leak, they are used in devices like emergency locator beacons where the battery MUST be reliable after five years on a shelf.



With rechargeable batteries...there's nothing shelf-stable. NiCd and NiMh batteries may lose 75% of their charge in 30 days, and the commercial radio packs are designed that way, because they are intended to be left in chargers at the end of every daily shift. A FEW brands and types (like Sanyo's Eneloop) are designed to retain more like 75% of their power for 6-12 months, there's a trade-off in the number of cycles, or the price, or something else, but they are better on the shelf.



Lithium-ion batteries are also good on the shelf, but expensive and a fire hazard, especially since you rarely can find out the real source of the cells being used. And, sometimes there are thermal monitors or other bits of circuitry in the pack, which may take those down within a month as well.



A real case can be made for keeping the "spares" and the radios in charging stands, and just using a cheap clock timer to turn on the power and run the charger for 1/2 hour every day, to keep them topped up.



So there are solutions, but there's a compromise to every one of them.


Good explanation! A "mini-primer" on battery tech!
 
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