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Charging the 396 batteries

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MarkEagleUSA

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I know all about the risks of recharging the batteries in the scanner along with the fact that the charger is timer-based (14 hrs IIRC).

What I'd like to know is what happens when you connect the power (for recharging), fully recharge the batteries, and then leave the scanner connected for, say, 2 or 3 days? After the timer stops the recharge, does the scanner run off the batteries or the external power?

Here's why I'm asking... I try to use an external charger but there are times when I do recharge in the 396 itself. This past weekend the scanner "slept" in the car, powered on and connected to the charger. On Monday, I grabbed the scanner and went "mobile" but only got about 1-1/2 to 2 hrs of runtime out of the batteries. It seemed like it ran off the batteries after the charge cycle continued and never recharged.

As a test I repeated this yesterday/last night using another fresh set of rechageables. I left the scanner on until I got the battery warning and then connected it to the power cable and let it sit overnight and all day today (almost 24 hrs). Tonight I again took it mobile and again only got 2 hrs runtime.

Under normal usage, I get anywhere from 6 to 10 hrs of runtime on a full charge. I've got to believe that the 396's charger design prevents it from ever "starting" again unless the power cable is removed/reconnected or the scanner power is toggled. After the timer times-out, it appears to me that the radio runs off battery power instead of the connected power source.

For the record, the power cord in the car is "live" all the time and has been verified to be outputting 6v @ 1000 mAH.

Anyone have any insight on this?
 

Pars65

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Yes, I believe you would be correct, it won't trickle charge them to keep them fresh. I hardly ever take the 396 out of the house these days, so I don't leave any batteries in it anymore after I noticed the same as you.
 

RISC777

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Not to talk badly about the 396 and its charging system, but when I got a charger (from Maha Energy) and put the batteries that shipped with the 396 in for the first time one battery took around three to four times the "usual" charge time. I didn't time it because it was an unexpected ocurrence. Mostly I was glad the charger restored the one battery, and since then I've never used the 396's charger since.
 

epbernstein

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RISC777 said:
Not to talk badly about the 396 and its charging system, but when I got a charger (from Maha Energy) and put the batteries that shipped with the 396 in for the first time one battery took around three to four times the "usual" charge time. I didn't time it because it was an unexpected ocurrence. Mostly I was glad the charger restored the one battery, and since then I've never used the 396's charger since.
On a related note, I have the MAHA charger and the Energizer 2500mAh batteries. Does the MAHA condition the batteries before charging, or do the NiMH batteries even develop memory? I've been running them dead before recharging, but it would be more convenient to recharge them when the low battery alert starts, or even to "top off" the batteries before a trip...
 

bobmich52

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I Have The 15 Min Rapid Chgr Along With The 2300 Evereadys For My 396T.



The Stock Batts Do Not Last As Long No Matter What.

When The Low Batt Alert Beeps Is when I Recharge them.

Have Run Both Down Flat, No Noticible Difference In Batt Run Time.

I Just stay Consistent As To When/How I Charge them & It's Easier To Anticipate The Run Time Overall
 

RISC777

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I've got the C401FS that charges NiMH and NiCD (AA and AAA). I run both the stock China batteries (mine are green and orange, hard to miss or lose sight of, eh?) and the Japanese made Maha batteries (black and silver) all the way down. I don't quick charge any of them. The stock batteries charge quicker than the Maha "Powerex" batteries. The Maha batteries last twice as long as the stock batteries. Maha states the 'slow' charging is a 5 hour charge, though it only takes them maybe 2 hours (and it never heats up). It does trickle them after a full charge. The 401 doesn't specify that it conditions. The only model I know conditions is the $85 list priced C801D (but it doesn't ship with a car cigarette lighter power cord like the 401 which is convenient).
 

Dewey

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RISC777 said:
I've got the C401FS that charges NiMH and NiCD (AA and AAA). I run both the stock China batteries (mine are green and orange, hard to miss or lose sight of, eh?) and the Japanese made Maha batteries (black and silver) all the way down. I don't quick charge any of them. The stock batteries charge quicker than the Maha "Powerex" batteries. The Maha batteries last twice as long as the stock batteries. Maha states the 'slow' charging is a 5 hour charge, though it only takes them maybe 2 hours (and it never heats up). It does trickle them after a full charge. The 401 doesn't specify that it conditions. The only model I know conditions is the $85 list priced C801D (but it doesn't ship with a car cigarette lighter power cord like the 401 which is convenient).
The C401FS is a reconditioning charger, you can read about it at: http://www.thomas-distributing.com/mhc401fs-faq.htm.

It uses a different reconditioning algorithm than the chargers that just discharge the battery prior to recharging. Thus, you can charge your batteries from any level and not have to worry about memory. Better yet, the C401FS also will charge any number of batteries between 1 and 4, making it ideal for the 396. I've had mine for a year, and I'm very happy with it.

Dewey
 

GTO_04

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RISC777 said:
Not to talk badly about the 396 and its charging system, but when I got a charger (from Maha Energy) and put the batteries that shipped with the 396 in for the first time one battery took around three to four times the "usual" charge time. I didn't time it because it was an unexpected ocurrence. Mostly I was glad the charger restored the one battery, and since then I've never used the 396's charger since.
Very interesting! I had the same thing happen. Is the battery now OK that took so much longer to charge? When that happened to me, I thought I had a defective battery! I also had one battery cause a blinking red light on the Maha charger. I removed it, re-inserted it and charged it again and now appears to be OK.

IMHO, the Maha charger is the way to go, along with a good set of Powerex or Ansman 2500-2700 maH batteries. I use multiple sets so I always have a charged set ready to go. Plus I have to keep my Pro-96 fed with batteries too.

I don't ever run my 396 on the wall wart anymore. And seeing this thread makes me glad I started that practice. Uniden should have designed the charger and power supply so that once the battery is charged, the charging circuit turns off, and the scanner runs off the wall wart with the batteries disconnected from the scanner. I do realize there may not have been enough space to accomodate the circuitry.

GTO_04
 

Zeus661

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I have been using the walwart to charge the original batteries inside the scanner for at least 18 months now. Sometimes it will sit plugged in for weeks at a time. My batteries still last as long as the day I got them. Go figure.
 

epbernstein

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Dewey said:
The C401FS is a reconditioning charger, you can read about it at: http://www.thomas-distributing.com/mhc401fs-faq.htm.

It uses a different reconditioning algorithm than the chargers that just discharge the battery prior to recharging. Thus, you can charge your batteries from any level and not have to worry about memory. Better yet, the C401FS also will charge any number of batteries between 1 and 4, making it ideal for the 396. I've had mine for a year, and I'm very happy with it.

Dewey
That is exactly what I needed to hear--I have the 401FS. Thanks!
 

GTO_04

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The 401 FS is a great charger! I like to have the option of a fast charge if I need it.

I have the Maha MH-C801D charger at work. It can charge anywhere from 1 to 8 batteries in an hour. For some reason when you fast charge the batteries with this one, the batteries don't get nearly as hot as with the 401 FS. What is so different about the charging algorithm? The 801 is not as convenient for traveling as the power supply is a separate module so it takes up a lot more space.

GTO_04
 
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