New 396XT, Battery life only 2 hours?

Status
Not open for further replies.

P25CT

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
0
Location
Connecticut
I purchased a new 396XT a few weeks ago. I've got a P25 Moto Smartzone Omnilink system programmed with a few other conventional banks which are scanned. The stock batteries gave me about two maybe three hours of time, so I bought the Energizer rechargeables with the wall charger. Figuring it would bring me to an aceptable lifespan of 8 hours, it did not. I'm still stuck at 2 or 3 hours.

What's going on? I've read elsewhere 8 hours is normal. Everything else works well with the unit. I'm charging using the external charger, however it seems I get same operational time with wall charger or internal charger to the 396.

When I pop them in I get 4.10 or so volts consistently. It quickly comes down to 3.9-4.0 in an hour or less. By the end of 2-3.5 hours I'm beeping with 3.46 on the meter.

Thoughts? Does this thing need to go back in?

Incidentally, I'm seeing longer times when the Omnilink Trunking system is not activated in the scan list.

My next step was to put alkalines in and see how long they lasted.

Thanks...
 

torontokris

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,625
Location
Toronto Canada
4.10 seems right but its dying off way too fast, 2 hours is too short.

Try a 3rd set of batteries, it sounds like 1 of your batteries (or more) are bad (maybe)

Not sure if batteries are covered by the warranty.

I dont know what problem in the radio would cause the radio to drain batteries too fast... normally the light/digital activity will lesson it but 2 hours is too short.
 

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,380
Location
Somewhere On Earth
If you're monitoring the CSP digital system, I can understand your pain! I use my 396XT with Energizer 2650s and get maybe 3 hours out of them. Digital decoding drains the juice more thn plain old analog monitoring. I use mine ONLY on the CSP system. If you conbine digital with analog monitoring, it makes no difference. I am disappointed in my battery life too. I have tried different brand batteries with the same results.

Manny
 

Alex1041

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
40
Batteries charged @ 4.26v will get me well over 8hrs........
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,605
With only 3 cells in the 396xt, be sure to get a charger that will *properly* charge an odd number of cells - this usually means that each cell should be charged individually, and not in pairs.

Energizer chargers have given me fits before - the most recent slide-out travel charger requires that you reset it after the first hour when it shows a full charge, when it really isn't - requiring one to pull it, and put it back on ac again.

The energizer line of AA's hasn't really settled down until they went back to the new-old 2300 mah capacity. Higher capacity energizers have been very troublesome with high-impedance or very short cycle life. Seems like they got it right with the very bright silver/green 2300's these days.

Definitely look for a charger that charges each cell individually, rather than in pairs.
 

kb8rvp

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
551
Location
Michigan
I use the powerex MH-C9000 battery charger with 2700MHa powerex batteries and get 6-8 hours of scanning time. Prior to getting this setup I had a hard time finding a charger that would charge one battery at a time. Most charge in pairs which doesn't work when you are charging 3 batteries. Not sure what setup your charger has or what capacity (2000, 2500, 2700MAh) you have because that can make a big difference too as to how long they last per charge. Also, were you charging the original batteries that came in the box in the scanner? And if so for how long?

Mike
 

davedaver1

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
341
Location
Auburn, CA
I use LaCrosse BC-900 chargers with Eneloop cells for both my radio and my camera flashes. Every time they are charged, the cells reach full charge at different times - which does show how valuable single-cell charging is. If they were in series, as in a radio, one or more would be overcharging while the others catch up.
 

buddrousa

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Messages
6,105
Location
NW Tenn
Have you turned off your backlighting and other bell and whistles when on batteries?
 

W9NES

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2004
Messages
1,794
Location
Indianapolis,Indiana
I own a Uniden 396XT and as far as your batterys you might look at getting batteries that are rated at 2900Ah. I use the batteries that are rated at 2900Mah.I have had (0) problems with those batteries and I carry a extra set of charged batteries.Try the 2900Mah batteries and do not charge the batteries in the radio. I use a battery charger outside the radio and have had no problems.The batteries I am using are Power 2000 Digital 1.25V 2900Ah NiMh Rechargeable.The Batteries that come with the Uniden 396XT are GP Industrial Rechargeable2250mAh 1.2 Volt and these do not last very long. The Battery charger that I use is Lacrosse Model BC-700 Battery Charger.I would look into getting the 2900Mah Batteries and the Lacrosse BC-700 Battery Charger.
 

P25CT

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
0
Location
Connecticut
Going to try the 2900 mah batteries from the user in the previous post and see how that goes. The engergizers are 2300 and in the 4 battery charger you see at Target, etc. Any suggestions of an on-line dealer of these batteries and charger?

Thanks again.

BTW, tried a set of alkalines, and it went for days (daytime, 8 hours a day). Tells me radio is fine.
 

RickLeb

Member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
70
Location
Barrie Ontario Canada
The previous posts have emphasized the importance of using a good quality charger to ensure an optimum charge and longevity of the batteries.

These chargers have an equally important benefit of identifying defective or week batteries.

Your problem may be something as simple as one or more poorly performing cells. A good charger like Maha MH-C9000 Battery Charger will locate bad cells and keep your healthy cells running a lot longer.
 

simmsrep

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 5, 2010
Messages
223
Location
Alton, VA
I got a BCD396XT and had the same problem. I was using the Energizer charger from Walmart and was only getting around 5 to 6 hours per charge. After searching around the website here I purchased the LaCrosse BC-900. Using the same Energizer batteries (2300 mah) I get at least 10 hours per charge, sometimes 12 on a slow day. So for me the charger made all the diffrence.
 

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,380
Location
Somewhere On Earth
Going to try the 2900 mah batteries from the user in the previous post and see how that goes. The engergizers are 2300 and in the 4 battery charger you see at Target, etc. Any suggestions of an on-line dealer of these batteries and charger?

Thanks again.

BTW, tried a set of alkalines, and it went for days (daytime, 8 hours a day). Tells me radio is fine.
Chris;

Try this site;

http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/listcategoriesandproducts.asp?idcategory=11

The first 3 are great! The one that Rickleb suggested is there as well.

Manny
 
Last edited:

PM08203

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
329
Location
Somers Point NJ
Right now I am sold on SANYO eneloop 2400s in my 396xt. Got my 396xt when it first came out and have went thru various makes of batteries including a number of 'high capacity' models.
 

pro106import

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Milford, Ct. perched high above Long Island Sound

I use the
MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger




I purchased it from Newegg for $33 on sale a while back. It was one of those "shellshocker" deals of the day on their site. I am using Tenergy 2300mah cells and get 8-10 hours with my 396XT monitoring CSP digital.
I never use the fast charge mode, but always use the slow charge mode. Takes about 4 hours to charge them up. I have been using the same batteries for 3 years and just purchased another bunch from All-Battery.com, as they had a good sale recently (cyber Monday)
Sounds like the OP has some crappy batteries. Doubt if it is a radio problem.
Bob
 

RickLeb

Member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
70
Location
Barrie Ontario Canada
No doubt that everyone of these chargers will make your batteries last longer than using a "dumb" charger or performing "in radio " charging. However only the first one (MH-C9000) has the ability to test the capacity of your cells, helping you to find the defective ones. I think this may be the problem the OP is having with his two hour battery life.

It also allows you to select the charge rate anywhere from 2000ma to 200ma (approximately 1-10 hours) where the other models only offers a fast or slow charge. And as a bonus it is within $5 of being the cheapest of the three models.
 

RickLeb

Member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
70
Location
Barrie Ontario Canada
Right now I am sold on SANYO eneloop 2400s in my 396xt. Got my 396xt when it first came out and have went thru various makes of batteries including a number of 'high capacity' models.
I agree, personally I use the so called "Duraloops" because they are the easiest to find in my area. Most people believe are just a re-branded Eneloop.

Every few charges I perform a "refresh & analyze" in my Maha C9000, and record the capacities in a spreadsheet. It didn't take long to notice that all cells lose some capacity with every charge. However the Eneloops tend to lose a smaller percentage of capacity. Over a period of several months the so called "high capacity" cells have less capacity than the Eneloops. Of course your mileage may vary depending on the brands of cells you personally use.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top