Don't run out of juice

After 35 years doing everything from two-way radio to broadcast and microwave I have seen a lot of good and bad things happen. One easy way to prevent a pitfall is to make sure your batteries are always charged.

Every radio needs power to operate. Batteries make up the biggest power source and therefore cause the most problems. When you put a new battery in service, how many of you follow the manufacturers' recommendations?

There are three types of battery chemistry. Each one has a slightly different start up but fully charging and then discharging will help promote long life for the battery. Keeping batteries in a warm, not hot or cold, environment also help keep the voltage up when you need it most.

Don't store extra batteries in the glove compartment or in the cooler. Keep them at room temperature (70-75 degrees) for best response. Another issue is having too many spare batteries. If you don't use a battery it will die on its own. Rotate batteries every few weeks so they get used and recharged.

Remember, a dead battery does you no good when it is an emergency!


Dolph Holmes is a former radio communication supervisor for the Maine Forest Service. He has been with the North Yarmouth Fire department since 1999 and a ham radio operator since the early 1970s. He has several firsts in the satellite communications field and is always looking for outside the box things that can be used by COMM-L folks everywhere.

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