Frequently Asked Questions

Battery FAQ’s

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NICAD, NIMH AND LITHIUM ION BATTERIES?

NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) and NiCd (Nickel Cadmium), are two of the oldest chemistries. The major differences between the two types of batteries are capacity, memory effect and environmental friendliness. NiMH batteries have high capacity, no memory effects and environmentally friendly. Li-ion is currently the most popular chemistry. Li-ion batteries produce the same energy as Ni-MH battery but they are much lighter. This can make a noticeable difference in devices such as lawn mowers, medical , two-way radios, bar-code scanners or notebook computers where the battery makes up a significant portion of the total weight.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO UPGRADE THE DEVICE'S BATTERY TO A NEWER CHEMISTRY?

NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the device has been pre-configured to accept more than one type of battery chemistry.

MY NEW BATTERY ISN'T CHARGING. IS IT DEFECTIVE?

Usually NO. New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.

It is generally recommend an overnight charge (approximately twelve hours). It is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging. When charging the battery for the first time, the device may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is a normal with rechargeable batteries. New batteries are hard for the device to charge; they have never been fully charged and not “broken in”. Sometimes the device’s charger will stop charging a new battery before it is fully charged. If this happens, remove the battery from the device and then reinsert it. The charge cycle should begin again. This may happen several times during the first battery charge. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly normal.

Another scenario can be the BIOS interface. At times, the current software in your system is only set up to read an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) battery. If your BIOS as not been updated, and you have only used OEM batteries in your unit it can cause the replacement battery not to communicate efficiently with the software in your system.

By visiting your manufacturers’ website and locating your models BIOS upgrade, it can make it possible for your replacement battery to work as efficiently as your OEM battery. Once completing the BIOS upgrade, please recharge your battery for 12 hours and use as normal.

HOW CAN I MAXIMIZE THE PERFORMANCE OF MY BATTERY?

There are several steps you can take to help you get maximum performance from your battery:

Prevent the Memory Effect – Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect. Keep the Batteries Clean – It’s a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and the portable device. Exercise the Battery – Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above. Battery Storage – If you don’t plan on using the battery for a month or more, store it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to recharge the batteries before use. Sealed Lead Acid – (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.

WHAT IS "MEMORY EFFECT"?

Memory effect, also known as battery effect, lazy battery effect, or battery memory, is an effect observed in nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries that causes them to hold less charge.

WHAT ARE VOLTS AND MILLIAMP-HOURS (E.G. 10.8V - 4600MAH)?

Every battery has two ratings which are volts and amp-hours (AH). The Ah rating may also be given as milliamp-hours (mAh), which are one-thousandth of an amp-hour ( for example, a 4.6Ah battery is equal to 4600mAh). Ah hours are a rating of the amount of energy that a battery can store. Typically, the mAh rating is also a measure of the number of hours a battery may last. For example, a 4600mAh battery will last at least 4.5 hours. The higher a battery’s amp hour rating is, the longer the battery’s run-time will be. It is not uncommon for some of our batteries to have higher or lower amp ratings. This will not cause any incompatibilities.

Voltage ratings, however, must be within a reasonable range. For instance, your original battery may say 3.6v, but you purchase a battery that is 3.7v. This is still acceptable. The rule of thumb when dealing with voltage is to never exceed one volt higher than your original rating. So if your original battery is rated at 3.6v, then you would be able to use a replacement battery up to 4.6v and nothing higher.

Run times vary for many reasons, such as the type of device, the type of applications being used, whether or not you are playing a CD or DVD (etc.) and the chemistry of the battery. The average computer should give you between 1½ to 3 hours of run time. Once again, this varies for many reasons.

HOW LONG DO TYPICAL BATTERIES LAST?

The life of a battery under normal use is around 500 to 900 charge-discharge cycles. This is between one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user. Of course, a more avid user might obtain less of a life span due to the frequency of charge-discharge cycles. As the rechargeable battery begins to fail the running time of the battery on a full charge will begin to decline. When a battery supplies thirty minutes or less of charge, it is time for a replacement.

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