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Battery Maintenance FAQ

Charging your batteries

  • New batteries should receive an initial charge for 16 to 24 hours in a trickle or slow charger. If a rapid charger is used, leave the battery in the charger 1 to 2 hours after the green light appears.
  • A recently charged new battery will seldom yield the expected duty cycle until it has been charged and discharged fully at least three times.
  • Continuously topping off a battery in a charger before it is fully discharged in use will reduce the duty cycle by inducing voltage depression (memory). Ideally, a battery should be fully discharged in use before placing it in the charger.

Battery shelf life

NiCad NiMH Li-Ion Alkaline LP
1 year 6 months 1 year 1 year 10 years (disposable)

How long do batteries last?

NiCad NiMH Li-Ion
600 cycles 400 cycles 400 cycles

What is a cycle?

A cycle is when a battery is charged & discharged.

What is memory effect?

  • "Memory effect" is a term used to describe a voltage depression in a battery.
  • Memory effect usually develops due to a certain usage/charging profile.
  • Memory effect can typically be reversed if the battery is conditioned (several times) and recharged.
  • Memory effect is usually noticed due to reduction in talk time.

What are the different types of chargers?

  • Slow (Trickle or Overnite): By its definition, provides a small charge to the battery. Designed to take approximately between 10-16 hours to fully recharge the battery.
  • Rapid: Designed to charge a battery within 30 minutes to 3 hours. Designed to fully charge the battery, if the battery is completely discharged.
  • Conditioner: Designed to fully discharge the battery before recharging. After discharging will rapid charge the battery to maximum capacity.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different battery chemistries?

Chemistry Advantages Disadvantages
Nickel Cadmium
  • High energy density
  • High heat tolerance
  • Longest cycle life
  • Wide ambient temperature range for charging
  • Economical (lowest cost)
  • Not biodegradable
  • Lowest duty cycle
  • Susceptible to "memory" effect
Nickel Metal Hydride
  • Higher energy density
  • Longer duty cycle
  • Biodegradable
  • Minimum "memory" problems
  • Shorter cycle life (70% of cadmium)
  • Low tolerance to heat
  • Self-discharges when not in use
  • Shorter ambient temperature range for charging
  • Higher cost
Lithium Ion
  • Highest energy density
  • Longest duty cycle
  • Biodegradable
  • No "memory" problems
  • Higher cycle life (80% of cadmium)
  • Very low tolerance to heat
  • Very high cost
  • Volatility raises safety concerns

How do I get the longest life and best performace out of my Multiplier batteries?

Multiplier supplies a notice on battery maintenance for every shipment. The information is as follows:

NOTE: Multiplier batteries are not fully charged when shipped. They must be charged before use.

For Longest Life & Best Performace

  • Charge the battery to full capacity. 14 hours at the standard C/10 rate (capacity X .10). For "rapid" chargers, allow additional time (2-3 hours) for "topping off" the charge after it switches from "charging" to "complete".
  • Use the battery soon and use as much of the battery capacity as possible or practical. A battery that is charged and discharged completely will maintain the longest running time capacity. Also, several charge/discharge cycles are recommended to bring a new battery up to its rated capacity.
  • Store and charge the batteries at room temperature 65°F to 75°F. Batteries that have been stored for over a month should be recharged before putting the batteries into service, due to chemical self-discharge which occurs at a rate of approximately 1% per day. Do not charge cold batteries (40°F or below).
  • Reduced capacity, or "memory effect", may result from repeated identical shallow discharge/full recharge cycles. If such a condition is suspected, run the battery until the instrument loses all power, than fully recharge and discharge again. Repeat this cycle 3-4 times. Full usable capacity then becomes available.