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Thread: Radio on while in the charger

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    Default Radio on while in the charger

    So I just noticed a warning sticker on the impress charger that says "Turn radio off before inserting in charger" Does this mean it should not be on at all while in the charger?
    I assume if the radio is on while on the charger is not going to be able to charge as much or not at all, but would this cause an issue for the battery?

    Figured I would ask the experts....


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    Lithium batteries get hot when charging. Excessive current from a radio that is turned on will cause the charger to work harder, producing more heat. Bad things happen with more heat, although I have not personally heard of an instance where anyone was injured. The battery life will be shortened (in theory, I know nothing about radios after 40 years) so it is not a recommended practice.
    Apparently NOT a radio professional.

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    The answer is no
    RAS .......... Retard Avoidance System.

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    I have not seen an issue with the radios being on while charging. Theres a chance it may not do a full charge thus hurt the long term performance of the batter I guess?

    But, if your charger enters the reconditioning mode, its going to drain it to 0%, and will not charge it past that and enter a failed battery state (light flashes fast). And to make matters worse...the battery may not be recoverable if its left in this 0% state for too long.

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    I'm not sure if this truly prevents issues with radios on chargers while turned on, but I was always told that if the battery is full/almost full, you should'nt have any problems

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    There could be possible issues with not fully charging the battery if it's being drained and charging at the same time, that's correct. However, a while back (Saber days!, 1980's...), the radios used to have problems with radios left on in multi-unit gang chargers getting paged or receiving an emergency call/call alert. The radio would then transmit an "ACK" (acknowledge) MDC packet burst which could blow up the RF Front End of other radios next to it in the charger pockets! Their brilliant solution was to put a "Turn your Radio Off" sticker on the charger pockets! This is 100% true and confirmed by a former Motorola Engineer. Really!

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    Worked for a police agency and they constantly left there radios in the chargers in the command offices to "listen" to the troops. When they removed the radio from the charger, they wondered why they had no battery life... If you need a radio on all the time, get one of those battery delete things that can hook to a 12 volt source. So long as they dont need to wander off with it. There is also the vehicle adapters you can use on the moto radios if that is an option. Can mount it to a piece of wood and then leave the radio in that in a more permanent setting at the office.

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    NiCD, NiMH -problem. LiIon - no problem.

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    Default Radio On While In The Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by K7bpg View Post
    Worked for a police agency and they constantly left there radios in the chargers in the command offices to "listen" to the troops. When they removed the radio from the charger, they wondered why they had no battery life...
    Sadly, that is an all too common problem in many places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by com501 View Post
    Lithium batteries get hot when charging. Excessive current from a radio that is turned on will cause the charger to work harder, producing more heat. Bad things happen with more heat, although I have not personally heard of an instance where anyone was injured. The battery life will be shortened (in theory, I know nothing about radios after 40 years) so it is not a recommended practice.
    I don’t know the specifics of the incident, but Alberta Health EMS had a BK portable let the magic smoke out of a battery in a charger a while back. Don’t know if it was left on when put in the charger though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1-6 View Post
    I don’t know the specifics of the incident, but Alberta Health EMS had a BK portable let the magic smoke out of a battery in a charger a while back. Don’t know if it was left on when put in the charger though.
    I could give a laundry list of why those $^@# things might combust or shatter or melt down.

    Something I've noticed with my newest Kenwoods (NX5000 series running the KNB-L3 batteries) is that the batteries are not kept "topped up" like other radios/batteries are if the radio is left on in the charger. For example my older TK series Kenwoods (I forget what the battery is on that one, but not the L3) will happily stay in the charger for days and still be at 100% (and last a day or 36 hours or so) when you take it out. With the L3 batteries, if the radio is on when in the charger, once the battery is fully charged, it starts discharging, even though the light is flashing green (on both the 'new' and 'old' Kenwood chargers I have). Took a radio out of the charger a few months ago after it'd been left in and turned on for a day or so and the charge level was shown at 22%. It had almost completely dumped while sitting there turned on in the charger.

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    We have the same thing happening on our VP6430 portables with the KNB-L3. So the new policy with the members getting take-home radios is they get 2 batteries, and they can rotate the other through their single chargers but not simply leave the radio on all night on the charger, like they could with their previous portables... even if that was never recommended, it still worked fine. I may have to instate a similar policy for the "desk queen" portables that the town administration gets.

    Also one of the brand new KSC-326AK 6-unit chargers made it all of 4 days before failing. Currently being RMA'd with JVCK Canada and we'll see how many months it takes to get them to turn around.
    QC and just on time delivery of any part or device has been problematic so far with Kenwood public safety product line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRENT310 View Post
    get 2 batteries, and they can rotate the other through their single chargers but not simply leave the radio on all night on the charger
    We have such a practice for a long time. Portable radios are always equipped with two rechargeable batteries

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    I would be worried that in some circumstances the radio may be over volted.

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    As for the XTS series chargers, both NTN8831A and WPLN4114AR single desktop AC power models display "Turn radio off before inserting in charger" in a portion of the warning sticker message on inside of the charger cups. Same for the six-bank WPLN4121 impres gang charger model. One thing to note however, is the WPLN4208 vehicle impres version charger for the same XTS series has no mention of turning the radio off before inserting in charger on its listed warning message on bottom of charger. Wondering if these warning messages are to prevent a powered on radio from a possible power surge when first inserting into the AC power model charger vs veh or if long term charging while radio powered on could cause harm and if so to radio? battery? or perhaps both is the question.