batterybulgedtrScary even when it’s not Halloween! This bulging DTR series battery is from a radio that came into Delmmar’s 2-way radio repair center for repair. The customer has chosen to have their DTR650 radio repaired (flat rate $85) and purchase a new battery to replace this bulging one. Bulgy has been disposed of in hazardous waste.

In the news recently there has been a lot of talk about electronics devices catching fire on planes. An educated guess would be the battery in the device was damaged or poor workmanship. It could have been physical or liquid damage, overcharging, poor manufacturing, or the effects of the change in air pressure in the cabin. While we have not heard of any incidents involving 2-way radios (which have restrictions when taken on a plane), users should always use wisdom whether in the air or on the ground.

There are dozens of youtube videos showing these types of batteries in flames once they are abused, overcharged, wet or mistreated.  Short story: If your battery bulges, or shows any sign of puncture/damage DO NOT use it. Motorola has a good explanation concerning the differences between Li-Ion and Li-polymer batteries. You can read it here.

For your two-way radio choose a good name brand battery from a reputable radio dealer. Choose good quality Li-Ion or NiMH batteries instead of Li-Polymer.

~cl

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GOT STATIC? GOT POOR TRANSMIT? Using an old battery on your radio can cause you problems, including poor or intermittent transmit, a battery that no long last the full day, lots of static or white noise, poorly functioning add-on audio devices, and more. Continual use of an old or bad battery can eventually cause wear and tear to the radio itself, resulting in the need for repair. The life expectancy of the average rechargeable battery used in 2-way radios or other devices is 2 years. This includes your rechargeable flashlight as well as your portable radio.

How can you tell the age of your battery?
Nearly every manufacturer of a rechargeable battery marks the battery with a date code representing the date of manufacture. Sometimes these date codes are hidden in plain sight. You might feel like you need a secret decoder ring to break the code. Motorola is no different than most manufacturers, their batteries and accessories are marked with manufacturing codes.battdatecodes

Motorola batteries follow a very simple date code system. You will find a 3- or 4-digit number on the battery label (or embossed in the plastic of the battery itself). Use the example 1611, the first two digits are the year, and the next two digits are the week of the year. The battery shown is dated 2016 the 11th week.
If you have a 3-digit code the first number is the year. 611 would be either 2016 or 2006. (You can usually tell by the appearance of the battery if it is 10 years or more old.)
For more details see this PDF: Battery Date Code Sheet

Next time you have a poorly functioning radio check your battery date code. Maybe you simply need to replace your battery.

Battery tips:

  • Clean your battery contacts on your radio and charger periodically with a pencil eraser to remove any film or debris. This will allow your radio to make better contact on the charger. (Never use chemicals or a sharp object to clean contacts.)
  • Always have your radio turned off when placed on the charger, and if in an emergency you must have a radio turned on when on the charger, never ever transmit while charging. This can burn out components in your radio causing the need for repair.
  • If you feel you have an old, bad, or poorly functioning battery, try trading batteries with a known good radio and see if the problem is solved. You may simply need to replace your old battery.
  • The shelf life of a battery which has never been charged (initialized) is supposed to be indefinite. If you store new batteries before you use them, mark them with the date you initially charged the battery. This will give you a better idea on your 2 year life expectancy.
  • When initially charging a battery that has been in the cold or stored for a period of time before use it may take 2-3 charge cycles for the battery to successfully take that first charge. If you charger is blinking when it usually doesn’t, leave the battery on the charger and let it blink a few hours, even try again the next day doing the same thing. The battery will usually wake up, charge and be fine.
  • Beware of aftermarket batteries from less than reputable sources. We’ve seen or tried them all. We do offer a good aftermarket battery for most models if you are looking for such a battery.
  • Dispose of all old batteries in hazardous waste.

What are you waiting on? Go check your date codes!
~cl
#motorolaradiobattery #nntn4497 #motorolaradiorepair #motorolabatterydatecode

WalkieMonkey_smlThe radio arrived with a note saying “Walkie Monkey may have caused the problem… no one else will admit to it.” As an added surprise Walkie Monkey arrived with the #BPR40 radio and he’s not talking.

Customers ask us often what they should include with their radios when sending them to the radio repair center. Short answer is we need the radio and any other accessories you think might be associated with the problem. If you include the battery we can check the date code and run it on the reconditioner/analyzer to see how well it is performing. If you think the antenna or charger may be part of the problem include them too. Oh the other hand, if you feel certain the issue is with the radio alone, just send the radio itself. It is that simple.

Occasionally we receive fun surprises like Walkie Monkey, which brightens our day. The BPR40 radio from sunny California is now in line for repair, and Walkie Monkey continues to have this smirky grin and is maintaining his silence. We think we will keep him here for further interrogation.

#motorolaradiorepair #monkeyproblems #BPR40radio #radiorepaircenter

-cl

wet radio rescue…

12 May, 2014

Wet Electronic Device We’ve found a new innovative product available to assist in saving a wet 2-way radio or cell phone. It’s the EVAP Rescue Pouch. The manufacturer states it is ” 700% more effective at removing moisture than rice. EVAP contains a unique drying agent that safely removes the moisture from sensitive electronics preventing damage while restoring use — fast!” The kit consists of a specialized ziplock pouch with moisture indicator, 2 large packets of drying agent, and easy instructions. The price of $15.25 each is less than we expected, considering most smartphone related items start at $29.99.EVAP Rescue Pouch

We received our first one in to look at and we were impressed. It comes sealed to keep moisture prior to use away from the special drying agent. The instructions are simple and concise. The bag is big enough for most modern 2-way radios or a cell phone. (Size:  5.196″W x 6.299″H) In the event your device is too large for the bag supplied you could still use the kit by putting your item in the pouch and then sealing it in a large ziplock bag. The handy moisture indicate on the bag will tell you when it is done in 6-24 hours.

Here at the radio repair facility we see radios coming in for repair daily which have liquid damage. The keep to repairability is getting the device dry and getting it shipped to us as soon as possible. With this new EVAP Rescue Pouch you could even ship it to us pouch and all. It could be drying out on the way here. Such a neat idea we wish we’d came up with it ourselves!

We spoke tips for wet radios in this previous blog post.

~cl

 

special requests…

16 Apr, 2014

Custom BPR40Recently we had a request from a great customer in Washington. Angela had seen a red BPR40 radio we had customized for her food warehouse employer. She asked if we could do one in another color for her. The answer was “Yes”.  Our radio service center is able to take a basic black new radio and transform it to another color. What you see pictured here is Angela’s new radio. We think the BPR40 looks pretty spiffy in Blue!

Some businesses choose to do this for radios which have a specific purpose or use. It makes the radio quickly recognizable, and alleviates workers from misplacing radios intended for a special purpose. One of our clients has red radios for emergencies in their forklift battery changing area. It is quickly spotted if a radio is taken from the area. Some land surveyors have brightly colored radios to help them find the radios if dropped while surveying.  Customized colors are only available for some radio models. Call or email us if you want more information about costs and lead times.

Antenna ID Bands shown in colors available.

Antenna ID Bands shown in colors available.

Another helpful item to differentiate radio work groups are Antenna ID Bands which are available 10-packs. This is an inexpensive, quick and easy way to identify where a radio belongs. These bands are available in a variety of colors and can be easily placed on your existing radio antenna.

~cl

Our customers in the Nursery and Greenhouse business are starting to prepare for Spring. Radios which had been set aside from last season are beginning to arrive at the radio repair center to be tuned up and repaired for the busy season ahead.Spring Motorola Radio Repair

Many in the growing industry use push-to-talk radio technology instead of cellular for on-site communications. A variety of reasons include: two-way radios are dedicated primarily to voice capabilities, which support immediate person-to-person and group communications; and while smart phones provide many features and Apps, it is the simplicity of two-way radio that makes it attractive for situations where simple communication is important. Simply push the button and talk! It’s easy with no learning curve, or games and Apps to get distracted.

Two-way radios are designed to be rugged, and take the punishment of a 40-hour work week. Nearly all models are repairable and have user replaceable batteries. This is why many nursery and greenhouse owners rely on basic push-to-talk technology to save the steps of many workers while providing communication throughout their facilities. One of our growers explained one increased productivity benefit this way, “You don’t have to worry about an employee calling or texting his girlfriend on his radio… unless she is an employee too.”  Guess that can be listed as another side benefit of 2-way.

So this is your reminder to check your radios over before the busy season and get them in for repair if needed. Also, now would be a great time to replace batteries during the Bulk Battery Deal. If you order at eradiostore.com during February 2014 use the discount code ITSNEW at check-out to get a nice discount.

~cl

 

crispy Motorola CP100

28 Jan, 2014

Crispy CP100 RepairJust take a look at this CP100 radio that arrived at our repair center. Definitely crispy! No explanation as to how this one became so melted… just a note with the customer’s info in the box. Sometimes this is just how it happens… a radio randomly arrives in a dirt little brown box without a repair form, just a business card tucked inside.

This box arrived at the Radio Repair Center and was opened to discover this melted CP100 radio. The radio check-in person probably thought the radio was a lost cause. But upon examination by one of our electronics technicians, surprisingly the component board was not in too bad of shape following the meltdown of the external housing. Our miracle working technician was able to replace the front and back housing along with a few other key components to get this radio back to factory spec.

Motorola CP100We are often amazed by our techs who seem to defy odds and get seemingly hopeless radios back to good working condition. We have to be honest here, not all crispy radios can be repaired. However, just when you think all is lost… your radio may indeed be repairable. We just wish we could have been on the other end and see the face of the radio owner when they opened their box from the repair center.  ~cl

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