This post is written in conjunction with Sean Sweeney, Public Safety Communication Specialist for Telecom Communications, Inc.
October is Fire Prevention Month, and a time of year when fire departments visit schools to talk about fire safety, smoke detectors and what to do in the event of a fire in the home. One item that is addressed is changing the batteries in your smoke detector. However, what about the batteries firefighters, EMS and Law Enforcement use? We need to change those from time to time, but we often forget. Batteries go bad, get abused, bounced around and when we think they have been recharged for the last time, we discard and purchase new ones. This doesn't have to be the case. You have options. Depending on the type of battery being used (impres vs. non-impres) you can either opt for a Battery Fleet Management System or a Battery Maintenance System (BMS). To learn more about impres technology click here.
IMPRES Battery Fleet Management
The IMPRES Battery Fleet Management system is transparent and allows your organization to manage hundreds or thousands of radio batteries and chargers wherever they may be located. It automatically and remotely retrives key battery data from any compatible IMPRES charger each time an IMPRES battery is inserted into the IMPRES charger. The information is collected and you choose whether you want to view predefined or user-customized reports. This will allow you to see a database of active batteries, purchase reports for batteries, lost battery report and more to keep communications reliable and productive. For more information on the IMPRES Fleet Management system, download this application brief.
Battery Maintenance System (BMS)
The Motorola Battery Maintenance System will analyze your battery (up to 6 at a time) and recondition them. Using interchangeable battery adapters (sold separately), the BMS Plus is capable of charging and discharging, analyzing, conditioning and cycle test on batteries. At the end, you will be able to see whether you need a new battery or if you can get more use out of them. This helps prevent you from discarding a battery that might last you for a few more months or even a year.
Batteries are not cheap, and wouldn't it be nice to have a little extra cushion in your budget when funds are not always available? By using one of the above systems and optimizing your batteries, you not only save money on replacing batteries that didn't need to be replaced, you also can budget for the replacement when they finally do give out.
Throughout the ages businesses have always been looking for ways to cut costs and save money. What makes todays world different is that they now have the added responsibility to conserve the environment. Did you know that your communications can help you do both? Below are five ways to use your communications to help your company "go green"
1) Distributed Antenna Systems (D.A.S.)- Through high efficiency and properly designed D.A.S., the demand on equipment is lowered therefore lowering the consumption of energy required, while keeping the amount of power transmitted from radios, cell phones, blackberries and others to a minimum with relation to exposure.
2) GPS- GPS greatly reduces miles driven, excessive idling, wear and tear on vehicles and maintenance while also slowing down drivers. This will decrease the amount of gas used through better routing and planning.
3) Two Way Radio- Radios save time and energy through efficiency of instant communications without recurring costs. They also allow for improved routing which will cut fuel costs and energy use. According to the EPA (www.epa.gov), by saving just 1 gallon of gasoline the eco-savings are 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent.
4) Mobile Computing- Mobile computers allow for field workers to decrease the amount of paperwork created. They also help in managing inventory and assets thus avoiding over purchasing and improves utilization and lifespan. This will help in saving natural resources and trees while cutting waste and paper spend. By saving 1 pound of paper you can claim eco-savings of 11.1 gallons of water, 2.9 pounds of carbon dioxide, 0.95 pounds of solid waste (Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environments Defense Fund Paper Calculator. For more information visit www.papercollector.org)
5) Battery Maintenance Systems- These allow your batteries to be charged properly and optimized for maximum usage allowing you to save money, have longer lasting batteries leading to less waste and easier working radios.
How do you use your communications to help you "Go Green"?
Does it really matter how you charge the batteries for your two-way radios? To answer that, yes it does. Thanks to Motorola for the proper battery charging instructions below.
These battery tips will help you obtain optimized performance and a longer life cycle from your Motorola rechargeable battery.
1. Charge your new battery overnight before using it. This is referred to as INITIALIZING and will enable you to obtain maximum battery capacity. a. Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride: 14-16 hours. b. Lithium Ion/Polymer: 1 to 2 additional hours after the charger light turns green.
2. New Motorola impres batteries, when inserted into a Motorola impres charger, will indicate a calibration cycle by displaying a steady Yellow indication on the charge status indicator. Allow this calibration process to complete by not removing the battery from the charger until it has completely charged and displays a steady green indication.
3. In order to minimize capacity loss and cycle life reduction, new, NON INITIALIZED batteries must be stored in well ventilated, cool and dry locations. Batteries stored in these conditions may be stored:
a. Nickel Cadmium up to 2 years.
b. Nickel Metal Hydride up to 18 months.
c. Lithium Ion/Polymer up to 18 months.
4. If used batteries are to be removed from service for extended periods (greater than 30 days) they should be discharged to about 50% of their capacity before storage in a cool, dry location.
5. Batteries which have been in storage for more than two months should be fully discharged and recharged.
a. Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride: 14-16 hours.
b. Lithium Ion/Polymer: 1 to 2 additional hours after the charger light turns green.
6. When using a Motorola rapid charger, leave the battery in the charger for an additional 1 to 2 hours after the steady green light appears. (Applies to non-impres batteries only.)
7. Do not leave your radio and fully-charged battery in the charger when not charging. Continuous charging will shorten battery life. (Do not use charger as a radio stand.)
8. Only charge a battery when it needs it. If it is not fully discharged, do not recharge it. We suggest that you carry a spare. This is the most cost effective solution for users requiring longer operating time.
9. Do not return fully charged non-impres batteries to the charger for an "extra boost." This action will significantly reduce cycle life. Repeated short cycle charging of non-impres batteries will shorten battery life. (Do not use charger as a radio stand for non-impres batteries.)
10. Stabilize batteries to room temperature (72ºF) before charging. Charging below 40ºF and above 104ºF will decrease cycle life.