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Chicomm Blog

In a Wireless World, You Can't Live Without These

Posted by Jill McNamara on Friday, April 12, 2013

The Ultimate Power Source for Wireless Is...

Batteries! Can’t live without them in today’s world. Their importance lies in connecting us to our fellow man through walkie-talkies, cellular devices, tablets, and even to grounding Boeings newest 787 Dreamliner. And battery technology has come a long way. When I first started as a technician, the NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) was the battery of choice for our two way radios. Back then charging allowed two speeds: Standard Charge and Rapid Charge. Standard charge ran a low stream of current into the battery that took about 8 hours to get the battery to full capacity. Rapid charge ran a high stream of current into the battery. This speed would typically recharge in 3 hours.

 The downfall to the rapid charge was that the current generated heat and the heat shortened the lifecycle of the battery. To properly maintain a battery you had to condition it by discharging completely and recharging the battery several times. A “Memory” effect took over the battery if not cycled that reduced its capacity from an 8 to 10 hour use to 3 hours of use before you had to charge it again.

Battery materials have improved over the years to allow for increased capacity, smaller size, lighter weight and less maintenance. Nickel Cadmium went to Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), that was better, but still displayed the effects of “Memory”. Today Lithium Ion (Li-ion) have become the standard allowing higher capacity and lower self-discharge. Motorola Solutions took it a step further though. By discovering ways of making the battery and charging system smart, the “IMPRES” technology was born. Motorola’s IMPRES battery system does a couple of things during its charging cycle that no other battery does:

1)      Battery serial number and chemistry are determined

2)      Battery charge capacity in milliamp hours (mAh) are read

3)      Battery charge capacity as a percentage of rated capacity is determined

4)      Battery voltage is read

5)      Estimated battery capacity at end of charge in mAh

6)      Time remaining to complete rapid charge cycle (NiCd and MiMH only)  

7)      Notification when a battery is approaching reconditioning


Motorola Heritage 2000P0087 resized 600

     What this means is that this technology allows the battery to talk with the charger, to interface with the user, and to understand what condition the battery is in. It regulates and controls the current flow to the battery minimizing overcharging and undercharging. Imagine NOT having this technology: You grab your radio out of the charger not knowing the user from the last shift just put it into the charger thirty minutes ago. You go out to work your shift and during the first hour your radio fails. Now you need to go back and grab another battery and install it on your radio. And then again you're left hoping this one has more of a charge?! The guess approach is both timely and costly for manpower. Not to mention with radios used by first responders and public safety users, having a fully charged unit could be a matter of life and death.

 They IMPRES™ technology system is more than battery conditioning using a Tri Analyzer. It is a complete maintenance program that allows you to:

1)      Insure your employees have a radio that will work.

2)      Monitor the lifecycle of the battery.

3)      Budget effectively.


  This makes it simple. Compared to any other manufacturer out there, Motorola's IMPRES™ technology will be the leader in allowing you to maximize your purchases, control your costs and most importantly, provide for the safety of your employees.

 If you have any questions, leave a comment below and we can get you in touch with our accessory expert for answers.

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TomTreichlerThis article was written by Tom Treichler, Director of Sales & Service at Chicago Communications. Tom has over 30 years of experience in the industry with a background in engineering, system integration, and wireless broadband. If you have any questions for Tom, or another representative at ChiComm, please contact us. Follow him on Twitter @TomTreichler !