Two-Way Radio Battery Tips
What is the best battery for two-way radios?
Most two-way radios use Nickel-Cadmium (NiCD) or Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) batteries. These batteries are durable and forgiving if abused. The recommended option is NiMH, a two way radio battery that has higher energy density and contains no toxic metals.
Comparing the two, NiCD two-way radio batteries have the advantage of a high number of charge/discharge cycles. If properly maintained, nickel-cadmium batteries provide over 1000 charge/discharge cycles. On the other hand, a nickel-metal-hydride two way radio battery starts with good capacity, but the performance begins to deteriorate after 200-300 cycles if repeatedly deeply cycled.
NiMH two-way radio batteries are less prone to the "memory effect" than NiCD, requiring fewer exercise cycles. Nickel based batteries require regular full discharge to prevent crystalline formation. NiCD should be exercised once a month and NiMH once every 3 months. NiMH batteries are environmentally friendly and contains only mild toxins.
Can I substitute Li-Ion for NiCD/NiMH two-way radio batteries?
If you are thinking of substituting your NiCD or NiMH batteries with a Li-Ion battery, you would need to refer to your two-way radio manual or manufacturer. Because Li-Ion batteries have a higher energy density, many two-way models are specifically designed to be used with Li-Ion batteries. However, more often than not, manufacturers are sticking to NiCD or NiMH batteries since they are less expensive to manufacture.