Rechargeable Battery Care

Batteries are a necessary expense in the field of dictation. Non-Rechargeable batteries have a use cycle time that is the same as rechargeable batteries except that non-rechargeable are thrown away once the energy in the batteries is gone. Rechargeable batteries are able to be refilled with energy that allows the batteries to be used again.

Rechargeable batteries also have a life time cycle. This cycle determines the amount of times that the rechargeable battery can be refilled with energy for use again. Rechargeable battery manufactures give a general life cycle gauge that can help in determining how many charges the rechargeable battery can take.

The rechargeable battery gauge is based upon a couple of factors. One the type of use the rechargeable battery is experiencing. If the rechargeable battery is being used for an example a toy then its total life cycle will be less than the rechargeable battery being used in a hand held dictation machine.

The toy will consume more energy which will require more times being charged compared to a hand held dictation unit. A rechargeable battery that is used in a toy would get 6 months of use compared to 1 year of use in a hand held dictation unit. Same battery but used with a different device will produce a different life cycle.

The importance of understanding this life cycle can determine when it is time to replace your rechargeable batteries with new ones. A hand held unit might appear to be not working properly and need to be sent in for repairs when really the issue is the rechargeable batteries need to be replaced.

Every hand held dictation manufacture has on the display the amount of charge the batteries contain. It is normally depicted as a battery with bars on it. When the charge is full the battery on the display appears to be full of bars or complete black. The display is a good indicator of the current battery state charge but not the total life cycle of the battery. It doesn’t tell you when it is time to replace the rechargeable batteries.

The following tips can help in this process.

A normal battery used in a hand held dictation device has an average of 12 hour life cycle. The hand held unit to conserve on energy used and to give what appears is a longer life cycle to the battery will go into sleep mode so the energy is not consumed from the battery. If this didn’t occur then you would be replacing batteries every day. A non-rechargeable battery generally speaking with give you about 2 weeks to a month of use before you have to replace them. If the hand held recorder is used a lot then 2 weeks is about right, and if it is not used a lot then 1 month.

Rechargeable batteries have the same 12 hour life cycle, but because the battery can be refilled with energy it last longer than the 2 weeks to one month cycle. The average is about 6 months to 1 year. That is also why a rechargeable battery cost more up front and in the long run the rechargeable battery cost less than a non-rechargeable battery.

Rechargeable batteries because they can be refilled and are normally put on a charging unit which is a docking station daily it is harder to determine when that rechargeable battery is no longer performing as expected.

Normally users will experience shorter recording time before a charge is needed again or dictation starts to skip with words not being there. The end user would believe that the dictation unit is bad and in need of repair.

The recorder could be in need of repair but the first step before spending money on sending in the unit would be to try non-rechargeable batteries first. If the unit performs like it normal should then you should have good battery life and no issues with dictation. If the unit doesn’t act properly and the battery life is gone quickly then the hand held unit should be sent in for repairs.

If the hand held unit passes the non-rechargeable battery test this is still not an indicator if the rechargeable batteries need to be replace or if the unit needs to be sent in. Each hand held unit also has a metal paddle that is used by the charging unit to refill the batteries energy. This paddle because it is located in a position to touch or make contact with the rechargeable batteries can get push back and out of the way so there is no contact with the rechargeable battery any more.

This can happen if the batteries are taken out of the unit a lot or if non-rechargeable batteries were used before rechargeable batteries.

The idea is always keeping the hand held dictation unit performing at its expected quality so there is no lost dictation or skipped words.

The one true method of testing rechargeable batteries is to purchase a battery operated non-digital clock. The cost is about 5 to 10 dollars basically. A clock that has moving hands to keep time will simulate the use of a hand held device that is not shut off so you will get an accurate time of the battery life.

A rechargeable battery should last before charge 12 hours. The battery operated clock since it uses close but not exactly the same amount of energy to run it, should last double that amount. So 24 hours the rechargeable battery should last before needing a charge. The clock hands should stop close to the time that the rechargeable battery was put into it. If you get 7 hours then your rechargeable battery is becoming close to being replaced. If you only get 4 hours of use on the battery operated clock then you should replace the rechargeable battery.

There is a high change that the rechargeable batteries with only 4 hours of use before recharge create either lost dictation or lost words in the dictation.

Using the above method will save you money and time. Instead of taking the time to call support or to ship the hand held unit in for repair that could be out of warranty testing your rechargeable batteries first can go a long way in saving yourself a lot of money. Doctors, Lawyers, and Police officers can really not afford to lose time and money.