I've got a pair of Microtalks that I bought new about a year ago, they have'nt been used very much but they won't charge. I bought new batteries but still they won't take a charge. How long are the chargers normaly good for? The light won't come on for the charging unit. I've checked to make sure it's plugged in tight.
I have the Cobra Microtalk 4100 FRS radios with charging base. After changing the batteries with new nimh rechargables the charge light would not illuminate and the unit would not charge. I noticed the original batteries had a metal band around one end. This band makes a small connection inside the battery compartment on the first battery. Seems to be a cheap way to ensure you dont try to recharge the unit with non-rechargable batteries installed. I rapped a small piece of tinfoil around one end of the first battery in the new set then popped it back in and now they will charge correctly again. Dont try this with non-rechargable batteries! I would recomend buying original replacement batteries.
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There is nothing wrong with your battery or your radio. you bought it a walmart at the lowest price available. this means you get what you pay for i.e. no frills the indicator flashing means it is connected to a power source and is charging / Maintaining the battery. it will only come on again when the battery is below 1/8th of the battery life and flash to let you know it needs to be charged again. there is no battery level indicator. these will work just fine but dont expect the 1-16 mile range they advertize unless you have full charge alkaline batteries and a direct line of sight to the one you are talking to.
Turning off while transmitting is typically a sign of a weak or bad battery. However, since you mention it happens with either battery type, another cause might be the length of time you are depressing the PTT button. These radios have a fail-safe to prevent damaging the final amplifier of the radio. To protect itself the radio will shut down or stop transmitting after the PTT button is held in too long. This being said, I'd check the batteries first. The rechargeable battery pack which came with the radio has a one year life expectancy. A battery can test full when it is weak and might not hold the charge when placed under a load. And usually transmit is the first thing to fail.
To answer your questions:
1) The light on the charger should come on and stay on, when a radio or a battery is charging. It is not likely all the chargers would go bad at the same time. With this in mind, check your charge contacts on ther radio and the charger. Clean with a pencil eraser if needed. Try charging a battery outside of the radio (if you have a drop-in base), just to see if you get a constant red light on the charger. If not, your charger or possibly the battery is bad.
2) If you have a voltmeter you can check for existing charge in the battery. It will not tell you charging capacity, but it will tell you if it is flat dead or not. Check the date code on the battery. It is a 4-digit number on the back portion of the label in the white area. It will read as 1121, 11 is the year, 21 the week of the year. NiMH batteries have a 2 year life expectancy. And as you indicated, charging with the radio turned on, will age the batteries quickly. It is not good to leave the batteries on a charger with the radio turned on, or for extended periods of time, such as weeks or months. A few days won't hurt occasionally.
3) Lastly, your radios may need serviced. You could have charge/accessory jacks which are worn out, if you are using the wall plug style charger only, and do not have a drop-in base. If they have been anywhere moist they could have grown corrosion and be non-repairable. However, if they are dry and otherwise free of defect they should be repairable. (Current expected flat rate repair is $69 at a dealer who works on this model.)
The Tekk NT90 is a basic walkie-talkie style radio. With a good battery they will operate a full business day on a charge. The radios should be charged overnight (or 8-12 hours) after the battery is depleted or nearly depleted. If using these in a business situation you can usually go a full 8-hr day on a charge. Battery packs have approx a 2 year life expectancy before needing replaced.
If you need more info, contact Tekk Inc at 800-521-8355.
You do not mention if you are using a wall plug charger, or a drop-in charger. We will give troubleshooting tips for both. To answer your question: If the light comes on and stays on, on the charger your charger is good. You have a radio or battery problem.
The light on the HTN8232 wall charger should come on and stay on when plugged into the radio, with the radio turned off. The fact the light comes on when the radio is turned on indicates your batteries are either no good, too low to charge, or you have a battery contact problem.
Solutions: 1) Clean your battery contacts with a pencil eraser.
2) Be certain the batteries are installed correctly.
3) Check your battery date code (three digit number on back of battery above the stop sign. First number is year, next two numbers are the week of the year. Batteries last about 2 years.)
4) Check to see your new batteries are NiCd batteries. The wall charger method is not compatible with NiMH batteries.
5) Try a charged battery from another radio and see if the charger light comes on and stays on with a different battery.
If you are using a drop-in charger, you would be using the above listed HTN8232 wall plug charger plugged into the tray. Here are some possible solutions for the drop-in charger:
1) Clean the exterior battery contacts with a pencil eraser.
2) Check to see if the wall charger will work when plugged directly into the radio.
3) If the charge capability of the radio seems compromised, take the battery out of the radio and charge it alone in the drop-in charger.
NOTE: Do not use the PTT if you are turn on the radio when plugged into the charger. This will burn out components in your radio.
The SP10 radio is known to be a repairable radio. (Generally around $69 flat rate.)
When you say they worked fine for a long time, do you mean a long time as in "hours", or for many months or years? If hours, then remove the batteries and be sure they are in correctly and plug the charger into a different electrical outlet. If the radios have not been used for many months or longer, you probably need to replace the rechargeable battery.