Battery chemistry degrades after 24 months of use and can affect radio performance. Many intermittent radio problems are solved with a fresh battery. In this article we will show you how to check the age of your batteries and recommend the best replacement for the most popular Motorola radios.
How to Check a Motorola Battery Date Code
All Motorola batteries have a 4 digit date code on the battery label. The first 2 digits indicate the year manufactured and the second two digits identify the week. Check the date codes on your Motorola batteries to determine if you are ready for replacements.
The date code on this example is highlighted in yellow. The date code, 1401, indicates 2014 and the first week of the year. Most IMPRES batteries carry an 18 month warranty to hold 80% of the capacity. In this example, the capacity is 1900 mAh. As capacity degrades, so does output power and talk time. You may find radios start to perform poorly at the end of the shift.
Most Popular Motorola “Proven Tough” Radio Batteries
The second generation IMPRES 2 PMNN4486 is our favorite for the APX 6000 and APX 7000 radios because it packs 3,400 mAh capacity in a small housing. For those who need maximum battery life, the IMPRES 2 PMNN4487 with 4,850 mAh is the best choice. All IMPRES 2 batteries have an improved 24 month warranty.
The APX 4000 standard battery is the 1900 mAh NNTN8128 but we like the high-capacity 2,700 mAh PMMN4448.
The IMPRES HNN4001 has 1,900 mAh capacity and automatic reconditioning technology when used with an IMPRES charger. It is compatible with HT750, HT1250, HT1550, and PR860 model radios.
We also carry Vertex Standard OEM and Power Products batteries for Kenwood, HYT, Harris, Tait, Icom, and many other brands. Visit our online battery catalog and our online store for audio accessories, chargers, and carrying cases.
Motorola Solutions and their wholly-owned subsidiary, Vertex Standard informed us a new software ERP upgrade will halt order processing, depot repairs, and shipments beginning April 7th.
Expect shipments to slowly ramp up starting the afternoon of Tuesday, April 18th. The planned upgrade has been in process for the past 2 years.
Shutdown Affects Radios, Parts, Accessories, and Repairs
Anything that has not shipped by the evening of April 6th will be affected. Motorola and Vertex will not be able to process any new orders until 4/18/17. We are taking steps to stock additional inventory but with 3,000+ products it will be difficult.
Motorola APX XE vs. APX XE500 RSM Feature Comparison
Motorola’s IMPRES XE rugged remote speaker-microphone (RSM) choices for extreme environments are designed for firefighters with APX 6000XE, APX 7000XE, and APX 8000XE P25 radios. Available in black or high visibility green, they have a strobe light, orange emergency button, and clip with D-ring.
Motorola APX XE and APX XE500 Shared Features
Both the XE and XE-500 are rated IP68 for submersibility and carry an intrinsically-safe rating to match the APX radio certification. Both have a large volume toggle switch and are 50% louder than a XTS RSM. There is a reflective label on both styles for increased visibility. The APX XE was introduced about 5 years ago and is available in green (NNTN8575A) and black (NNTN8575ABLK).
New APX XE500 Feature Improvements
The XE500 started shipping last year with additional features. It has a channel knob and larger emergency button with embedded orange lighting. Noise suppression is improved and can pickup your voice when you can’t hear yourself talking. The heat resistant cable can withstand 500 degrees for 5 minutes without harm.
The XE500 is intrinsically safe rated for UL-TIA4950 but does not have a FM certification. If your department uses intrinsically-safe APX radios, check to determine if you need FM or UL certified accessories. They are not interchangeable.
Workers using communications devices in refineries, grain elevators, and fuel storage facilities need an intrinsically-safe certified 2-way radio. Hazardous locations, called HAZLOC, certified radios have a label to identify the NFPA 70 certifications for classifications and groups. Starting 2016, Motorola stopped shipping FM (Factory Mutual) certified radios and transitioned to UL (Underwriters Laboratories). It is important to know FM and UL TIA-4950 intrinsically-safe batteries are NOT interchangeable.
How to Identify FM and UL Certified Radios
Radios with a FM certification have a label with GREEN text and GREEN dot usually on the bottom of the radio. FM certified batteries have the same GREEN label and GREEN dot. In order to be certified, you need two dots with the same color.
UL certified radios have a label with WHITE text and a WHITE dot. APX and XPR 7000 series intrinsically-safe radio fleets delivered before and after 1/1/16 need to make sure the batteries are correct. FM certified replacement batteries will continue to be available for a long time and are safe. Purchasing managers will need to know if FM or a UL replacement battery is required.
APX and XPR 7000/6000/3000 FM and UL Battery Choices
Motorola Solutions recently started shipping IMPRES 2 batteries for the APX 6000, APX 7000, and APX 8000 series radios. The new IMPRES 2 batteries are Li-ion chemistry and are more rugged with a IP68 submersibility rating. Battery capacity ratings are larger too but Motorola changed to “typical” from “minimum” that may not result in better performance. There are 3 housing sizes and all IMPRES 2 batteries include a 24 month capacity warranty when used with an IMPRES charger.The PMNN4485, PMNN4486, PMNN4487, and PMNN4494 outlined in blue above are not IS (intrinsically-safe) and can be used with APX 8000, 7000, and 6000. The NNTN8930 and NNTN8921 outlined in yellow are IS (Div 1 & 2) for only APX 6000, 7000. The PMNN4504 and PMNN4505 outlined in red are designed for APX8000XE IS radios for Division 2 only.
New APX IMPRES 2 Chargers Include USB Charging Ports
Motorola has introduced new IMPRES 2 chargers for the new APX batteries. The NNTN8860 single unit AC charger is more energy efficient and includes two USB charging ports. There is a switch to disable the condition/calibration features when needed.
There is also a multi-unit NNTN8844 charger that has six APX radio pockets and six more USB charging ports. Each pocket also has a display for reading battery data. This charger is designed for long term battery storage and has a switch for maintaining batteries at 50% and 75% capacity levels. The first pocket provides additional battery data including IMPRES vs. non- IMPRES charge cycles, potential, rated, and initial capacity.
The new Motorola XPR 3300e and XPR 3500e MOTOTRBO DMR radios can be ordered with a UL certification for use in hazardous environments.
The XPR 3000e series is the lowest cost UL-TIA4950 intrinsically-safe DMR digital radio by Motorola. They support Div 1, Class I, Groups C, D; Class II, Groups E, F, G, Class III; Div 2, Class I Groups A, B, C, D.
A certified radio will include a white UL label and TIA4950 PMNN4490 IMPRES battery. The 2900 mAh Li-ion battery is rated IP68 and uses a new low voltage design rated for up to 29 hours of normal use.
New Motorola NNTN8527 Fills XTVA Product Void for APX 6000 Users
Public-safety 2-way radio users who liked the Motorola XTVA and old Convertacom products now have a solution for the APX 6000 series.
The NNTN8527 APX Vehicular Adapter allows the use of a mobile antenna, power amplifier, palm microphone, and external loudspeaker in a vehicle. UHF, 700, and 800 MHz bands are supported now with VHF compatibility coming in the future.
APX Models Compatible with NNTN8527 Vehicle Adapter
All APX 6000 models are compatible including the rugged XE and LI versions. Model 1.5 (top display), 2.5 (top and side display), and 3.5 (displays with full keypad) provide full access with the open face design.
Your radio will need to have firmware release R13.00.00 or later.
The APX VA has IMPRES charging functionality identical to the NNTN7624 vehicle charger and includes a LED indicator. Internal GPS will work as long as the VA is installed in a location that can receive it. Mission Critical Bluetooth is also supported.so you can continue to use your RLN6544 wireless microphone.
The NNTN8527 VA uses the same NTN8940 mounting trunnion as the XTS XTVA mobile adapter.
Compatible with APX 7000, 6000, 4000, 3000, 1000, SRX 2200
Motorola Solutions introduced a new thin remote speaker microphone designed for law enforcement, transit police, and ems personnel. The new IMPRES XP RSM uses dual microphone noise suppression technology like the XE RSM designed for firefighters. It is expected to start shipping in September.
Two Styles – IP68 Submersible or IP55 with 3.5mm Threaded Jack
The NMN6271 model has a Delta T submersible IP68 rating allowing it to survive under 2 meters of water for two hours. This microphone can be scrubbed with soap and water if needed.
Or…choose the NMN6274 with a IP55 rating that can handle a heavy rain storm but includes a 3.5mm threaded jack.
Both models include an orange emergency button, volume toggle, and one programmable button.
There are also 2 models on the roadmap for the Motorola XTS 5000, XTS 2500, and XTS 1500 due for release later this year.
Motorola NNTN7392 IMPRES Battery Reader is Fast and Easy
Motorola IMPRES smart batteries contain valuable historical usage data including date of first use, number of charge cycles, and initial/current/advertised capacity.
The NNTN7392 IMPRES battery reader will quickly provide the data using a software application that can be installed on a Windows PC with a USB port. The NNTN7392 is not a charger and uses USB power from the PC. All IMPRES batteries are supported with the included adapters.
Access Battery Data in Seconds And View on Your PC
There is no need to charge the battery before connecting it to the reader. In a few seconds the data will populate the IMPRES Reader application. The internal battery serial number, chemistry, and model number are displayed near the top.
The General tab displays the vital statistics of the battery. The current mAh capacity is shown along with the potential after charging. You can compare this to the rated and initial capacity when it was new. Bar graphs make it easy to understand.
The General tab shows more information to determine the health of a battery. The date of first use, number of charge and conditioning cycles, and estimated days until next conditioning can help determine if a battery should be kept in service. A recommendation window provides additional info if a problem is found.
Advanced Tab Provides Historical Data
The Advanced tab shows the most recent IMPRES charger information including the firmware version. Older IMPRES chargers with firmware prior to V3.4 should be upgraded to prevent compatibility problems with some newer IMPRES batteries. A firmware upgrade tool and software is required.
The Advanced tab also provides past charging information using histograms. For best performance, rechargeable batteries should be placed in the charger when <10% capacity remains. Batteries that are continuously “topped off” do not perform as well and fail prematurely.
Proper IMPRES Battery Care Starts With Initialization
A Motorola IMPRES battery must be initialized by an IMPRES charger the first time it is charged. This process is indicated by a STEADY YELLOW light on the charger indicator (the same as if the battery were reconditioning). The process is automatic, includes an initial reconditioning of the battery, and begins charging upon completion of this process.
This process requires approximately 12 hours depending on the capacity. Do not remove the battery from the charger until the STEADY GREEN light is on.
IMPRES Indicator Light Chart with Explanations
IMPRES Automatic Battery Conditioning
Motorola IMPRES Adaptive Chargers, when used in conjunction with a Motorola IMPRES battery, have the ability to determine the appropriate time to recondition the battery. When an IMPRES battery is properly inserted into the charger, the charger determines if it is appropriate to recondition the battery. If the battery needs reconditioning, the charger automatically indicates a STEADY YELLOW.
This process may take up to 12 hours to complete, depending upon the state of charge and capacity rating of the battery when it is inserted. It is important to note, for this process to be effective, the IMPRES battery must be allowed to complete the recondition/recharge process. Leave the battery in the charger until the charger indicates a STEADY GREEN. At the completion of the recondition cycle, the charger automatically recharges the IMPRES battery.
How to Terminate the IMPRES Conditioning Process
At any time during the reconditioning process of a Motorola IMPRES battery (STEADY YELLOW indication), reconditioning may be terminated by removing and reinserting the battery back into the charger within 5 seconds. This causes the charger to terminate the reconditioning process and begin the charging process. The charger indicator changes to a STEADY RED. The charger will attempt to recondition the battery at the next battery insertion.
Manually Initiating the IMPRES Reconditioning Process
Within 2-1/2 minutes of the initial insertion of an IMPRES battery (STEADY RED indication), remove and reinsert the battery within 5 seconds to manually force reconditioning to occur. The charger indicator changes from a STEADY RED to a STEADY YELLOW. This forces the charger to recondition and automatically recharge the battery. This is a useful feature to have when IMPRES batteries have been in storage for several months or longer. Two or three manual recondition cycles may be required to rejuvenate the batteries, due to long term storage conditions.