Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Equipment


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Nothing you can do safely to the battery regarding charging practices will "train" the battery to last longer or provide more runtime. It will only hold as much charge as it can based on what it was designed to hold and its stage of life, such as how old it is, how many times it's been charged and how aggressively it has been charged/discharged during it's time while in service. It will never hold more than it could immediately after manufacture and will lose capacity slowly over time, even if not used or charged. It will have lost the ability to hold a full rated capacity charge very shortly after being put into service, and in about 2 years will have lost enough capacity to be deemed as "end of life", which is about 20% of rated initial capacity lost, or the ability to hold only 80% of the initial rated capacity. Even a brand new battery if left on a shelf will be considered "end of life" after about 2-3 years due to its reduced capacity to hold a charge.

The only reason any recommendation has been made regarding draining a Lithium Ion battery is to reset the capacity level flags so it more accurately represents the battery levels at any given time. It is as said above completely protected during charging by a highly engineered charging system that shuts down charging to prevent overcharging. Draining the battery to 0% is never recommended by those who are giving proper advice. The phone shuts down at 0% to protect the battery from deep-discharge and potential permanent damage to the battery. This is a fail-safe mechanism as well, similar to the overcharge protection.

Getting the most from your battery depends on what you need it to do. If you are looking for the longest runtime with each charge so you can be away from any power source for extended periods, then charging with power off to 100% will maximize that charge, but it will add stress to the battery if done frequently and will shorten its lifespan. If you're looking to extend the life of the battery and are much less concerned about long breaks away from a power source, then charging more frequently and in partial charge cycles through the middle range of capacity rather than full charges is better. Charging from 30% to 70% and using in that range, rather than 5% to 100% and using in that range is less stressful on the battery chemistry.

The reasons are that Lithium Ion batteries prefer not to be kept at high voltage levels (at or near full charge), for long periods of time, but instead prefer to be held at near 50% instead. Also Lithium Ion batteries do not like to be deeply discharged either, such as 0% to 5%, and would much rather be charged once levels of 10% to 15% are reached. Both practices will add months or more to the overall lifespan of the battery.
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 Thanks 3300

Thank you for the advice.  I'd like my new lithium battery to last as long as possible.  Should I charge the battery to 100% at the end of the season for summer storage?  The charger I bought doesn't show percentage charged.

which lithium do you have? if it's the 12 volt for sonar then yes. always charge it when you get home and it's up to temp. keep it top charged always. if it's 12 or 18 volt for tools then no. use your charger to discharge the battery if it's fully charged to 62% roughly. two solid bars with one flashing it close enough if you have four leds on the battery. leave the charger unplugged and insert the battery ino the charger to discharge it.

i didn't write that article, but wanted everyone to know more about the batteries they use.

I have the 12 V for my vex.  I also have the 5A batteries for my Milwaukee drill. Sounds like I need to treat them differently.  I appreciate the advice on how to discharge the drill batteries at the end of the season.


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