First Responders’ DC-DC Charger
Charging NiCd and NiMH batteries for hand held radios
With GEM Power’s FR DC-DC charger, First Responders can charge various battery sizes and chemistries with a single charger, and charge these batteries at the fastest possible rate as determined by the battery and its internal design. The FR charger automatically differentiates the size and type of the battery and determines the necessary charge.
Results from a field test currently being conducted by a local Fire Department indicate that the personnel have come to rely on the convenience of field charging and are enthusiastic about the GEM Power FR DC-DC chargers.
Results from a field test conducted with a local Police Department indicate that the FR DC-DC charger successfully charged and recharged both NiCd and NiMH batteries of 1.5 mAh and 2.5 mAh capacities in approximately one hour which is considered exceptionally rapid as compared to existing chargers. Batteries were inserted and removed from the charger during the charging process at various states of charge with no negative impact on memory or battery capacity. Additionally, batteries used in radios to varying states of discharge were then recharged, again, with no negative impact on memory or battery capacity.
The FR DC-DC charger supports DC input from 8V to 24V, with an output range from 6V to 15V. It is available with an AC power adapter for desk top use.
The FR DC-DC charger features a 1 line x 16 character back lit LCD display informing the user of the status of the charge.
When powered up, the FR DC-DC charger automatically performs a charging operation. It determines the type of battery attached, performs diagnostics to determine the charge required, and charges the battery in ½ hour to 1 hour, depending upon the size of the battery, and the amount of charge required. Batteries can be inserted and removed from the charger during the charging process at various states of charge with no negative impact on memory or battery capacity.
Once the charge is completed, the FR DC-DC charger shuts off the battery charge current, eliminating the danger of overcharging the battery, as well as the need to monitor the charging process.
At the conclusion of the charge, the charger will stop the charging mode and enter a monitoring mode. In the monitoring mode, the FR DC-DC charger monitors the battery to determine when and if additional charging is required. During the monitoring mode, no current is applied to the battery. The battery is at total rest.
The charger can be disconnected and immediately reconnected without damage to the battery, or at the risk of over charging. The charger can quickly recognize a fully charged battery, and will enter the monitoring mode. Even partially discharged batteries will be correctly and fully recharged without the risk of overcharge.
Gem Power’s First Responder FR DC-DC charger can charge batteries from any available DC power source such as charger adapters in vehicles, stationary generators in field camps, a universal stationary charger capable of charging an communications device, or the from sources “found” in the field such as indigenous farm equipment of construction equipment such as tractors or bull dozers.
Currently in emergency situations, military and public safety personnel are using disposable (primary) batteries to power their portable equipment such as radios, BPS transponders, and technical devices. A major reason for not using rechargeable (secondary) batteries is the inconvenience, if not the impossibility, of being able to recharge secondary batteries in the field, or the lack of a universal charger for the various sizes and types of batteries. The benefits of using rechargeable batteries are lower supply chain logistics for matching the quantity and mix of batteries required, lower cost of operation, an elimination of matching physical chargers to specific batteries and portable equipment, and lower environmental discharge generated from using single use primary batteries compared to multiple-use secondary batteries. With proper chargers and the ability to rapidly charge batteries in the field, the use of secondary batteries provides a higher degree of operational reliability and readiness than using primary batteries.
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