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What to do when the battery pack does not charge

You put your two way radio or its battery pack in the charger at the end of the day, expecting it to be fully charged and ready to use again the next morning. But when you take it out of the charger and turn the radio on, either it doesn't power up at all or the battery dies out as soon as you press the PTT button to transmit. What do you do?

First, don't panic. There are a number of possible reasons why the battery isn't charged, and believe it or not, a few of them are quite common causes that are surprisingly simple to resolve. The other possibilities, well, they may require a different resolution. Either way, before you start bashing batteries, cursing chargers or talking to tech support, try these simple troubleshooting steps to find out what is really going on. It may save you a lot of time, expense and frustration.

Step 1. Check the connections.
It may seem improbable, but the stability of any power connection is limited by its weakest link. Check the contacts and terminals for dirt, oils, corrosion, excessive wear or anything that can hamper a good, stable connection. This includes the battery contacts on the radio, in the charger, and on the battery itself.

Step 2. Reseat the battery in the radio.
It seems unlikely, but it happens. Some radios require a tight fit with the battery and may seem attached when they are not fully locked in place. Make sure the battery is seated properly and the battery pack locks firmly in place when attaching it to the radio.

Step 3. Verify you are using the correct battery charger.
Yes, this happens too, particularly when using a mix of different radios from the same manufacturer, and it happens a lot more often than you might think. Using the wrong charger can not only prevent your radio and/or battery from charging properly, it could damage your equipment. It can also be potentially dangerous.

  • If the charger you are using does not match your specific model radio and battery, find the charger that does and skip to Step 8.
  • If you are using the correct charger, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4. Check to be sure the charger is plugged in and turned on.
Sound silly, doesn't it? Well, it isn't really, because it does happen. It's one of the easiest mistakes to make when charging a fleet of batteries and one of the simplest to resolve.

  • If the charger is connected to an approved, working power source, proceed to Step 5.
  • If the charger is plugged in and turned on, but there is no power, try it in another verified, working power source or outlet in another location and on a different circuit.
  • If the charger still doesn't power on when connected to the other source, skip to Step 6.

Step 5. Reseat the radio or battery in the charger.
Sometimes a radio or battery seems like it's connected to the charger when it's not making contact at all. If it is a drop-in or desktop charger with a pocket or tray, the radio and/or battery may be able to sit in the tray without actually touching the contacts. If it is a plug-in type of charger, the plug may not be fully inserted. Be sure the radio/battery is properly seated or fully connected and the charging indicator light is on.

  • If the radio/battery is in full contact with the charger and seems to be charging, skip to Step 8.
  • if the radio/battery is in full contact with the charger and is not charging, go to Step 6.

Step 6. Charge another radio/battery of the same make and model in the charger.
Determine if the issue is really with the radio or battery pack.

  • If another battery of the same type and model charges, the charger is working. Skip to Step 8.
  • If another battery of the same type and model does not charge, go to Step 7.

Step 7. Swap out the charger.
Sometimes a dead battery is the result of a dead charger.

  • Plug another charger into the same power source. If another charger powers on when connected to the power source, the charger you are troubleshooting may need to be replaced.
  • If you don't have another charger, it will most likely need to be replaced. If it is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer. If not, contact us to find the correct replacement charger for your two way radio.

Step 8. Charge the radio/battery again.
Just to be sure, give it another chance.

  • If the battery charges, the issue is resolved.
  • If the battery charges, but charge is weak or the battery does not hold the charge, the battery has likely reached its EOL, or End of Life.
  • If the battery does not charge, battery may be defective or has reached its End of Life.

Every battery has a limited life span determined by a number of different factors, including but not limited to how and where it is used, how much it is used and under what conditions. There is no set time table before a battery "kicks the bucket". As a general rule, the average lifespan can range from one to three years or more. If your battery has reached its End of Life, it's time to purchase a new one.

Better yet, to avoid the sudden surprise or next day discovery that your two way radio battery has reached the end of the road, and at the moment you need it the most, have a couple of spare battery packs charged and at the ready for a quick and easy swap. A spare charger may also be good to have on hand, just in case.

25 thoughts on “What to do when the battery pack does not charge”

  • Cynthia Borgard
    Cynthia Borgard March 23, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    My gxt500 are doing the same thing! Will not charge past one bar, bought new batteries the same red light stays lit. I leave charging for days one bar! What gives!

  • Robert Hanna

    We bought several dozen radio sand batteries 4 years ago. We bought extra batteries. The extras have been sitting in the box for all this time. We have pulled some of these recently and found that they will not charge. The red light just blinks continuously. The battery is a 7.4 volt lithium ion Motorola. Model# PMNN4424AR.
    Is there anything to save or do we need to buy new ones?

  • David McKinley

    I have Uniden GMR 635 SCK with NIMH battery pack 4.8v 700mAh. Can I swap these out for lithium?

    • Rick

      I would strongly advise against it. The charger was designed for charging the supplied NiMH batteries only. Charging Li-ion batteries in the radios using the Uniden dual drop-in charging cradle would be potentially hazardous.

  • Riyas

    I am so glad that I came across this blog.

    I was about to get a new battery thinking my battery is faulty. The root cause was the step 5 "Reseat the radio or battery in the charger".

    Many thanks for Rick.

  • Billy

    I put my Motorola Talkabout radios on the charger and the red light comes on (solid) and stays solid for many many hours, even overnight, it doesn’t turn to green...

    • Rick

      Did you follow all the steps in the article? If you checked to verify the charger is working and you reached step 8, the rechargeable batteries may need to be replaced.

  • Rick

    As stated in the article, if you performed all the steps correctly and the battery still doesn't charge, the battery may need to be replaced.

  • anonommous

    I have the right things but it still doesn't charge. I did all the tips that you said but it still doesn't work. I even checked the batteries! What do it do???

    • Sergio

      Buy a new one. These things are damn expensive but break so easy. Its Motorola way of ensuring they keep making money of us.

  • Rick

    It depends on the issue. The MRHH325VP is not intended to be user serviceable. However, if it is a charging issue, the fix may be relatively simple. What is the specific issue?

  • mikekazsmer@yahoo.com

    I had my cobra marine mrhh325vp new in 2013 never did work time has gone on ,looking to repair it.is it worth it being 5 years new?

  • Ted

    I've had a similar issue...
    I put my Midland T-31's on USB charge for 2 days.
    They never stop charging...
    I get almost a day out of them, but not quite.
    Each day, they seem to charge a little less.
    Very odd.
    Perhaps better quality rechargable batteries will help. not sure.

  • Rick

    Hi Christina, if these were purchased from Buy Two Way Radios, give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 weekdays and we will be happy to help you resolve the issue.

  • Christina

    2nd set of midland xtra talk walkies. Charged for days trying to get the battery indicator above 1 one bar and no success. I bought a new set thinking the 1st set was just old and done. Got these for Christmas and used twice around the house. Of course in the midst of Christmas chaos the receipt and booklet are MIA. troubleshooting has not helped.

  • Rick

    Hi Julie, are you using the rechargeable batteries provided with the radios? if so, it is possible you may have one that is not holding a charge or may be defective. The TX60 should also take 3 AAA alkaline batteries. Try swapping out the rechargeable battery with fresh alkaline batteries. If the issue is resolved, the rechargeable battery pack may be failing.

  • julie

    Midland Talker TX60. Hopeless. Brand new. Battery indicator showing as charged. 2 PTTs and its down to 1 bar then dies shortly after..
    Our personal safety is at stake so not impressed!
    Will return to Costco for a refund

  • Mat Helm

    The same thing happened to me with the Midland Xtra Talk series. I charged for days and still the battery was stuck on one bar. I contacted them with no answer. I am going to return them to Home Depot for a refund.

  • Rick

    We are based in the US and do not carry that model, so we are not familiar with it. If you followed all the troubleshooting steps in the article and the issue is not resolved, you may need to contact the dealer or manufacturer to further troubleshoot the radio.

  • h.imt

    hello i have big problem i have motorola mt-777 the charger shows a green light (full charging light) directly after seating the radio in the charger the radio doesn't even move 1 bar :( the other problem is the other charger 1 month away x(

  • Rick

    What model do you have?

  • Rick

    Hi Lu Ann, if this is happening with both sets and you have followed all of the troubleshooting steps listed in the article above, you may need to contact Midland for further diagnosis and possible replacement.

  • exact same problem. What's the deal?


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