AST Digital Magazine July/August 2016 - Page 23

Volume 6 One Pivotal Incident Inspired Longer Lasting Batteries for Land Mobile Radios By Curt Quinter, President and Chief Engineer, Impact Power Technologies ‘The officer was killed in the line of duty, but this kind of tragic loss should never happen.’ A San Antonio, Texas police officer was out on patrol when he suddenly found himself caught in a shootout and away from his vehicle. He tried to call for backup only to discover that his 2-way radio battery had died and his spares were at the station. The officer was killed in the line of duty, but this kind of tragic loss should never happen. July-Aug 2016 Edition I was an energy and electronics engineer for many years at other manufacturers before I formed a new land mobile battery company called Impact Power Technologies with my business partner Ken Murphy. After hearing about the San Antonio incident, I vowed to develop a longer lasting replacement for the OEM batteries so that scenario would not be repeated. When I first developed the original Lithium Polymer battery for land mobile radios, it was good enough to earn the Radio Club of America’s prestigious Fred Link Award for Technological Advancement. But, it wasn’t good enough for me. My engineers and I spent over a year conducting extensive research to improve battery performance and extend longevity. We studied every lithium cell available and chose the finest quality with the highest purity so it would deliver about triple the number of recharges, without affecting memory. We designed a better battery management system in order to optimize this chemistry and balance the power that flows in and out, as well as boosted the milliamps to increase capacity and run-time. Ultimately, our tests resulted in a Lithium Polymer 2-way radio battery that lasted 20 hours on a single charge. When my team first told me these results, I didn’t believe them and ordered re-testing again and again—The results were always the same. Finally, I was satisfied enough to introduce this new battery technology to the public safety field. The line was dubbed LifeSaver series in honor of how our story began. Since then, we continue to 23