Uniden FRS/GMRS Radio battery life

I have several Uniden GMR1558-2CK radios however battery life seems non-existent with original rechargeable batteries i.e. less than about five minutes from full charge with little difference noted if staying on low power. Even using radio to listen does not seem to last much more than about 30 minutes thus useability is not really possible. If I were to switch to standard batteries (excepting losing the high power option) would I have reasonable battery life or are these radios irregulars and not worth continuing with? I do want several radios for serious family communications, understand their limitations but if other radios are needed I assume the most expensive are the only ones that will be satisfactory. (I was a licensed ham in the past but have not kept my license up.) Any info or suggestions would be much appreciated. :o

I would get your license reinstated. Check the status of it at QRZ.Com. I believe you can reinstate it up to a certain amount of time after it expired, but don’t quote me on that. I love Ham radio, I think you should become an active Ham again. Encourage your family to do the same. They have since eliminated the Morse code requirement so all you need to do, is have 1/4 of a brain to read a book and take a test. It’s pretty simple these days. You get a much nicer/intelligent crowd on Ham radio rather than FRS/CB. You also can use local repeaters which can give you county wide, state wide, multi-state wide coverage areas even round the world through echo-link and IRLP. Check out ARRL.ORG to get back into it.

Check out the new equipment available to Hams, a good site to go is, Eham.net for lots of reviews and info in addition, yaesu.com, http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Communications/Amateur_Radio/ both make great radios. Also, http://icomamerica.com/en/amateur/default.aspx

Also, I like the Black Box radios. These are inexpensive commercial radios that work equal to the big players, motorola, vertex, kenwood etc. I have been renting/selling them for a year now. I use them myself for family communications etc. They are full power radios and have great accessories available for them. If you have any further questions feel free to ask.