Common 2-Way Radio Issues and Some Great Ways to Fix Them

There is no doubt about it, for more than 100 years, two-way radios have been important tools for anyone working in industries like education, construction, warehousing, and facilities maintenance.

A Brief History of 2-Way Radios

When most people refer to the history of the 2 Way radio, they probably will reference the National Electric Signaling Company and their milestone of achieving the first transatlantic telegraphic communication back in 1907.However, others point to 1888 when the first radio technology was discovered. German physicist Heinrich Hertz proved it was possible to send and receive electrical waves without using any wires. Although he didn’t witness the full depth of how his discovery would alter the course of communications forever, he was honored in perpetuity after a frequency unit was named after him, “The Hertz.”

The technology continued to advance, however, and eventually Swedish engineer, Ernst Alexanderson, discovered the first high frequency generator that enabled speech transmission.The “Alexanderson Alternator” was the cornerstone of Fessenden’s National Electric Signaling Company and was enabled long range voice transmission over 100khz frequency.

Before long, the technology fed into the application of two-way radios. It is believed that mariners were the group of people who used the technology in force after radio transmitters and receivers began being installed on vessels.In fact, it is the assumption of many historians that many of the people who survived the Titanic’s sinking were able to do so because of two way radio equipment that greatly help enable emergency communication.

Eventually, two-way radio communication was adapted to automobiles. The first mobile two-way radio is credited to an Australian policeman, Frederick William Downie, who wanted to incorporate the technology into his patrol cars which he did in 1923. However, it was the Galvin Manufacturing Company, now called Motorola, that created the first true two-way walkie talkie radio.

While it is truly difficult to identify the most impactful adapter of the two-way radio technology, one cannot argue that the two-way technology has made a huge impact on every type of industry known to man.What was originally driven by a military need, has now evolved into truly modern communications tools that are compact, lightweight and highly functional.Today’s models typically offer communications between multiple channels and across multiple frequencies.Other improvements to the technology include PL Tone programming and hands-free applications like surveillance kits.The versatility and durability of the two-way radio makes it ideal for a number of purposes including industrial, commercial and personal usage.

However, like many things in life, sometimes two-way radios can encounter small issues over time. The good news is that the majority of all two-way radio problems can be easily solved with some simple repair tricks.

If Your Radio Has Poor Audio Quality

Problem: If your radio speaker is weak or sounds muted, it could be a sign that debris has filled the speaker grill. If you use your radio outdoors or in a dust filled environment, dirt and grime can build up around the speaker, creating poor sound quality.

Solution: Try to thoroughly clean the speaker grill regularly or even carefully spray some compressed air around the speaker. This should dislodge tiny dust particles that are inhibiting quality audio. Another good idea is to use some of professionally made carry accessories to help protect the radio from dust build-up.

Special Note: Discount Two-Way Radio encourages you to participate in our “Tune & Align” program where we will examine your radios once a year for FREE.

If You Hear a Beeping Sound

Problem: Beeping sounds coming from your radio typically indicate a battery issue. As a matter of fact, 90 percent of all problems can generally be attributed to a battery issue. In this case, the beeping sound means that your battery is almost dead.

Solution: Try re-charging the battery or changing it for another fully charged battery. This should resolve the problem. However, if the beeping continues, it’s a pretty good sign that your batteries need to be replaced.

If Your Radio is Having Trouble Transmitting

Problem: If people are having trouble hearing or understanding what you are transmitting via your two-way radio, there is probably an issue with your antenna.

Solution: The first thing to do is to examine the antenna for any flaws like cracks, bends, or twists. If you see the antenna has obvious damage, it might be time to replace the antenna. Another good idea is to make sure the path is clear from the radio contacts to the antenna, and that the area under the antenna is free from corrosion.

If Your Radio Accessory Pieces Don’t Work

Problem: Two-Way accessories are a great way to improve the performance or usability of your two-way radio equipment. Accessories like surveillance kits help keep your communications more private while also improving the audio quality in loud environments. But sometimes accessories like earpieces or speaker microphones may stop working.

Solution: The first thing to try is to turn off your radio. Then remove whatever accessory piece is not working and try to reattach it before turning the radio on again. (Remember to always turn off your radio before removing parts.) If that doesn’t work, turn off your radio again remove the accessory piece, and clean the contact points with a pencil eraser. The contact points should be shiny and free of any grease or moisture. Now reattach the accessory piece and restart the radio.

Discount Two-Way Radio Free Annual Tune & Align Program

Keeping your two-way radio equipment in top working order is important for keeping your team operating at peak efficiency and in the safest environment. That’s why Discount Two-Way Radio created our annual Tune & Align service, an exclusive preventative maintenance program for all of our two-way radio clients.

Call 800-895-5122 and see how Discount Two-Way Radio can help improve your two-way radio performance.

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