A man standing outdoors in a rain jacket is surprised to see his two-way radio battery is running low.

Even More Mistakes You Could Be Making With Your 2-Way Radios

Two-way radios are essential to communications in a variety of industries. But like all tools, there are plenty of ways to use them incorrectly. As we’ve seen in the past, some of these mistakes can be relatively mild — like hammering nails with a radio — while others can lead to more long-term damage. With that in mind, here are even more two-way radio mistakes you and your team should try to avoid.

1. Using Incorrect Terminology

Two-way radio users often rely on standardized terminology and codes to send messages quickly and efficiently to each other. Saying them incorrectly obviously means that others won’t understand you, and could delay important information from being shared on time. If you plan to use phrases like those linked above, make sure you’re as consistent as possible.

2. Neglecting To Identify Yourself

Proper identification is essential in two-way radio communication, especially in group settings or over busy channels. Failing to identify yourself when transmitting can cause confusion and make it challenging for others to know how — or if — they should respond. Always start by clearly stating your name or call sign so that everyone on your specific channel knows who’s speaking.

3. Ignoring Radio Protocols

Radio protocols were created to encourage appropriate user behavior, like waiting for one person to pause before you start transmitting. These were established for the same reason as terms and codes — so that others have an easier time exchanging messages and comprehending them. When you disregard protocol, you end up with problems like people talking over each other and missing key information.

4. Overusing Radios

While two-way radios are a convenient means of staying connected, it’s still recommended that your team members use them judiciously. Constant or unnecessary chatter can clog channels, disrupt important messages, and come across as unprofessional. Before transmitting, ask yourself whether your message is critical, or if it can wait until the channel is clear. Limiting radio use to essential communication only is also a great way to conserve battery power.

5. Ignoring Battery Levels

If you or those on your team rely on portable two-way radios to complete their jobs safely, make sure that everyone recharges them at the ends of their shifts. While it’s true that many units, including RCA’s RDR2500, can offer 14 hours or more on a single charge, it can be easy to forget just how much time has passed between shifts. 

Don’t put your fellow workers in a tough spot. Always monitor battery levels and recharge or replace them as needed for uninterrupted service.

6. Poor Antenna Maintenance

The antenna is a critical component in all two-way radios, as a damaged one can severely limit your coverage and audio quality. Always ensure that yours are clear of any physical damage, that they’re repaired as needed, and that you avoid unnecessary roughness while using your radios (e.g., hammering nails with them).

7. Failing To Test Equipment

Along with antennas, it’s a good idea to have all features of your radios tested periodically to ensure optimal performance. This is often accomplished through a tune and alignment, which is the radio equivalent of a 5,000-mile vehicle inspection. The less time that you spend on this kind of preventative maintenance, the less “mileage” you’ll get from your radios before you’re hit with technical issues like unexpected “dead zones.” 

When your in-house radio testing finds any of these issues, you can send your models to DTWR for repair. We also offer tune and alignment services to extend the lifespans of your units.

8. Mistakes Worth Reiterating

While we’ve covered several radio user mistakes above, there are a couple oldies but goodies that happen frequently enough to warrant repeating.

Speaking Too Quickly or Too Slowly

How you convey your voice over a two-way radio is just as important as the information you want to share. Speaking too quickly can make your message difficult to understand, while speaking too slowly can waste precious airtime and cause others to lose focus. With enough practice, you should be able to develop a comfortable cadence for delivering clear and concise information.

Ignoring Environmental Factors

Environmental factors like weather and terrain can interfere with the performance of your two-way radios. Make sure that the ones you purchase are designed for the conditions that you work in. For example, if you get exposed to a lot of dust, moisture, or other airborne particulates, it’s better to choose handhelds like RCA’s RDR4280 that are rated IP67 and intrinsically safe.

What Radio Mistakes Have You Seen?

Have you noticed users making unwise decisions with their two-way radios, perhaps ones we haven’t covered yet? Let us know! And don’t forget that the next time you need radio repair or replacement, or additional suggestions on the best new models on the market, our award-winning customer support team is here to help! 

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *