Tune and alignment concept for 2-way radios: a technician's hand holds a portable RCA radio while performing diagnostics.

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

For every tool that exists, there are plenty of ways to use it incorrectly. Your 2-way radios are no exception, as evidenced by these mistakes we shared in a previous post. Now, it’s time to talk about other habits you’d do well to avoid, starting with…

1. Not Speaking Loud Enough

While this is often a problem we’ve seen users experience with megaphones, the same holds true for 2-way radios. Some people think that they have to lower their voices when they’re speaking over radios so they don’t come blasting through on the receiving end.

Don’t think of 2-way radios like cell phones. You’ll need to speak up if you want to be heard. 

That doesn’t mean that radios don’t offer exceptional sound clarity, as long as you’re speaking loudly and directly into their microphones.

2. Talking Over Your Coworkers

Another mistake we’ve seen plenty of radio users make is forgetting that one person has to speak at a time. Traditional industrial radios work on half-duplex, which means that if more than one person is transmitting simultaneously, you get a bunch of … well, nothing. That’s why it’s common practice for users to end their transmissions by saying “Over,” letting their recipient on the channel know that they can now respond.

The only exception to this rule is when it comes to push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) radios like the Icom IP501H. Its hybrid design between a smartphone and a 2-way radio allows it to work off of 3G/4G or wireless networks and utilize full-duplex mode, which permits telephone-style conversations.

Either way, we still recommend being courteous when speaking with others over your network so that everyone is heard loud and clear.

3. Thinking Your Conversation Is Private

Unless you’re on a private network using a PoC radio, your communications are not private. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to be discreet by using earpiece attachments — people physically around you may not hear the conversation, but the open channel that you’re talking over can still be accessed by anyone else tuned to that frequency. While there are plenty of situations where this feature is actually very helpful — allowing radios from different brands to communicate with one another, for instance — it’s also a factor to keep in mind when you decide to talk about any sensitive information.

4. Forgetting To Replace Your Batteries

Most 2-way radios can probably make it a year before they start to show signs of age. Once the 18-month mark rolls around, though, they’re on borrowed time. That’s why replacing yours regularly can ensure that your radios don’t lose coverage or charge during a normal shift. 

Whenever a radio starts to experience either of these problems, it’s a good idea to swap its battery out with one from another radio that you know is working properly. That way, you can see if the battery really is the source of the issue, or whether the unit itself may need to be repaired.

5. Not Getting Your Radios Tuned and Aligned

Two-way radios benefit from regular maintenance just like motor vehicles. An annual tune and alignment is basically a 5,000-mile checkup, where technicians perform tests to verify that your radios are working optimally. That means your radios last longer and avoid the higher costs associated with replacements.

6. Neglecting To Engrave Your Radios

We’ve talked before about why it’s important to have someone who oversees the assignments of your 2-way radios, so that workers are encouraged to take care of theirs and avoid damage, theft, or loss. One way to kick that management up a notch is by having your radios engraved. This provides visible identification on each unit: the company that owns it, its unit number within that radio fleet, as well as the worker to whom it’s assigned. 

Let’s Talk About Your Radio Needs

Whether you’re interested in more helpful 2-way radio tips, or you’re in the market for the best models and accessories, DTWR is here to help! Our radio experts are ready to go over the services and advice laid out above, help you find the best models for your specific needs, and share additional benefits about our radio concierge service!

Call us today at (888) 299-6340 to get started.

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