Two-Way Radio Mistakes: A red general prohibition sign is overlaid on a worker's hand as they use a two-way radio to hammer a nail into a wall.

The 6 Most Common Two-Way Radio Mistakes You Should Avoid

Any equipment is susceptible to user error, and two-way radios are no exception. Here’s our breakdown of the six most common two-way radio mistakes you and your team should avoid.

1. Not Keeping Track of Your Radios

It’s a good idea to assign radios to your users. This encourages them to be accountable for the conditions of their respective units, and to make sure they return them at the end of their shifts. Better yet, have a team member who’s in charge of maintaining your radio inventory, so any misplaced, lost, or stolen units can be reported as soon as possible. Several radios offer GPS technology to make recovery easier.

2. Tolerating Abuse

We have no illusion that two-way radios will occasionally take a tumble or get scraped while being handled. It’s par for the course, and one of the reasons why RCA prides itself on the durability of its radios’ chassis. But when it comes to two-way radio mistakes, there is certain behavior that you shouldn’t ignore — and that we’re honestly surprised we even have to mention: don’t hold radios by their antennas, and don’t use a radio like a hammer. We think the reasons why are pretty self-explanatory.

3. Leaving Radios Turned “On” in Their Chargers

One of the easiest two-way radio mistakes to commit is to leave your radios turned “on” while they’re charging. Often this is accidental, especially when workers are rushing to clock out. But it’s important to avoid doing so because it can degrade the quality of your batteries.  

Some workers may even be tempted to leave their radios in their chargers while they’re operating them, especially when they’re sitting at their desks. That’s still a mistake for the same reason. 

Instead, swap these units out for compact base stations like the RDR2750. These are powerful for their size: at five watts, they offer the same coverage as handheld units, but don’t take up nearly as much space as traditional base stations.

4. Not Securing Your Two-Way Radios

Yes, radios like to walk off on occasion. Losing or misplacing them can happen, but what we’re really concerned about here is theft. Radios may not be the most expensive pieces of hardware that you purchase, but there’s no sense in wasting money by maintaining poor security. 

At the very least, lock your radios in a cabinet or utility closet. Make sure they’re inventoried like we mentioned above.

Compact base stations can help here, too. They’re easy to mount to desks or walls, which keeps them secure and less likely to be a target for theft. They only work with A/C power, which makes them super convenient for your office workers (no batteries to worry about replacing), but also inconvenient for anyone who might be looking for radios to swipe.

It’s also important to keep your radios secure when they’re being used. That’s where RCA premium-quality holsters are the perfect solution. 

Why?

Think of it this way: what’s the first thing you do when you buy a new cell phone? Purchase a phone case. So why wouldn’t you do the same for your two-way radios? Holsters and chest packs can keep your radios fastened and protected, allow your team members to operate practically hands-free, and double the lifespans of those units.

5. Not Registering With the FCC

We really can’t think of an industry where you wouldn’t obtain a license from the FCC. If this information is news to you because you’re just now starting up your radio communications network, that’s understandable — and we’d be happy to walk you through that process.

However, if you’ve had your radio fleet for a while, we hope you’re keenly aware how important it is to be licensed, and that you’ve already done so. 

Licensing is necessary because:

  1. It guarantees your right to operate on a specific bandwidth. This avoids the chances of interfering with someone else’s communications network, and allows you to report anyone who interferes with yours.
  2. It avoids some hefty fines from the FCC.

6. Not Choosing the Right Radio for the Right Environment

Most two-way radio models are reliable in most environments. But if you work in places where static electricity, dust, or water are often present, then you need to purchase intrinsically safe radios. This is critical for the safety of your workers, as well as the units themselves.

Have You Witnessed Other Two-Way Radio Mistakes We Missed?

We consider these the most common two-way radio mistakes that we’ve come across in recent years, but we know there are likely more. Did we miss any that you’ve seen firsthand? Share it with us on social media! 

And if there are any two-way radios and accessories that you and your team need, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888.299.6340. We’ve got inventory in stock that can ship as soon as today.

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