Two-way radios are still one of the most simple and effective types of communications – but if not used correctly they can also be problematic. It’s easy to miss out on their full potential if you skip even a few of the most basic steps of usage and maintenance.
Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of your walkie-talkies to help boost your efficiency, productivity and cut back on repair costs:
Sound & voice
Always keep the mic within 30mm of your mouth, especially if you’re using a digital radio. Also, ensure you project your voice and annunciate your words clearly. Remember, you don’t need to shout, in fact, being too loud can cause your recipient to incorrectly adjust their volume, leading to other communications issues.
Adjust your volume levels depending on your environment. Start at 60% and work your way up if you’re in a loud place to ensure the best control. Volume can be dangerous when it’s too loud or soft, so consider it at all times.
Earpiece & Speaker Mic
Always check that your accessories are set up correctly and locked in. When you connect your accessory to the radio, test that the radio transmits and receives audio before you start your operations. Incorrectly connected accessories can affect your radio communications. If you suspect you are having audio issues, disconnect the accessory from the radio and try again to isolate any potential issues.
Communicating in a large group can be difficult, especially when people talk over each other. To avoid any miscommunication, always identify yourself when speaking and finish each line with “over”. Use “copy”, “received” or “understood” when you’ve heard information, and if you’re unsure of anything, ask the person to repeat themselves. This way, you can monitor if a message has not been transmitted or received.
Charge your batteries regularly
Charging your batteries is crucial to the longevity of walkie-talkies, not only so you don’t run out of power, but because it can affect the reliability and life of your battery. Another crucial point is to never leave your radio on whilst charging. Replacing your batteries every 18-24 months is a great rule of thumb to maximise the life of your fleet.
Keep them clean
Dirt and dust can harm your audio and battery connections, so be sure to inspect your radios from time to time. If there’s any debris stuck in the pins or connectors, remove it straight away. Also, be sure to wipe down your devices regularly to stop dirt getting into the mics and speaker areas.
Keep them as dry as possible
Even if you have a waterproof or water-resistant walkie-talkie, it’s important to keep them dry. Maintenance for a radio after any submersion is very important even if the unit has a waterproof rating. Wipe away excess water as soon as possible and ensure your units are dry before storing them away. Always refer to your user manual or contact us for help.
The environment, large structures, metal and concrete obstructions can disrupt your coverage. If you are constantly experiencing coverage issues, you might need to change your two-way radio plan to better suit your working environment. Ask us how we can help tailor a solution for you.
Separate your units
Operating walkie talkies too close to one another can cause feedback and de-sensing, which harms communications, so always keep units apart if they’re transmitting.
Don’t forget the instructions manual
Don’t throw your two-way radios’ usage manual out. It offers useful information about how to take care of your devices and can help you troubleshoot when there’s a problem. If you lose your manual, download a new one online, or contact us on 0439 439 611.
In Australia, you cannot use radio communications equipment without a licence. Find out what licence you need.
Spectrum frequencies are a valuable resource. Licensing helps us prevent interference from outside users, keep access to spectrum frequencies fair and make sure spectrum frequencies are available to public services.
Categories of licences
There are 3 categories of radio communications licences:
You may apply for an apparatus licence to operate certain types of:
There are 16 transmitter licences. A licence to operate a transmitter will let you use certain equipment at a specific location or within a geographic area. Your licence may be:
– an assigned licence
– a non-assigned licence
There are 5 receiver licences. These are assigned licences. You can licence a receiver to prevent interference by having an assigned frequency.
You need to pay a fee to get an apparatus licence. They are usually given for 1 year and you can opt to renew.
A class licence lets you use common radio equipment on shared frequencies. There are 15 class licences. Each licence has rules about the type of equipment you can use, and how you can use it. These rules aim to prevent interference to you and other users. You do not need to apply for a class licence and there are no licence fees.
A spectrum licence lets you use a range of radio devices in a specific:
– geographic area
– frequency band
Spectrum licences may be valid for up to 15 years.
This class licence lets you use citizen band (CB) radios to communicate over short distances. It is also referred to as 80 Channel CB or the CB Network. You can use the CB Network for any voice communications, telemtry or telecommand.
All users operate on shared frequencies.
You don’t need to pay for a licence or programming*
You don’t need to apply for a class licence or pay any fees.
Frequencies for CB radios
You can only use CB radios on designated channels in these frequencies:
UHF – 476.4125 to 477.4125 MHz (inclusive)
CB repeater stations
To operate a CB repeater, you need an apparatus licence. If you are near a repeater station, you can operate a CB radio station through the CB repeater station but only in the UHF band or on the repeater’s assigned channels.
Channels 1 to 8 and 41 to 48 are repeater output channels. Channels 31 to 38 and 71 to 78 are the matching repeater input channels. For example, a repeater that transmits on Channel 1 will always receive on Channel 31. If you operate your CB radio in duplex or repeater mode, it will automatically select the matching frequency.
To get more information enquire now with firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ACMA Website.
There’s no simple answer to this one, which is why we recommend talking to us about your needs. Radio systems provide different functions to suit a range of distances, terrains and environments.
For example, if they are used outside, they’ll need to be weatherproof or submersible, but if they’re used inside, they’ll need to be less sensitive to interruptions like walls or concrete.
Additionally, those being used over a wide distance may also require specialised coverage. By talking to us about your requirements, we can find the safest and most efficient solution for you. Call us now on 0439 439 611.
What is an IP rating? IP (or “Ingress Protection“) ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989).
They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture.
Please see the IP Rating Chart here for use with Two Way Radio Equipment.
Intrinsic Safety is a protection protocol aimed to improve safety of electrical equipment in areas where explosives or irregular operating equipment are permitted.
Find out more here.
Download the UL Fact sheet here to understand what UL TIA-4950 Standards are.