Two-Way Radio: How To Use


Businesses and organizations can stay in touch with ease with two-way radio communication systems. Over and above the essential communication they offer, two-way radios offer many other benefits, such as improving decision-making, teamwork, and enhancing safety. If the right procedures and training are not in place and the user is unable to handle a radio confidently, even the most effective radio system might not work.

Below we provide some tips and advice about using two-way radios, whether you’re using PMR446 walkie-talkies, analogue two-way radio, digital two-way radio, LTE/PoC radio or satellite PTT radio. I hope you and your team find them useful.

Here’s how it works
Charge your battery before you begin…you won’t make it very far without it. Once the radio is on, use the volume control to turn it on. Make sure your radio is on the correct channel, otherwise no one will hear you. Once you’ve heard the transmission, adjust the volume to a level that’s comfortable for you.

Having Your Voice Heard
Avoid interference by waiting until the channel is clear before making a call. Use the PTT button to make the call. Talk clearly and at a normal volume into the microphone (10 to 15 centimeters away from your mouth). When you have finished talking, release the PTT.

When you press the PTT, no one else can speak or be heard in your group; this is how most Radios Icom work. Think about what you are going to say before pressing the PTT. Additionally, keep in mind that if you keep pressing the button you prevent anyone else from joining the conversation, and you might block someone on your frequency who needs to transmit an emergency message! Don’t panic, and you’ll soon become accustomed to using the radio.

Clear your mind
Since two-way radios only allow one person to communicate at a time, keep your transmissions brief and to the point. In this way, other users can acknowledge your message or request further clarification before you continue with your next point. Allow the other party to think before responding.

Before you speak, pause
There can be a brief delay before your radio transmits after pressing the push to talk (PTT) button for the first time. As a result, the beginning of your sentence could be cut off, so hold your tongue for a second or two to make sure your listeners get the whole message.

Learn the language
Especially when there are more than two people using the channel, two-way radio communications are enhanced when everyone uses the same language and etiquette. Some members of your team may say ‘Over’ when they have finished speaking or ‘Out’ when the discussion is over and the channel has been cleared. It is important to learn these phrases as they will not only improve your confidence, but also the efficiency of the radio scheme.

The following tips will help you improve your communication and radio communication system.

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