Today, I’m going to give you troubleshooting solutions to common problems you may be experiencing while using your two-way radio.
These are 6 problems I’ve heard over the years while working alongside two-way radio users. These problems usually are not a reason to worry, oftentimes, it’s a simple fix.
It’s important to note these are basic troubleshooting steps. If the problem is not resolved, it may be time to contact the manufacture.
Let’s get into it.
- "I have poor reception and hearing static from my two-way radio"
- "My two-way radio is dying quickly"
- "My two-way radio keeps beeping"
- "My two-way radio is not turning on"
- My two-way radio is powered on; I can't hear others, or they can't hear me"
- "There are delays when I'm talking into my two-way radio"
"I have poor reception and hearing static from my two-way radio"
Solution: Short answer, this is probably related to your antenna.
Antennas give your radio range and help in how far your transmissions are going to reach. If you have poor reception or hearing static come through your radio, take a look at your antenna.
Static and poor reception can be one of four things.
1. Bent Antenna
Is your antenna bent? Bent antennas can disrupt your reception. Antennas are meant to be upright to get the best possible reception.
If your antenna is bent, do not tape your antenna as this won’t help fix spotty reception. If your antenna is bent, it’s time to purchase a new one.
2. Need a Wider Band
Another possible reason you have poor reception is you’re not using the correct frequency band. Frequencies like UHF and VHF are used in different environments. UHF is better for indoor use like buildings and around cities, while VHF is best used outdoors free from obstruction.
Learn more about the difference between UHF or VHF antennas here.
3. Check Where You Are
How far away are you from the receiving end. Are you in a basement, near walls, or an area with a lot of obstruction? Move to a clearer location or closer.
4. Inspect Your Accessories
If you hear static. Check the connections of your accessories, like speaker microphones, batteries, antennas, or surveillance kits, and see if they are secured tightly on the radio and contacts are not dirty.
"My two-way radio is dying quickly"
Solution:It’s time to buy a new battery. Two-way radio batteries are only meant to last 18 to 24 months depending on how well it's taken care of, used, and charged.
Take a look at the battery's date code on the back of the battery. Date codes tell you what month and year your battery was manufactured and if it's still up to the warranty.
If your battery is around that age and it’s dying quickly, look into buying a replacement.
Alternatively, if you have a conditioning analyzer charger, you can pop your battery into it, let it recondition a few cycles, and read how much Mah your battery has left.
"My two-way radio keeps beeping?
Solution:Two-way radios beep to alert you of a lot of things.
If your two-way radio is beeping, take a look at these possible reasons.
- Low battery. Charge your radio and see if the beeping stops. If this does not stop, try a new battery.
- When a (push to talk) PTT button is pressed. This tells you when you can start talking so your receiving end can hear you.
- You’re on a channel that’s not programmed. Switch to an active channel.
- It's in Transmit Mode. Try disconnecting and reconnecting any accessories or powering the radio on and off.
"My two-way radio is not turning on"
Solution:Your radio might be dead. Swap your battery out for a fully charged one or recharge it. For a full charge, charge your radio for 4-6 hours.
If this does not work, check your battery to see if it's properly installed and a perfect fit. If it’s a new battery, ensure it's compatible with your radio.
Lastly, if it’s still not turning on, inspect the radio for damage from dust, rain, or accidental drops.
If this issue persists, contact your manufacture to see if it's still covered by warranty.
"My two-way radio is powered on; I can't hear others or they can't hear me."
- Are you on the right channel?
- Is your volume on the radio turned up all the way?
- Check your antenna for signs of damage like bent or kinks. Replace if you do.
- See if you are on the same privacy code (CTCSS/ PL). Privacy codes are meant to ignore everyone without the proper PL code.
- Check the radio speakers for any obstruction like dirt or dust. Gently clean this with a cotton swab, pencil tip, or toothpick to get any debris out.
"There are delays when I'm talking into my radio"
Solution: When pressing the push to talk button on your radio, pause for a second before speaking. The beep when the PTT button is pressed can cut off part of your sentence.
Hopefully, these troubleshooting tips helped give you clarity on the problems you’re experiencing with your two-way radio. Again, this is meant for basic troubleshooting and if the above steps did not help, it's time to replace your accessories like antennas or batteries or contact your radios manufacture.
First Source Wireless is an authorized dealer of the biggest names in communication industry like 3M headsets, Pulse Larsen antennas, Cradlepoint routers and Motorola CP200d two-way radio. See how First Source Wireless can help you improve your teams communication today.
About the Author
TAYLOR THOMAS is a Marketing Manager at First Source Wireless. With her experience in critical communications, she helped public safety professionals enhance their communication through the help of two-way radios and headsets.