Having a working radio is essential for mission and business critical users. You don’t want to be caught in the field with a device that won’t work because you weren’t careful in the office. Here are a few things to do on a regular basis to ensure you stay connected.
1) Grab the Correct Radio:
First, you need to check that you have grabbed the correct radio for the job you’re doing. For instance, some locations require an intrinsically safe radio, so if you’re going to one of these locations, make sure your radio is, indeed, intrinsically safe. Some organizations also have different radio talk groups and distinguish them by color or labels. Make sure you grab the correct radio for your talk group so that you can connect with the right people.
2) Check the battery, power, and volume:
It’s also important to ensure the battery is charged and the power is on. You don’t want to be caught in a serious situation with a powerless radio, and you don’t want to miss important transmissions from others because you forgot to turn the radio on. This is why it is also important to keep the volume high enough to be able to hear calls. Many radio users can move from quiet to very loud environments, so take time to check volume levels throughout the day.
3) Request a radio check:
Lastly, you can regularly request a radio check to make sure everything is working and that you are still in range to receive transmissions. Keep in mind that with analog networks, as the Receiving radio moves away from the transmitting base station, the signal strength decreases gradually, causing the relative noise level to increase. As you move further away, the signal becomes increasingly difficult to understand until it can no longer be heard as anything other than static.
Digital networks, on the other hand, provide clear audio until the edge of coverage. This means that one transmission could sound great, and the next one will be completely inaudible. So whether or not you’re on an analog or digital network, it’s important to regularly request a radio check to ensure those who you’re communicating with can hear and understand you clearly.
This lesson and many more like it can be found on the Tait Radio Academy, an online school providing free, informative content to radio users around the world.