Using a two-way radio is much different than talking on a Landline Telephone or Mobile Cellular Phone. The first thing you will notice is that when you use a Two-way Radio, the User must push a PTT (Push-to-Talk) Button and talk into the Radio Microphone, and then release the PTT Button and listen for a response from the person you were talking to. Two-way radios operate in simplex mode, which means that a user can either talk or listen but can’t do both at the same time.
To help make your two-way radio User Experience a positive one, and to make sure all Communications are effective, here are some basic Etiquette Rules and Protocols to follow.
- Speak directly into the Two-way Radio Microphone in Clear and Concise Manner. Choose words that are easy for all to understand Speak slowly and clearly. Speak using your normal voice, no shouting. Think about what you want to say instead of blurting out just anything.
- Always Identify yourself and who you are calling. This is very important when there are a group of users sharing the same radio channel. To avoid communication problems, direct your message to the right person.
- Wait to hear confirmation from the person you are calling. Ensure that your intended recipient has heard you or that they are available to talk. Wait to hear a response. Once this is confirmed, begin your message.
- Messages should be kept short and direct. Get to the point and keep your messages short. Think of your Radios as a business tool they should not be used to for long-winded lunch break conversations. If you need to relay a long message always let the Radio Users know this at the start of the message. Long messages should be broken up into sections or parts.
- Personal and Sensitive Information should not be transmitted over the Radios if possible. Radio frequencies and channels are shared. Unless you know that a channel is secured with the proper security features, do not communicate sensitive or personal information.
- Unless it is an Emergency be patient – do not interrupt other Users. If other Radio Users are talking, wait for the conversation to end. Remember, only one person can talk at a time. By repeatedly pressing the PTT button it will not get you anywhere. The only exceptions are Emergency messages.
- Always listen for your call sign or name before responding. Unless you know the call is for you, do not answer the conversation.
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Contributed by Wade Miller, Account Manager and Two-Way Radio Specialist