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FAQ / Q & A for Digital Network Radios

Digital Coverage of the MRA network

Like any business, we receive complaints about radio systems that differ by type. Each radio system has unique characteristics that can cause issues for the end user. Let’s discuss situations that may cause our customers to occasionally have problems.

Why is my radio is acting weird?

Very often, radios will act weird when the battery voltage is low, especially when you press the PTT button.  When the radio is transmitting, the radio draws a lot more power and the battery voltage tends to drop lower which will cause some circuits within the radio to operate improperly.   Try changing batteries on a portable radio.  Check the vehicle electrical system on a mobile radio.

Why can’t anyone answer me when I talk on the radio?

This can be caused by several possibilities. (1) You are on the wrong talk group on your radio. Select the correct channel to talk to the others. (2) Adjust the receive volume so that you can hear the radio. (3) If you are using a speaker-microphone, lapel microphone or other audio accessory on a portable radio, sometimes the accessory plug does not properly mate with the radio which causes some of the circuits to not make contact. Unplug the audio accessory and try the basic radio without the accessory. If the radios works, try to reattach the audio accessory again and sometimes the plug will be seated correctly and start to work properly. If you are using a mobile radio, change the microphone.

Why can’t I hear anything out of the radio?

(1) Turn on the radio and turn up the volume.  (2)  Change the battery because it may be dead.  (3) If you are using an audio accessory, disconnect the accessory and see if the radio operates properly as a basic radio.  If it does operate properly, your issue is with the accessory.  If you are using a lapel microphone kit, check the connection from the cable to the sound transducer and make certain that it is plugged in.  Also, check for a bubble in the air tube blocking the sound or earwax in the earpiece blocking the hole in the earpiece.  If the audio accessory does not work, it is usually the audio accessory, although on occasion, the audio accessory connector on the radio is the problem.  This can be tested by changing the audio accessory to another one that works.  If it does not operate correctly, you may need service on your radio.  If you hear the turn on beep from the radio when you turn it on, then you are hearing the radio audio.  If you still do not hear anyone talking on the radio, you could be out of range of the radio signal or you may be on a different talk group than the person talking.
Why does Joe get better range than I get with my radio? With repeater radios, all transmissions are from the person talking to the repeater and from the repeater to the people listening.  Since one end (the repeater) of the transmission is fixed at a particular location, the range on the radio is defined by the location of the repeater.  If your radio performs properly, you will get the full range offered by the repeater.  If your radio has some performance issue, the repeater will appear to have “reduced range” because your radio decreases the ability of the repeater to hear your signal or the ability for you to hear the signal from the repeater.  With portable radios, change radio, change battery or change the radio antenna.  With mobile radios there can be a problem with the vehicular electrical system so the radio does not get the appropriate power.  Also, it is possible for the radio antenna to have a problem from being broken off, stolen, shorted, open or partially unplugged.

Why do I get is an error tone when I press the PTT button?

If all the radios in the fleet have the same problem, it is likely to be a problem with the repeater system.  If it is just your radio that has the problem, you probably have a bad antenna or antenna connection.

Why won’t the radio transmit when I press the transmit button?

Check to see if the radio has logged into a site on the network to see the signal from the control channel and on most radios, you will see a number near the upper left corner of the display to indicate the tower site number your radio has accessed. If the radio has not logged on, it will not transmit.

Why does the radio beep immediately when I press the transmit button?

The repeater system is busy which means that all the channels in the system at the site your radio is using are in use. Most radios will say “”Busy” on the display. If you are receiving a busy signal and you need to wait a few seconds and try again.

What happens if I hold the PTT button when I am hearing another person talk?

The radio will not transmit, but as soon as the person talking releases their PTT button, your radio will transmit and attempt to access the repeater network.

Why can’t I log into the network?

(1) If your radio or talk group has been disabled, you will not be able to log into the network.  (2) You are out of range of the network. (3) Your radio is locked in site lock which displays the flag ICON on the display and you are out of range of the site that is locked on the radio.  (4) Also, if you have swapped radios, you may not be able to log into the network because each radio has an electronic serial number (ESN) and if the network is checking the ESN, you will not be able to use the radio.

Why can’t I speak to someone who is on a different site on the network?

The site may have become disconnected from the network. Call the office to report the trouble.

What is the current coverage area?

Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Imperial counties plus the Eastern Sierras, Las Vegas, Central & Southern Nevada, Coachella Valley, Imperial Valley, Yuma, Az. and part of Kern

Do my employees have to change repeater sites?

No, the MRA Diga-Talk Network works very much like cellular and roams in the networked sites as you travel and is completely automatic.

Can my employees make telephone calls or Direct Connect calls to friends or family with the MRA Diga-Talk Network?

No, the MRA Diga-Talk Network only connects with radios that are in your service. However, a gateway can be provided that allows you to connect with cellular devices.

Can the MRA Diga-Talk Network provide GPS locations to my company?

There are two methods of providing that service.  Please review the GPS Vehicle Tracking section of the website.

How does the AVL option work?

Please review the GPS Vehicle Tracking section of the website for the answer.  It is not a quick answer.

What is needed for the AVL option?

It depends upon what method of GPS reporting you select.  Please review the GPS Vehicle Tracking section of the website for the answer.

Can I use my current two-way radio on the Diga-Talk Network?

If you have any Kenwood NX UHF series radio except for the NX1300 series radios, your radio will work on the Diga-Talk Network.

Can I receive email on my digital radio?

Email can be provided through the MRA DataGate. This is an optional service on the digital radios.

Can I respond to emails that I receive?

Yes you can.

Why do I get a green light when someone attempts to respond to me, but do not hear anything that they say?

We refer to that scenario as the Green Light of Death (GLOD).  When the radio attempts to access the system, it is told to go to a talk channel.  If there is a problem with the talk channel, the radio goes back to the control channel.  In the meantime, the talk channel is telling your radio that there is a response being sent.  There are other less frequent causes of GLOD. Call for service

Can I have a demo on the Diga-Talk Network?

Yes you can. Request A Demo

If you have a question you would like to see on this list, please use the button below to send us your request. We will review it and post the Q&A if deemed suitable. We will not post any Q&A related to an individual customer, only those with general applicability.

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