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FAQ / Q & A for Trunking Radios

Like any business, we get typical complaints about radio systems that vary by the type of radio system.  Each type of radio system has its own set of peculiarities which cause the end user of the radio to have some issue.  We will discuss several situations that cause our customers to experience disdain from time to time.

  1. 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.
  2. Why doesn’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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Why do I get is an error tone when I press the transmit 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.
  6. Why won’t the radio transmit when I press the PTT button? If you are hearing someone talking, the radio will not transmit until your radio stops hearing the radio transmission from the person talking, even if they are not saying anything.  The radio detects the radio signal from your talk group and inhibits your transmitter until the signal ceases.
  7. Why does my radio beep immediately when I press the PTT button? The repeater system is full and all the channels in the system are in use.  You are receiving a busy signal and you need to wait a few seconds and try again.
  8. 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 system.
  9. Why do they only hear my first syllable of the first word when I talk? Your talk group has been disabled in the repeater system.  Contact our office to resolve the issue.

 

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