Tough as your radio is – and it is rugged – there are some common issues that they all face. The repair technicians here at Tridon hear about them all the time. They know how they happen, and how to avoid them.
First off, – Antennae
The fact that they are flexible means that they can bend (obviously) where something else might snap or crack. But they aren’t indestructible. Radios get picked up by the antennae all the time, and the fact that they protrude means they are more likely to take the full force of a fall if a radio is dropped.
This wear and tear can loosen the antenna’s soldered connection to the circuit board. The end result is a transmission filled with static or no transmission at all.
Solution: Be mindful and don’t pick up the radio by the antennae. Secure your radio in a holster or on a belt clip when you aren’t using it. This should help minimize the damage and keep your transmissions clear.
As good as they are, rechargeable batteries still have a shelf life – usually about two to three years. Also, a radio can sometimes sit idle for weeks, with no demand on the battery at all, before it’s suddenly put into service. That kind of sporadic use will result in a battery that doesn’t hold a charge as well as you hope, and the result is a weak sounding signal, no signal at all, or that annoying beep while you talk.
Solution: Make sure your battery is fully charged before you use your radio and remove it from the radio once it’s fully charged Alternatively, if there is an option to set the charger in maintenance mode, go with it. And, every now and then, check the stamped expiration date on your battery. If you’re approaching that date, or past it, consider getting a replacement.
Third? The Mic.
These accessories take a lot of abuse. They can get knocked off clips, dropped to the floor or just generally banged around. After too much wear and tear, the sound quality will degrade, and the accessory may eventually stop working.
Fourth? Mic cables.
The connection of mic cable and port can also be an issue. Like the antennae, the plug protrudes from the casing, meaning it get caught on table edges or torqued on if the radio falls and dangles by the mic cable. Cables themselves can get damaged by too much wear and tear as well.
Solution (to both): If you can, tuck the cable inside your coat. That will prevent it from getting caught on handles, desk edges and so forth. Position the radio on your belt so that the plug doesn’t get caught. For example, if the plug is on the right-hand side of the radio, clip the radio to your left-hand side. That way, the plug faces backward and won’t get caught as you round the bend.
If all else fails, and the mic isn’t working the way you need it to, remember that your radio is still fine. The mic is just an accessory. Even if it isn’t holding up, you can disconnect it and use the radio with no problem.
And fifth: Uncertainty
It’s not so much a ‘fail point’ as it is a challenge, but sometimes, the person asking for a set of radios doesn’t know exactly what’s needed They know they need a radios, but they don’t always know all the specifics like programming needs, Industry Canada documentation requirements, and whether a radio is intrinsically safe (IS).
Solution: Expect your radio provider to ask a lot of questions. In fact, you should demand it. The answers will help put together the full solution you need. Not just the gear, but the programming, accessories, the licenses and backup services you’ll need down the road.
Anyone of these tips will help you get the most out of your two-way radios. They’ll last longer and sound clearer. What are the biggest challenges you face in using your two-way radio? Leave a comment or find us on Twitter (@tridoncomm), Facebook (@tridoncommunications ) or email firstname.lastname@example.org,.