If you own a two-way radio, then you may have noticed that it stops working from time to time, or that the signal is no longer coming through quite as well as it once did.
If that is the case, then this suggest that you need to do a little maintenance to keep it up and running smoothly.
How to Care for Your Two-Way Radio + Troubleshooting
Check the Antenna
If your signal isn’t coming through quite as it should, then you may want to check the antenna. Many walkie talkies use antenna that can be unscrewed in order to make them small enough to fit in a pocket. If the antenna isn’t screwed all the way in, then it can end up losing the connection slightly. This in turn interferes with the flow of current, which can prevent the signal being picked up properly.
Likewise, if the antenna is damaged, bent, or otherwise malformed, then this can create interference too.
Look for Your Hand Placement
Another thing to consider is that you might be holding the walkie-talkie wrong! While this shouldn’t be a problem with a well designed product, some cheaper handheld two-way radio systems are a little poorly thought-out, and therefore place the antenna right where your hand is prone to covering it up when you hold the phone.
The result is that your signal will be a little like your car radio when you go under a tunnel… but all the time! Try adjusting your positioning and see if that helps.
Check the Batteries
This is an easy one, but you would be surprised just how regularly it gets overlooked! If your radio isn’t working the way it normally does, then it could simply be that the batteries are dead – or have become dislodged. This can be a serious issue in the case of an emergency radio. Make sure you always check this before going out with your device.
There are a number of small ports and vents in your radio which serve a range of different purposes. Partly, these are responsible for helping to keep your unit cool by allowing air to circulate – just like a computer, a walkie-talkie can risk overheating!
At the same time, there are also vents where the earpiece and mouthpiece go. These of course allow the air to escape and thereby let you hear what is being said. Remember: soundwaves require a medium to travel through, which in this case is air.
(In essence, a radio can be thought of as a wave converter – converting radio waves to sound waves!)
If these vents get blocked by small amounts of dust or dirt, then it can muffle the sound coming in and out. That can be confusing, seeing as it sounds a lot like a poor signal!
If this is a common problem (particularly if you work on a construction site where dust and dirt are rife), then you may wish to consider investing in a waterproof two-way radio or perhaps some type of cover to protect your device.